Yahoo (International News)

· Internet outage seen in North Korea amid U.S. hacking dispute

A hand is silhouetted in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinBy Lesley Wroughton and Megha Rajagopalan WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korea, at the center of a confrontation with the United States over the hacking of Sony pictures, itself experienced Internet outages on Monday, a U.S. company that monitors Internet infrastructure said. New Hampshire-based Dyn Research said the reason for the disruptions was not known but could range from technological glitches to a hacking attack. Several U.S. officials close to the investigations of the attack on Sony Pictures said the U.S. government was not involved in any cyber action against Pyongyang. U.S. ...

· U.S. leads 22 more air strikes against Islamic State: task force
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition conducted 12 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria on Monday and 10 strikes Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement. In Iraq, the strikes hit near the strategic northern Iraqi town of Sinjar as well as near Asad, Tal Afar, Ramdi, Mosul and Falluja, the Combined Joint Task Force said. They destroyed six units of Islamic State fighters as well as a weapons factory, numerous buildings and several vehicles, it said. ...
· Ukraine peace talks may be held in Minsk on Dec. 24 and 26: Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev attend a news conference in KievKIEV (Reuters) - A fresh round of peace talks involving Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will be held in the Belarussian capital on Dec. 24 and 26, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement on Monday. The dates were discussed in a phone conversation between French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's Vladimir Putin. ...

· At U.N. council, U.S. calls life in North Korea 'living nightmare'

U.S. Ambassador Power speaks at the Center for American Progress' 2014 Policy Conference in WashingtonBy Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States and other Western members of the U.N. Security Council on Monday slammed North Korea's human rights record after voting to overrule China's objections and add alleged grave abuses by the hermit state to the council's agenda. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power described life in North Korea as a "living nightmare" and dismissed as absurd Pyongyang's demand for a joint U.S.-North Korean investigation of the hacking of Sony Pictures and threats of retaliation if the United States refused. ...

· Bombs in north Nigeria bus station, market kill 27
By Isaac Abrak and Lanre Ola ABUJA/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Two bomb attacks at a bus station and a market in north Nigeria on Monday killed at least 27 people and wounded around 60, officials said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for either attack. Boko Haram insurgents have repeatedly set off bombs targeting civilians, especially in the northeast where they are trying to carve out an Islamic state. The first one, in the city of Gombe, involved two explosions in quick succession. ...
· Record number at Germany's anti-immigrant rally

Participants of an alternative rally protest against a demonstration called by anti-immigration group PEGIDA in DresdenBy Oliver Ellrodt DRESDEN, Germany (Reuters) - More than 17,000 people took part in Germany's largest anti-immigrant rally to date on Monday in the eastern city of Dresden, gathering to sing Christmas carols and listen to speakers complain about immigrants and asylum-seekers. The rally by a fast-growing grass-roots movement calling itself PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, was its 10th and largest so far. ...

· Vantage Energy fined nearly $1 million for environmental violations
(Reuters) - Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) on Monday said it imposed a $999,900 fine on U.S. oil and natural gas company Vantage Energy Inc, one of the largest given to a driller by DEP this year, for several environmental regulations violations. The company is indicted with charges of violating waste disposal regulations, which has impacted streams, wetlands, soils, surface water and groundwater around the company's Porter Street shale oil well pad in Franklin Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania, the DEP said in a statement. ...
· London man charged in Indiana child porn case
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A 35-year-old London man wanted in Indiana since 2011 on child pornography charges made his initial court appearance Monday after being extradited.
· Top Asian News at 12:00 a.m. GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea experienced sweeping and progressively worse Internet outages extending into Monday, with one computer expert saying the country's online access is "totally down." The White House and the State Department declined to say whether the U.S. government was responsible. President Barack Obama said Friday the U.S. government expected to respond to the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., which he described as an expensive act of "cyber vandalism" that he blamed on North Korea. Obama did not say how the U.S. might respond, and it was not immediately clear if the Internet connectivity problems represented the retribution. The U.S. government regards its offensive cyber operations as highly classified.
· Annual 'King Tide' hits West Coast, but no major flooding reported
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. West Coast faced its highest tides of the year on Monday but there were no reports of significant flooding, after a weekend that saw rising tides combine with high waves to cause minor inundations in parts of California, meteorologists said. The King Tide phenomenon is associated with the winter solstice that occurred on Sunday, when the resulting alignment of the sun, moon and Earth causes tides to rise to their highest level of the year, Carol Smith of the National Weather Service said. At Los Angeles-area shores, Monday morning's tide rose to 6. ...
· Death of Joe Cocker, 'greatest soul voice of Britain'

British singer Joe Cocker performs on stage during the "Fire it up tour" concert, on April 6, 2013 in Nice, southeastern FranceNew York (AFP) - Legendary singer Joe Cocker, whose intense, gritty voice won him wide acclaim that spanned both rock and blues, has died at age 70, his agent said Monday.

