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Russia says Kiev's move to join NATO dangerous for Europe

MOSCOW - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ukraine's pursuit of NATO membership posed a danger to European security and that the West was using Kiev's bid to join the Atlantic alliance as a way to fuel confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.

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Somali rebels say they killed 14 in attack on AU base

MOGADISHU - Somali Islamist militants al Shabaab attacked the main African Union peacekeeping base in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday, killing 14 people, a spokesman for the group said.

Africa, United Nations 10:20am EST

UK's Queen Elizabeth urges reconciliation in post-referendum Scotland

LONDON - Britain's Queen Elizabeth used her annual Christmas Day broadcast on Thursday to advocate reconciliation, especially in Scotland where an unsuccessful independence referendum earlier this year polarized public opinion.

11:02am EST

Turkish police arrest teenager for insulting President Erdogan

ISTANBUL - Turkish police have arrested a 16-year-old high school student in the city of Konya on charges of insulting President Tayyip Erdogan, local media reported on Thursday.

10:42am EST

Syria's war enters new year more fragmented than ever

BEIRUT - Deep into its fourth year of conflict, Syria looks less and less like a state than a patchwork of warring fiefdoms, making outside powers more reluctant to intervene even as it becomes more destabilizing for the region.

United Nations, Syria 9:55am EST

Pope condemns Islamic State, decries suffering of children

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Thursday condemned the "brutal persecution" of minorities by Islamic State insurgents and said the joy of Christmas was marred by the suffering of children in the Middle East and around the world.

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