• Western sanctions may last for decades: Russian minister tells newspaper

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis are likely to last "for a very long time", possibly decades, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told Vedomosti newspaper. "When a U.S. law is passed it is very hard to change it afterwards - looks like it will be in place…

  • Social media: the hostage that eluded Sydney siege gunman

    By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - One hostage the Sydney siege gunman failed to take this week was social media. After traditional media refused to air or print details of phone calls his hostages made, Man Haron Monis turned to Facebook and YouTube, forcing his captives to use their personal…

  • India tests its heaviest space launch vehicle, eyes global market

    By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's space agency successfully tested on Thursday its most powerful satellite launch vehicle that can put heavier payloads into space, and, it hopes, win India a bigger slice of the $300 billion global space industry. The Indian Space Research Organization…

  • Why Miami's Cuban-Americans are divided on US thaw with Cuba

    When President Obama announced his policy shift on Cuba Wednesday, complete with restoring diplomatic relations, no one was more riveted – or torn – than South Florida and its outspoken Cuban-American community.

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Venezuela's role in warming Cuba - US relations

    A lot of people have been getting credit for the US-Cuba breakthrough today, from Raul Castro and Barack Obama to Pope Francis and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Sony hack: Attack threat leads Sony to cancel 'The Interview' release

    The Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy "The Interview" would never be confused with high art or classic film drama.

    Christian Science Monitor
  • If Congress objects to Obama's move on Cuba, what can it do?

    Here we go again. The topic is new – reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba. But the storyline is familiar: The president acts. Congress wants to undo that action. Or at least some members do.

    Christian Science Monitor
  • 10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos

    Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.

    Associated Press
  • Smith leads Australia's reply to India's 408

    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Steve Smith continued his unbeaten run with a half century in his first test match as captain, guiding Australia to 221-4 in reply to India's 408 before bad light stopped play on day two of the second cricket test.

    Associated Press21 mins ago
  • N Korea-linked Sony hack may be costliest ever

    NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. official says North Korea is linked to the unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures which exposed a trove of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorism, driving the studio to cancel release of the movie "The Interview" believed to be the motive for the cyberattack.

    Associated Press21 mins ago
  • Reports: jailed Russian tycoon leaves house arrest

    MOSCOW (AP) — Vladimir Yevtushenkov, a Russian tycoon placed under house arrest in September in a move that rattled markets, has reportedly been released from under house arrest just hours before President Vladimir Putin's annual televised press conference.

    Associated Press32 mins ago
  • Top Asian News at 8:00 a.m. GMT

    SYDNEY (AP) — The siege at the Sydney cafe had been going on for more than five hours and 82-year-old John O'Brien had become convinced the gunman was insane and they would likely all end up dead. And so he made a decision, one he knew came with a cost: he was going to try to escape.

    Associated Press34 mins ago
  • Islamists kill 32, kidnap scores in Nigeria

    Maiduguri (Nigeria) (AFP) - Boko Haram militants killed 32 people and kidnapped scores of others in an attack on the village of Gumsuri in Nigeria's restive northeast, two local officials and a witness said Thursday.

    AFP35 mins ago
  • Support for Swedish coalition rises after call for snap vote: poll

    STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Support for Sweden's Social Democrat-Green ruling coalition has grown after the government earlier in December said it planned to call a snap election, a poll published in daily Dagens Nyheter showed on Thursday. The governing Social Democrats and Greens plus the Left party…

    Reuters49 mins ago
  • Australian PM urged to go easy on refugees after Sydney siege

    By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Human rights groups and some politicians on Thursday urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott not to use a deadly siege in Sydney as a pretext to crack down on refugees after he repeatedly questioned why the attacker had received political asylum and welfare benefits in…

  • Experience William Boyd's The Vanishing Game

    For Alec Dunbar, the uncertain terrain may be the only thing certain to keep him alive. Immerse yourself in William Boyd’s new action-adventure, Th...

  • At least 28 killed in C. Africa violence

    Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - At least 28 people were killed and dozens were injured in clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic, police said on Thursday.

  • Book Talk: War on Afghan frontline, by a female soldier

    By Jessica Donati KABUL (Reuters) - Chantelle Taylor is a former combat medic who fought in one of Britain's bloodiest battles in Afghanistan and wrote about her experience as a rare woman on the front line. Written in a neutral tone, "Battleworn" reads like an ordinary soldier's diary and…

  • 2nd test: Australia 221-4 at stumps on 2nd day vs India

    BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Scores at stumps Thursday on the second day of the second cricket test between Australia and India at the Gabba:

    Associated Press