TOKYO - When Japan's prime minister heads to China for a summit Thursday, he'll face conditions his predecessors haven't enjoyed for years: warming relations, a boost in economic ties and almost no rhetoric over their historical grievances.
JERUSALEM - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will demand Israel commit at a peace summit Thursday to a freeze on all settlement construction, and he has appealed to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for support, an aide said.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 26, the 360th day of 2007. There are five days left in the year. The seven-day African-American holiday Kwanzaa begins today. This is Boxing Day.
(Note: All information included in this report is taken from law enforcement incident reports and arrest records, which are public records and available for review at any and all local law enforcement agencies. Not every arrest leads to a conviction. Guilt or innocence is determined by the court system.)
DEAR ABBY: We have out-of-state friends who have two daughters, ages 10 and 11. More than once I have seen the mother give her girls sips of her wine - even hard liquor - when she is drinking. We do not allow our children to do this. We have discussed drinking in moderation with them, but only when they are of legal age.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Umm Doha cuts hair and waxes eyebrows in secret from her living room because making women look pretty can get a person killed in her Sunni-dominated Baghdad neighborhood.
SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Zoo was closed to visitors Wednesday as investigators returned to the scene to determine how a tiger escaped from its enclosure and attacked three visitors, killing one of the men and mauling two others.
NEW YORK - U.S. home prices fell in October for the 10th consecutive month, posting their largest drop since early 1991, according to a key index released Wednesday.
CHICAGO - Police divers searched the Des Plaines River on Wednesday for a missing woman who had planned to place a damaged statue of a Hindu deity in the water when she disappeared two days earlier.
OKLAHOMA CITY - The kindness of strangers across the country saved Christmas for Beverly Smith's children after the deadly ice storm that cut off electricity for them and thousands of other people.
Actress Tallulah Bankhead, who died in 1968, said, "It's one of the tragic ironies of the theater that only one man in it can count on steady work: the night watchman."
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan pledged during an unusually friendly meeting Wednesday to share intelligence and tighten border controls to quash rising militant attacks.
STATESBORO - After a costly eradication program, Georgia cotton farmers say the destructive boll weevil is gone from Georgia fields and from much of the country.
In the year ahead, you will have many more opportunities to associate with influential people than you had previously. Cultivate these relationships, because they will provide you with many opportunities denied up until now.
DAVID, Panama - A 12-year-old U.S. girl who was the sole survivor of a weekend plane crash was airlifted Wednesday to a Panamanian hospital after rescue workers trekked for several hours through remote mountains to deliver her to safety and reunite her with anxious relatives.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Jordan Spieth had a post-Masters letdown Thursday, shooting a 3-over 74 at the RBC Heritage to end his run of 16 straight rounds under par.
FLOWERY BRANCH,- Even the most established Falcons players are scrambling to make a good first impression with new coach Dan Quinn.
NEW YORK - Teen smoking hit a new low last year while the popularity of electronic cigarettes and water pipes boomed, a government report shows.
Mr. Richard R. Barrick Sr.
ATLANTA - Freddie Freeman isn't ready to panic just because the Atlanta Braves have lost two straight games.
The regular season is over for Statesboro High School's baseball team and despite a rocky season, the Blue Devils are just two wins away from the state playoffs.
DES MOINES, Iowa - For the better part of a century, submerged dams were workhorses of the American heartland, harnessing the power of rivers to run grain mills, generate electricity and keep lakes and ponds full of water as a hedge against drought.
FALL RIVER, Mass. - Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the downfall of an athlete who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him.
Berge Edward Demirgian
ATLANTA - Giancarlo Stanton broke out of a slump with three hits and four RBIs, Dee Gordon and Ichiro Suzuki each scored two runs and the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 on Tuesday night.
BROOKLET - Andrew Kalaani scored two second half goals to lead the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets to a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Jenkins in the first round of the Region 1-AAA playoffs Tuesday night and clinching a spot in the state playoffs.
FALL RIVER, Mass. - After six days of deliberating, jurors went home Tuesday without reaching a verdict in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, who is accused of killing the man dating his fiancee's sister.
The green jacket is all Jordan Spieth needs for an identity. He is the Masters champion.
By RALPH D. RUSSO
NEW YORK - Remember those declarations that teens are done with Facebook? Think again.