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Putin's spokesman laments ambassador's slaying ... Hundreds more leave Aleppo ... Merkel summons top security officials

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BEIRUT (AP) — The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) says yesterday's assassination of Moscow's ambassador in Turkey plays into the hands of those who want to derail peace talks for Syria. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that Ambassador Andrei Karlov's murder also "benefits those who want to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey."

BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds more Syrians have left the rebels' last foothold in eastern Aleppo. They left today in convoys of buses escorted by the Syrian Red Crescent and the international Red Cross under a cease-fire deal brokered by Ankara and Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow is hosting the foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey in three-way talks on Aleppo's future and prospects for peace in Syria.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) has summoned her top security officials to discuss the government's response to the deadly truck attack in Berlin that claimed at least 12 lives and left nearly 50 injured. Merkel says there's still a lot officials don't know about the attack in which a truck plowed into a popular Christmas market. Merkel says, "But we must, as things stand, assume it was a terrorist attack."

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — State police in Vermont are searching for a Bennington College student who was reported missing over the weekend after her car was discovered at a swimming hole in Green Mountain National Forest. Troopers say 20-year-old Hadil Marzouq (hah-DEEL' mahr-ZOOK') left a Bennington residence where she was staying on Saturday, and didn't return. She's 5-foot-3, 130 pounds with brown eyes and curly black hair, and was last seen wearing a large green jacket.

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A solar power project that's the largest in the military in the Northeastern U.S. is moving forward. Groundbreaking is set for Tuesday at a capped landfill on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. Plans call for the installation of more than 50,000 solar panels that will produce 16.5 megawatts, or enough renewable energy to power more than 2,500 homes.

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