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BHP announces stock buyback, special dividend
BHP announces stock buyback, special dividend

BHP will issue a special dividend for shareholders after selling its US shale assets, the miner said Monday as it completed a US$7.3 billion stock buyback. The world's biggest miner recently sold its US shale oil and gas operations to British giant BP for US$10.5 billion, and said it would return the funds to shareholders. The special dividend of US$1.02 a share will be paid out in mid-January.

Every Photo from Our Drive of the Audi e-tron GT Concept
Every Photo from Our Drive of the Audi e-tron GT Concept

Judge gives mom 40 years after 2 kids die in car. People 'take better care of their pets'
Judge gives mom 40 years after 2 kids die in car. People 'take better care of their pets'

A Texas judge told a mom that people "take better care of their pets" after her daughters died painful deaths from being left overnight in a vehicle.

Sudan president lands in Syria in 1st visit by Arab leader
Sudan president lands in Syria in 1st visit by Arab leader

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Sudan's president on Sunday became the first Arab League leader to visit Syria since civil war erupted there nearly eight years ago.

Top Democrat Schiff Adds Call for Probe of Trump, Deutsche Bank Links
Top Democrat Schiff Adds Call for Probe of Trump, Deutsche Bank Links

Representative Adam Schiff of California said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that any type of compromise needs to be investigated. Schiff's comments came three days after Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and fellow Senate Democrat Chris Van Hollen called for a Banking Committee investigation of Deutsche Bank's compliance with U.S. money-laundering regulations.

Pauley Perrette, Sasha Alexander back ex-'NCIS' star Michael Weatherly amid harassment claims
Pauley Perrette, Sasha Alexander back ex-'NCIS' star Michael Weatherly amid harassment claims

Pauley Perrette and Sasha Alexander are supporting their ex-'NCIS' co-star Michael Weatherly after Eliza Dushku accused him of sexual harassment.

Government shutdown? You'll still get mail and packages, be able to travel
Government shutdown? You'll still get mail and packages, be able to travel

Even if Congress can't stop another federal shutdown, mail carriers, air-traffic controllers, Amtrak workers, border agents still will be on the job.

Explosion at Japan restaurant injures 42: police
Explosion at Japan restaurant injures 42: police

An explosion at a restaurant in northern Japan injured 42 people late Sunday, police said, with the blast reportedly causing surrounding buildings to collapse. Fires broke out following the incident in the northern city of Sapporo, Kyodo news agency said, and images from the scene showed large flames and plumes of smoke rising in the night air. A police official for the Hokkaido region told AFP "there are 42 injuries" but no one was killed.

Judge Lobs Political Bomb at Trump by Nullifying Obamacare
Judge Lobs Political Bomb at Trump by Nullifying Obamacare

The case may not be resolved in the courts before 2020, legal experts said, which could make it a defining issue in the race for the White House and Congress. Democrats immediately jumped on the Friday night ruling to warn that health care coverage for millions of Americans was at stake due to the Republican-led lawsuit that sought to void popular parts of Obamacare, including protections for pre-existing conditions and a ban on annual lifetime limits. Also at risk are provisions that affect the wider health insurance market, such as keeping adults on their parents' policies until age 26.

NASA releases new images of Jupiter
NASA releases new images of Jupiter

OUT OF THIS WORLD: NASA has released incredible new images of Jupiter.

For sale: Restored home of Salem witch trials refugee
For sale: Restored home of Salem witch trials refugee

BOSTON (AP) - A once-run-down historic home that stands where a woman accused of witchcraft during the 1692 Salem witch trials settled after she was spared the noose is on the market after an extensive renovation project.

Any decision on Brexit deal will happen in New Year - British trade minister

British trade minister Liam Fox said on Sunday talks with the European Union to secure "assurances" for parliament on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal will take time, with a decision expected in the New Year. "The prime minister is giving an update tomorrow, she will be talking to the cabinet on Tuesday, it is very clear that the EU understand what the problem is.

Turkey would consider working with Assad if he won a democratic Syrian election

Turkey and other world powers would consider working with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he won a democratic election, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a conference in Qatar on Sunday. Turkey supported the opposition to Assad in the Syrian civil war that broke out in 2011 and continues to support rebel fighters who control part of northwest Syria. A year ago Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan described Assad as a terrorist and said it was impossible for Syrian peace efforts to continue with him.

