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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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.
JERUSALEM - A firebomb attack on a car in the occupied West Bank left an 11-year-old Israeli girl severely burned and her father injured on Thursday, the Israeli military said.
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.
KHARTOUM - Sudan has ordered two senior United Nations officials to leave, U.N. sources said on Thursday, in what appeared to be an escalation of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's move against U.N. activities in the country.
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.