- Violinists and cheering squads: North Korea's Olympic lineup
TOKYO (AP) — North Korea won't be dominating any medal counts when the Winter Olympics come to Pyeongchang in South Korea next month. But it's hoping to grab as much of the spotlight as it can with what might be an Olympic first in ice hockey and a flamboyantly crowd-pleasing all-female cheering section to liven up the stands.
- Pope denounces indigenous violence in symbolic Chile Mass
TEMUCO, Chile (AP) — Pope Francis denounced the use of violence to achieve political gains as he traveled Wednesday to the heart of Chile's centuries-old conflict with indigenous peoples, where several church burnings have been blamed on radical Mapuche factions pressing for their cause.
- Nearly 4 years on, much of Syrian rebel 'capital' abandoned
HOMS, Syria (AP) — Sumaya Bairuty walked through abandoned streets pocked with shell craters amid rows of destroyed buildings, at times climbing over giant sand barriers before reaching her parent's apartment in the once rebel-held district of Bab Dreib in this central Syrian city.
- Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion after urgent Yemen plea
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered the transfer of $2 billion to Yemen on Wednesday, a day after Yemen's Saudi-backed prime minister made an urgent appeal on the kingdom and its allies to save the local currency from "complete collapse."
- Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas agreed Wednesday to form their first unified Olympic team and have their athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the opening ceremony of next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, officials said.
- Families of captive French jihadis sue to bring them home
PARIS (AP) — Six families of French jihadis captured during Islamic State's retreat filed a complaint Wednesday demanding that the government bring them home, a week after a video of two notorious European extremists renewed the debate over how hundreds of foreign Islamic State fighters should be handled.
- American, Canadian kidnapped by gunmen in central Nigeria
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen ambushed an American and a Canadian traveling through Nigeria's northern Kaduna state, kidnapping them and killing two policemen, a state police spokesman said Wednesday.
- Ethiopia releases top opposition figure from prison
BURAYU, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia's top opposition figure and hundreds of others were released from prison on Wednesday as part of the government's recent pledge to free detained politicians and "widen the democratic space for all" after the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century.
- Suicide attack at market in Nigeria's Maiduguri kills 12
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — A double suicide bombing at a market in Nigeria's northern city of Maiduguri killed at least 12 people and wounded 48 others on Wednesday, residents and an emergency official said.
- France abandons plans to build new airport in the west
PARIS (AP) — France will abandon plans to build a new airport in the west, the prime minister announced Wednesday, ordering the activists who have been protesting the project for nearly a decade to leave their makeshift settlement and unblock nearby roads.