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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

Firebomb attack wounds Israeli father and daughter in West Bank

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.

1:04pm 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

Sudan expels two senior U.N. officials: sources

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.

United Nations 1:02pm 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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