US, NATO mark end of mission to Afghanistan

  The United States and NATO formally ended their war in Afghanistan yesterday with a ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul as the insurgency they fought for 13 years remains

NATURE | Mexico wants to ban nets, save endangered porpoise

The plan would compensate fishermen for stopping the use of nets that often sweep up the tiny porpoises along with their catch. Recent reports suggest there are fewer than 100 of

This Day in History: 1975 New laws to end battle of the sexes

The Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts will prevent women being paid less than their male counterparts. The Acts are being introduced to coincide with the end of the International

US mission in Havana to become embassy amid thaw

A half-century after Washington severed relations with Cuba, the United States’ seven-story mission looms over Havana’s seaside Malecon boulevard as the largest diplomatic outpost in the country. Cuban guards stand at

Offbeat | Guitarist doesn’t miss day of Vegas Cirque work

It’s easy to miss Bruce Rickerd during the “Mystere” show at the Treasure Island casino especially when there’s a man balancing upside-down on the foot of another, or a giant

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

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