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AP Top International News at 4:24 p.m. EST

Merkel is last of Obama's key European allies still standing
BERLIN (AP) -- Just a few months ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought together the leaders of the U.S., Britain, France and Italy to discuss the world's crises, a moment captured in a photo of the five seated around a conference table. When she hosts a summit of 20 leading global powers in July, she will be the only one of them left - and many of the policies her partners worked for might be reversed....

Syria says it seized nearly 75 percent of eastern Aleppo
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian government forces and allied militias captured Aleppo's centrally located al-Shaar neighborhood from rebels on Tuesday, securing nearly three quarters of the besieged enclave less than two weeks after launching a ground offensive, according to the Syrian military....

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....

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....

Trump son-in-law's family donated to Israeli settler groups
JERUSALEM (AP) -- President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law co-directs a family foundation that has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Jewish settlement organizations in the West Bank, according to tax records....

Chopper crash in Rio flashpoint with police in 'City of God'
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Viviane Goncalves cries softly as she explains why she believes her husband was killed....

Scientists develop robotic hand for people with quadriplegia
BERLIN (AP) -- Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup....

Iraq launches new push in southeast Mosul
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) -- After weeks of unchanging front lines, the Iraqi army rolled Tuesday into a southeastern Mosul neighborhood held by Islamic State militants, taking a hospital before meeting stiff resistance, the military said....

Lebanese women protest against rape law
BEIRUT (AP) -- A dozen Lebanese women, dressed as brides in white wedding dresses stained with fake blood and bandages, gathered Tuesday outside government buildings in Lebanon's capital to protest a law that allows a rapist to get away with his crime if he marries the survivor....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
World Video
Up to the Minute
Africa
AP reporter deported from South Sudan

Asia
Cambodia PM wants official protest venue moved out of town

Europe
EU's Brexit negotiator puts time pressure on Britain

Latin America/Caribbean
Lawmaker barred from leaving Guatemala over civil war deaths

Middle East
3 Benelux PMs in Tunisia to talk terrorism, immigration