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Aussies, Japan, US drop food, toys on Pacific islands

HONOLULU (AP) — Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes are dropping food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military's longest-running humanitarian relief mission.

The packages will support 20,000 people across 56 islands in Micronesia, the Mariana Islands and Palau.

The U.S. Air Force began the annual Operation Christmas Drop in 1952 when a Guam-based air crew noticed residents on the island of Kapingamarangi waving at them as they flew overhead. The crew gathered items they had on the plane, attached a parachute and dropped them to the islanders.



AP FACT CHECK: Republican debaters astray

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vast complexities of a dangerous world were cast in too-simple terms in the latest Republican presidential debate.

In addition, Chris Christie pledged to make common cause with a Jordanian king who's actually dead and debaters twisted aspects of immigration policy beyond recognition.

Here's a look at some of the claims Tuesday night and how they compare with the facts:



NEARLY 200 NATIONS PLEDGE TO SLOW GLOBAL WARMING

LE BOURGET, France (AP) -- Nearly 200 nations adopted the first global pact to fight climate change on Saturday, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution but imposing no sanctions on countries that don't.

The "Paris agreement" aims to keep global temperatures from rising another degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) between now and 2100, a key demand of poor countries ravaged by rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.



Chicken of Sea, Bumble Bee abandon tuna merger

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee have called off their proposed merger after the Obama administration told the companies it would hurt competition in the U.S. canned tuna market.

The Justice Department announced Friday that the deal, announced a year ago between Thailand's largest seafood company and Bumble Bee Foods of the U.S., was off. If Thai Union Group, owner of Chicken of the Sea, had bought Bumble Bee, it would have combined the second- and third-largest sellers of tinned tuna in the U.S. in a market long dominated by three major brands.



THOUSANDS CROWD EDEN PARK FOR JONAH LOMU MEMORIAL

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset led the tributes to Jonah Lomu at a public memorial Monday, saying the former All Blacks winger was a giant whose contribution to the sport "cannot be overstated."

Thousands of mourners, many wearing replicas of Lomu's No. 11 jersey, crowded Eden Park for the final public memorial for the rugby great who died Nov. 18 aged 40. A private family burial service will be held in Auckland on Tuesday.



Trying to save Earth — a wilder, warmer place

PARIS (AP) -- This time, it's a hotter, waterier, wilder Earth that world leaders are trying to save.

The last time that the nations of the world struck a binding agreement to fight global warming was 1997, in Kyoto, Japan. As leaders gather for a conference in Paris on Monday to try to do more, it's clear things have changed dramatically over the past 18 years.



Pope says 'catastrophic' if interests derail climate talks

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Pope Francis warned Thursday that it would be "catastrophic" for world leaders to let special interest groups get in the way of a global agreement to curb fossil fuel emissions as he brought his environmental message to the heart of Africa on the eve of make-or-break climate change talks in Paris.



AP FACT CHECK: When truth is a casualty of terrorist fears

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If truth is the first casualty of war, it can also take a beating in a time of terrorism. A week of raging debate over Syrian refugees and Islamic State violence has scattered misinformation everywhere.

In the Republican presidential contest, Donald Trump found himself with a potential new rival, the Constitution, in calling for a registry of Muslim citizens. Jeb Bush described a religious test for refugees that does not represent the actual law.



Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa superdelegates support Clinton

HONOLULU (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton has secured the support of many Democratic Party leaders in Hawaii and U.S. Pacific island territories as she pursues her party's nomination for president.

An Associated Press survey shows Clinton has the support of half of the superdelegates to next year's Democratic National Convention from Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa. Other superdelegates said they were not ready to declare their support for any candidate and some did not respond.



SCIENTISTS: MAJOR CORAL BLEACHING CRISIS SPREADS WORLDWIDE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The bleaching of colorful coral is spreading into a worldwide, devastating crisis, scientists say, and they predict it will likely get worse.

Triggered by global warming and the El Nino, record hot ocean water is causing fragile coral to go white and often die, threatening picturesque reefs that are hotspots of marine life, experts say.



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