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Cracking ice bodes well for Antarctica ship rescue

The ice-bound ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, left New Zealand on November 28 on a privately funded expedition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an Antarctic journey led by famed Australian explorer Douglas Mawson. The Australian icebreaker the Aurora Australis is expected to reach the stricken ship at about midnight on Sunday. A Chinese icebreaker could not break through the thick ice earlier but the weather on Sunday boded well for a rescue. "The ice conditions seem to have improved and there appears to be some softening and some cracks appearing," Lisa Martin of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the rescue, told Reuters.


Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Increasingly vocal in its frustration over United States policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.


Suicide bomber kills 13 in Russia's south

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 13 people were killed and scores were wounded Sunday by a suicide bomber at a railway station in southern Russia, officials said, heightening concern about terrorism ahead of February's Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.


Prayers, vigil as India remembers gang-rape victim

With vigils and prayers, India on Sunday marked the first anniversary of the death of a student savagely gang-raped on a Delhi bus -- a tragedy that sparked nationwide protests. The attack and her subsequent death shook the country, shone a global spotlight on India's treatment of women and unleashed seething public anger about sexual violence and harassment of women.


10 killed by blast at station in Russia's south

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 10 people were killed and three were wounded Sunday by an explosion at a railway station in southern Russia, officials said, heightening concern about terrorism ahead of February's Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

3 killed by blast at station in Russia's south

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Interior Ministry says at least three people have been killed and six others were wounded by an explosion at a railway station in southern Russia.

Man slain in Ariz. linked to Miss. officer's death

PHOENIX (AP) — A suspect killed by Phoenix police in a bank robbery attempt is believed to be the same man accused in the shooting death of one Mississippi police officer and the wounding of another, the FBI said Sunday.

Anxious wait for stranded Antarctic ship

Passengers on a Russian research ship trapped in thick Antarctic ice faced an uncertain wait Sunday for one last icebreaking attempt with no guarantees of success. The MV Akademik Shokalskiy has been marooned by heavy ice since Tuesday about 100 nautical miles east of the French Antarctic base Dumont d'Urville, with two icebreaking ships so far failing in attempts to reach it. The Australian government's resupply ship Aurora Australis is now en route to make one final bid to free the icebound boat and is expected to reach the Akademik at 11pm Australian time (1200 GMT). "It will then assess if it can make it through the ice to the Akademik Shokalskiy," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told AFP.


Rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel Sunday, causing no injuries but sparking an Israeli shelling reprisal in a rare flare-up between the two states.

Beijing bun shop gets China's president as diner

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping dropped in unexpectedly at a traditional Beijing bun shop, where he queued up, ordered and paid for a simple lunch of buns stuffed with pork and onions, green vegetables, and stewed pig livers and intestines.


Judge ends Katrina flooding lawsuits against feds

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dozens of lawsuits seeking damages from the federal government for Hurricane Katrina-related levee failures and flooding in the New Orleans area are over.

Hawaii overshadowed by Chicago for Obama library

HONOLULU (AP) — Not far from these wind-swept shores, Barack Obama was born and raised, soaking in an island sensibility that his family says he's carried with him throughout his journey as president. Yet in the search for a home for his future presidential library, Hawaii is playing the underdog, overshadowed by Chicago and the commanding role it plays in Obama's story.


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