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AP Top International News At 12:03 a.m. EST

INSIDE KOBANI: Devastation mixed with optimism
KOBANI, Syria (AP) -- Blocks of low-rise buildings with hollow facades, shattered concrete, streets strewn with rubble and overturned, crumpled remains of cars and trucks. Such is the landscape in Kobani, where the sounds of rifle and mortar fire resonate all day long in fighting between Islamic State extremists and the Syrian town's Kurdish defenders....

Rebels push forward in southern Syria
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet south of the capital Damascus, capturing a string of towns from government forces and aiming to carve out a swath of territory leading to the doorstep of President Bashar Assad's seat of power....

Pope urges more Muslim opposition to IS in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbaric violence" being committed in Islam's name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as he arrived in neighboring Turkey Friday for a delicate visit aimed at improving interfaith ties....

Oil plunge is threat and boon to global economies
A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. Yet it is also a bonus for consumers as prices fall at the pump, giving individuals more spending money and lowering costs for many businesses....

French president cheered in Ebola-stricken Guinea
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) -- French President Francois Hollande brought a message of hope to Guinea on Friday, where thousands of residents lined the roads while clapping, drumming and dancing to catch a glimpse of the first Western leader to visit a country hard hit by Ebola....

Rare optimism ahead of climate talks in Lima
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Energized by new targets set by China and the United States, the world's top climate polluters, U.N. global warming talks resume Monday with unusual optimism despite evidence that human-generated climate change is already happening and bound to get worse....

Killing of Guatemalan hunter likely to go unsolved
ZACAPA, Guatemala (AP) -- Jose Miguel Ramirez went hunting for iguanas on a melon farm, and paid for it with his life. The 19-year-old's body was dumped by a stream near the property line, a bullet hole above his left eye....

Police: Blasts at mosque in Nigeria kill 35 people
KANO, Nigeria (AP) -- Multiple explosions tore through the central mosque in Nigeria's second-largest city on Friday, killing 35 people, police said....

Sarkozy's back _ but can he regain the presidency?
PARIS (AP) -- Nicolas Sarkozy tried to quit politics after losing the French presidency, and instead followed his wife's international singing tours and traveled the speakers' circuit....

Venezuela gets ballet commemorating Chavez's life
CARACS, Venezuela (AP) -- In life, Venezuela's exuberant leader Hugo Chavez often captivated supporters by bursting into song, even the occasional dance. Now that he's gone, supporters are turning to the musical arts to help immortalize him....

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AP Photo/Jake Simkin
World Video
Up to the Minute
Africa
Police: Blasts at mosque in Nigeria kill 35 people

Asia
Taiwan local elections test pro-China ruling party

Europe
Russian Navy successfully tests new missile

Latin America/Caribbean
Killing of Guatemalan hunter likely to go unsolved

Middle East
Officials: Israel's Eisenkot named military chief