U.S. economy slowed in Q4, but growth outlook still favorable

WASHINGTON - U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a moderate increase in business inventories and a wider trade deficit, but strong domestic demand brightened the outlook.

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Islamic State under pressure as Kurds seize Syrian town

BEIRUT - Kurdish forces dealt a blow to Islamic State by capturing an important town on Friday in the latest stage of a powerful offensive in northeast Syria, a Kurdish militia spokesman said.

World, Syria, United Nations 11:05am EST

Iran, six powers to hold nuclear talks in Switzerland on March 5: EU

BRUSSELS - Senior officials from Iran and six powers negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program will hold more talks in Montreux, Switzerland, on March 5, the European Union said on Friday.

2:59pm EST

Germany backs Greek extension but bailout fatigue grows

BERLIN - Germany's parliament approved an extension of Greece's bailout on Friday but a record number of dissenters from Angela Merkel's conservatives underscored growing scepticism in Berlin about whether a new Greek government can be trusted to deliver on its reform pledges. | Video

Germany, Greece 11:22am EST

North Korea steps up threats over drills; U.S. Congress advances sanctions bill

SEOUL/WASHINGTON - North Korea ramped up threatening language against the United States on Friday, days before the start of annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, while a bill to stiffen sanctions against Pyongyang advanced in the U.S. Congress.

U.S., Cuba meet for second round of normalization talks

WASHINGTON - Cuban and U.S. officials held talks on Friday aimed at restoring diplomatic relations, with Cuba pushing to be removed from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism but Washington saying the designation should not be linked to the negotiations on opening embassies. | Video

World, Politics, Cuba 12:26pm EST

Holder says U.S. malls should 'step up' security: CNN

WASHINGTON - Shopping mall operators need to increase security through more staff, cameras and other techniques in light of threats made against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping centers by Somali-based Islamist militants this week, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.


British TV shows student picture of 'Jihadi John' in baseball cap

LONDON - British television broadcast the first picture of Mohammed Emwazi as a student on Friday, showing the man identified as the Islamic State "Jihadi John" killer with a mustache and goatee beard wearing a large baseball cap.