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.
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.
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.
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.
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.