Stock futures climb after two-day rally 8:30am EST

NEW YORK - Stock index futures climbed on Friday, and the benchmark S&P 500 index was poised to continue to rally after its best two-day run in three years.

Members of the Cuban Revolutionary Army hold Cuban national flags during a march "For the Five and Against the Terrorism" in Havana September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

U.S. won't be Cuba's boogeyman any longer

HAVANA - With Washington agreeing to restore full diplomatic ties that were cut in the early 1960s, Cuba's communist government may not be able to blame its old Cold War nemesis so readily.  Full Article 

A man holds a placard as he attends a candlelight vigil in Islamabad across the Red Mosque for students killed in Peshawar School attack, December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid

U.S. finds few inroads with Pakistan

WASHINGTON - The United States has tried virtually every strategy available to persuade Pakistan's army to take the threat of militancy more seriously, but 12 years and $28 billion in aid later, all the American approaches are widely viewed as having failed.  Full Article 

A marijuana-infused sour gummy bear candy (L) is shown next to a regular one at right in a photo illustration in Golden, Colorado October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Oklahoma, Nebraska sue Colorado over pot

DENVER, - Nebraska and Oklahoma challenged neighboring Colorado's recreational marijuana laws in the Supreme Court amid complaints its pot was seeping across their borders, and Colorado vowed to defend its laws.  Full Article 

Then President Dmitry Medvedev, seen here in 2010 talking with medics at a Moscow hospital, ordered an investigation into how state hospitals overpaid for equipment. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

Middlemen levy cost on Russia health deals

Russia pays inflated prices for vital medical equipment made by Western companies, in part because some manufacturers channel sales through obscure intermediary companies.  Full Article 

Police work at the scene of a stabbing attack at a home (L) in Cairns, northern Queensland, December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Eight children stabbed to death in tropical city

SYDNEY - Eight children have been killed and a woman who was mother to seven of them was injured in the northern Australian city of Cairns.  Video | Full Article 

A worker unloads fuel products from a truck at a state-owned Pertamina fuel depot in Jakarta in this September 9, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside/Files

Oil: A view into China's corruption clampdown

LIMAU, Indonesia - An $85 million deal involving three blocks in southern Sumatra and a Chinese oil giant is under investigation, as part of Xi Jinping’s ant-graft campaign that has already destroyed a powerful political rival.  Full Article