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20 minutes ago // Reuters

world U.S. to work with allies 'to increase pressure on Russia': Treasury Secretary Lew

KIEV Reuters - The United States on Wednesday signed an agreement providing war-torn Ukraine with $2 billion in loan guarantees to help it with "near-term social spending" in 2015 and said it was prepared to step up sanctions against Russia if necessary.

20 minutes ago // MSNBC

world Justice 54 Years Later For 'Friendship 9'

54 years after being arrested and sentenced to hard labor for sitting at white's-only lunch counter, "Friendship 9" will have convictions overturned.

21 minutes ago // MSNBC

world All You Could Buy at This Furniture Store Was Pot: Cops

The owner of a fake Bay Area furniture store has been accused of growing $2 million worth of pot plants in the back.

26 minutes ago // MSNBC

world ISIS' Latest Hostage Demand 'Despicable': Japan PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday responded angrily to a new audio message about ISIS hostage Kenji Goto.

28 minutes ago // The Guardian

world Greek government halts privatisation plans business live

Rolling economic and financial news as Greeces new government starts work, and stock markets rise ahead of then US central banks monetary policy meeting tonightPower company and port sale frozen

32 minutes ago // VOA

world Qatar Reconsiders Bid to Host 2024 Olympics, Eyes Later Date

Qatar are undecided whether to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, a leading official has said, suggesting they may hold off for a later edition after two failed attempts to land sport's greatest spectacle. We don't know if we are going to bid for '24, but bidding for the Olympics it will be... either '24, '28 or '32, Qatar Olympic Committee general secretary Sheik Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was quoted as saying by Doha News on Wednesday. But for '24 we have not made the decision yet.

34 minutes ago // NPR

world Officers Ask Map App To Remove Police-Tracking

In the aftermath of the shooting death of two NYPD officers, law enforcement officials are asking the popular navigation app Waze to remove a feature that allows users to see officers' locations.

37 minutes ago // The Independent

world Mexican authorities pronounce 43 missing students dead but parents reject murder theory

The 43 students abducted by police in Mexico have been officially declared dead for the first time, despite the fact that remains of only one person have been identified.

37 minutes ago // The Washington Post

world WorldViews: In one day of diplomacy, Obama showcases an American double standard

It's a tale of two time zones. On Tuesday, the last day of his visit to India, President Obama addressed a packed hall of students in the country'scapital. He spoke passionately aboutthe United States' and India's shared values of democracy and pluralism.

37 minutes ago // CBS

world Inventor of laser, Charles Townes, dead at 99

Townes shared Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of the light amplification method, which gained use in several fields

38 minutes ago // The Washington Post

world An arrest in Lebanon lifts the veil on the life of Islamic State leaders ex-wife

BEIRUT For months, the ex-wife of perhaps the most wanted man in the world used Lebanon as a base to secretly transfer cash to Islamist militants, according to Lebanese military officials. They say that she concealed her identity with fake documents, which listed her as a Syrian citizen named Mallak Abdullah. Eventually, officials say, they discovered that she was Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi who had been briefly married six years ago to the man who now heads the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Bagh

40 minutes ago // NPR

world VA Steps Up Programs As More Veterans Enter Hospice Care

Millions of Americans who served in Korea, World War II and Vietnam are reaching their 70s and beyond. So the VA is putting focus on how to make veterans comfortable in their final weeks and months.

40 minutes ago // BBC

world Cigarette packs 'opposition growing'

The government faces growing disquiet from some Conservative MPs over plans to introduce standardised cigarette packaging in England, opponents believe.

40 minutes ago // BBC

world Cigarette packs 'opposition growing'

Opposition is growing from Conservative MPs to plans to introduce standardised cigarette packets in England, opponents believe.

40 minutes ago // BBC

world Cigarette packs 'opposition growing'

Opposition is growing from Tory MPs to plans to introduce standardised cigarette packets in England.

41 minutes ago // NPR

world Singing The Blues, A U.S. Envoy Hopes To Boost Ties With Ecuador

In South America, left-wing governments hostile to the U.S. are tossing out diplomats or shunning them entirely. In Ecuador, U.S. Ambassador Adam Namm is using music to do something about it.

42 minutes ago // NPR

world Homeless Man Encourages Others On The Streets To 'Get Up'

Tony Simmons is a former heroin addict and drug runner who had been in and out of jail. Today, he helps many of Baltimore's 3,000 homeless residents with housing guidance, advice and hugs.

