ATHENS - Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has bet on Greece's future with an early vote for the presidency. But in contrast to a recent predecessor, he made sure before dropping the bombshell that Berlin and Brussels wouldn't stand in the way.
BAGHDAD - Shi'ite militias and Iraqi security forces, engaged in an all-or-nothing struggle with radical Sunni group Islamic State, are blasting the Sunni farmlands that encircle Baghdad with heavy weapons. Military officers call their target areas in the rural belt "killing zones."
DUBAI - Looking frail, Oman's Sultan Qaboos appeared on television last month to reassure his people about his health. But after a long absence abroad for medical treatment, many Omanis are worried that their childless leader has no publicly designated heir.
SANAA - Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi'ite Houthi militia that seized Yemen's capital in September, as Tehran steps up its regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, Yemeni and Iranian officials say.
HONG KONG - James To was growing uneasy. When the veteran Hong Kong Democratic Party lawmaker looked in his rear-view mirror, two silver Mercedes Benz saloons kept appearing behind his grey Volvo sedan. | Video
NEW YORK - Healthcare companies including Aetna Inc, Mercer and Towers Watson & Co have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build exchanges that allow company employees to buy their own insurance, betting that Corporate America wants to get out of managing workers' health benefits.
BRUSSELS - Italy's Federica Mogherini pledged as European Union foreign policy chief that the EU would play a stronger role in tackling world crises. Her resolve is about to be tested as the bloc debates whether it is time to mend its relationship with Russia.
LODZ, Poland - The European Union has given Poland more than 100 million euros (79 million pounds) to build at least three "ghost" airports in places where there are not enough passengers to keep them in business.
NEW YORK - For the past 18 months, Americans from Albany to Oregon have voiced growing alarm over the rising number of oil-laden freight trains coursing through their cities, a trend they fear is endangering public safety.
NEW YORK - Americans shopping for toy remote-controlled airplanes or helicopters may find, sometime in the near future, that they come with unexpected accessories: A raft of new regulations.
HAVANA/WASHINGTON - The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. | Video