Obama signs US defense bill into law -White House

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama signed a sweeping defense policy bill into law on Wednesday, legislation that authorizes USD607 billion in defense spending but also includes provisions that make it harder to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

UN haggles over race for Ban's successor

UNITED NATIONS - Britain is pushing the United Nations to kick off the search for the next secretary-general in earnest, giving candidates until spring to enter the race to be the world's top diplomat.

Obama says US is safe as millions set off on Thanksgiving travel

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans they were safe as millions of travelers set off for the long Thanksgiving weekend on Wednesday and authorities stepped up security at airports in response to the attacks in Paris two weeks ago.

China blasts Philippines' territorial row arbitration case

China on Wednesday harshly criticized the Philippines' case against it at an arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea, calling the process a "political provocation."

Japan, U.S. agree to continue drills in disputed sea

Japan's defense chief and a top U.S. commander agreed Tuesday to continue conducting joint drills between the U.S. military and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, as well as helping Southeast Asian countries increase their capabilities.

Chinese media says birth discrimination must end

BEIJING - Chinese state-run media called Wednesday for children born outside the country's one-child policy to be given crucial household registration documents, an issue that has left as many as 13 million in legal limbo.

NATO says backs Turkey over Russian plane

BRUSSELS - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg offered support for Ankara on Tuesday after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border and rejected any suggestion that the incident happened outside of Turkey's borders.

Turkey tells UN it shot down plane, defends right to do so

UNITED NATIONS - Turkey told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday it had shot down an unidentified plane that violated Turkish airspace and defended its right to do so as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Turkey and Russia to reduce tensions.

Chicago appeals for calm after police shooting video

CHICAGO, United States - Chicago's mayor appealed for calm as officials released a "chilling" video of the police shooting of a black teen Tuesday, hours after the white officer was charged with murder.

'No specific, credible threat' to US from IS: White House

WASHINGTON, United States (UPDATED) - President Barack Obama's national security team believes there is "no specific, credible threat" to the United States from Islamic State, the White House said Tuesday, amid stepped up coalition strikes on the extremist group.