National News from Yahoo

Palestinian envoy dies after Prague residence blast

The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jamal al-Jamal, was killed by a blast in his Prague residence on Wednesday, police said. "With regret we confirm this information provided by the emergency services," Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told AFP. Daniel Langer, surgeon at the Prague military hospital to which Jamal was taken, told Czech television the ambassador had suffered devastating "head, belly and chest injuries following an explosion." Jamal, who took office in October, had only recently moved to the new residence on the northern outskirts of Prague.


GOP, Dems try to repackage arguments for 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — Both Republicans and Democrats are looking for fresh ways to pitch old arguments as the final midterm election year of Barack Obama's presidency begins.

Coney Island's icy New Year's Day tradition

A first wave of swimmers jump into frigid waters at Coney Island beach in New York Wednesday, Jan. 1 2014, as they take part in the 111th Annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Dubai 2014 firework display breaks world record

Dubai shattered the world record for the largest ever pyrotechnic display on New Year's Eve with a show involving more than half a million fireworks, Guinness World Records said Wednesday. "Ten months in planning, over 500,000 fireworks were used during the display which lasted around six minutes, with Guinness World Records adjudicators on hand to confirm that a new record had been set," the Guinness website said. The display spanned 94 kilometres (58.4 miles) of the Dubai coast, which boasts an archipelago of man-made islands and Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, Guinness said. The main displays took place at Burj Khalifa and the luxurious Atlantis hotel located in Palm Jumeirah, one of three palm-shaped islands.


Shoppers wait for Colorado pot shops to open

DENVER (AP) — Firing up bongs and cheering in a cloud of marijuana smoke, pot users in Colorado hailed the arrival of the nation's first recreational pot industry Wednesday.

South Sudan peace talks to open in Ethiopia

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Negotiators from South Sudan's two warring sides are scheduled to arrive in Ethiopia for peace talks late Wednesday, as the top United Nations official in the country urged both forces to bring the country "back from the brink."


S Sudan talks to open in Ethiopia

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Negotiators from South Sudan's two warring sides are scheduled to arrive in Ethiopia for peace talks late Wednesday, as the top United Nations official in the country urged both forces to bring the country "back from the brink."


Pope stresses strength, courage, hope in new year

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday urged people to accept each other's differences and for enemies to recognize that they are brothers — a New Year's Day service dedicated to world peace.


S Sudan city is 'war zone' despite peace efforts

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Fighting continued on Wednesday in South Sudan's city of Bor, a government official said, describing it as "a war zone" where the army and rebels are battling even as both sides have committed to peace talks in neighboring Ethiopia.

Celebrations in Dubai, London, Vegas usher in 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — A world-wide wave of celebrations rang in 2014 with a dazzling 30-minute fireworks show in Dubai, a deluge of confetti in London that tasted as good as it looked and a lavish, boozy, music-filled party throughout the streets of Las Vegas.

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