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AP Top International News at 8:57 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):...

Syrian government, ally Russia warn rebels in city of Aleppo
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian government and its ally Russia on Tuesday issued stark warnings to rebels in besieged eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, with Moscow's top diplomat saying the rebels will be wiped out unless they stop fighting and leave the city....

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....

Germany's Merkel seeks new party term amid migrant concerns
BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday stressed her determination to prevent a repeat of last year's huge migrant influx as she seeks a new two-year term in charge of her conservative party....

NATO chief trumpets new 'momentum' with EU military ties
BRUSSELS (AP) -- NATO and the European Union are moving forward on deepening cooperation, the alliance's chief said Tuesday, as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump insists European allies start pulling their own military weight....

French premier steps down to focus on presidential election
PARIS (AP) -- French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stepped down Tuesday to focus on running for president in next year's election and was replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a man who embodies the fight against Islamic extremism....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Michael Probst
World Video
Up to the Minute
Iranians accused of filming office of Kenya's president

UNICEF survey: 80 percent of Filipino youths suffer violence

UK man found guilty in case linked to Brussels bomb suspect

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

Middle East
The Latest: Syrian forces take more east Aleppo districts