Memorials for Sydney siege victims as flowers removed

Photographs of Sydney's cafe siege victims, lawyer Katrina Dawson and cafe manager Tori Johnson are displayed in a floral tribute near the site of the siege in Sydney's Martin PlaceBy Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - Memorial services for the two victims of an Australian cafe siege were held on Tuesday as authorities swept away an expanse of flowers placed for the pair on a central Sydney avenue. Lindt Chocolat Cafe manager Tori Johnson and lawyer Katrina Dawson were killed a week ago at the end of a 16-hour siege by gunman Man Haron Monis when police stormed the cafe in the city's central business district. Monis also died. An official investigation into the final moments of the siege and the deaths of all three is underway. ...



Bengals beat Broncos 37-28 to reach playoffs

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)CINCINNATI (AP) — Dre Kirkpatrick returned Peyton Manning's third interception for a touchdown in the closing minutes on Monday night, completing a fourth-quarter rally that gave the Cincinnati Bengals a 37-28 victory and a spot in the playoffs.



The ins and outs of the playoff races

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch leaps into the end zone for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)With five of the six playoff slots in both conferences decided, some would think much of the drama of the schedule's final week has been removed.



Parker returns, leads Spurs past Clippers, 125-118

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, of France, drives around Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, left, during the first half an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker scored 26 points in his return from a five-game absence, igniting the San Antonio Spurs to a season-high 37 assists and a 125-118 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.



Asian stocks rise on 'Santa rally' after Wall St record

FILE - This Aug. 9, 2011 file photo shows a Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. U.S. stock indexes are opening mostly higher Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, as the market builds on its big gains from last week. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher Tuesday after Wall Street closed at record highs in a traditional pre-Christmas advance.





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