Parker Liautaud, 19, Expected to Set World Record in Antarctica

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_d2b2b34245.jpgJupiterimages/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Parker Liautaud will break a world record if he is able to complete his attempt to ski to the South Pole. But the 19-year-old Yale University student said he has something a little more prosaic on his mind as he makes the epic trek. “New Haven Pizza is the first thing I’m going to have when I get home,” said Liautaud, who is subsisting on ramen noodles and oatmeal for now.

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US Dispatches Marines to Northeastern Africa

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_45a177505b.jpgPawel Gaul/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- As the fighting between government and rebel forces in South Sudan escalates, the Pentagon has deployed 150 Marines to Camp Lemonnier in the Republic of Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa. With U.S. aircraft coming under fire during evacuation efforts in the South Sudanese city of Bor last weekend, the Marines will probably help protect U.S. personnel and facilities against potential threats.

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Italian Posters for "12 Years a Slave" Spark Controversy

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_8d61c516dc.jpgBen Gabbe/Getty Images (ROME) -- A critically acclaimed film is getting a critique of another kind in Italy. Posters advertising the movie 12 Years a Slave are causing the kind of buzz its Italian distributor BIM didn't intend. In the U.S., the poster for the movie features its acclaimed star Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays a free black man sold into slavery.  In Italy, however, two posters for the film feature white actors Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt -- who plays only a minor role toward the end of the movie -- triggering Internet accusations of racism.

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US Lifts Deadline for Post-War Pact with Afghanistan

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_c4f4b81fda.jpgRuskpp/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- The deadline for Afghanistan to accept the Bilateral Security Agreement is now open-ended. The Obama administration had been pressing Kabul to accept the post-war deal by Dec. 31 to leave U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.  However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's resistance to signing off on the pact apparently left the White House little choice but to extend the deadline indefinitely.

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Four Injured After Plane Hits Building During Takeoff in Johannesburg

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_3f68abbe85.jpgBritish Airways (JOHANNESBURG) -- A British Airways plane hit a building while trying to take off from an airport in Johannesburg Sunday night, leaving four people with injuries. According to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), the Boeing 747 took the wrong taxiway at OR Tambo International Airport while readying to depart to London. Four airport workers inside the building suffered what are said to be minor injuries.  No one inside the plane was injured.

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