Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ Makers Have High Hopes for China Success

Associated Press December 28, 2015 SHANGHAI—The latest Star Wars movie broke the $1 billion mark before fans in China could see it, but producers anticipate The Force Awakens will play “very, very well” in the world's second-biggest film film opens in China on Jan. 9. Director Abrams watched the Chinese premiere in Shanghai with a Chinese audience Sunday night. He told a news conference Monday that he was thrilled to see people “laughing and cheering in exactly the same places that we've seen other audiences.” “It's a testament to the power of cinema, that it does not matter where you're…
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US News

Survey: 40 Percent of Americans See Terrorists Winning War on US

VOA News December 28, 2015 A new poll sponsored by news channel CNN shows more Americans dissatisfied with anti-terror efforts than any time since September 11, 2001, with 40 percent saying terrorists are winning the war on the United States. Those findings, published Monday, come just weeks after deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. They show nearly three-quarters of Americans critical of anti-terror efforts by the Obama administration — far surpassing the 61 percent who voiced similar sentiments against the George W. Bush White House in 2007. The survey, conducted jointly with the Opinion Research Corporation, shows…
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World News

Bosnian Court Keeps 8 Terrorism Suspects in Custody

Reuters December 28, 2015 SARAJEVO—Bosnia's state court has ordered eight out of 11 terrorism suspects to remain in custody for one month, it said on Monday, after a prosecutor said the group was believed to have been plotting a New Year men were arrested last week in raids at several locations in the Bosnian capital in a search for 15 suspects believed to be connected with Islamic State group. A Bosnian anti-terrorism prosecutor has said the arrests prevented an attack that purportedly would have killed around 100 holiday revelers in Sarajevo. "The court made the motion due to fears the…
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World News

Geneva Possibly Re-emerging as Global ‘Peace Capital’

Lisa Schlein December 28, 2015 GENEVA—The Swiss city of Geneva may be on course to re-emerge as the “peace capital” of the world next year, a position it held in the final two decades of the last peace activities planned for 2015 at European headquarters in Geneva. In the 1980s, Geneva was abuzz with bilateral nuclear arms control talks. The city hosted President Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev. Other peace activities included efforts to bring long-running wars in Afghanistan and Lebanon to an end. This photo shows former President Ronald Reagan at his first meeting with former…
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World News

Syrian Anti-IS Filmmaker Shot Dead in Turkey

VOA News A Syrian filmmaker known for his anti-Islamic State documentaries was shot and killed in front of midday crowds in the Turkish city of Gaziantep Sunday. The pro-human rights group for which Naji Jerf worked blames Islamic State for the murder. He was reportedly gunned down from a car that passed by as he was walking down a street not far from the Syrian border. Neither the militants nor Turkish police have commented. Jerf was a father of two. He was working on another film condemning Islamic State and was also editor-in-chief of the Syrian magazine Hentah. Jerf belonged…
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World News

China Pours More Scorn on French Journalist Being Forced Out

Associated Press December 28, 2015 BEIJING —China said Monday that it would impose new restrictions on media reports about domestic terrorism, as it continued to deride a French journalist being forced to leave the country after questioning Beijing's claims about the terrorist threat it official Xinhua News Agency said the restrictions are mandated under the country's new anti-terrorism law passed over the weekend, but gave few details. "The various restrictions intend to prevent copy-cat crimes, protect frontline anti-terror workers and keep society from the harm of hearsay," Xinhua said. "It is for the common good that foreign media outlets in…
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World News

Iraqi Forces Raise Flag Over Ramadi Government Complex

VOA News Last updated on: December 28, 2015 Military officials in Iraq say they have raised the national flag over the main government compound in Ramadi, seven months after Islamic State militants captured the capital of Anbar province. Iraqi military leaders, however, conflict in their assessments of success in the western city. Brigadier General Yahya Rasool announced on state television Monday that Ramadi had been "liberated." However, the head of military operations in Anbar, General Ismail al-Mahlawi, said parts of the city remain under IS control. Backed by coalition airstrikes, Iraqi forces pushed into the city last week. There have…
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World News

Twin Bombings in Syria’s Homs City Kill at Least 19

VOA News Last updated on: December 28, 2015 Twin bombings in the Syrian city of Homs have killed at least 19 people on Monday, with a suicide attacker detonating an explosives belt as onlookers assessed damage from the first blast. The explosions hit the central city's al-Zahraa district. The precise death toll remains unclear, with government-run Syrian media reporting 19 people killed and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights citing 32 dead. Scores more were wounded. It was the second major attack in Homs since a cease-fire deal between warring sides took effect earlier this month, clearing the way for…
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World News

Gaza Man Dies of Israeli Gunfire Wounds

Associated Press December 28, 2015 GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP—Authorities in Gaza say that a Palestinian man has died from his wounds after being injured by Israeli gunfire last say the man had a farm near where the clashes occurred on Friday but was not involved in the violence. Police said he was shot in the chest. Gaza's Health Ministry identified the victim as 48-year-old Yousif Abu Sbaikhah. A three month-long wave of violence has gripped the region, with Palestinian attacks and clashes showing no signs of relenting. Monday's death brings the Palestinian death toll during the outburst of violence to…
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World News

Congressman: US-led Airstrikes Have ‘Minimal Impact’ on IS

Victor Beattie December 28, 2015 Republican Congressman Peter King (NY) said that while the airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq have had some impact, it has been minimal given how long the air campaign has gone on. King’s remarks Sunday on television followed a purported audio recording by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who said coalition and Russian strikes have failed to weaken the IS group. King, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, said Baghdadi’s statement about the 16-month campaign, and the three-month Russian effort, is not surprising. "We’ve had some impact.  But,…
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