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German official says threat continues...Hijacking reported over...Putin willing to visit

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top security official says the death of Berlin truck attack suspect Anis Amri doesn't reduce the extremist threat to Germany. Amri was shot when he opened fire on police in Milan, Italy who stopped him for a routine ID check today. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Monday attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and injured 56 others. Officials are investigating whether Amri had help planning it.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has told the president of Tunisia that his country needs to more quickly take back the Tunisians who've gone to Germany but are not entitled to residency there. The conversation came hours after the death in Italy of Anis Amri, the chief suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack — a Tunisian who had had his application for asylum in Germany rejected. Germany had tried to deport him, but couldn't because he lacked valid identity papers and Tunisia initially denied he was a citizen.

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — Malta's prime minister says the hijacking of a Libyan plane is over after the hijackers gave themselves up. In a series of tweets, he said the hijackers left the airplane along with its final crew members after earlier freeing all the passengers from a flight that was diverted to his country. The hijackers, he said, "surrendered," been "searched and taken in custody."

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he would be willing to visit the United States if President-elect Donald Trump sent him an invitation. Putin told Russian news agencies after his three and a half hour press conference today that if Trump invites him, he will "definitely come." Putin also said he sees "nothing unusual" in Trump's pledge to strengthen the U.S. nuclear forces, saying the statement is in line with the U.S. president-elect's campaign promises.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed in early trading on Wall Street as trading slows down ahead of the Christmas holiday. Energy and materials companies fell shortly after the opening bell, while health care and real estate stocks rose.

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