· Chelsea beats Stoke 2-0 in Premier League

Chelsea's John Terry (26) heads the ball to score against Stoke during the English Premier League soccer match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium, in Stoke on Trent, England, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)STOKE, England (AP) — John Terry scored his first league goal of the season to help Chelsea beat Stoke 2-0 Monday and restore its three-point lead atop the Premier League.

· UN Security Council takes up N. Korea's human rights

Members listen to a representative of China during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, at the United Nations headquarters. An angry North Korea, now on the defensive over a U.S. accusation of hacking, is refused to take part in the groundbreaking U.N. Security Council meeting where the country's bleak human rights situation was discussed for the first time. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council took up the issue of North Korea's bleak human rights situation for the first time Monday, a groundbreaking step toward possibly holding the nuclear-armed but desperately poor country and leader Kim Jong Un accountable for alleged crimes against humanity. North Korea quickly denounced the move.

· Ten injured in van attack on French Christmas market

Police stand on the site where the driver of a van ploughed into a Christmas market, injuring at least ten people, before stabbing himself, in Nantes on December 22, 2014A driver ploughed into a Christmas market in western France Monday, injuring 10 people before stabbing himself, a day after a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" ran down pedestrians in another French city. At least four people were badly hurt in the latest incident in the city of Nantes, the third attack in three days by individuals against civilians or security forces in France, sparking fears of possible copycat action. Authorities were quick to stress there were no apparent terrorist motives in the Christmas market attack. He too had yelled "Allahu Akbar".

· Australia names 23-man squad for Asian Cup
SYDNEY (AP) — Coach Ange Postecoglou has included 16 of the 23 players he took to this year's World Cup in his final 23-man squad for next month's Asian Cup.
· TripAdvisor fined $600,000 by Italian anti-trust
MILAN (AP) — Italy's antitrust authority has fined travel planning website TripAdvisor 500,000 euros ($600,000) following complaints of improper business practices lodged by a national hoteliers' association and a consumer protection agency.
· N.Korea's Internet collapses after Sony hack

Workers remove a poster-banner for "The Interview" from a billboard in Hollywood, California, December 18, 2014 a day after Sony announced it had no choice but to cancel the movie's Christmas release and pull it from theaters due to a credible threatNorth Korea's Internet went completely dark Monday after hours of instability, cyber experts said, suggesting the country's network could be under attack following the hacking of Sony Pictures. "North Korea is completely off the Internet," Earl Zmijewski, vice president of data analytics at respected cyber security firm Dyn Research, told AFP. Pyongyang's connection woes came after US President Barack Obama vowed to retaliate for what the FBI said was North Korea's cyber assault on the Hollywood studio. While US officials refused to confirm whether Washington has already taken action against Pyongyang, they did call for compensation for Sony which -- following threats against movie-goers -- pulled the Christmas Day debut of comedy "The Interview," which lampoons North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

· BMW to replace air bags nationwide, joining other automakers
NEW YORK (AP) — BMW has agreed to demands from the government to replace driver's-side air bags across the entire U.S.
· Mystery of Freeman's missing bodysuit likely solved
SYDNEY (AP) — The bodysuit worn by Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman when she lit the flame at the opening of the 2000 Sydney Olympics may have been recovered 14 years after it disappeared from her dressing room.
· UN Security Council debates North Korea rights abuse

US envoy to the United Nations Samantha Power talks during a Security Council meeting regarding human rights violations in North Korea on December 22, 2014 in New YorkThe United States on Monday slammed North Korea as a "living nightmare" for its citizens at the first-ever UN Security Council meeting on Pyongyang's dismal rights record, held despite opposition from China. The unprecedented talks at the 15-member council opened after China, Pyongyang's ally, failed to block the meeting, which convened even as North Korea faces US accusations of staging a cyber attack on a Hollywood Studio.

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