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By Lidia Kelly and Oksana Kobzeva

MOSCOW (Reuters) - With Russia's economy battered by economic sanctions and plunging oil prices, President Vladimir Putin has allowed the central bank to administer strong medicine, sharply raising interest rates even as it freed the rouble to float.

Such tough measures may well help push the country deeper into recession next year, but have so far staved off financial panic, runaway inflation or a currency meltdown like the one that helped catapult Putin into power in the 1990s.

Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78
Sunday, 23 November 2014 02:03

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, whose four terms were overshadowed by his 1990 arrest after being caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine, died Sunday morning. He was 78.

Barry D.C. council spokeswoman LaToya Foster says he died shortly after midnight Sunday at a hospital in Washington. He had battled kidney problems stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure and underwent a kidney transplant in February 2009.

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Sunday, 23 November 2014 01:51
Terry Bean was arrested November 19 by the Portland Police Bureau
Terry Bean was arrested November 19 by the Portland Police Bureau's Sex Crimes Unit
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Terry Bean is a major Democratic donor and a celebrated gay-rights activist
  • A grand jury has indicted him on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse
  • The Portland Police Bureau Sex Crimes Unit is investigating the case
  • President Obama has called Bean a "great friend and supporter"
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The quake hit a mountainous area of Sichuan province
  • It causes stampede at a primary school that left 42 student injured
  • Authorities are still trying to assess the extent of the casualties and damage

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck a remote region of southwestern China, reportedly killing at least two people and causing a stampede at a primary school.

The quake struck late Saturday afternoon in a mountainous area of Sichuan province at a depth of around 15 kilometers (9 miles), according to the U.S.

In this June 7, 2014 file photo, the entrance to Camp 5 and Camp 6 at the U.S. military© AP Photo/Ben Fox, File In this June 7, 2014 file photo, the entrance to Camp 5 and Camp 6 at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay detention center at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
The U.S. military released to Saudi Arabia this week a captive who was held at the U.S.

Helicopter surveys on Sunday showed more extensive damage than earlier thought from an overnight earthquake in the mountainous central Japan area that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. At least 37 homes were destroyed in two villages, and 39 people were injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck shortly after 10 p.m. local time Saturday west of Nagano city at a depth of 6 miles, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

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The Lynden Pioneer Museum, near the Canadian border in the northwest region of Washington state, nearly removed 11 weapons on display as part of a WWII exhibit because of new gun legislation.

Tough new gun controls in the state of Washington had the director of a small-town museum ready to pull nearly a dozen guns from a World War II exhibit, until a local firearms dealer helped him ensure the display was legal.

The grand jury considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown is unlikely to meet and render a decision this weekend, sources told Fox News on Saturday.

Those same sources say it is likely the grand jury will wait until Monday to reconvene.

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The 12-member grand jury has been considering whether charges are warranted against Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed the 18-year-old Brown on Aug.

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Mar. 30, 2014: A Chinese Coastguard vessel patrols near the BRP Sierra Madre, a marooned transport ship which Philippine Marines live on as a military outpost, in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. (Reuters)

China appears to be flexing its considerable military muscle, building a massive island that could host an airstrip in an area of the South China Sea that has become a source of regional tension over disputed territorial claims.

Salt Lake City -- What Jazz coach Quin Snyder and his players said after Saturday night's 106-94 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at the EnergySolutons

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