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Extremists claim responsibility...Syria peace talks...VW scandal settlement

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BERLIN (AP) — The extremist group Islamic State is claiming responsibility for Monday's truck attack in Berlin that killed 12 people in a crowd at a Christmas market outside a church. The claim followed today's release of a man first believed to be the driver. The man, a Pakistani, was detained based on witness descriptions.

MOSCOW (AP) — Officials from Russia, Turkey and Iran have met in Moscow and say their cooperation could pave the way for a future settlement in Syria. And they vowed that Monday's killing of Russia's ambassador to Turkey won't set back their efforts to restart stagnant peace efforts.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Volkswagen has reached a deal that will give at least some owners of the remaining 80,000 diesel vehicles caught in the company's emissions cheating scandal the option of a buyback. Compensation will be provided to all of them on top of any repurchase or repairs. The $1 billion settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency will give owners of 20,000 3-liter diesel cars the choice of a buyback. The figure does not include additional payments to owners.

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has ruled that eight Seattle children should have "their day in court" to argue that Washington state and others aren't protecting them from climate change. King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill wrote that the young petitioners should have the opportunity to address their concerns in a court of law and their rights are based on state and federal laws.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State is countersuing its former president, saying he violated his employment agreement by not disclosing what he knew about Jerry Sandusky before the former assistant football coach's arrest on child molestation charges in 2011. The university's claim was filed along with its response to a revised breach-of-contract lawsuit Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) filed.

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