A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter walks near ammunition in Zummar city in the northern Iraqi Governorate of Nineveh on December 18, 2014, as they continue to battle Islamic State group fighters near the border with Syria.

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq say they have broken the IS siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis and other displaced Iraqis have been trapped since August.


Secular party Nida Tounes has ruled out an alliance with Ennahda, cementing its support base.

Abdel Rodriguez holds a Cuban flag as he stands outside the Little Havana restaurant Versailles, as people absorb the news that Alan Gross was released from a Cuban prison and that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to change the United States Cuba policy on December 17, 2014 in Miami, United States. Alan Gross, the American contractor had spent five years in Cuban jail.

Cuban President Raul Castro has urged the United States to end its trade embargo after the two countries opened formal talks on restoring diplomatic relations.

mployees work behind a monitor displaying the exchange rate of the yen against the U.S. dollar, top, and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average figure at a foreign exchange brokerage in Tokyo, Japan.

Gains came even as oil stayed under pressure, suggesting investors see positives in lower fuel costs.

(L-R) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, French President Francois Hollande and Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho meet on the sidelines of the European Council meeting in Brussels, on December 18, 2014.

Officials say united European front vital in Ukraine issue.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attends a joint press conference with Czech Foreign Minister counterpart on December 18, 2014 in Prague.

Israeli FM derides Palestinian effort to set deadline for it to end occupation of territories.

Workers remove a poster-banner for 'The Interview' from a billboard in Hollywood, California, December 18, 2014 a day after Sony announced was cancelling the movie's Christmas release due to a terrorist threat. Sony defended itself Thursday against a flood of criticism for canceling the movie which angered North Korea and triggered a massive cyber-attack, as the crisis took a wider diplomatic turn.

White House said the strike against the big Hollywood studio was a matter of national security.