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Pence downplays significance of Trump's call with Taiwan president

WASHINGTON U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Sunday downplayed the significance of a phone conversation between Donald Trump and Taiwan's president, describing it as a "courtesy call" that was not intended to show a shift in U.S. foreign policy.

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Sense of duty draws U.S. veterans to Dakota pipeline protest

CANNON BALL, N.D. In the back reaches of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp, U.S. military veterans, armed with saws, hammers and other tools, are quietly building barracks, an infirmary and a mess hall.

11:55am EST

Fidel Castro interred in rock, closing last chapter of historic life

SANTIAGO, Cuba Fidel Castro's ashes were encased in a large granite boulder on Sunday, in a ceremony that capped nine days of public mourning in Cuba that aimed to literally set in stone the legacy for one of the 20th century's most influential figures. | Video

2:05pm EST

Austrians reject far right in presidential election

VIENNA Austria's far-right presidential candidate was soundly defeated on Sunday, confounding forecasts of a tight election in which he would ride a wave of populism sweeping the West.

2:52pm EST

Italy votes in referendum with PM Renzi's future at stake

ROME Nearly 60 percent of Italy's voting population had cast their ballots by Sunday evening in a referendum on constitutional reform that will decide the political future of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has vowed to resign if he loses. | Video

World, Italy 2:02pm EST

Syrian army nears Aleppo's Old City, rebels tell U.S. they won't leave

BEIRUT The Syrian army and allied militia advanced towards rebel-held areas of Aleppo's Old City on Sunday, thrusting deeper into opposition parts of the city in a relentless attack which a military source said would be over in a matter of weeks.

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Accused Charleston gunman asks judge to reinstate defense team

CHARLESTON, S.C. The avowed white supremacist accused of killing nine black people at an historic South Carolina church told a federal judge on Sunday that he no longer wished to represent himself during the "guilt" phase of his murder trial in Charleston.

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Islamic State strikes back to slow Iraqi forces in Mosul

BAGHDAD/BARTELLA, Iraq Islamic State fighters retreating in the face of a seven-week Iraqi military assault on their Mosul stronghold have hit back in the last two days, exploiting cloudy skies which hampered U.S.-led air support and highlighting the fragile army gains.