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It's 2015 down under...German leader has New Year's warning...Weather hampers airliner search

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UNDATED (AP) — There were bright flashes and loud booms in Auckland, New Zealand today, and everybody knew they were heralding hopes for a new year devoid of terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and other disasters. The new year has already arrived in New Zealand and Sydney, Australia is about ready for its party to peak. The beaches of Brazil, and, of course, Times Square in New York City will be getting their turn soon.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) has a New Year's warning for German citizens. She's telling them not to participate in weekly anti-Islam rallies that have attracted growing numbers of supporters in the eastern German city of Dresden. Merkel in her New Year's speech condemned the organizers of the protests and said they are driven by prejudices and hatred against foreigners.

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia (AP) — The weather proved to be a severe limiting factor today in the Java Sea where searchers are attempting to locate and recover more bodies from the AirAsia airliner that crashed with 162 people on board. Strong currents are also moving the wreckage away from the site. Grieving relatives prayed today for strength to endure their losses.

LONDON (AP) — Britain's chief medical officer says the country's Ebola screening procedures need some work after, after a nurse was cleared to fly hours before she was diagnosed with the disease. Nurse Pauline Cafferkey's temperature was taken seven times at Heathrow Airport, but was found to be normal and she was allowed to fly. Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies says procedures for people returning from West Africa are being reviewed.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Officials in Yemen say at least eight people are dead in a suicide bombing. They say the target was a large gathering of Shiite rebels in the central Yemeni city of Ibb who were preparing celebrations for the Prophet Muhammad's birthday this weekend. One official describes the attack as a "massacre." Authorities say they expect the death toll to increase.

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