Iraq lays cornerstone to rebuild iconic Mosul mosque
Iraq lays cornerstone to rebuild iconic Mosul mosque

Iraqis on Sunday laid the cornerstone in rebuilding Mosul's Al-Nuri mosque and leaning minaret, national emblems destroyed last year in the ferocious battle against the Islamic State group. The famed 12th century mosque and minaret, dubbed Al-Hadba or "the hunchback," hosted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's only public appearance as IS chief, when he declared a self-styled "caliphate" after the jihadists swept into Mosul in 2014. The structures were ravaged three years later in the final, most brutal stages of the months-long fight to rid Iraq's second city of IS.

Netanyahu warns Hamas after deadly West Bank attacks
Netanyahu warns Hamas after deadly West Bank attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he had issued a warning to Hamas after recent deadly attacks in the occupied West Bank, including two shootings claimed by the Islamist movement. Netanyahu referred to a controversial Gaza ceasefire in November that ended the worst escalation between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war. "I conveyed a clear message to Hamas -- we won't accept a situation of a truce in Gaza and terror in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting, using the biblical name for the West Bank, as is Israel's official policy.

May's Team Pushes Back at Second Vote Reports: Brexit Update

"Unreasonable people" in the U.K. are blocking the Brexit withdrawal agreement from passing, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Sunday. "We have a deal that's been negotiated, unfortunately there are some very unreasonable people in Westminster that are trying to block that," Coveney said in an RTE Television interview.

Senate Republican: Obamacare ruling
Senate Republican: Obamacare ruling 'far too sweeping' in overturning entire law

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is interviewed on "This Week" about the potential government shutdown next week and the ruling from a federal judge in Texas declaring Obamacare unconstitutional.

Russia: Now Number 2 in Military Sales (Any Guess Who Is Number 1?)
Russia: Now Number 2 in Military Sales (Any Guess Who Is Number 1?)

From Moscow, with bullets?

South Africa's ANC Postpones Party Election List Conference
South Africa's ANC Postpones Party Election List Conference

The conference would be rescheduled to Jan. 4-5 from this weekend to accommodate the North West province, which hadn't submitted its nominations, ANC acting spokesman Dakota Legeote said by phone. The conference had been delayed because of deep divisions within the party and allegations by some members of manipulation of the lists, City Press reported on Sunday. South Africa is due to hold national and provincial elections in 2019, likely in May. The country has a proportional representation system in which lawmakers are chosen according to where they sit on nomination lists.

Malaysia's Mahathir says no rights to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday criticized Australia's move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying countries had "no rights" to do so. Australia's move follows U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May, which infuriated Palestinians and the wider Islamic world and upset Western allies. "Jerusalem should remain as it is now and not the capital of Israel," Mahathir told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Bangkok.

I became a Democrat a year ago and found my own voice. It changed everything.
I became a Democrat a year ago and found my own voice. It changed everything.

I wrote my truth, held my breath and waited. I now care about lots more things than I used to, and I've finally embraced my Asian-American identity.

Introducing the Army's New Lethal Sniper Rifle
Introducing the Army's New Lethal Sniper Rifle

Here's all we know.

New Zealand's Rocket Lab shoots 13 tiny cube satellites into orbit

Rocket Lab, a rocket propulsion company backed by investors in Silicon Valley, has launched a batch of 13 tiny probes from New Zealand to study space. The Electron rocket lifted off on Sunday evening from the world's only private orbital launch pad on the Mahia Peninsula, carrying a payload of 10-cm (3.9-inch) cube-shaped research satellites. The tiny satellites are called "CubeSats", and will collect data on phenomena such as radiation belts or on autonomous movement in space for a group of universities and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Twitter Users Shred Trump For 'Celebrating' The Weekly Standard's Closure
Twitter Users Shred Trump For 'Celebrating' The Weekly Standard's Closure

Twitter users have castigated President Donald Trump after he rejoiced at the

Weekly Standard shuts down
Weekly Standard shuts down

Conservative magazine often opposed Trump.

Biden Leads Sanders, O'Rourke in Iowa Democratic Caucus Poll
Biden Leads Sanders, O'Rourke in Iowa Democratic Caucus Poll

The poll asked likely caucusgoers who their top choice for president would be among potential candidates for their party's nomination. The Iowa poll found 32 percent of likely caucusgoers prefer Biden, with 19 percent selecting Sanders as their first choice, and O'Rourke at 11 percent.

