The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to India's Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of young people's and children's right to education.
Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, "Children must go to school, not be financially exploited."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee received a record 278 nominations for the 2014 prize, 47 of which were for organizations.
Last year's winner was the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for its longstanding efforts to "do away with a whole category of weapons of mass destruction."
Each prize carries with it a monetary reward of 8 million Swedish kronor (about $1.1 million) to be divided among the winners.
Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom - along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland - following a historic referendum vote.
A majority of voters rejected the possibility of Scotland breaking away and becoming an independent nation.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Scotland's decision in a televised statement outside 10 Downing Street, saying it was a clear result.
"Like millions of other people, I am delighted," he said.
Cameron said he would have been heartbroken to see the United Kingdom broken up - but paid tribute to the efforts of both sides in the campaign.
"We hear you," he said to those who voted for independence, adding this was an opportunity to change the way people in the United Kingdom are governed, and "change it for the better."
His government has delivered on devolution in the past and will deliver on it again, Cameron said.
A "new and fair settlement" will be created for Scotland and the other countries of the United Kingdom, he said.
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Scotland's voters are heading to the polls Thursday to cast their ballots in the country's landmark independence referendum.
There, they will face a straightforward yes/no question: Should Scotland be an independent country?
More than 4.2 million people have registered to vote, the largest electorate ever in Scotland, and turnout in the referendum is expected to be high.
A vote for independence would mean Scotland, with its population of about 5.3 million, splits from the rest of the United Kingdom, made up of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Voting can take place from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. local time (2 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET) at more than 5,500 polling stations across 32 districts nationwide, from the remote highlands and islands to the big cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Voting was brisk at one polling station in Glasgow as the polls opened, with many people voting on the way to work or before taking their children to school.
Results from the different areas will come in overnight into Friday morning local time, with Chief Counting Officer Mary Pitcaithly expected to announce the outcome "around breakfast time."
Bad weather or the sheer volume of votes cast could slow down the counting process. However, the weather forecast appears good so far - important when some ballot boxes must be collected by helicopter, plane or boat from polling stations on distant islands.
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Some 70% of the Russian troops believed to have been in Ukraine have withdrawn back across the border, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, according to the national news agency Ukrinform.
"This is another hope that peaceful initiatives have a good perspective," Poroshenko is quoted as saying during a Cabinet meeting in Kiev on Wednesday.
The remarks came several days into a shaky ceasefire deal between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels.
Moscow has repeatedly denied sending any Russian troops over the border into Ukraine.
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Pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine should open a humanitarian corridor for surrounded Ukrainian troops to retreat from the battlefield, the Russian President's office said Friday.
The step comes a day after a U.S. official accused Russia of sending up to 1,000 of its soldiers into southern Ukraine to fight alongside the rebels.
NATO produced what it says are satellite images showing Russian troops engaged in military operations inside Ukraine.
NATO has called an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels, Belgium, at the request of the Ukrainian authorities, a day after the U.N. Security Council was summoned over the crisis.
Russia continues to deny that it is either supporting the rebel forces or has sent its own forces over the border.
Ukrainian troops were fighting on two fronts Thursday: southeast of rebel-held Donetsk, and along the nation's southern coast in the town of Novoazovsk, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Russian border.
Mykhailo Lysenko, the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Donbas battalion, on Thursday described the fighting in the south as "a full-scale invasion."
Analysts suggest that Russia may have sent its forces into Novoazovsk in order to throw Ukrainian forces making gains against besieged rebel forces in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk onto the back foot.
In a statement issued by the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin said the rebels had been successful in halting a Ukrainian military operation in eastern Ukraine that he said had endangered the civilian population and caused many casualties.
As a result, he said, they should allow the Ukrainian soldiers - who he said were fulfilling orders, not volunteering - to leave the battlefield, to reunite with their families, get medical help for the injured and avoid more casualties.
The Prime Minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said in a televised statement on Russia's state-run Russia 24 channel that the rebels would do so if the surrounded Ukrainian troops agree to hand over their weapons.
Ukraine's military announced a one-day cease-fire on Thursday to allow international experts full access to the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed two weeks ago, officials said.
Fighting between the military and pro-Russia rebels in the area of the crash site has repeatedly prevented international monitors and investigators reaching the debris field where human remains and victims' belongings still lie scattered.
World leaders, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have appealed to all parties in the conflict in eastern Ukraine to halt the fighting so that the international teams can do their job.
The statement issued Thursday by Ukraine's Counter-Terrorist Operation's press center said the military would not take offensive action but will "respond to direct attacks."
The statement also accused the rebels of continued violence, including firing Grad rocket systems.
"The Russian militants do not adhere to the international agreements and demands. At 9 a.m. they used two Grad systems to shot in the village of Peremozhne. This demonstrates their attitude towards Ukraine and the international community."
