Russian bombing toll rises...Fears of battle ease in South Sudan...Health care enrollment surge

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Associated Press

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 29 at 12:00 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — The death toll from a suicide bombing at a railway station in Volgograd, Russia, has risen to 15. Russia's health ministry says many of the 34 people hospitalized with injuries are in grave condition. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it comes several months after a Chechen rebel leader (Doku Umarov) called for new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Olympic Games coming up in February in Sochi (SOH'-chee).

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Fears of a potentially vicious military confrontation appear to be easing in South Sudan. The country's minister of information says most members of a 25,000-strong militia that had been marching toward the regional capital of Bor have returned home. He says Nuer community leaders in the region persuaded the "White Army" fighters to go home.

HONOLULU (AP) — The Obama administration is reporting what it calls "a welcome surge in enrollment" for health insurance in December. The surge propelled health care sign-ups through the government's rehabilitated website past the 1 million mark. The majority were in the week before a pre-Christmas deadline for coverage to start in January.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut gun owners are rushing to register certain firearms and ammunition that will be considered illegal contraband in the new year. Under a gun control law passed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, they have until Tuesday to submit the paperwork to keep high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and guns considered assault weapons under the new law.

NEW YORK (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (SOHN'-ya soh-toh-my-YOR') will lead the countdown to the new year in Times Square this week. Organizers say Sotomayor will push the ceremonial button to start Times Square's famous ball drop. Sotomayor is a native of the Bronx.

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