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Tornadoes in Dallas area...China anti-terror law concerns...Taiwan election debate

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DALLAS (AP) — Authorities say there's substantial tornado damage in the Dallas area where at least seven people were killed by the twisters or related traffic accidents. A complete picture won't be available until daylight. A succession of freakish winter weather events in the Southeast killed at least 25 people since Wednesday. West Texas and much of New Mexico are expecting heavy snow today.

BEIJING (AP) — China has its first anti-terrorism law but Washington has its concerns about the measure. China's rubber-stamp national legislature approved the law today. It takes effect Jan. 1. It requires that tech companies share information with the government causing concern it could hurt business interests and further infringe upon human rights. Chinese senior officials say the obligations are necessary because terrorists are increasingly turning to cyberspace.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The opposition leader who is the front-runner in Taiwan's presidential race says she won't seek to upset improving relations with China but won't close the door on re-evaluating the island's official stance on independence. The election is being closely watched by Washington and Beijing, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province and has threatened to take the island by force if it declares independence.

CAIRO (AP) — The battle between Egyptian forces and insurgents from an Islamic State group affiliate in northern Sinai continues. An Egyptian military spokesman says the military has pursued and killed two "terrorist elements" and injured another. A Russian airliner crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. The local IS affiliate claims it planted a bomb.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — In what's become a Christmas tradition to some Swedes, a giant decorative goat made of straw was set ablaze early today and police arrested a 25-year-old man suspected of arson. The goat is an ancient Scandinavian Yuletide tradition that preceded Santa Claus as the bringer of gifts. The straw goat is a beloved Christmas symbol in the city of Gavle, in central Sweden. However, it's also become a tradition of sorts to burn it down.

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