International  December 21, 2014
US dismisses N. Korea hacking probe offer, seeks China's help
Workers remove a poster for "The Interview" from a billboard in Hollywood, California, December 18, 2014The United States has dismissed a call by North Korea for a joint investigation into the hacking of Sony Pictures and wants China to help block cyber attacks from Pyongyang.Washington blames North Korea for a breach of cyber security at Sony which led to the release of embarrassing emails and prompted executives to halt the release of "The Intervie...  Full Story
Tunisians vote for post-revolution president
Employees from the Independent High Authority for elections (ISIE) offload ballot boxes from a military vehicle under the surveillance of the Tunisian army, on December 20, 2014Tunisians voted Sunday in the runoff of the first free presidential election in the country's history, the final leg of an at times bumpy four-year transition from dictatorship.The second round vote pits 88-year-old favourite Beji Caid Essebsi, leader of the anti-Islamist Nidaa Tounes party, against incumbent Moncef Marzouki, who held the post thro...  Full Story
Roadside bomb kills seven civilians in Afghanistan
File photo of Afghans in a truck driving through Kunar province, where on December 21, 2014, at least seven people including children were killed when a roadside bomb struck a vehicle At least seven people including children were killed when a roadside bomb struck a vehicle in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Sunday, the latest civilian casualties which soared to a record high this year.The explosion occurred late Saturday when the pickup truck was driving from Asadabad, the capital of Kunar province, to Nari district close t...  Full Story
Xenophobia mushrooms in shadow of Berlin tower blocks
People hold a banner reading There's little to break the monotony of communist-era apartment blocks stretching across Marzahn-Hellersdorf, an east Berlin satellite district that has gained national notoriety for a spate of anti-foreigner protests.Week after week, hundreds of residents here have angrily rallied against plans for a new centre to house refugees seeking asylum on ...  Full Story
Mother charged with murder of eight children in Australia
The mother of seven of eight children killed in Australia was charged with their murder Sunday, police said, describing it as the most tragic episode in their career as a makeshift memorial saw an outpouring of grief.The 37-year-old, named in local media as Mersane Warria, was charged with eight counts of murder after the bodies of the children -- ...  Full Story
French police kill 'Allahu Akbar' attacker
A police car is parked outside the station in Joue les-Tours on December 20, 2014 French police shot dead a knife-wielding man who attacked three officers in a police station while shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great").The man wounded one officer's face at the entrance to the police station in Joue-les-Tours near the central city of Tours and injured two others before he was killed.Anti-terror investigators of the Paris prose...  Full Story
Castro hails US-Cuba thaw, but says won't change political system
Cuban President Raul Castro listens during the opening of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit, in Havana, on December 8, 2014Cuban President Raul Castro said he was ready to discuss any topic with Washington after the historic bilateral rapprochement, but warned not to expect political change.And while the leader of the Americas' only communist nation hailed the agreement for removing of an "obstacle" in US-Cuba relations, he reiterated that "the most important thing, t...  Full Story
North Korea faces UN Security Council scrutiny
North Koreans bow before portraits of late leaders Kim Il-Sung and son Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang on the third anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-Il in PyongyangNorth Korea comes under scrutiny Monday at the UN Security Council in the first-ever meeting on its dismal rights record, amid calls for Pyongyang to be referred to the International Criminal Court.Until now, the top UN body has focused on North Korea's nuclear program as a security threat, but the scope has widened to human rights following the re...  Full Story