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Police: Killer had long record...Kurds fight IS for town...Number of injured rises in France incident

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City authorities say a long violent criminal record, hatred for police and the government and apparent history of mental instability are all part of the background of the man who ambushed two officers in their patrol car, killing both. Meanwhile, warnings have gone out to police to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social media. Officials say 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed himself after the attacks.

SINJAR, Iraq (AP) — Kurdish fighters say they're making progress but fighting is fierce against Islamic State extremists occupying the Iraqi town of Sinjar. The Kurds say they are facing stiff resistance and the IS militants are using snipers. The Kurdish forces say the militants are burning tires and oil to create a smoke screen.

PARIS (AP) — France's top security official says the investigation is only just getting started into the incident where a rampaging driver roared into a crowd of people in Dijon. The official cautioned against jumping to conclusions and raised the number of people injured to 13. A local police official says the driver has psychological problems.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis isn't being shy about criticizing an entrenched Vatican bureaucracy. In sometimes blistering comments Francis denounced how some people lust for power at all costs, live hypocritical double lives and suffer from "spiritual Alzheimer's" that has made them forget what they're supposed to be. And all of that was in his Christmas greeting to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Holy See.

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian officials say a 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother are recovering and getting their strength back in an Australian hospital after a 10-day wilderness ordeal. The boys and their father survived with little food, no phone service and in weather conditions that ranged from stormy to scorching. Officials say the father took a wrong turn during a family road trip.

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