December 28, 2016 / 7:14 PM / in a year




Top stories as of 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Kerry says settlements endanger peace

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Wednesday that Israel’s building of settlements was endangering Middle East peace, expressing unusually frank frustration with the long-time American ally. (ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS/KERRY (UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), moved at 1:40 p.m., by Lesley Wroughton and Yeganeh Torbati, 672 words)

Trump to unveil “positive” economic move for U.S. workers -spokesman

PALM BEACH - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump plans to make an announcement related to the economy on Wednesday, his transition team said, adding that it would be a boost to workers but giving no other details. (USA-TRUMP/ECONOMY (UPDATE 1), moved at 12:38 p.m., 180 words)

Turkey and Russia have ceasefire plan for Syria, says Ankara

ANKARA/BEIRUT - Turkey and Russia have prepared an agreement for a ceasefire in Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, adding that Ankara would not give up its opposition to President Bashar al-Assad staying on as leader. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA (WRAPUP 3, PIX, TV), moved at 12:10 p.m., by Orhan Coskun and Ellen Francis, 797 words)

S. Carolina church shooter seeks to keep mental health evidence from jury

CHARLESTON - Dylann Roof, the man convicted in a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, asked a judge on Wednesday to keep details about his mental health sealed for the sentencing phase of his federal death penalty trial next week. (SOUTH CAROLINA-SHOOTING/ROOF (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved at 1:13 p.m., by Harriet McLeod, 403 words)


U.S. senator says Russia can expect sanctions after cyber attacks

RIGA/TALLINN - Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, should expect tough sanctions after cyber attacks during the presidential election won by Donald Trump, U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Wednesday. (USA-TRUMP/GRAHAM-SANCTIONS (UPDATE 1), moved at 10:55 a.m., 449 words)

U.S. calls Pakistan student group a wing of banned militant organization

WASHINGTON - The United States on Wednesday said it was adding the student wing of the Pakistan-based militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba to its list of “foreign terrorist organizations.” (USA-PAKISTAN/SANCTIONS, moved at 12:17 p.m., 292 words)

U.S. appeals court rejects SEC’s use of administrative law judges

A divided federal appeals court has ruled that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s in-house administrative judges are not constitutionally appointed, raising the prospect that the U.S. Supreme Court may need to address the issue. (COURT-SEC/JUDGES, moved at 11:51 a.m., by Nate Raymond, 420 words)


Trump to meet heads of Carlyle Group, Marvel, World Jewish Congress

Republican U.S. President-elect Donald Trump resumed meetings at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, following the Christmas holiday as he prepares to take over the White House from Democrat Barack Obama on Jan. 20. (USA-TRUMP/MEETINGS (FACTBOX, GRAPHIC), moved at 1:45 p.m., 184 words)


U.S. Coast Guard ends search for cruise ship passenger off New Jersey

NEW YORK - The U.S. Coast Guard has called off a search for a woman who went missing from the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship off the coast of New Jersey over the Christmas holiday weekend, a spokesman said on Wednesday. (NEW JERSEY-CRUISESHIP/, moved at 11:58 a.m., moved, 201 words)

Man charged with killing ex-teacher and their son in New York

NEW YORK - A man has been arrested and charged with murdering his former New York City high school teacher and the son he had with her, authorities said on Wednesday, five years after a scandal over their relationship made headlines. (NEW YORK-MURDER/, moved at 10:52 a.m., by Gina Cherelus, 242 words)

Dr. Seuss company is a grinch, NY playwright says in lawsuit

NEW YORK - A New York playwright has sued the owner of copyrights in Dr. Seuss’ works, saying his new play does not infringe the children’s author’s classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (DRSEUSS-LAWSUIT/, moved at 10:31 a.m., by Jonathan Stempel, 346 words)

Five U.S. cities at the forefront of the fight against climate change

NEW YORK - From coast to coast, U.S. cities have multiplied their efforts to emit fewer greenhouse gases and brace for climate change-driven natural disasters, scientists and environmentalists say. (USA-CLIMATE/CITIES (FACTBOX), moved at 1:48 p.m., by Sebastien Malo, 666 words)

New York Times surpasses 100 million views on Facebook Live

NEW YORK - Presidential politics and celebrity interviews helped The New York Times Co surpass 100 million views for its Facebook Live videos, the company said on Wednesday. (NEW YORK TIMES-FACEBOOK/VIDEO, moving shortly, by Tim Baysinger, 352 words)


After 40 days on foot, Turkmens flee fighting in Iraq to reach Turkey

HATAY - After trudging for 40 days through the bitter cold and sometimes difficult terrain of northern Iraq, Ahmet Ali Bekir reached Turkey, one of 1,500 Turkmens to arrive in the last two days after fleeing deadly fighting near home. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-TURKEY-REFUGEES (TV), moved at 11:08 a.m., by Yesim Dikmen, 276 words)


