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Associated Press

BEACH PARTIES, FIREWORKS: WORLD RINGS IN NEW YEAR AFTER TURBULENT YEAR

(AP) — After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.
 
Across the globe, revelers looking for a respite from the gloom converged on the beaches of Brazil, the shores of Sydney harbor and New York's Times Square to welcome 2015. A look at how the world is celebrating:



For Obama, reunion with pals a link to simpler times

HONOLULU (AP) - Since returning to his childhood home this month on vacation, President Barack Obama has spent a good part of most days cloistered with three people whose company puts him at ease. They're not his wife and daughters, who came with him, but a trio of pals whose friendship dates back to Obama's high school days in Hawaii.



Obama warns GOP he plans to use veto pen in 2015

HONOLULU (AP) -- Bracing to do business with a Congress run solely by Republicans, President Barack Obama is serving notice he has no qualms about vetoing legislation he dislikes.

This would be a significant change in style for Obama, come January when the new Congress will be seated with the GOP not only in command in the House but also the Senate as well.

He's wielded the veto pen through his first nearly six years very sparingly. Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances.



Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

(AP) — They each turned a moment of violence into a call to action. For James Brady, that moment came when he was shot and wounded by a would-be presidential assassin. For Chung Eun-yong, it was the killings of his two children during the Korean War.

Brady took up a personal campaign for increased gun control after surviving a head wound when a man tried unsuccessfully to kill President Ronald Reagan, for whom Brady was press secretary. Chung began a years-long quest for justice, which eventually prompted the U.S. Army to acknowledge having killed civilian refugees at No Gun Ri.



On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan combat

KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) -- President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America's military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11.



Tri Marine sets opening ceremony for January 24

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — A Washington state company is making a $70 million investment in a tuna cannery in the U.S. territory of American Samoa.

 

The canned tuna products from American Samoa will carry the "Made In USA" label, said officials with Tri Marine International. Based in Bellevue, Washington, Tri Marine took over the lease of a government property three years ago after another cannery closed.

 



Oregon's Marcus Mariota is AP player of year

(AP) — The only thing left for Marcus Mariota to win at Oregon is the national championship.

The Ducks' star quarterback is The Associated Press college football player of the year, adding yet another honor to his spectacular season.

Mariota won the AP vote in the same landslide fashion he won the Heisman Trophy. He received 49 of the 54 votes submitted by the AP Top 25 media panel. Alabama receiver Amari Cooper drew three votes. Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had one vote each.



Police: 3 dead, including gunman, in Sydney siege

SYDNEY (AP) -- Amid a barrage of gunfire, police stormed a cafe in the heart of Sydney early Tuesday to end a 16-hour hostage siege by an Iranian-born gunman. Police said three people were killed - the gunman and two of the hostages - and four others were wounded.

Police raided the Lindt Chocolat Cafe after they heard a number of gunshots from inside, said New South Wales state police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

"They made the call because they believed that at that time, if they didn't enter, there would have been many more lives lost," he said.



SON OF AMERICAN SAMOA AND OREGON QB MARCUS MARIOTA WINS HEISMAN

NEW YORK (AP) -- Marcus Mariota, the prototypical 21st-century quarterback, took an old-fashioned approach to become Oregon's first Heisman Trophy winner.

The Ducks' understated star won the Heisman on Saturday night going away, capping a three-year climb to college football's most prestigious individual award.

"I'm humbled to be standing here today," Mariota said, reading an acceptance speech he had a hard time getting through without choking up.

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UN climate talks deadlocked

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Already well into overtime, U.N. climate talks reached a standstill Saturday as developing countries rejected a draft deal they said would allow rich countries to shirk their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts.

The main goal for the two-week session in Lima was relatively modest: Reach agreement on what information should go into the pledges that countries submit for a global climate pact expected to be adopted next year in Paris.



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