All of the 52 passengers aboard a ship that's been stranded in the Antarctic ice for the last week were safely transferred by helicopter to a nearby Australian icebreaking vessel on Thursday. The Chinese Xue Long — the "Snow Dragon" — and the Australian Aurora Australis both abandoned attempts to approach the stranded ship through unusually dangerous conditions — risking becoming stuck in the ice themselves. Fortunately, Xue Long had a helicopter on board. The ship's passengers, a mix of tourists, journalists, and scientists, created a makeshift landing spot for the Chinese helicopter just before the New Year.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis drew more than 6.6 million people to his audiences, Masses and other Vatican events in 2013, more than twice as many as his predecessor Benedict XVI did in his first year as pope.
LONDON (AP) — Nigella Lawson says having her private life raked over in a London courtroom was "mortifying" but she is putting the case behind her.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Rwanda's former spy chief has been found dead, possibly strangled, in a hotel in South Africa, police said Thursday, and opposition leaders immediately accused President Paul Kagame of ordering his assassination.
ROME (AP) — The Italian navy has rescued 233 migrants from an overcrowded smugglers' boat in rough seas south of Sicily.