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People held hostage at a store in Sydney...2 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan... 13 die in Ecuador project collapse

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 14, 2014 at 9:50 p.m.



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SYDNEY (AP) — There are a number of hostages being held at a cafe in Sydney, Australia. Police say they're trying to determine what the hostage-taker or takers want. Police have surrounded the downtown store. TV footage shows a black flag with white Arabic writing on it inside the shop. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says it may be "politically motivated."

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says two U.S. soldiers have been killed during an attack in Afghanistan. Officials say 22-year-old Army Spc. Wyatt Martin of Mesa, Arizona, and 37-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Ramon Morris of New York City died Friday after their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. An Associated Press count says at least 2,210 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan.

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — At least 13 people are dead after a sudden collapse at the site of Ecuador's largest-ever infrastructure project. The Chinese embassy in Quito confirmed that 10 Ecuadorean and three Chinese workers were killed late Saturday at the construction site of a hydroelectric power plant in the Amazon when a wall collapsed. A dozen other workers were reportedly hurt.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California will be getting more rain. A powerful storm last week caused flooding and power outages throughout the state. The two weather fronts now approaching the state aren't as strong. Forecasters say the first storm arriving tonight will drop between up to two inches of rain in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento regions. Another storm is expected Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 33rd annual "Christmas in Washington" concert will be telecast Friday evening on TNT. President Barack Obama and his family attended the concert Sunday night at the National Building Museum. The event benefits the Children's National Health System. Before the concert, the first family presented gifts to former patients of the center.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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