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North Korea blames U.S. for Internet outages

SEOUL - North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of being responsible for Internet outages it experienced in recent days amid a confrontation between them over the hacking of the film studio Sony Pictures.

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China's November industrial profits suffer sharpest fall in 27 months

SHANGHAI - Chinese industrial profits dropped 4.2 percent in November to 676.12 billion yuan ($108.85 billion), official data showed on Saturday, the biggest annual decline since August 2012 as the economy hit major unexpected headwinds in the second half.

12:19am EST

Kiev, rebels exchange POWs; trains, buses to Crimea suspended

KIEV - Ukraine's government and pro-Russian separatists on Friday exchanged hundreds of prisoners of war while Kiev said it would suspend all train and bus service to Crimea, effectively creating a transportation blockade to and from the region. | Video

World, Russia 5:28am EST

Former President Bush, 90, to spend fourth night in Houston hospital

HOUSTON - Doctors in Houston have decided to keep former U.S. President George H.W. Bush in the hospital for a fourth night since his bout with shortness of breath, though his condition has improved and he "remains in high spirits," his spokesman said on Friday.

26 Dec 2014

Women's apparel, dining drive U.S. holiday sales: MasterCard

- U.S. retail sales rose 5.5 percent from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve as solid demand for women's apparel, jewelry and casual dining offset surprisingly sluggish sales of electronics, MasterCard said in its holiday spending report.

26 Dec 2014

U.S. retailers miss fewer Christmas deadlines: early surveys

SAN FRANCISCO - Major U.S. retailers missed fewer Christmas deliveries this year, according to two small, early surveys released on Friday, partly reflecting a year's worth of investments made to avoid 2013's last-minute shipping debacle.

26 Dec 2014

Former 'Saved by the Bell' actor Dustin Diamond arrested in Wisconsin

- Former "Saved by the Bell" actor Dustin Diamond, who played the nerdy "Screech" on the high school sitcom, has been arrested for stabbing a man with a switchblade at a bar north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police said on Friday.

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Swedish centre-left make deal with opposition, call off snap vote

STOCKHOLM - Sweden's mainstream parties reached a deal on Saturday that will allow the minority centre-left government to remain in office and sideline the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who hold the balance of power in parliament.