Agence France Presse
Latest stories
Big-Name Stars in NY to Perform on New Year's Eve

Pop diva Lady Gaga, tenor Placido Domingo and rock veteransChuck Berry and Patti Smith will join a star-studded lineup to ring in the New Year Saturday in New York.

As with every December 31, the main celebration will be held at Times Square in the heart of Manhattan, where more than a million people are expected to gather to watch the New Year's crystal ball drop at the stroke of midnight.

W140 Full Story
Mercedes, BMW Vie for U.S. Luxury Car Crown

In a first, two German manufacturers -- Mercedes-Benz and BMW -- are dueling for the honor of being the top luxury brand sold in the United States.

With the champion of the past 11 years, Toyota's Lexus, hobbled by the fallout from Japan's March 11 earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown disaster, the two Teutonic giants are going at it head-on to snatch the crown, a highly visible symbol of automotive supremacy.

W140 Full Story
Amazon Says Kindle Sales on Fire

Amazon said Thursday that it sold more than one million Kindles a week in December with the new Kindle Fire tablet computer its top-selling item.

This year saw "the best holiday ever for the Kindle family as customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers," the Seattle-based online retail giant said in a statement.

W140 Full Story
Python Attacks Australian Infant

An Australian infant was attacked by a python which wrapped itself around his body and attempted to suffocate him, his terrified mother said Thursday, recalling his "blood-curdling scream".

The two-year-old boy was chasing a ball around his Port Douglas backyard in Australia's tropical north when the snake struck, biting his leg before looping itself around his body, his mother told the local Cairns Post newspaper.

W140 Full Story
Libya to Review Contracts with Italian Oil Major ENI

Libya on Thursday said it will review its contracts with Italy's ENI and insisted the oil major participate in reconstructing cities destroyed by Moammar Gadhafi's forces in the conflict.

The decision to review the contracts was communicated to the Italian firm's Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni on Wednesday by Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib during a meeting, the statement from Kib's office said.

W140 Full Story
N. Korea Vows No Change Under Kim Jong-Un, Threatens Seoul

North Korea warned the world Friday to expect no policy changes under new leader Kim Jong-Un, and threatened retaliation against South Korea for "rubbing salt" into the wounds of its grieving people.

The tough statement came a day after the communist nation ended 13 days of mourning for late leader Kim Jong-Il, and proclaimed his son Jong-Un as new supreme chief at a massive memorial ceremony.

W140 Full Story
Nikkei Closes at Lowest Year-End Level Since 1982

Japan's headline Nikkei-225 index Friday finished 2011 at its lowest year-end level for almost three decades, with analysts warning the outlook for the New Year remains poor.

The Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange shut up shop at 8,455.35, down 17.34 percent, or 1,773.57 points, from the 2010 close of 10,228.92, with the March 11 earthquake and tsunami taking its toll on share prices.

W140 Full Story
Kurdish Rebels Call for 'Uprising' after Turkish Air Strike

The rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Friday urged Kurds in Turkey to stage an "uprising" after an air force raid killed 35 villagers near the Iraq border.

"We urge the people of Kurdistan... to react after this massacre and seek a settling of accounts through uprisings," Bahoz Erdal from the armed wing of the PKK, labeled a terrorist organization by Ankara, said in a statement.

W140 Full Story
Roadside Bomb Kills Four Civilians in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb killed four civilians in Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan Friday, the provincial head of the crime investigation unit said.

"Four civilians were killed and one injured when their vehicle hit a Taliban-planted mine in Trinkot city this morning," said Gulab Khan.

W140 Full Story
Israel Says it Killed Senior Jihadist in Gaza Strike

Israel said its warplanes killed a senior jihadist militant on Friday, two days after announcing it was weighing a wider campaign in the territory to curb a boost in rocket attacks.

Israel's military identified the man killed as a "senior operative in the global jihad movement" who was involved in planning an attack from Egypt.

W140 Full Story