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U.S. labor market flexes muscles in February

WASHINGTON - U.S. employment accelerated in February and the jobless rate fell to a more than 6-1/2 year low of 5.5 percent, signs that could encourage the Federal Reserve to consider hiking interest rates in June.

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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 10:56am EST

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

WASHINGTON - Record-breaking cold gripped the U.S. from Texas to New York on Friday as a winter storm that dropped roughly two feet of snow (61 cm) on parts of the eastern United States moved out to sea.

U.S., Environment 9:52am EST

Future of Syria's Nusra Front in question after commander killed

BEIRUT - Al Qaeda's Syrian branch was left reeling on Friday after its military chief was killed in an apparent army air strike, adding to confusion over the future path of the most powerful group opposing both President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State. | Video

World, Syria 10:54am EST

Actor Harrison Ford injured in small-plane crash in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - Film star Harrison Ford was injured on Thursday when the "Star Wars" actor crashed his vintage plane on a Los Angeles golf course shortly after taking off from a nearby airport, his publicist said. | Video

Entertainment, People 7:03am EST
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Connecticut governor to get report on stopping school shootings

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut panel charged by Governor Dannel Malloy with finding ways to reduce school violence after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre is set to present its final recommendations to the governor on Friday.

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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.