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Japan, Jordan working closely on fate of captive Japanese journalist

AMMAN/TOKYO - Japan was working closely with Jordan on Friday to find out what was happening to a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants after a deadline passed for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death-row in Jordan. | Video

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Hopes of return muted in devastated Syrian Kurdish town

KOBANI, Syria - Sheets meant to hide residents from snipers' sights still hang over streets in the Syrian border town of Kobani, and its shattered buildings and cratered roads suggest those who fled are unlikely to return soon.

World, Syria 8:10pm EST

Obama budget seeks boost for military, domestic programs

PHILADELPHIA - President Barack Obama will call for a 7 percent rise in U.S. domestic and military spending in his budget that would end caps known as "sequestration," the White House said on Thursday, setting up a new conflict with Republicans in Congress.

8:57pm EST

Israel, Hezbollah signal their flare-up is over

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT - Israel and Hezbollah signaled on Thursday their rare flare-up in fighting across the Israel-Lebanon border was over, after the Lebanese guerrillas killed two Israeli troops in retaliation for a deadly air strike in Syria last week. | Video

Israel, Lebanon, World 1:26pm EST

Exclusive: U.S. armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps

WASHINGTON - The United States is facing increasing difficulty acquiring intelligence needed to run its stealth drone program in Yemen, undermining a campaign against the most lethal branch of al Qaeda after Houthi rebels seized control of parts of the country’s security apparatus, U.S. officials say.

World, Yemen 5:23pm EST

U.S. lawmakers seek to end restrictions on travel to Cuba

WASHINGTON - Eight Republican and Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation on Thursday to repeal all restrictions on U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba, the first step in Congress toward ending the U.S. embargo since President Barack Obama moved toward normal relations last month.

Politics, Cuba 6:10pm EST
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U.S. funding impasse blocks Secret Service hires: Homeland Security chief

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Secret Service cannot hire new agents for the next presidential election or make improvements at the agency until Congress settles a dispute over funding, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Thursday.

Man wielding pistol arrested at Dutch national broadcaster

AMSTERDAM - A 19-year-old Dutchman with a pistol forced his way into the studios of the national broadcaster NOS on Thursday demanding to be allowed to go on air, but was quickly arrested, officials said.