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Spending bill approved...Japan elections...Climate deal

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans can now look ahead to the new year, when they will have full reign in the House and the Senate after a $1.1 trillion spending bill funding the government through September got final passage. The bill also charts a new course for selected shaky pension plans covering more than 1 million retirees, including the possibility of benefit cuts. Both Democrats and Republicans had objections.

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese voters are at the polls Sunday in a parliamentary election that's looking like it will go Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's way and give him a strong majority despite weakening ratings, a recession and messy campaign finance scandals. Abe took office two years ago promising to revive the stagnant economy and restore Japan's fading stature. Since then, share prices have risen and many companies have reported record profits.

LIMA, Peru (AP) — The stage is now set for a major global climate conference next year in Paris. After late-night wrangling at UN talks in Peru that went into weekend overtime, negotiators have reached a watered-down deal. A previous draft was rejected by developing countries who accused rich nations of shirking their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts. Poorer nations got some language they wanted restored.

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — A collision between a ship and an Egyptian fishing boat has killed 11 fishermen and injured 11 others with more than 20 still missing. Officials say the fishing boat collided with a passing ship. Officials say there were 45 fishermen on the boat and the collision occurred in the Gulf of Suez.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's president gave a defiant speech Sunday aimed squarely at insurgents who have launched a wave of recent militant attacks. Ashraf Ghani's impassioned speech included a vow that Afghanistan would never surrender and at one point, he shouted, "Enough," as he called on all religious, political and social leaders to condemn the violence.

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