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As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. Another kid just loved playing video games with his cousins.
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Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable

By Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press  |  posted 39 minutes ago
Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder.
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Palestinians set deadline for Israeli occupation

By Cara Anna and John-Thor Dahlburg, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 6:03pm
Israel suffered back-to-back diplomatic setbacks in Europe on Wednesday, while the Palestinians at the United Nations set a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured nearly 50 years ago by the end of 2017.
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Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

By Andrea Rodriguez and Anne-Marie Garcia, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 5:10pm
Bells tolled in celebration and teachers halted lessons midday as President Raul Castro told his country Wednesday that Cuba was restoring relations with the United States after more than a half-century of hostility.
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Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

By Bashir Adigun, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 4:31pm
Nigeria on Wednesday sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny, assault, cowardice and refusing to fight Islamic extremists.
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Death toll in clash in western Mexico rises to 11

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 4:31pm
A Mexican official says the death toll from a clash between two rural police groups has risen to 11.
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Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

By Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 4:22pm
Colombia's largest rebel group announced an indefinite, unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, saying guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren't targeted by the U.S.-backed military.
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UN chief: US torture report must spur global action

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 4:13pm
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says a U.S. Senate report detailing brutal CIA interrogations of terror detainees should spur a global discussion on how the international community can stamp out torture.
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Haiti president meets with opposition amid unrest

By Pierre-Richard Luxama and Danica Coto, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 3:01pm
Haiti President Michel Martelly met Wednesday with opposition leaders in a bid to stabilize the politically fractious country as pressure mounted on him to appoint an interim prime minister.
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Congo, UN troops launch operation against rebels

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 2:51pm
U.N. peacekeepers and the Congolese army have launched an operation against rebels in the country's east blamed for a series of attacks in recent months.
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UN chief heading to West Africa to see response to Ebola

By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:52pm
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday he's heading to West Africa to demonstrate the U.N.'s solidarity with the countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak and to see for himself how the world is responding.
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9 questions answered about the Cuban embargo

Jeremy Diamond, CNN  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:44pm
Most Americans - including President Obama - weren't alive when the Cuban embargo went into effect. So get up to speed on the last five decades of American foreign policy toward Cuba.
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Crucial Greek presidential vote fails in 1st round

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:31pm
Greece's Parliament failed to elect a new president for the financially struggling country in the first round of voting Wednesday, leaving another two tries before the government falls and early elections are called.
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Cuba welcomes Castro's announcement of renewed US ties

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:31pm
One man in the Cuban capital of Havana says it's "a wish come true."
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Colombian rebels at Havana talks announce indefinite unilateral cease-fire

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:31pm
Colombian rebels at Havana talks announce indefinite unilateral cease-fire.
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Irked Italy: marine too ill to return to India

By Frances D'emilio, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:12pm
Diplomatic tensions between Italy and India are rising after Italy said a marine who suffered a stroke while detained in India for a 2012 shooting death was too ill to be sent back there.
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Unicef needs more cash for Central African kids

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:12pm
The U.N. Children's Fund says shortfalls in funding and violence have prevented it from delivering critical services to thousands of children in Central African Republic.
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Kenya urged to respect human rights

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:12pm
Nine Western governments have welcomed proposed changes to Kenya's security laws, but said that they should respect human rights.
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AP Exclusive: Sydney hostage planned daring escape

By Nick Perry, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:11pm
The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O'Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead.
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Canada hosted secret meetings between Cuba and US

By Rob Gillies, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:02pm
Canada hosted about seven meetings between the U.S. and Cuba that helped lead to President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday that the two countries will establish full diplomatic relations, a senior Canadian government official said.
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Verona's Arena to get $17.5 million restoration

By Colleen Barry, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:02pm
Verona's famed Roman amphitheater, home to one of the world's premier opera festivals, will be the first large beneficiary of a new Italian government initiative to encourage private donations to protect cultural treasures.
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Kurdish Iraqi forces launch operation in Sinjar

By Vivian Salama, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 1:01pm
Kurdish Iraqi forces launched a major operation Wednesday to retake the militant-held town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, part of a push to secure the road that leads directly to the Syrian border.
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Israeli PM slams EU taking Hamas off terror list

By Aron Heller, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 12:31pm
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the European Union Wednesday for removing Hamas from its terrorist list, calling it a staggering example of European hypocrisy and an indication that many on the continent have learned nothing from the Holocaust.
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