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Avalanche hits Italian hotel, many feared dead under snow

PENNE, Italy A huge avalanche ploughed into a luxury mountain hotel in central Italy after a series of strong earthquakes rattled the area, and up to 30 people might be buried under the snow, officials said on Thursday. | Video

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Iraqi sheep, locals, environment suffer Islamic State oil fires

QAYYARA, Iraq Shepherds herd blackened flocks through the Iraqi desert. Locals cough and wheeze under vast clouds of smoke, and NASA images show oil threatening to encroach on the Tigris River, a major water source.

French Socialists still trail four other Presidential candidates as primary approaches: poll

PARIS France's Socialists still trail well behind four other main candidates for the French presidency days ahead of the first round of the party's presidential primary, according to extracts from a new opinion poll published by Le Monde.

France 7:33am EST

Afghan journalists face more threats as violence spreads

KABUL Afghan journalists say they are facing more risks than ever as both insurgents and unscrupulous government officials increasingly threaten, assault, and even murder reporters.

Afghanistan 7:37am EST

Syria's Assad hopes for 'reconciliation' deals from Astana talks

BEIRUT Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he believed peace talks in Kazakhstan would lead to local "reconciliation" deals with rebels, a sign of his confidence in a process launched by his Russian allies after the opposition's defeat in Aleppo.

Russia, Syria 7:06am EST

Japan hotelier's Nanjing Massacre denial sparks tourism boycott calls

TOKYO A Japanese hotelier's denial of a 1937 massacre by Japanese troops in the Chinese city of Nanjing has prompted Chinese social media calls for a boycott of travel to Japan, threatening tourist arrivals days before the Lunar New Year holidays.

Japan 7:52am EST

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