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Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

Dec 26, 2014

Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban on females driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants said. The cases of the two, Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysa ...

Topless Femen activist grabs Baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square

Dec 26, 2014

Topless Femen activist grabs Baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square

An activist from the feminist group Femen bared her breasts in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day and rushed the Nativity scene, grabbing the Baby Jesus figurine. A Vatican police officer wearing a black cape was quick to arrest the blonde activist and wrest ...

Dec 26, 2014

Al-Shabab militants attack AU Somalia base; at least five dead

Gunmen attacked the African Union’s main base in Mogadishu on Thursday, leading to an exchange of gunfire between militants and soldiers that left at least five militants dead, an official with the mission in Somalia said. Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the ...

Dec 26, 2014

Dozens of jihadists killed as Syria Kurds retake ground: monitor

At least 44 members of the Islamic State group were killed in clashes with Kurdish forces in Syria on Thursday, a monitoring group said. Thirty of the jihadists were killed fighting against members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the village of ...

Dec 26, 2014

Russia offers support to North Korea amid Sony hacking fallout

Russia on Thursday offered sympathy to North Korea amid the Sony hacking scandal, saying the movie that sparked the dispute was so scandalous that Pyongyang’s anger was “quite understandable.” Washington failed to offer any proof to back its claims of Pyongyang’s involvement in the ...

Dec 26, 2014

Refugees drown in river in attempted Sudanese smuggling

At least eight asylum-seekers have drowned trying to cross a river in Sudan during an attempt to smuggle them out of a refugee camp, the U.N. refugee agency said Thursday. The accident happened as a group of from the Shegarab-1 camp in the eastern ...

Arson attack on Swedish mosque injures five

Dec 26, 2014

Arson attack on Swedish mosque injures five

An arsonist set fire to a mosque in central Sweden on Thursday, injuring five people, police said, as the country grapples with a political crisis caused by the rise of the extreme right. “Somebody threw an object through a closed window and afterwards a ...

Blizzard gives Hawaii summits a White Christmas

Dec 26, 2014

Blizzard gives Hawaii summits a White Christmas

Some people in Hawaii are dreaming of a White Christmas. A blizzard warning is in effect for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The National Weather Service says up to 7 inches (18 cm) of snow ...

Queen Elizabeth II praises those involved in fight against Ebola

Dec 26, 2014

Queen Elizabeth II praises those involved in fight against Ebola

Queen Elizabeth II used her traditional Christmas broadcast to call for international reconciliation and to praise medical workers fighting Ebola in Africa. The queen said she has been “deeply touched” by the “selflessness” of doctors and nurses combating the Ebola outbreak. She said she ...

Ukraine truce hangs in balance after 'difficult' talks

Dec 26, 2014

Ukraine truce hangs in balance after 'difficult' talks

by Dmitry Zaks

The latest push for peace in Ukraine appeared moribund on Thursday after initial talks failed to agree when the warring sides should meet again to try ending their eight-month conflict. Negotiations mediated by European and Russian envoys in the Belarussian capital Minsk broke up ...

Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers

Dec 26, 2014

Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers

Russian President Vladimir Putin has scrapped New Year’s holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis. Putin told a televised government session on Thursday that Cabinet ministers “cannot afford” to go on holiday. Russian company employees throughout the country are entitled to ...