Russia

Plan to acquire new missiles announced

Russia's military this year alone will receive more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of piercing any missile defenses, President Vladimir Putin said in a blunt reminder of the nation's nuclear might amid tensions with the West. Putin made the statement at the opening of an arms show, a huge display intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military might. Russia-West relations have plunged to their lowest point since Cold War times over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

China

Construction of islands to stop

China said that it would soon halt island-building projects around some reefs and shoals in disputed waters of the South China Sea but that it would continue constructing military and civilian facilities on those outcroppings. The announcement may have been intended to ease tensions with the U.S., which has strongly criticized the building of the islands and has sent surveillance flights close to the sites.

Britain

Missing sisters may have joined ISIL

Relatives of three sisters from Britain who disappeared in the Middle East with their nine children appealed for information amid fears the group may have traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Police are trying to establish the whereabouts of the Dawood family, from Bradford, England, who disappeared after going to Saudi Arabia. Their disappearance comes amid questions about how to tackle the radicalization of young people attracted to ISIL's slick propaganda campaigns.

Georgia

Most missing zoo animals found dead

All of the lions and tigers that were missing after severe flooding swamped Tbilisi's zoo have been found dead. One jaguar remained unaccounted for, but zoo staff said they have little hope that it survived. The discovery of the last of the missing lions and tigers on Tuesday as the waters receded eased fears in the capital of Georgia, an ex-Soviet republic, that some of the big cats were still wandering the hills of the city. At least 15 people were killed and up to 10 are still missing after an intense downpour that began late Saturday turned a stream that runs through the city into a raging torrent that destroyed houses and tore up roads. About 40 families lost their homes.

Pakistan

International aid group policies shift

Pakistan's government said that international aid groups can operate for another six months if they register with officials in three months' time, a relief for humanitarian groups worried since authorities suddenly shut the offices of Save the Children.

Washington, D.C.

White House fence-jumper sentenced

An Army veteran with mental health issues who got over the White House fence and inside the executive mansion was sentenced to 17 months in prison. He's likely to be released before Christmas. Omar Gonzalez was arrested in September.

New York

New strategy in search for escapees

In a sign that law enforcement officials were no closer to finding two convicted murderers who escaped from the maximum-security prison here, the New York State Police said that they were redirecting their search to other areas and changing their strategy. The announcement confirmed that officials were losing hope of finding Richard Matt and David Sweat in the 16 square miles of woods, swamps and fields that law enforcement officers had been scouring for 11 days. "The search is going to head where the leads take it," said William Duffy, a spokesman for the State Police. "It's going to be kind of a day-by-day thing." The size of the search force will remain at 800.

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