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U.S. President Barack Obama announces a shift in policy toward Cuba while delivering an address to the nation from the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Doug Mills/Pool

China lodges protest after Obama approves Taiwan frigate sale

19 December 2014

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it had lodged a protest with the United States after President Barack Obama signed into law legislation authorising the sale of up to four Perry-class guided missile frigates to Taiwan.

Hong Kong's former chief secretary Rafael Hui leaves during a lunch break at the High Court in Hong Kong December 16, 2014. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Hong Kong's former top civil servant found guilty in graft trial

19 December 2014

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former top Hong Kong civil servant was found guilty on Friday of accepting HK$8.5 million (£700,050) in bribes from executives of property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, in the city's most high-profile corruption case.

Elton John is finally getting married

19 December 2014

The singer-songwriter will wed his partner David Furnish this weekend in Britain.

Lawyer Stanley Cohen arrives at the Manhattan Federal Court house in New York May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. backed talks with ISIS over American hostage - The Guardian

19 December 2014

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. counter-terrorism officials backed negotiations with two prominent jihadi clerics in a failed attempt to save the life of an American hostage who was later beheaded by Islamic State militants, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

Man drives car into headquarters of Spain's ruling party

19 December 2014

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish businessman drove a car containing gas cylinders into the headquarters of Spain's ruling People's Party on Friday, triggering a major police alert, official spokesmen said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) smiles as he inspects the Korean People's Army (KPA) navy Unit 189 honoured with the title of "O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment", in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang December 13, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

For North Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids

19 December 2014

SEOUL (Reuters) - The hacking attack on Sony Pictures may have been a practice run for North Korea's elite cyber-army in a long-term goal of being able to cripple telecoms and energy grids in rival nations, defectors from the isolated state said.

China official who spoke out on graft faces corruption inquiry

19 December 2014

BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Chinese official who vigorously backed President Xi Jinping's fight against corruption has himself been caught up in a graft investigation, state media and the government said.

Sam Rainsy (C), president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), speaks to the media after voting at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh August 26, 2014.    REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Cambodia parliament elevates opposition boss to shore up truce

19 December 2014

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's parliament endorsed opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Friday as minority leader with legislative rank equal to Prime Minister Hun Sen, a rare concession by the long-serving premier to preserve a fragile political truce.

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing

19 December 2014

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Eight children have been killed and a woman who was mother to seven of them was injured in the northern Australian city of Cairns, police said on Friday, in what several media outlets reported was a mass stabbing.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the opening of an extension to an oil refinery near Istanbul December 15, 2014. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

In dealings with the West, Erdogan holds all the cards

19 December 2014

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan's tightening grip on power is likely to meet little more than symbolic resistance from the West next year, as Turkey's G20 presidency and the fight against Islamic State trump concerns about a slide towards authoritarianism.

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