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Three dead in Sydney...Obama praises troops who served in Afghanistan...Ukraine wants help

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 15, 2014 at 2:01 p.m.



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SYDNEY (AP) — Two of the hostages who'd been held in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, are dead -- along with the gunman -- after police stormed the cafe to put an end to the more-than-16-hour siege. Four others were wounded, including a police officer who was shot in the face. The Iranian-born gunman had once been prosecuted for sending offensive letters to the families of Australian troops who'd been killed in Afghanistan.

FORT DIX, N.J. (AP) — President Barack Obama says every American who has served in Afghanistan should be proud of what they've accomplished. Obama went to New Jersey today to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan by visiting troops at a military base. It has been a launching point for deployments to Afghanistan. Obama says America's war in Afghanistan is coming to a responsible end. U.S. and NATO troops formally closed their operational command in Afghanistan last week after 13 years of war. Some troops will remain, however, to carry out operations against Taliban and al-Qaida targets.

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ukraine's prime minister is asking NATO to do more to help his country's military. It hasn't been able to put an end to a pro-Russian insurgency. The Ukrainian official is also asking for an urgent increase in financial aid from the European Union.

PENNSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Police in suburban Philadelphia are still trying to capture a man who they say killed six people and seriously wounded another today in three different homes. A neighbor says the suspect is a former member of the military and that the first victim was his ex-wife. The neighbor tells a newspaper (the Lansdale Reporter) that the couple had been fighting over the custody of children.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal appeals court is upholding a Los Angeles County ordinance requiring that actors in pornographic films use condoms. The court rejected arguments by porn industry leaders that the requirement inhibits the industry's First Amendment free-speech rights. The ordinance adopted by voters two years ago was put forward as a means of reducing sexually transmitted diseases.

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The Associated Press

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