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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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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.

29 Jan 2015

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 29 Jan 2015

EU wins Greek backing to extend Russia sanctions, delays decision on new steps

BRUSSELS/KIEV - European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. | Video

World, Russia, Greece 29 Jan 2015

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 29 Jan 2015

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 29 Jan 2015
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U.S.-led air strikes hit Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq

WASHINGTON - The United States and coalition partners launched six air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, and 12 more in Iraq as they kept up pressure on the insurgent group, the U.S. military said on Thursday.