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At least nine dead after truck plows into Berlin Christmas market

Truck plows into German marketAt least nine people dead after a truck plowed into a Berlin Christmas market, according to police.

The tractor-trailer drove into a crowd gathered among holiday stalls near the German capital’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Monday evening.

Police posted on Twitter that "many" people were injured, andAFPreported thatthere were at least 50 victims.  Videos and photos from the scene show a large truck with a smashed windshield had damaged stalls directly underneath the church.


Russian ambassador to Turkey dead: Andrey Karlov dies after being shot in Ankara

Andrey KarlovThe Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in the capital city of Ankara, the Russian foreign ministry has confirmed.

Andrey Karlov was shot in the back as he made a speech at a photo exhibit in the Turkish capital.

Mr Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted "Allahu akbar" and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience.

The gunman also reportedly shouted: "We die in Aleppo, you die here."


Iran to get first Airbus jet within weeks under sanctions pact

Iran to get airbusIran expects to get its first new jet within weeks under a multi-billion-dollar deal with Airbus for 100 planes, a senior official said on Monday, as Tehran and Western firms race to reopen trade almost a year after sanctions were lifted.

The first of the Airbus jets should be delivered in mid-January, part of plans to buy or lease 200 planes to renew IranAir's decaying fleet, against a backdrop of conservative criticism in Washington and Tehran of last year's international deal to allow such business after decades of sanctions.


IMF chief Lagarde found guilty over French tycoon payment

LagardeA French court on Monday found IMF head Christine Lagarde guilty of negligence over a massive state payout to a tycoon when she was French finance minister but spared her a fine or prison sentence.

The ruling was a rare setback in Lagarde's glittering career but it was not clear how it would affect her position at the International Monetary Fund, whose board was to meet in Washington to discuss the court's decision.


Deadly shootings hit police, tourists in Jordan

Jordan shootingsAt least seven people have been killed and several others taken hostage by fighters who have holed themselves up in a medieval castle in the Jordanian city of Al-Karak, according to security forces.

Police in the mountainous city, 120km south of the capital Amman, freed 10 people, including foreign tourists, but some were still being held on Sunday in the Crusader-era castle from where the fighters shot at security forces who were surrounding it, a security source said.

Hani al-Mulki, Jordan's prime minister, told parliament "a number of security personnel" had been killed and that security forces were laying siege to the castle.


Pope Francis has breakfast with homeless to celebrate 80th birthday

Pope Francis celebrates birthday with homelessPope Francis on Saturday marked his 80th birthday by eating breakfast with homeless people.  Francis invited six men and two women to eat with him at his residence in Vatican before heading to mass later in the day, according to NBC News.

The pope remarked on his old age, admitting that the thought "frightens" him.  "For some days now, I have had in mind a word that seems ugly: old age, a thought that frightens,” he told Cardinals.

Francis has been viewed by many to be a very progressive pope. Over the years, he has criticized treatment of gays and has softened the Catholic Church's stance on gay marriage.


China says it will return underwater U.S. drone, explains seizure

China returns droneChina’s Defense Ministry says it will return the U.S. Navy underwater drone it captured operating in international waters in the South China Sea, after it seized the device to ensure the “safe navigation of passing ships.”

Yang Yujun, a ministry spokesman, issued a statement late Saturday saying a Chinese navy lifeboat discovered the unknown device in the South China Sea on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

China’s Defense Ministry said that, after verifying that the device was an American unmanned device, “China decided to transfer it to the U.S. through appropriate means.”


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