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AP Top International News at 11:44 p.m. EDT

G-7 in sync with Japanese Prime Minister Abe's own agenda
ISE, Japan (AP) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and fellow leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies began their summit Thursday by visiting Ise Shrine, the most hallowed site for Japan's indigenous Shinto religion - one of many aspects of the gathering that dovetail with Abe's long-term diplomatic and political agenda....

The Latest: G-7 leaders arrive at Japan's sacred Ise shrine
ISE, Japan (AP) -- The latest news on the Group of Seven summit in Japan, where the leaders of the seven advanced economies are meeting for two days (all times local):...

UN health agency gets OK for revamp of emergency response
GENEVA (AP) -- Stung by failures in its response to Ebola, the World Health Organization is revamping how it responds to emergencies to become nimbler, more reactive and more operational in "one of the most profound transformations" ever at the U.N. health agency....

Israel's Netanyahu adds hard-liner to coalition
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named one of Israel's most polarizing politicians as defense minister on Wednesday, solidifying his parliamentary majority at the risk of antagonizing the international community and his own military - and clouding already slim hopes for a resumption of peace efforts....

Little-known extremist cleric chosen to lead Afghan Taliban
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A little-known extremist cleric was chosen Wednesday to be the new leader of the Afghan Taliban, just days after a U.S. drone strike killed his predecessor....

Freed Ukrainian pilot gets hero's welcome on return to Kiev
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- During the nearly two years that she was imprisoned in Russia, Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko became a national hero in absentia, lauded for her flinty defiance. On Wednesday she made a celebrated return to the country still embroiled in a fight against Moscow-backed separatists....

Ukrainian pilot returns home as unrivalled national hero
MOSCOW (AP) -- When war broke out in eastern Ukraine, pilot Nadezhda Savchenko left her hometown to join the fight against Russia-backed separatists. Nearly two years after she was captured, then tried and convicted in Russia, she returned home to a rapturous welcome in Kiev....

Belgium questions 4 IS suspects who may have planned attacks
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Belgian prosecutors said Wednesday they have questioned four suspected Islamic State group recruiters, who may have planned new attacks in the country....

Lawsuit: Cubans who scaled Keys lighthouse should stay in US
MIAMI (AP) -- A group of migrants who fled Cuba in a homemade boat and climbed onto a 136-year-old lighthouse off the Florida Keys should be allowed to stay in the U.S., according to a federal lawsuit filed on their behalf....

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Up to the Minute
Africa
UN lifts last sanctions on Liberia in sign of support

Asia
New Taiwan president to visit allies Panama, Paraguay

Europe
Russia accuses Turkey of supplying Islamic State extremists

Latin America/Caribbean
Recordings put pressure on allies of Brazil's acting leader

Middle East
UN: Food aid reaches 41.9 percent of those besieged in Syria