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Still negotiating in Sydney ... 18-year-old Australian killed by shark ... French taxis push for Uber ban

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SYDNEY (AP) — Police in Sydney, Australia, say negotiators are talking with a gunman who has been holding an unknown number of hostages inside a cafe for more than 10-hours. Five people have managed to escape. Police say they don't know the gunman's motive. But two people inside were seen holding up a black flag with the Islamic declaration of faith written on it.

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union foreign ministers are discussing in Brussels how they can help implement a U.N. plan to freeze fighting in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The foreign ministers met informally Sunday with the U.N. special envoy to Syria. The U.N. has been trying to bring about a strategic de-escalation of violence in Syria to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and set the stage for peace talks.

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — An 18-year-old has been killed by a shark while spear fishing on the Great Barrier Reef off the eastern Australian. Police say the man was mauled today while fishing with friends off the tourist town of Port Douglas. It's the first fatal shark attack in Australia since September, when a 50-year-old swimmer was killed at popular Byron Bay.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Three University of Virginia students who were portrayed in a Rolling Stone article as uncaring friends of a woman who says she was gang raped at a UVa frat house are telling The Associated Press that the story was wrong on a number of key points. In particular, they say they did not urge the woman not to report the attack. Rolling Stone has backed off the original account but has not commented on the friends' remarks.

PARIS (AP) — Taxi drivers are blocking some roads around Paris and its airports to get the French government to ban ride-hailing service Uber. Today's demonstration comes as France's Interior Ministry says UberPop, the company's low-cost service, will be outlawed as of Jan. 1, when a new law tightens regulations for chauffeured rides. France is the latest of several places where Uber has faced challenges to its service, which matches people looking for rides with drivers through a cell phone app.

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