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Sierra Leone urges safe burials to stem Ebola
FILE- In this Saturday Nov. 8, 2014 file photo, Ebola health care workers bury the body of a person suspected of dying of Ebola virus on the outskirts of Monrovia Liberia. Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in Sierra Leone and unsafe burials may be responsible for up to 70 percent of new infections, say experts. Officials are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to clamp down on traditional burials in Sierra Leone, where Ebola is now spreading fastest. The head of the Ebola response has even threatened to jail people who prepare the corpses of their loved ones. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh, File)DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The radio announcement is chilling and blunt: "If I die, I want the deaths to stop with me."

Palestinians throw stones, injure Israeli boy
Jewish children watch their father light candles during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. The Jewish festival of light is an eight-day commemoration of the Jewish uprising in the second century B.C. against the Greek-Syrian kingdom, which had tried to put statues of Greek gods in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinians hurling stones on Sunday at Jewish settlers' cars in the West Bank lightly injured a 4-year-old Israeli boy, the Israeli military said.

Obama says Sony hack not an act of war
File photo of a security guard standing at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los AngelesBy Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism. Washington's longstanding dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the accusation that Pyongyang carried out an assault on a major Hollywood entertainment company. ...

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars
FILE - This file photo taken Tuesday, May 13, 2014 shows a row of Google self-driving cars outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg,File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe.

Tunisia's Essebsi campaign claims vote victory
Essebsi, leader of Tunisia's secular Nidaa Tounes party and a presidential candidate, leaves after casting his vote at a polling station in TunisBy Patrick Markey and Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi claimed victory in Sunday's run-off election, which is seen as the final step to full democracy nearly four years after an uprising ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Preliminary results were still to be released by election authorities, but soon after polls closed, Essebsi said he had beaten rival Moncef Marzouki, the incumbent president. "I dedicate my victory to the martyrs of Tunisia. ...

U.S. gas prices fall to lowest since May 2009: Lundberg survey
A woman pumps gas at a station in Falls ChurchBy Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell 25 cents in the past two weeks, tumbling to its lowest level in more than five-and-a-half years, according to the Lundberg survey released Sunday. Prices for regular-grade gasoline fell to $2.47 a gallon in the survey dated Dec. 19, down 25 cents since the previous survey on Dec. 5. The recent drop has taken prices down more than $1.25 a gallon since a recent peak in May of this year. ...

US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles
FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2014 file photo, tourists take a ride in a classic American convertible car with the Cuban national flag painted on the trunk, in Havana, Cuba. American businesses have begun imagining ways to capitalize on last week’s announcement that the United States will restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and ease curbs on trade with one of the last surviving communist regimes. The opening to Cuba could benefit, among others, U.S. farmers, auto and tractor makers, airline and hotel companies and telecom equipment makers. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Cargill aims to sell more corn and soybeans. MasterCard covets another site for Americans to swipe credit cards. Marriott sees beachfront property that needs hotels.

NYC subways slowly upgrading from 1930s-era technology
In this Dec. 16, 2014 photo, lights on a section of the MTA subway interlocking switch and signal control board shows train locations, at the 4th Street MTA Supervisory Tower in New York. Transit officials are now replacing the 1930s manual signal system with 21st century digital technology that will allow more trains to travel closer together and a growing ridership to move around the city faster. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's subways — the nation's biggest mass transit network — serve more than 6 million daily riders who depend largely on a signal system that dates back to the Great Depression.

No. 6 Virginia slams Harvard 76-27
Virginia guard Justin Anderson (1) canno hold onto a pass during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Harvard in Charlottesville, Va., Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Ryan M. Kelly)CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Mike Tobey scored 15 points in the first half and No. 6 Virginia held Harvard to one field goal before the break as the Cavaliers rolled, 76-27 Sunday.

Belarus' president promises help for Ukraine
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, welcomes Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Mykola Lazarenko, Pool)MOSCOW (AP) — Belarus' authoritarian president on Sunday promised to help Ukraine as it struggles through its pro-Russia separatist insurgency and economic hardships.

Tunisians vote for post-revolution president
A Tunisian woman wearing the national flag casts her vote on December 21, 2014 at Ariana polling station near TunisTunisians voted in the runoff of the country's first free presidential election on Sunday, with authorities urging a big turnout to consolidate democracy after a chaotic four-year transition. Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa condemned what he called a "desperate attempt" to disrupt the embrace of democracy in the nation that triggered the Arab Spring. 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 through an alliance with the moderate Islamist movement Ennahda. "It is time to move on and set up long-lasting institutions," said Raja Gafsi, a 58-year-old worker, who like most voters is anxious to see political and economic stability and security return to Tunisia.

States trying to lure lawyers into rural practice
This June 12, 2014 photo shows the new Swier Law Firm nestled between businesses in Corsica, S.D., a rural town of 600. A program in South Dakota is helping to lure attorneys from big cities to sparsely populated areas. Although federal grant money for decades has been available for doctors, nurses and dentists willing to relocate to sparsely populated areas, the South Dakota program is believed to be the first of its kind to similarly compensate lawyers. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)CORSICA, S.D. (AP) — By landing a steady job in a hopping metropolis, Jake Fischer achieved the dream of many who finished law school during the Great Recession. Then, he left the big-city life and moved to a small South Dakota town, lured by a program that seeks to boost the number of rural attorneys.

Lawmaker calls for strong U.S. response to Sony hack, including sanctions
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers speaks at the Reuters Cybersecurity SummitWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman on Sunday called for a "very serious" U.S. reaction, including sanctions, to a North Korean cyber attack on Sony Pictures, saying it was not enough for the United States to restrict that country's cyber capability. U.S. Representative Mike Rogers criticized President Barack Obama on "Fox News Sunday" for getting on a plane to Hawaii on Friday and not acting immediately against North Korea. "The problem here was not that the fact that we didn't have the capability to do something nearly in immediate time. ...

Iraqi Kurds push into contested northern town
Iraqi Kurdish forces head to battle Islamic State militants, on the summit of Mount Sinjar, in Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Iraqi Kurdish fighters pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants who captured the town last summer. Loud explosions and intense gunbattles were heard from inside the town. (AP Photo/Dalton Bennett)MOUNT SINJAR, Iraq (AP) — With coalition warplanes circling overhead, Kurdish fighters pushed into the contested northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on Sunday, touching off heavy clashes with Islamic State militants who have controlled the area for months.

Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Authorities made several arrests in the case of the Taliban school attack that killed 148 in the northwestern city of Peshawar, on Sunday, officials said.

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