January 1, 2018 / 11:03 PM / 9 months ago

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Editor: Peter Cooney +1 202 898 8362

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(All times GMT/ET)

TOP STORIES

Protesters attack police stations, raising stakes in unrest

DUBAI - Iranian protesters attack police stations late into the night, news agency and social media reports say, as security forces struggle to contain the boldest challenge to the clerical leadership since unrest in 2009. (IRAN-RALLIES/ (UPDATE 6, PIX, TV), moved, by Michael Georgy, 787 words)

+ See also:

- IRAN-RALLIES/ECONOMY (PIX), moved, by Andrew Torchia, 698 words

- IRAN-RALLIES/STRATEGY (PIX, TV), moved, by Michael Georgy, 890 words

- IRAN-RALLIES/ISRAEL (UPDATE 1), moved, 270 words

North Korea’s Kim says ‘open to dialogue’ with South Korea, will only use nukes if threatened

SEOUL - Kim Jong Un warns the United States he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offers an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul. (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/KIMJONGUN (UPDATE 7, TV), moving shortly, by Heekyong Yang and Josh Smith, 1,092 words)

Trump says U.S. has gotten ‘nothing’ from Pakistan aid

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump says the United States has “foolishly” handed Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years while getting nothing in return, and pledges to put a stop to it. (TRUMP-PAKISTAN/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by David Shepardson, 471 words)

+ See also:

- PAKISTAN-MILITANTS/ (UPDATE 1, EXCLUSIVE, PIX), moved, by Asif Shahzad, 938 words

2017 safest year on record for commercial passenger air travel -groups

WASHINGTON - Airlines recorded zero accident deaths in commercial passenger jets last year, according to a Dutch consulting firm and an aviation safety group that tracks crashes, making 2017 the safest year on record for commercial air travel. (AVIATION-SAFETY/, moved, by David Shepardson, 381 words)

UNITED STATES

Record-shattering U.S. cold reaches into Florida

- Record-shattering arctic cold reaches as far south as Florida on Monday with freeze warnings in place from Texas to the Atlantic coast and the northeastern United States facing another cold wave at the end of the week, forecasters say. (USA-WEATHER/ (TV), moved, by Ian Simpson, 368 words)

California launches legal sale of cannabis for recreational use

LOS ANGELES - California launches the world’s largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana, as dozens of newly licensed stores catering to adults who enjoy the drug for its psychoactive effects open for business up and down the state. (USA-MARIJUANA/ (PIX), moved, by Steve Gorman, 575 words)

EUROPE

Merkel’s allies, further defying SPD, seek cuts to tax and asylum seeker benefits

BERLIN - Germany’s Bavarian conservatives are pressing for corporate tax cuts and cuts to welfare payments for asylum seekers, which could complicate talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) on forming a new government. (GERMANY-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 510 words)

Compass Group chief, five others killed in Sydney seaplane crash

SYDNEY/LONDON - The chief executive of British catering giant Compass Group Plc and four members of his family are killed when the seaplane they were flying in crashes into a Sydney river on New Year’s Eve. (AUSTRALIA-SEAPLANE/ UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved, 477 words)

MIDDLE EAST

Syria’s Assad names new defence and other ministers -state TV

BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issues a decree appointing new ministers for defence, industry and information, state television reports. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-GOVERNMENT (UPDATE 1), moved, 172 words)

ASIA

Hong Kong democracy protesters sound warning to China on New Year’s day

HONG KONG - After a year that saw democracy advocates in Hong Kong jailed and ousted from public office, thousands marched through the streets of Hong Kong on New Year’s Day to warn China not to meddle further in the city’s affairs and undermine its autonomy. (NEWYEAR-HONGKONG/PROTESTS (PIX, TV), moved, by Donny Kwok and Wyman Ma, 535 words)

Fire officials relieved of duty over deadly fire in southern Philippines

MANILA - Five fire officials being questioned over a blaze that led to the deaths of 37 staff at the southern Philippines offices of an American market research firm have been relieved of their duties, a government investigator says. (PHILIPPINES-FIRE/ (PIX), moved, 450 words)

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