Family complains that Catholic priest used teen's funeral to condemn suicide
Family complains that Catholic priest used teen's funeral to condemn suicide

The parents of a teenage boy who took his own life have condemned a Catholic priest who questioned whether their son would get to heaven while presiding over his funeral. The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit expressed regret for the comments and said the Rev Don LaCuesta would not preach at funerals "for the foreseeable future". But the parents of Maison Hullibarger said they wanted the priest removed from his post for the heartbreak caused. "We wanted him to celebrate how Maison lived, not how he died," his mother, Linda Hullibarger, told The Detroit Free Press. Jeff Hullibarger added: "It was his time to tell everybody what he thought of suicide, (and) we...

Interior secretary latest high-profile Trump admin departure
Interior secretary latest high-profile Trump admin departure

Donald Trump said Saturday that his interior secretary will be leaving soon -- the latest in a series of high-profile departures from an administration beset by turnover and alleged ethical failings. Zinke's exit will remove the distraction of the ethical issues that have dogged him -- and that reportedly have annoyed Trump -- but is unlikely to mark a shift away from the concerted environmental deregulation that took place during the secretary's tenure at the Interior Department. "Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years," Trump wrote on Twitter, highlighting the fact that Zinke's...

Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks
Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks

A mischievous parrot who was booted from an animal sanctuary for his foul

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra was ordered this week to rebuild it exactly as it was.

Ryan Zinke To Step Down One Day Before Dems Get Oversight Powers
Ryan Zinke To Step Down One Day Before Dems Get Oversight Powers

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has often said that he's not afraid of a fight.

Dershowitz: Flynn lied, FBI acted improperly
Dershowitz: Flynn lied, FBI acted improperly

Fallout in Washington following new revelations in Flynn memo; Alan Dershowitz weighs in.

Prada apologizes for
Prada apologizes for 'Pradamalia' toys that evoke racist blackface imagery

On the heels of Dolce & Gabbana's disastrous Chinese ad campaign, Prada found itself embroiled in its own controversy over monkey toys and keychains accused of evoking racist imagery. The company later apologized on Twitter, promising to recall the offensive figurines from its new "Pradamalia" line of collectibles. "The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre.

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar
Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS (AP) - The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a former Baylor University student accused of rape to avoid jail time holds three degrees from Baylor. The criminal district attorney overseeing the case holds two. The prosecutor who agreed to the plea agreement graduated from Baylor law school.

Paris 'yellow vest' protests lose steam after Emmanuel Macron concessions
Paris 'yellow vest' protests lose steam after Emmanuel Macron concessions

Defiant "yellow vest" demonstrators took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Saturday, but the anti-government protests appeared to be losing steam after major concessions by President Emmanuel Macron and another deadly terror attack on French soil. Riot police fired tear gas and fought with protesters on the Champs Elysées and elsewhere in the capital, but these were minor incidents compared with the widespread rioting and looting that took place a week ago. More than 66,000 took part in demos across the country, half the number of a week ago, and in Paris 2,200 people participated, far fewer than the 10,000 who turned out last Saturday, according to interior ministry...

2 women in custody in death of 4-month-old boy at NYC hotel

NEW YORK (AP) - A 4-month-old boy died Saturday after he was found unconscious and unresponsive in the lobby of a New York City hotel. Police apprehended two women who were with him, and they're expected to face charges.

Trump hails judge
Trump hails judge's ruling against Obamacare as 'great'

President Donald Trump on Saturday hailed a court decision against Obamacare as "a great ruling for our country," while a U.S. government official said the decision by a Texas judge would have no immediate impact on health coverage. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday said that Obamacare, known formally as the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that people buy health insurance. In a decision that could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, O'Connor sided with a coalition of 20 states that argued requiring people to pay for insurance coverage is illegal because a change in tax law last year eliminated a penalty for...

Trucker saves dogs thrown from vehicle on New York highway
Trucker saves dogs thrown from vehicle on New York highway

NEW YORK (AP) - A pair of beagle mixes are on the mend after authorities say someone threw them out of a moving vehicle on a snowy New York highway. The dogs were rescued by a passing trucker, but one was so badly mangled that a front leg had to be amputated.

