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US senator launches bid to ban assault weapons

WASHINGTON: A leading Democratic senator launched a bid Sunday to ban assault weapons in the wake of the latest deadly US school shooting, announcing that she will put a bill before Congress on January 3.

At least 18 drown in Benin boat accident

COTONOU (Reuters) - At least 18 people, most of them children, drowned after the overloaded boat carrying them sank in a river north of Benin's commercial capital Cotonou, officials said on Monday.

Bombers kill 12 in disputed Iraqi-Kurd areas

KIRKUK (Reuters) - Bombers killed 12 people in northern Iraqi towns and villages on Monday in the second consecutive day of attacks in areas at the centre of a bitter feud between Baghdad and autonomous Kurdistan.

Scottish town shares agony of U.S. school tragedy

DUNBLANE (Reuters) - Of all the messages of sympathy for the stricken U.S. community of Newtown, few carry the emotional weight of those from Dunblane, the small Scottish town that still bears the scars of Britain's worst school massacre.

Democrats vow to push for gun control measures in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several Democratic lawmakers called for a new push for U.S. gun restrictions on Sunday, including a ban on military-style assault weapons, in the wake of the Connecticut massacre in which 20 children and six adults were gunned down in a school.

Japan's LDP surges back to power, eyes two-thirds majority with ally

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) surged back to power in an election on Sunday just three years after a devastating defeat, giving ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a chance to push his hawkish security agenda and radical economic recipe.

Japan's next PM Abe must deliver on economy, cope with China

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's hawkish ex-premier Shinzo Abe will get a second chance to run the country after his conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) surged to power in Sunday's election, but must swiftly move to bolster the sagging economy while managing strained ties with China.

Large Paris march to support gay marriage plan

PARIS (Reuters) - Supporters of same-sex marriage and adoption marched through Paris on Sunday to back the French government's planned reform and counter unexpectedly strong opposition from conservative and religious groups.

Connecticut gunman had hundreds of rounds; Obama to console Newtown

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - The gunman who slaughtered 20 young children in Connecticut stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with hundreds of bullets for a military-style assault rifle and handguns, and shot himself when police closed in, officials said on Sunday.

Ex-chancellor Schroeder's wife entering German politics

BERLIN (Reuters) - Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's wife said she is entering German politics and wants to win a regional state assembly seat next month to fight for pay equality but insisted she has no higher political aspirations.