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AP Top International News at 4:44 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?...

Iraqi police forces enter Mosul airport, seize runway
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi federal police pushed their way into the perimeter of Mosul International Airport on Thursday, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire with Islamic State militants hunkered down in several airport buildings, police officials said....

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?...

AP Analysis: Damage control N. Korea style: Deny and attack
TOKYO (AP) -- Faced with the killing of its leader's half brother in what appears to have all the trappings of a politically motivated hit, North Korea is turning up the volume on a familiar defense: Flatly deny the allegations, viciously attack the accusers....

Romania's huge protests cause rifts among families, friends
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Video editor Mihnea Lupan lives just around the corner from his mother, but their views on the massive anti-corruption protests shaking Romania are miles apart....

US musician makes mics in Russia using Kalashnikov machinery
TULA, Russia (AP) -- Claims of hacking by the Russian state may be feeding international tensions, but they've given Californian musician David Brown a great icebreaker when selling his line of Russian-made microphones....

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....

Hawaii bill would ban licenses for some foreign fishermen
HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii lawmakers are considering a proposal with the potential to cripple the state's commercial fishing industry after an Associated Press investigation found foreign fishermen confined to boats and living in subpar conditions....

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AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos
World Video
Up to the Minute
Somalia's new president appoints prime minister

North Korean state media say China dancing to US tune

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

Latin America/Caribbean
Ecuador electoral body formally orders presidential runoff

Middle East
Iraqi police forces enter Mosul airport, seize runway