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U.S. labor market flexes muscles as February payrolls soar

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February and the jobless rate fell to its lowest level since the spring before President Barack Obama took office, which could put pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in June. | Video

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U.S. spacecraft reaches dwarf planet Ceres for 16-month study

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A U.S. space probe slipped into orbit around Ceres, a miniature planet beyond Mars believed to be left over from the formation of the solar system, NASA said on Friday.

11:22am EST

Kremlin critic Navalny, out of jail, vows to fight on

MOSCOW - Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny walked out of a Moscow detention center on Friday and said Russia's opposition would continue to challenge President Vladimir Putin, uncowed by last week's killing of prominent opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. | Video

World, Russia 3:00pm EST

Advancing Iraq troops enter strategic town on edge of Tikrit

BAGHDAD - Iraqi government forces and Iran-backed militiamen entered a town on the southern outskirts of Saddam Hussein's home city Tikrit on Friday, pressing on with the biggest offensive yet against Islamic State militants that seized the north last year.

World, Iraq 10:46am EST

Pressure to arm Kiev could increase despite risks: top U.S. diplomat

BERLIN - The second-highest ranking U.S. diplomat warned on Friday that pressure to arm Ukraine would increase if aggression from pro-Russian separatists persisted, even though Moscow would easily be able to send more weapons into the country than the West.

World, Russia 11:47am EST

Winter storm moves away; eastern U.S. to remain cold

WASHINGTON - Record-breaking cold gripped the United States from Texas to New York on Friday, causing school closures and snarled traffic, as a storm that dropped roughly 2 feet (61 cm) of snow on some eastern parts of the country moved out to sea.

U.S., Environment 12:56pm EST
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EU says it's ready for more Russia sanctions if necessary

RIGA - The European Union is ready to step up sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, but its priority is to bolster a fragile ceasefire agreed in Minsk, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday.