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Saudis: Islamic military alliance...Jailed journalists...Work on budget bill


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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it's heading a new "Islamic military alliance" of 34 majority-Muslim nations to take on terrorism. The joint operations center will be based in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The counterterrorism coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt as well as war-torn countries with embattled militaries such as Libya and Yemen.

NEW YORK (AP) — A new report by the Committee to Project Journalists says China, Egypt and Iran top the list of the world's leading jailers of journalists. Other nations cited often include Eritrea, Ethiopia and Turkey. Tuesday's report says a quarter of the 199 journalists worldwide who were in prison as of Dec. 1 because of their work were in China.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Jury deliberations will continue Tuesday in the manslaughter trial of a Baltimore police officer who is the first of six officers to go on trial for the death of man in police custody. Freddie Gray died from a broken neck apparently suffered while he was being transported in a police van. Officer William Porter testified that Gray showed no signs of pain or distress before he arrived at the police station critically injured. Prosecutors said that was a blatant lie.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Paul Ryan says some details may be released Tuesday on a spending bill that negotiators are close to hammering out with the White House. The $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill is needed to prevent a government shutdown. Ryan is said to have told a conference call that the measure contains victories for both parties but provided few details. Votes could come later in the week.

NEW YORK (AP) — Crime mystery author James Patterson has the holiday spirit. The best-selling author has announced a $2 million gift program. Patterson's donation will fund grants and bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to libraries and independent bookstores.

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