January 25, 2015

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Analysis: Obama seizes on recovery, bets on staying power

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in Washington. (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address marked a sweet spot in his presidency when economic signs and his own personal approval are on the rise. He made sure to capitalize, taking credit for policies he said raised the country out of its recession. But sweet spots are by definition fleeting Read More…

FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery

Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington. Obama used his last State of the Union to declare 2014 a "Year of Action," and he can claim credit for accomplishing several of the goals he laid out. The smaller ones. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

EDITOR’S NOTE — An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don’t tell the full story WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. may not have “risen from recession” quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn Read More…

Japan’s Abe ‘fighting against time’ seeking to free hostages

This image taken from an online video released by the Islamic State group's al-Furqan media arm on Tuesday purports to show the group threatening to kill two Japanese hostages that the militants identify as Kenji Goto Jogo, left, and Haruna Yukawa, right, unless a $200 million ransom is paid within 72 hours. Japan's Foreign Ministry's anti-terrorism section has seen the video and analysts are assessing it, a ministry official said on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is doing all it can to free two hostages the Islamic State group is threatening to kill within 72 hours, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday, vowing never to give in to terrorism. Abe returned to Tokyo from a six-day Middle East tour slightly ahead of schedule and convened a Cabinet meeting soon Read More…

Palestinian attacker stabs passengers on Tel Aviv bus

Israeli police officers secure the scene of a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday. A Palestinian man stabbed nine people, injuring several seriously, on a bus in central Tel Aviv before he was chased down, shot and arrested, Israeli police said Wednesday, describing the assault as a “terror attack” in the latest in a spate of violence, the worst Israel has seen in almost a decade. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian man stabbed nine people on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding four of them seriously before he was chased down, shot and arrested by Israeli police in an attack praised by the Islamic militant Hamas group. The assault, described by police as a “terror attack,” was the Read More…

France to get better guns, more intel agents to fight terror

A woman walks with two dogs as a Belgian security officers patrols near the Palace of Justice, where suspects wanted in Belgium on terrorism-related charges are set to appear before the federal court, in Brussels on Wednesday. The suspects were picked up in an anti-terror sweep following a firefight in Verviers, in which two suspected terrorists were killed. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

PARIS (AP) — France announced sweeping new measures to counter homegrown terrorism Wednesday, including giving security forces better weapons and protection, going on an intelligence agent hiring spree and creating a better database of anyone suspected of extremist links. The measures detailed by Prime Minister Manuel Valls came as four men were handed preliminary charges Read More…

Survey: CEOs say US more attractive to investors than China

A view of the Congress Center where the annual meeting of the World Economy will take place in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday. The world's financial and political elite will head this week to the Swiss Alps for 2015's gathering of the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Amid growing concerns over the global economy, the United States has overtaken China as the No. 1 investment destination among chief executives around the world, a survey found Tuesday. That’s the first time the U.S. has topped the list since accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, first started asking the Read More…

Havana talks start with promises by Obama, Cuban caution

John Koehler, center, a tourist from Wisconsin taking a cultural trip to Cuba, poses for a portrait with locals while holding a copy of USA Today newspaper and showing its front page article on the softening of travel rules for Americans in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA (AP) — The highest-level U.S. delegation to Cuba in decades begins two days of negotiations with grand promises by President Barack Obama about change on the island and a somber warning from Cuba to abandon hopes of reforming the communist government. U.S. moves to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and loosen the five-decade trade embargo have “the potential to end Read More…

APNewsBreak: US settles case over fake Facebook page

The Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a fake Facebook page in her name, a tactic that raised privacy concerns and led to a federal government review of the ruse, according to court papers filed Tuesday. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a fake Facebook page in her identity, a tactic that raised privacy concerns and led to a federal government review of the ruse, according to court papers filed Tuesday. The Read More…

Saudi single women challenge tradition in love and marriage

Members of a Saudi female soccer team practice at a secret location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Amna Fatani knows she wants a brilliant career and a life different from that of Saudi women of her mother’s generation who married early, usually to a husband not of their own choosing. The 27-year-old, studying for her master’s degree at Georgetown University in Washington and hoping to someday become Saudi Arabia’s first female labor minister, Read More…

‘Sniper’ success reveals power of conservative audience

In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Kyle Gallner, left, and Bradley Cooper appear in a scene from "American Sniper." The film is based on the autobiography by Chris Kyle. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

NEW YORK (AP) — Empty seats were hard to come by at Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” over the holiday weekend, where the R-rated Iraq War drama — all words seldom attached to “blockbuster” — rolled to the kind of runaway success that makes Hollywood sit up and take notice. The film, which blew away box-office expectations Read More…