SHANGHAI -- Thirty-five people died in a stampede during New Year's celebrations in Shanghai's historic waterfront area, city officials said Thursday -- the worst disaster to hit one of China's showcase cities in recent years. A Shanghai government statement said another 46 people were receiving hospital treatment, including 14 who were seriously injured, following the chaos about a half-hour before midnight. SENT: 500 words, photos.
PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia -- A much-needed break in the weather gave searchers a window Thursday to "fight with full force" to find the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, with officials also hustling to locate the plane's fuselage after it crashed into the Java Sea four days ago. Seven of the 162 bodies have been recovered. Two are already in Surabaya, and four corpses -- inside simple white boxes decorated with plastic flowers -- were loaded onto a transport carrier Thursday morning in Pangkalan Bun on Borneo island. Another remains on a ship. By Eileen Ng and Robin McDowell. SENT: 850 words, photos.
NKOREA-KIM JONG UN
PYONGYANG, North Korea -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in a nationally televised New Year's Day speech, says he is open to a summit with his South Korean counterpart. Kim said he sees no reason why there should not be a summit with South Korean President Park Geun-hye or high-level talks if Seoul sincerely wants better ties. He also said his country will strengthen its military and economy.
MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine officials say a huge fire, believed to have been ignited by firecrackers, has razed hundreds of shanties in a creekside slum in metropolitan Manila in one of more than a dozen fires that were reported as Filipinos welcomed the New Year. A firefighter and a resident were injured. SENT, photos.
Revelers converged on the beaches of Brazil, the skyscrapers of Dubai and New York's Times Square to say good riddance to a turbulent 2014 marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters. But tragedy struck in Shanghai, Baghdad was on edge and protesters in the United States planned a sobering reminder of one of the year's biggest stories. SENT: 975 words, photos.
SONY HACK-THE INTERVIEW
LOS ANGELES -- Sony Pictures Entertainment says it is expanding the digital availability of "The Interview" to top U.S. cable, satellite and telecom services, beginning Wednesday and increasing through the weekend. Starting Thursday, the movie will also be available on PlayStation Network.
US & INTERNATIONAL
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Turning up the pressure on Israel, the Palestinians announce that they are joining the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against the Jewish state -- a risky, high-stakes move that brings threats of retaliation from Israel and criticism from the U.S. By Josef Federman and Mohammed Daraghmeh. SENT: 830 words, photos.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A rocket fired amid fighting between Taliban insurgents and Afghan soldiers kills at least 26 people at a nearby wedding party, authorities say, a grim end to a year that saw the end of the 13-year U.S.-led combat mission there. By Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 610 words, photos.
PARIS -- Low oil prices could paradoxically help the world reach an international agreement to fight global warming, the ambassador charged with organizing a key climate conference says in an AP interview. By Lori Hinnant. SENT: 700 words.
JOHANNESBURG -- The New Year brings an uncertain future for more than 500 people who are being evicted from the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg, which has been a haven for refugees and homeless for the past 14 years. By Lynsey Chutel. SENT: 640 words, photos.
WAL MART SHOOTING-IDAHO
SPOKANE, Washington -- Concealed weapons are a part of everyday life in Idaho, and that isn't likely to change in the rural Mountain West state despite a shocking accident in which a 2-year-old boy reached into his mother's purse, grabbed her gun and shot her in the head inside a Wal-Mart. By Nicholas K. Geranios. SENT: 540 words, photos, video.
2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE-PEOPLE TO WATCH
WASHINGTON -- Ten people to watch for as the 2016 campaign for president gets underway, and what their actions will say about the race to come. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
2016-THINGS TO WATCH
WASHINGTON -- 10 things to watch in 2015 that have the potential to shape the 2016 campaign for president. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
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