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Review: Andrea Bocelli spectacular at Madison Square Garden in New York Special

New York - On December 12, world renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli headlined Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of his North American Tour, for an excellent turnout.

Islamic State not defeated, just transforming: experts

Washington - Even as the last pockets of resistance in eastern Syria hold their ground, the Islamic State group is shapeshifting into a new, but no less dangerous, underground form, experts warn.

Under-fire UNAIDS chief offers to resign in June

Geneva - Scandal-plagued UNAIDS head Michel Sidibe offered Thursday to resign in June, following an expert report that said his "defective leadership" had plunged the agency into crisis.

Strasbourg gunman: violent criminal on extremist watchlist

Strasbourg - The 29-year-old gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg before being shot dead by police after a two-day manhunt was a career criminal with convictions in France and several other European countries.

Briton accused of trafficking 1.3 tons of cocaine was 'big fish'

Paris - A British man charged with trafficking 1.3 tons of cocaine into France was on Thursday described in court as a "big fish" in the international narco-trade.

UN climate summit set for tense finale as nations sound alarm

Katowice - UN talks aimed at averting catastrophic climate change are set to wrap up in Poland Friday after two weeks of heated disputes between rich and poor nations that saw countries most at risk plead for action.

NATO-led troops on the move in northern Kosovo

Kosovska Mitrovica - Kosovo's NATO-led peacekeepers moved troops through the Serb-dominated north on Thursday, an AFP correspondent reported, amid high tensions with Belgrade on the eve of a parliament vote to create a Kosovo army.

Brexit could wilt huge Dutch flower trade

Aalsmeer - Every day from dawn, a fleet of forklift trucks carries crates of roses, tulips, chrysanthemums and 22,000 other flower varieties through the world's biggest flower market.

Iran deal, Saudi murder: Turbulent year shakes up Middle East

Apo - A murdered Saudi journalist. A scrapped Iran nuclear deal. The two events alone have undone years of diplomacy in the Middle East, testing old alliances and shaking up the regional balance of power, analysts say.

Op-Ed: Russian agent NRA links change intelligence ball game

Washington - The conviction of Russian agent Maria Butina on the basis of conspiracy is a benchmark for a very much evolved and potentially very nasty new stage in global intelligence. The infiltration of the NRA is no joke, in too many ways.

Review: Dr. Seuss musical brought to life at the Hulu Theater in New York Special

New York - On December 13, this journalist had the pleasure to review the opening night of Dr. Seuss' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas — The Musical."

Trump's son-in-law Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media

Washington - Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is on the short-list of potential candidates for the president's next chief of staff, US media said Thursday.

US lashes out at 'predatory' China, Russia in Africa

Washington - The United States lashed out Thursday at "predatory" Chinese and Russian involvement in Africa as it announced a leaner footprint that insists on accountability in trade and peacekeeping.

Q&A: Where is biometric technology heading next? Special

Facial recognition has its supporters and detractors. Is facial recognition as force for good in solving crimes or a violation of human rights? Are other types of biometrics better suited? Martin Zizi of NeuroPrint weighs in.

In Pakistan public education suffocates under surging population

- At the Tanjai Cheena school in northwest Pakistan students squeeze into makeshift classrooms where plastic tarps serve as walls and electricity is sparse, as a surging population overstretches the country's fragile education system.

Young Russian fashion designers take inspiration from history

Moscow - In her workshop in a Moscow attic, Maria Andrianova is using a sewing technique she learnt from elderly women in the forested Karelia region of northwestern Russia."For me, sewing is a way to learn about my origins," said the 31-year-old designer.

With tech exec arrest, Canada squeezed between China, US

Montr - The arrest of a top Chinese tech executive at the request of the US has snared Canada in the middle of a major international dispute involving Beijing and Washington.

US, Ukraine navy heads meet after Russia ship seizure

Washington - The head of the Ukrainian navy is meeting his US counterpart this week in Washington, where they will discuss the Russian navy's recent seizure of three Ukrainian vessels, a US official said Thursday.

Strasbourg Christmas market gunman shot dead by French police

Strasbourg - The gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg was shot dead by French police on Thursday as the Islamic State jihadist group claimed him as one of its "soldiers".

Bitcoin falling again to almost $3,200 after brief recovery

A slight recovery by Bitcoin yesterday was followed by a deep downturn later on in the day that halted only a bit above the $3,200 level. It is not clear whether the next big move will be up or down or when it will happen.
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