The United States and others say Russia has provided arms to rebels in eastern Ukraine, including heavy weapons such as a missile system like the one believed used to down the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago.
Russia and the rebel fighters deny involvement in the shootdown of MH17.
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Iraq's vice president issued a decree Thursday calling for parliament to meet next week to start the process of creating a new government as the Iraqi military battles Sunni extremist militants.
Vice President Khader al Khuzaei, acting on behalf of Iraq's President, made the directive amid calls for political action to tackle sectarian tensions that have fueled violence as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, advances toward Baghdad.
On Thursday evening, seven people were killed and 36 others injured in an explosion in the capital's northern neighborhood of Kadimiyah, Iraqi police told CNN. There were conflicting reports about whether a suicide bomber or car bomb was responsible.
In a televised speech this week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed to stick to a Tuesday deadline to begin creating a new government. But the Iraqi leader also spent time in Wednesday's TV address accusing Sunnis of "coordinating" the crisis.
Al-Maliki accused Sunnis of collaborating with ISIS and blasted a call to have a national salvation government that would remove him from power.
He also appealed to Shiites by saying he is adhering to the wishes of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the religious leader who called for volunteers to support the Iraqi army and government.
Many have accused al-Maliki of marginalizing Iraq's Sunni and Kurd minorities in favor of his fellow Shiites.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday played down al-Maliki's rejection of a salvation government, saying it wasn't something the United States had talked to him about specifically.
To the contrary, he said, al-Maliki is committed to the electoral process and creation of a new government that the United States has supported.
"And he (is) committed to moving forward with the constitutional processes of government formation, and that is precisely what the United States was encouraging," Kerry said. "He also called on all Iraqis to put aside their differences, to unite in their efforts against terrorism."
After talks Thursday in Paris with his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, Kerry said the two agreed they want to see the formation of an Iraqi government "as rapidly as possible that represents unity for the country."
Kerry said he and the French diplomat are also deeply concerned about the challenge of Syria.
Fabius said that ISIS had shown "terrible ferocity and brutality" and that Iraq must unite to combat it.
"It's a necessity not only for Iraq but the whole region. Because it's a menace for Iraq, for the region, for Europe and the United States as well," he said.
Kerry will meet Friday in Saudi Arabia with Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba, a senior State Department official said Thursday.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, on a visit to Baghdad on Thursday, also urged the swift formation of an inclusive government, saying Iraqi political leaders must put sectarian division aside.
"The Iraqi state is facing an existential threat, with huge ramifications for the future stability and freedom of this country," he said. "The single most important factor that will determine whether or not Iraq overcomes this challenge is political unity."
Hague said this would be the focus of his discussions with al-Maliki and Kurdish regional leader Masoud Barzani.
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There's a growing chorus - both in Washington and in the Arab world - that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has to go if there's any hope of unifying Iraq as Islamic militants advance south toward Baghdad.
While some on Capitol Hill aren't shy about saying his days as the Iraqi leader should come to an end, at the White House it's more of a whisper.
Senior U.S. officials tell CNN that the Obama administration is of the belief that Maliki is not the leader Iraq needs to unify the country and end sectarian tensions.
The officials, along with Arab diplomats, say the White House is now focused on a political transition that would move the Iraqis toward a more inclusive government - one without Maliki, but which includes Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions.
Whatever the action, something needs to happen fast.
The lightning-fast advance by Sunni fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has toppled large portions of northern Iraq and brought the militant push to within 40 miles of Baghdad. ISIS wants to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state, that would stretch from Iraq into northern Syria.
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An audio recording purportedly from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria promises more fighting in more Iraqi cities, including Baghdad.
"Continue your march as the battle is not yet raging," a voice said to be that of ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani says on the message posted early Thursday (last Wednesday night ET) on the group's media website.
"It will rage in Baghdad and Karbala. So be ready for it."
CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the audio or time and date of its recording, which is nearly 17 minutes long.
"Don't give up a hand's width of ground you've liberated," the voice says in apparent encouragement of ISIS fighters.
The message, if authentic, is further proof that the militant group are not content with control of the places they have already taken over - and are setting their sights higher.
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U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute Friday to the U.S. servicemembers who "defied every danger" to pour onto the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago in defense of liberty.
His remarks at the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, which overlooks Omaha Beach where so many fell, are part of a series of solemn events to commemorate the D-Day landings in northern France.
Obama, who arrived with French President Francois Hollande, shook hands with elderly veterans before the presentation of colors and playing of the two countries' national anthems.
Obama said he was honored to be there "to pay tribute to the men and women of a generation who defied every danger: among them, our veterans of D-Day."
Lengthy applause rang out as the U.S. President said he was humbled by the presence of some of those veterans at the ceremony.
"Here, we don't just commemorate victory, as proud of that victory as we are; we don't just honor sacrifice, as grateful as the world is; we come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril," Obama said.