Sydney cafe siege ends; 3 dead, including gunman
SYDNEY (AP) — The deadly siege began in the most incongruous of ways, on a sunny Monday morning inside a cheerful cafe in the heart of Australia's largest city. An Iranian-born gunman burst in, took 17 workers and customers hostage, and forced some to hold a flag with an Islamic declaration of faith above the shop window's festive inscription of "Merry Christmas."
IllRideWithYou: Aussies offer support to Muslims
Some Australian social media users sent a message of solidarity to Muslims as the Sydney cafe siege went on for almost a day, offering to accompany anyone who felt intimidated on public transit.
Republicans blame Cruz for year-end confirmations
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unhappy Republicans say Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has given President Barack Obama a present this holiday season — a gift certificate good for confirmation of 12 judicial appointments, not long after the voters had delivered the Democrats a lump of coal in midterm elections.
Netanyahu years continue surge in settlements
JERUSALEM (AP) — The population of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank has continued to surge during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's years in office, growing at more than twice the pace of Israel's overall population, according to newly obtained official figures.
US Marine charged in Filipino transgender slaying
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine government prosecutors charged a U.S. Marine with murder Monday in the killing of a Filipino, saying the suspect acknowledged attacking the victim after he found out she was a transgender woman.