45 minutes ago // NPR

world Tiger Skins And Rhino Horns: Can A Trade Deal Halt The Trafficking?

A proposed U.S.-Asia trade pact calls for incorporating the issue wildlife trafficking. The goal is to slow the poaching of endangered animals such as elephants, tigers and rhinos.

46 minutes ago // NPR

world Group Urges Swedes To Evade Subway Fares, And Even Insures Against Fines

Fare-dodging in Stockholm's system has become a movement, and the group's members don't try to hide what they're doing in fact, they advertise it.

47 minutes ago // VOA

world Four Vietnamese Soldiers Dead in Chopper Crash

A U.S.-made military helicopter has crashed outside Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, killing four Vietnamese soldiers. Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of the general staff of the Vietnam People's Army, told reporters Wednesday that the UH-1 Iroquois, known as a "Huey," crashed just minutes after takeoff from an air base in Ho Chi Minh City. "The UH-1 chopper of the Vietnamese air force was doing a training session. It took off at 7:15 am from Tan Son Nhat airport. Eight minutes afte

50 minutes ago // Reuters

world Military helicopter crash kills 4 in southern Vietnam

HANOI Reuters - Four Vietnamese military personnel were killed when an air force helicopter crashed during an exercise on Wednesday, the army said, in the second such accident in seven months.

50 minutes ago // The Guardian

world Maureen Lipman: rise in antisemitic attacks may prompt me to leave UK

Comic actor says she has considered moving to US or Israel because of increase in attacks on Jews in Britain Continue reading...

50 minutes ago // CNN

world Air pollution choking the life out of Asia

Pollution accounts for one in 8 deaths worldwide and it's especially bad in Asia, where everything from palm oil to peat fires creates haze.

51 minutes ago // CBS

world Dramatic video: Three kids rescued from Fresno apartment fire

Firefighters in Fresno, California saved the lives of three children after they were found unconscious and alone in an apartment that went up in flames

51 minutes ago // ABC

world Lawyers, Activists Demand Sri Lankan Chief Justice Resign

Sri Lankan lawyers, activists demand chief justice resign over alleged coup plot

53 minutes ago // CNN

world Israel: Rockets from Syria hit Golan Heights

At least two rockets fired from Syria landed in Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday afternoon, prompting Israel to respond with artillery fire, the Israeli military said.

53 minutes ago // CNN

world Cumberbatch apologizes for 'colored actors' remark

Oscar-nominated star Benedict Cumberbatch has apologized for referring to black actors as "colored" on a U.S. talk show.

56 minutes ago // BBC

world Police take people to A&E 115 times

Patients were taken to accident and emergency units by police in Wales more than 100 times during December, with the majority of trips taken because no ambulances were available.

56 minutes ago // BBC

world Police take patients to A&E 115 times

Patients were taken to accident and emergency units by police in Wales more than 100 times during December, with the majority of trips taken because no ambulances were available.

57 minutes ago // Wall Street Journal

world Debt That Boosted Its Cities Now Hurts China

Rampant borrowing by firms like Wuhan Urban, a local-government concern that funds development in dusty Wuhan city, is a big reason Chinas debt load is expanding.

57 minutes ago // New York Times

world Sinosphere Blog: Dystopian Reality of Chinas Smog Captured in Airpocalypse App

Airpocalypse, a sleek, color-coded app, provides weather conditions in Chinese cities, shows air quality measurements and, perhaps most important, shares your excitement on clear days and feels your pain on smoggy ones.

58 minutes ago // The Times of India

world Gunmen storm luxury Libyan hotel, killing American, 9 others

In the latest sign of Libya's descent into chaos, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel used by diplomats and businessmen in the capital Tuesday, killing 10 people, including an American, a French citizen and three people from Asia.

1 hour ago // BBC

world VIDEO: Women Jihadists 'drawn in online'

The BBC's Frank Gardner speaks to a woman who works with the UK government to tackle the growing problem of women from western Europe going to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

1 hour ago // CNN

world Airline uses feng shui to match passengers on a blind date

Thousands of lonely souls have registered to win an overseas blind date, as Jetstar teams with a feng shui master to match fliers.

1 hour ago // CNN

world Apple's China strategy pays

China is playing a major role in Apple's record quarterly profits. CNN's David McKenzie reports on the iPhone's success in China.

1 hour ago // CNN

world Did Russia poison spy's tea?

A UK public inquiry into the 2006 death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko opened Tuesday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, after years of wrangling over what evidence can be heard.