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AP Top International News at 2:19 a.m. EST

AP Analysis: Why Venezuelans have lost hope life will change
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela is so short on food that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving. Its murder rate is among the highest in the world. Its economy is so crippled that the average shopper spends 35 hours a month waiting in line - three times more than in 2014....

Analysis: As China ups heat on NKorea, US faces questions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- China's surprising suspension of North Korean coal imports puts pressure not only on Pyongyang, but also on President Donald Trump. The question for him: Should the U.S. respond with new North Korea negotiations?...

UN hosts 'Geneva IV' talks: Sequel or new script for Syria?
GENEVA (AP) -- Yet another sequel to chronically-fruitless Syria peace talks, or an entirely new script?...

Iraqi forces push up to Mosul's key military base by airport
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's special forces say they have begun an assault against the Islamic State group on a sprawling military base south of Mosul that's adjacent to the city's airport....

Chopped off heads, torn out hearts in brutal Brazil gang war
MANAUS, Brazil (AP) -- Shortly after midnight on New Year's Eve, hundreds of inmates watched from a Manaus prison yard as the sky lit up with fireworks, paid for by the gangs that dominate the jail system....

McCain makes secret trip to Syria to meet with US troops
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. John McCain, one of President Donald Trump's harshest critics, made a secret trip to northern Syria to visit U.S. forces stationed there and discuss the campaign for defeating the Islamic State extremists, his office said Wednesday....

AP PHOTOS: Brazil's crowded prisons feed gangs, violence
BOA VISTA, Brazil (AP) -- First, dominate overcrowded prisons. Then, control the streets and international drug routes....

New hope for Yazidi women raped and tortured by IS fighters
DOHUK, Iraq (AP) -- It's been less than two weeks since Perwin Ali Baku escaped the Islamic State group, after more than two years in captivity, bought and sold from fighter to fighter and carted from Iraq to Syria and then back again....

The Latest: Malaysia wants Interpol help on tracing suspects
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- The Latest on the investigation into the killing of Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un's half brother, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (all times local):...

North Korea denies it was behind killing at Malaysia airport
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea denied Thursday that its agents masterminded the assassination of the half brother of leader Kim Jong Un, saying a Malaysian investigation into the death of one of its nationals is full of "holes and contradictions."...

AP Photo
AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos
World Video
Up to the Minute
Africa
UN: $4.4B needed within weeks to stop hunger 'catastrophe'

Asia
Australia's highest-paid public servant quits $4.3M job

Europe
UN hosts 'Geneva IV' talks: Sequel or new script for Syria?

Latin America/Caribbean
Ecuador electoral body formally orders presidential runoff

Middle East
In Lebanon gyms, playtime and escape for Syrian children