THE BUZZ: Joe Cocker dies at 70

His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died early Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades. Cocker was known for a memorable Woodstock

Jesus’ birthplace grapples with modern traffic challenges

It’s Christmas season and the little town of Bethlehem is jammed with a big-city problem: Traffic snarling streets everywhere, including around the church marking the spot where tradition says Jesus

World briefs

N KOREA Key North Korean websites were back online yesterday after an hours-long shutdown that followed a U.S. vow to respond to a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures that Washington

Vatican reform | Pope Francis in blistering critique of bureaucrats

  To the Catholic Church’s “seven deadly sins,” Pope Francis has added the “15 ailments of the Curia.” Francis issued a blistering indictment of the Vatican bureaucracy this week, accusing the cardinals, bishops

This Day in History: 1962 Bay of Pigs prisoners fly to freedom

The government agreed to the payment of a ransom of $53 million in food and medical supplies, donated by companies all over the USA, as a condition for their release. The

Offbeat | US Christmas tree controlled by tweets

Twitter users anywhere in the world can control the lights on a holiday display in New Jersey. Tweets will turn on a 3-meter Christmas tree, menorah and over 1,000 LED lights

Basketball | Harden powers Rockets to 110-95 win over Blazers

Houston’s James Harden scored a season-high 44 points to power the Rockets to a 110-95 victory over Portland yesterday, moving within one game of their NBA Western Conference rival. On a

THE BUZZ: US seeks China’s help after cyberattack

The United States is asking China for help as it weighs potential responses to a cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that the U.S. has blamed on North Korea. A senior Obama

World briefs

AUSTRALIA Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, yesterday reshuffled his cabinet and pledged to reset his government with a renewed focus on the economy in a bid to tackle a slump in poll

A forgotten dictator | Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is nearly forgotten, languishing in a steamy jungle prison near the interoceanic canal while the country enjoys democracy and economic prosperity a quarter-century after the

Analysis | Obama takes foreign policy risk, but on his own terms

  President Barack Obama has been criticized as cautious on foreign policy, but the secret negotiations on Cuba suggest a willingness for bold and risky action, if he can keep tight

USA | 2 New York police officers killed in ambush shooting

  The two New York City police officers who were ambushed and shot to death in their vehicle yesterday (Macau time) were “quite simply, assassinated,” and the suspect had made Instagram

This Day in History: 1972 Survivors found 10 weeks after plane crash

The first news that anyone had survived came when two of the passengers reached civilization yesterday after a 10 day trek to get help. The two men, Roberto Canessa and Fernando

FEATURE | AP Exclusive: Fidel survived odd, often inept, US schemes

For over half a century, the U.S. government’s schemes to overthrow the Castro government were, if not successful, always creative: the poisonous cigars, the exploding seashell, the secret Twitter-like service

Antarctica waters | Protesters in contempt of court for anti-whaling campaign

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers were found in contempt of court last week for continuing their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt

Offbeat | Germany: 33 kilos of cocaine in coffee shipment

A Berlin coffee business found stimulants it didn’t expect in a shipment of unroasted coffee from Brazil: 33 kilos of cocaine. Police in the German capital said Thursday that employees at

THE BUZZ: UK police probe murder claims in child abuse case

British police say they are investigating three allegations of murder as part of an inquiry into claims that prominent people sexually abused children several decades ago. London’s Metropolitan Police force says

India’s space program notches 2 more successes

India yesterday announced two more successes in its space program — launching the country's largest rocket and testing the re-entry of an unmanned crew module, part of India's quest to send

World briefs

AUSTRALIA'S prime minister says that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on

Russia | Putin: economy will recover

  The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday at his annual press conference. He said the current crisis could last two years at

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