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It's 2016 for some ... MO officials close I-55 ... Merkel to thank Germany for welcoming refugees in New Year's address

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 31, 2015 at 4:50 a.m.



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UNDATED (AP) — It's 2016 in New Zealand, where partygoers have ushered in the new year. In New York City, they're still prepping for the celebration, where about a million people are expected to gather on Times Square. Some 6,000 police will be on duty. In Las Vegas, people are being told to leave bags, backpacks and strollers at home as police get ready for hundreds of thousands of partiers to flood the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman says we can't let fear keep people from celebrating.

BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian judge has delivered an arrest warrant against a 10th suspect in the Paris attacks investigation. A Belgian national identified only as Ayoub B. is charged with terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group. He was arrested yesterday in Brussels in a neighborhood where some of the attackers lived.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Officials keeping an eye on flood levels in Missouri have decided to close Interstate 55 in both directions south of St. Louis because of historic flooding of the Meramec (MEHR'-uh-mehk) River. Officials had hoped to keep the interstate open, since other connections between St. Louis and adjacent Jefferson counties already had been closed, including I-44 over the Meramec. Crews overnight had been sandbagging and pumping water.

BERLIN (AP) —Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) is saying thank you to fellow Germans for welcoming some one million refugees into the country in 2015. Merkel's address will air on German public Television in a few hours, and in her speech she says, "Thank you for the overwhelming and really moving wave of spontaneous helpfulness that we experienced this year, when so many people came via often life-threatening ways to us looking for refuge." Merkel says the integration of refugees could be an opportunity for Germany in the future.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Education Ministry has rejected a request to include a novel about a romance between a Jew and an Arab in the high school curriculum. Teachers had asked that the book, "Borderlife," be included in the ministry's reading list but its content was deemed unfit for high school students. An Israeli newspaper (Israeli daily Haaretz) is reporting that a letter written by education official Dalia Fenig says teens cannot grasp the "significance of assimilation."

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The Associated Press

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