Afghanistan

Shelling kills 25 in wedding party

At least 25 civilians were believed to have died in Afghanistan after shelling amid fierce fighting struck a wedding party, officials said. The attack occurred Wednesday evening in Helmand Province, the site of some of the heaviest fighting in the country in the past year. Afghan officials said they had begun an investigation of the episode, which wounded more than 50 people, mostly women and children.

Egypt

Court orders retrial in Al-Jazeera case

An Egyptian appeals court ordered the retrial of three Al-Jazeera English journalists held for over a year on terror-related charges, a ruling that their lawyers hoped was a step toward resolving a case that brought a storm of international criticism on Egypt's government. The three will remain behind bars at least until the retrial begins.

Vatican City

Pope prays for peace in hearts in new year

Pope Francis made his New Year's wish on Thursday: No more wars. Tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans crowded into St. Peter's Square for the pope's first window appearance of 2015. Francis expressed "the wish that there will never be more wars." He told the crowd that "peace is always possible. We must search for it."

Turkey

Police thwart attack on PM's office

The Turkish police arrested an armed man after he tried to attack a palace complex near the prime minister's office in Istanbul. The man, who is suspected of being a member of a terrorist organization, threw two homemade grenades at police officers in front of the Dolmabahce Palace. When the grenades failed to detonate, he tried to shoot at the officers with a gun, the semiofficial Anadolu News Agency reported.

Gambia

President accuses groups of coup attempt

Soldiers loyal to Gambian President Yahya Jammeh went house-to-house in search of opponents Thursday after the longtime leader blamed "terrorist groups" for staging a coup attempt earlier this week. Jammeh, who was out of the country at the time of Tuesday's attack but since has returned to Banjul, the capital, alleged that the coup plotters had received backing from some foreign countries.

Ohio

City seeks outside probe of boy's shooting

Cleveland is hoping to hand over the investigation of a 12-year-old boy's fatal shooting by police to an outside agency, as well as future investigations of all deadly use-of-force cases. The city's safety director has been in talks with Cuyahoga County officials for the sheriff's office to handle the inquiry, a city spokesman said. For now, Cleveland police investigators are collecting evidence and conducting interviews related to the Nov. 22 shooting of Tamir Rice.

News services