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Trump son-in-law to take senior White House role
AP, New York
President-elect Donald Trump appointed his influential son-in-law Jared Kushner as a White House senior adviser Monday, putting the young real estate executive in position to exert broad sway over both domestic and foreign policy, particularly Middle East issues and trade negotiations.
Trump has come to rely heavily on Kushner, who is married to the president-elect's daughter Ivanka. Since the election, the political novice has been one of the transition team's main liaisons to foreign governments, communicating with Israeli officials and meeting Sunday with Britain's foreign minister. He's also huddled with congressional leaders and helped interview Cabinet candidates.

Parliament begins debate on new Erdogan powers
AFP, Istanbul
Turkey's parliament on Monday began debating a controversial new draft constitution aimed at expanding the powers of the presidency under Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The new constitution, which is expected to be put to a referendum by the spring, would replace the basic law drawn up after Turkey's 1980 military coup.

New Cyprus peace talks begin
AFP, Geneva
Rival Cypriot leaders on Monday resumed UN-backed peace talks seen as a historic opportunity to end decades of conflict on the divided island, but the outcome is far from certain.
"We are now in the final moment. We are now really at the moment of truth," UN envoy Espen Barth Eide told reporters in Geneva.

Turkey renames street after slain Russian envoy
AP, Ankara
Turkey has renamed the street that serves the Russian Embassy after the ambassador who was killed in an attack in the Turkish capital.
Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek on Tuesday presented a framed copy of his municipality's decision to rename the street to the widow of Andrei Karlov. Municipality workers then replaced the street sign with one inscribed with Karlov's name.

Prof sacked after criticising Mao
Reuters, Beijing
A Chinese professor has been sacked after he criticized Chairman Mao Zedong on his 123rd birthday in an commentary he posted online that enraged leftists.
Mao, who died on Sept. 9, 1976, is still officially venerated by the ruling Communist Party as the founder of modern China and his face appears on every yuan banknote.

16 arrested over Paris robbery
AFP, Paris
French police arrested 16 people in raids Monday over the armed robbery of US reality TV star Kim Kardashian in Paris last year based on DNA found at the crime scene, police sources said.
Police swooped in the Paris region and the south of France following forensic work at the luxury Paris residence.

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