World welcomes 2014...Pope delivers world peace message on New Year's Day

NEW YORK (AP) — Times Square was freezing but it was still a hot time as revelers packed in to welcome the new year. The global wave of celebrations included a dazzling 30-minute fireworks show in Dubai, a deluge of edible confetti in London and a lavish, boozy music-filled party in Las Vegas.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis stuck with the Catholic Church's usual New year's theme of world peace as he delivered a homily during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Francis says there is "hunger and thirst for justice, peace and God" in the world. He's urging Catholics to follow an "itinerary of faith" that promotes a joyous Gospel "without borders."

GRENOBLE, France (AP) — Michael Schumacher's manager says the retired Formula One champion's condition hasn't changed since a second brain surgery. Doctors at the time said he showed small signs of improvement. Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, suffered critical head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GED test enters 2014 with a major face lift to bring it into line with today's standards for college and the modern workforce. There are also two new competing equivalency tests in several states. The new GED test will only be offered on a computer, and it will cost more. Thousands of test takers rushed to complete sections of the old test before the upgrade. Once the upgrade happens, the old scores of "partial passers" don't count.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A poll released just hours before Secretary of State John Kerry's scheduled arrival in the Middle East suggests a mutual desire for peace as well as mutual mistrust among Israelis and Palestinians. Kerry is trying to forge agreement on the outlines of a peace deal. In the poll, 63 percent of Israelis and 53 percent of Palestinians said they back a two-state solution. Support drops on both sides when specifics are discussed.