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AP Top International News at 10:57 a.m. EST

Ransomed: The freeing of 226 Christians from Islamic State
SAARLOUIS, Germany (AP) -- The millions in ransom money came in dollar by dollar, euro by euro from around the world. The donations, raised from church offerings, a Christmas concert, and the diaspora of Assyrian Christians on Facebook, landed in a bank account in Iraq. Its ultimate destination: the Islamic State group....

Putin's Russia seeks to project power with modern military
MOSCOW (AP) -- With an aircraft carrier deployed off Syria's shores and hundreds of new jets, missiles and tanks entering service each year, President Vladimir Putin can project Russian military power on a scale unseen since Soviet times....

Russia's men increasingly see army as good job, not dead end
YEKATERINBURG, Russia (AP) -- Increasingly, the young men of Russia say they see military service as an opportunity, not a dreaded obligation to avoid....

The Latest: Syrian forces take more east Aleppo districts
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):...

Iraqi troops enter another IS-held neighborhood in Mosul
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) -- The Iraqi army on Tuesday pushed into another neighborhood held by the Islamic State group on the southeastern edge of Mosul, according to a military statement and Iraqi commanders on the ground....

Syrian government forces advance on 2 fronts in Aleppo
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian government forces and allied militias captured Aleppo's centrally located al-Shaar neighborhood from rebels on Tuesday as the government and its ally Russia rejected a cease-fire for the war-torn city....

Germany's Merkel re-elected as conservative party leader
BERLIN (AP) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel won a new two-year term Tuesday as the leader of Germany's main conservative party, gaining solid backing after stressing her determination to prevent a repeat of last year's huge migrant influx....

Lebanese women protest against rape law
BEIRUT (AP) -- A dozen Lebanese women, dressed as brides in white wedding dresses stained with fake blood and bandages, have gathered outside government buildings in Lebanon's capital to protest a law that allows a rapist to get away with his crime if he marries the survivor....

Ugandan rebel charged with 70 counts, including murder, rape
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- An alleged senior commander in the brutal militia of fugitive warlord Joseph Kony pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 70 charges including murder, rape, sexual enslavement and using child soldiers during the group's insurgency in northern Uganda....

Israel artist displays golden statue of Netanyahu in protest
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) -- Tel Aviv residents woke up Tuesday to an unusual site - a golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed prominently in front of City Hall in an act of protest....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Michael Probst
World Video
Up to the Minute
Africa
Southern Madagascar to suffer drought impact into 2017

Asia
Cambodia PM wants official protest venue moved out of town

Europe
Distressed Italian bank seeks investor with $1.1 billion

Latin America/Caribbean
Venezuela opposition to skip planned meeting with government

Middle East
Syrian government forces advance on 2 fronts in Aleppo