Rebels hail Yemen ceasefire accord a
Rebels hail Yemen ceasefire accord a 'success', despite skirmishes

Huthi rebels on Saturday hailed a ceasefire accord for a vital Yemeni port agreed at UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden, although the deal's implementation remained fragile. The breakthrough agreement at the first round of negotiations since 2016 was a "success", said Daif Allah al-Shami, information minister for the rebels' unrecognised national salvation government. Reached Thursday between the Huthis and a delegation for the internationally recognised government, the accord called for an "immediate" ceasefire in Hodeida city and its lifeline port, a key gateway for aid and food imports in a country where 14 million people stand on the brink of famine.

Salazar: I believe Trump is trying to end the problem
Salazar: I believe Trump is trying to end the problem

Former Florida House of Representatives candidate Maria Elvira Salazar weighs in who is responsible for the death of 7-year-old girl who died upon arriving at the U.S. border.

Egypt unveils "one of a kind" ancient tomb, expects more finds
Egypt unveils "one of a kind" ancient tomb, expects more finds

Egypt has discovered a 4,400-year-old-tomb and expects to find more buried treasure. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

Parents say priest told mourners that son may be kept from heaven over suicide
Parents say priest told mourners that son may be kept from heaven over suicide

The parents of a young teen who committed suicide say the priest told the mourners that their son may be kept out of heaven over his suicide.

Spoilers! How two A-listers got to play a Spider-Man in 'Into the Spider-Verse'
Spoilers! How two A-listers got to play a Spider-Man in 'Into the Spider-Verse'

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" introduces a bunch of various Spider-People - including A-list actors voicing surprise characters. (Spoilers!)

Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil
Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil

On one end of Qamishli's main street flies the two-starred Syrian national flag. On the other, that of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. "One flag represents our past oppression, the other our freedom," says Mahmoud, who owns a clothing shop which sits between the two.   Before the civil war, it would have been unthinkable for the Kurdish minority to openly pledge allegiance to anything other than the President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Republic. But seven years into Syria's interminable conflict the Kurds appear to have carved out something of a proto-state in this corner of northeastern Syria, thanks in part to their efforts to flush out Isil. While they have been...

Something Magical Happened When My Autistic 10-Year-Old Started Listening To Eminem
Something Magical Happened When My Autistic 10-Year-Old Started Listening To Eminem

My 10-year-old son starts to rap after someone on YouTube says Eminem is

Trump says interior secretary to leave in latest high-profile departure
Trump says interior secretary to leave in latest high-profile departure

Donald Trump said Saturday that his interior secretary will be leaving soon -- the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the US president's turnover-plagued administration. "Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years," Trump wrote on Twitter, highlighting the fact that Zinke's tenure was substantially longer than that of some other former top officials in the administration. The announcement on Zinke came just a week after another impending high-profile departure -- that of Trump's chief of staff John Kelly -- was made public.

Brexit, Huawei Arrests, Trump's Legal Troubles: Weekend Reads

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Far-Right Israeli MPs threaten to topple Netanyahu government over West Bank violence
Far-Right Israeli MPs threaten to topple Netanyahu government over West Bank violence

Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition is looking increasingly unstable after far-Right MPs threatened to withdraw their support unless the Israeli prime minister agrees to new security measures amid a spate of violence in the occupied West Bank. In one of the bloodiest weeks in the territories this year, two Israeli soldiers were killed along with a three-day Israeli baby, who was born by emergency Caesarian after his mother was shot by Palestinian gunmen but died in hospital.  The Israeli military said it killed two Palestinian gunmen as well as an attacker who stabbed two policemen in Jerusalem. Two more Palestinians - a teenage boy and a 60-year-old man - were shot dead in the city of...

Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level
Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level

This is not a good look. Humans are using more oil-based plastic than ever,

Shop deals on luggage, packing accessories to travel smarter in the new year
Shop deals on luggage, packing accessories to travel smarter in the new year

Forget fruitcake and distant relatives' awkward questions about your relationship status - the worst part of the holidays is traveling, hands down. Unfortunately, we can't do anything about that pungent log of dried cherries and nuts on the dessert table, nor can we prevent your Aunt Ruby from asking why you're still single. (Why are you still single, anyway?) We can, however, offer you some sweet deals on items that'll make your trip home far more bearable. Below, we've rounded up the deets on seven travel and packing tools that just went on sale in the Mashable Shop - and don't forget to enter the code MERRY15 at checkout to score an extra 15% off your...

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