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U.S. Republicans look for ways to block normal ties with Cuba 6:35pm EST

WASHINGTON - Republicans in Congress searched on Thursday for a strategy to sink or at least slow President Barack Obama's plan to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba, drawing a shrug from the White House.

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Cubans imagine new, more prosperous life without an old foe

HAVANA - From bus drivers to bartenders and ballet dancers, many Cubans are already imagining a more prosperous future after the United States said it will put an end to 50 years of conflict with the communist-run island.

World, Cuba 3:20pm EST
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U.S. Secret Service too insular, needs outside leader, more agents: review

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Secret Service needs an outsider to overhaul the insular agency, beef up staffing and improve training - after building a higher fence around the White House, an independent review concluded on Thursday.

5:06pm EST
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Sharpton stops short of calling on Sony executive to resign

NEW YORK - Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton on Thursday did not call for Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal to step down over racially insensitive emails, despite expectations that he might seek her resignation.

Tech 3:06pm EST
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Obama signs Russia sanctions bill, says no new penalties planned

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had signed into law a new Russian sanctions bill passed by Congress but did not intend to impose further sanctions against Moscow for now.

World, 3:09pm EST