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Taliban kills dozens of Pakistani children ... Australia in mourning ... Search for PA gunman

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 16, 2014 at 3:50 a.m.



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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Taliban attack in Pakistan has killed at least 84 people, many of them students at a military-run school. A top Pakistani official says the attack happened today in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and he says the attack is still going on. Dozens of students are said to be wounded.

SYDNEY (AP) — Australians have been laying flowers at the site where two of 17 hostages were killed earlier today when police stormed into a cafe to rescue them from a gunman. The gunman, a 50-year-old an Iranian-born self-styled cleric, also was killed. Officials describe Man Haron Monis as a deeply disturbed man carrying out a "sick fantasy."

PENNSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who allegedly shot and killed his ex-wife and five of her relatives is still on the loose this morning. Authorities are looking for 35-year-old Marine veteran Bradley Michael Stone, who had been in a custody fight with his ex-wife over their two daughters. Authorities say Stone went to three homes yesterday, killing 33-year-old Nicole Stone and her mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law and 14-year-old niece. A 17-year-old nephew was wounded and is clinging to life.

HONG KONG (AP) — Weakness in oil prices and the slumping Russian ruble are weighing on Asian and European stocks today. Japan's Nikkei closed down 2 percent, while Europe's major indexes are edging lower. Russian shares are also lower after the country's Central Bank raised its key interest rate to 17 percent. The massive increase is intended to bolster the ruble, but its effect so far has been fleeting. The currency staged a two-hour rally, but has since fallen back to new historic lows.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's annual drug use survey finds electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens. The National Institutes of Health report says tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows. Just 4 percent of eighth-graders said they'd smoked a traditional cigarette in the previous month, but nearly 9 percent said they'd used an e-cigarette. And use increased with age. Seventeen percent of high school seniors said they'd used an e-cigarette.

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The Associated Press

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