Romanian Social Democrats propose leftist veteran for PM

BUCHAREST - Romania’s Social Democrat party (PSD), victor of a general election two weeks ago, on Wednesday proposed former telecommunications minister Sorin Grindeanu, a veteran leftist politician, for prime minister. (ROMANIA-GOVERNMENT/PM (UPDATE 1, TV), moved at 12:14 p.m., by Radu-Sorin Marinas and Luiza Ilie, 354 words)

Germany holds Tunisian for possible link to Berlin attack

BERLIN - German authorities have detained a Tunisian man they suspect of involvement in the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people, prosecutors said on Wednesday. (GERMANY-TRUCK/ARREST (UPDATE 1), moved at 11:13 a.m., 404 words)

Boko Haram may have used Chibok girls as shields during attack - Nigerian army

LAGOS - Boko Haram fighters fleeing an attack on their base last week may have used some of the girls kidnapped in 2014 from northeast Nigeria’s Chibok as human shields to prevent being fired upon by fighter jets, a military commander said on Wednesday. (NIGERIA-SECURITY/, moved at 12:39 p.m., 479 words)

Spain arrests two men suspected of Islamist militant propaganda

MADRID - Two men were arrested in Madrid on Wednesday on suspicion of spreading Islamist militant propaganda, the Interior Ministry said. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SPAIN (UPDATE 1, TV), moved at 12:30 p.m., 184 words)

Five dead in attack in China’s Xinjiang

BEIJING - Attackers drove a car into a government building in China’s unruly far western region of Xinjiang on Wednesday and set off an explosive device killing one person, while all four of the attackers were shot dead, the regional government said. (CHINA-XINJIANG/, moved at 10:31 a.m., 242 words)


Blood and benefits: Duterte imposes his formula on the Philippines

DAVAO - The president has brought the iron-fist approach he used to rule Davao to the capital Manila. While residents of the turbulent southern city sing his praises, his critics fear his violent drug crackdown threatens the nation’s freedoms. (PHILIPPINES-DAVAO/MODEL (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX), moved at 8:16 a.m., by Manuel Mogato, Karen Lema, David Lague and Neil Jerome Morales, 2772 words)


After states legalized medical marijuana, traffic deaths fell

Legalization of medical marijuana is not linked with increased traffic fatalities, a new study finds. In some states, in fact, the number of people killed in traffic accidents dropped after medical marijuana laws were enacted. (HEALTH-MARIJUANA/TRAFFIC-DEATH, moved at 1:46 p.m., by Ronnie Cohen, 524 words)

U.S. families provide billions in unpaid care to kids with special needs

Millions of U.S. children with special needs receive care from family members that would cost billions of dollars if it was instead provided by home health aides receiving minimum wage, a recent study suggests. (HEALTH-CHILDCARE/SPECIAL-NEEDS, moved at 11:31 a.m., by Lisa Rapaport, 577 words)

Weight loss surgery tied to lasting digestive issues

A common weight loss surgery is associated with long-term gastrointestinal problems and food intolerance, a recent study suggests. (HEALTH-DIGESTION/WEIGHTLOSS-SURGERY, moved at 12:50 p.m., by Lisa Rapaport, 663 words)


New York revises, delays new cyber rules after industry complaints

New York’s financial regulator said on Wednesday it was revising proposed cyber security rules for banks and insurers doing business in the state to incorporate industry feedback, delaying implementation by two months to March 1. (CYBER-FINANCE/NEW YORK, moved at 12:44 p.m., by Jim Finkle, 267 words)

Takata could pay up to $1 bln to settle U.S. criminal probe - WSJ

Japan’s Takata Corp is nearing a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and is expected to pay up to $1 billion to resolve allegations of criminal wrongdoing related to its faulty air bag inflators, the Wall Street Journal reported. (TAKATA-AUTOS/ (UPDATE 2), moved at 1:31 p.m., 215 words)

U.S. fund investors cheer stocks at year’s end

Investors’ enthusiasm for equities and corporate bonds showed little sign of waning during the latest week, with funds in both categories scooping up more money, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday. (USA-MUTUALFUNDS/ICI (TABLE), moved at 12:43 p.m., by Trevor Hunnicutt, 395 words)

OCC submits rule to curb U.S. banks dealing in industrial metals

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said on Wednesday it had submitted a rule to the Federal Register to prohibit U.S. national banks and federal savings associations from dealing or investing in industrial or commercial metals. (USBANKS-INDUSTRIALMETALS/COMPTROLLER, moved at 12:27 p.m., 112 words)

Medtronic must face shareholder lawsuit over Infuse - U.S. appeals court

A U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday revived a lawsuit accusing Medtronic Plc of defrauding shareholders by covering up negative side effects from its Infuse bone growth product. (MEDTRONIC-LAWSUIT/INFUSE, moved at 12:11 p.m., by Jonathan Stempel and Toni Clarke, 422 words)

U.S. shale companies to boost spending as banks loosen purse strings

U.S. shale drillers are set to ramp up spending on exploration and production next year as recovering oil prices prompt banks to extend credit lines for the first time in two years. (OIL-ENERGY/BANKING (PIX), moved at 12:17 p.m., by Swetha Gopinath, 648 words)


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