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Towering inferno in Dubai...No fireworks in Paris...Top Carson advisers leave

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Flames have engulfed at least 20 stories of a residential building in Dubai, in the neighborhood where a massive New Year's Eve fireworks display is planned. The building is near the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. The fire broke out about two hours before midnight, when the fireworks display was set to begin. Tens of thousands of people had already gathered in the area. Burning debris has been raining down from the building.

PARIS (AP) — Instead of the usual fireworks display tonight in Paris to welcome the new year, there will be a five-minute video performance at the Arc de Triomphe (ahrk dih tree-OHMPF') just before midnight, relayed on screens along the Champs Elysee (shahmz eh-lee-ZAY'). The mayor of Paris says it's aimed at "sending the world the message that Paris is standing, proud of its lifestyle and living together." Tens of thousands of police and troops are deployed across France today.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Record-high water levels are disrupting train traffic in Missouri and Illinois. Union Pacific says two sections of track in Missouri and two in Illinois are out of service because of rising waters. In the St. Louis area, transportation by car, boat or train is at a virtual standstill. The city itself isn't flooded, but hundreds of homes in its southwestern suburbs are damaged. And residents in hundreds of others had to leave as water approached the tops of levees.

BOSTON (AP) — An unseasonably mild December has shattered temperature records across the Northeast. The National Weather Service says preliminary numbers show the average temperature in Boston for the month was 45.4 degrees, or nearly 11 degrees above normal. Also well above average were New York City; Burlington, Vermont; Concord, New Hampshire; and Portland, Maine.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's top paid advisers are leaving the campaign with only a month to go before Iowa's leadoff caucuses. That's according to Carson's Iowa director, Ryan Rhodes. He says Carson campaign manager Barry Bennett and senior campaign spokesman Doug Watts are "out" as of today. Carson has tumbled in national Republican presidential preference polls and complained about the media coverage of his campaign.

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