March 6, 2015

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Obama-Netanyahu relations never promised happily-ever-after

President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in 2009. For six years, Obama and Netanyahu have been on a collision course over how to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions, a high-stakes endeavor both men see as a centerpiece of their legacies. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — This was never happily-ever-after waiting to happen. When President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office early in 2009, there were plenty of reasons to expect their relationship would be difficult. The cerebral president and the brash prime minister have stark differences in personality, politics and world view. Still, Read More…

Iraq state TV: Operation to retake Tikrit begins

A statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is seen as the streets are nearly deserted in central Tikrit, Iraq. Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State extremist group, state TV said. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown from the Islamic State extremist group, state TV said, a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants. The Read More…

Tourism thrives in Malaysia despite association with tragedy

Malaysia's landmark the Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower is seen illuminated during dusk in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Two airplane catastrophes put Malaysia on the map in a bad way in 2014. But it didn't hurt the country's tourism. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two airplane catastrophes put Malaysia on the map in a bad way in 2014. But they didn’t hurt the country’s tourism, and the higher visibility may even have helped: visitor numbers had their strongest growth in years. For the past decade, Malaysia has run an elaborate campaign to market itself Read More…

Construction picks back up, but it’s a different gig now

Construction workers James Gibson, left, David Rager, center, and Shawn White frame the second floor of a two-story custom home being built in Orlando, Fla. As construction jobs return in some regions, competition for skilled labor is heating up.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — As Florida’s housing market tanked seven years ago, construction worker David Rager saw jobs dry up. So he left construction, along with 2.3 million others nationwide during the economic downturn, and got a job installing traffic signals and street lights. “I couldn’t afford to sit at home for a month here Read More…

UN rights office: Death toll in eastern Ukraine passes 6,000

An elderly woman walks across a destroyed bridge, fallen onto the road towards the airport, the scene of heavy fighting in Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BERLIN (AP) — More than 6,000 people have died in eastern Ukraine since the start of the conflict almost a year ago that has led to a “merciless devastation of civilian lives and infrastructure,” the U.N. human rights office said Monday. Hundreds of civilians and military personnel have been killed in recent weeks alone after Read More…

Upping juvenile criminal age to 18 may be Texas non-starter

Jason Wang poses for a photo in the Las Colinas section of Irving, Texas. When Wang got into trouble at age 15, as a minor, he went to a juvenile lockup, where he took classes that eventually helped him earn a college scholarship. His friend, who was 17, went to prison for the same crime, where little effort was spent on trying to turn his life around. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jason Wang and Johnny Truong were part of a gang that dressed as utility workers and held a suburban Dallas homeowner at gunpoint, making off with $68,000 in cash, electronics and jewelry before they were eventually caught. Although both were minors, the law treated them very differently because Wang was 15 Read More…

Justices hear challenge to independent electoral map drawers

In this June 10, 2011 file photo, Commissioner Dr. Gabino Aguirre, of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, right, responds to a questions while discussing the commissions draft redistricting maps at a Capitol news conference, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is hearing an appeal from Arizona Republicans who want to take away a voter-approved commission’s power to draw the state’s congressional district boundaries. The case before the court Monday considers whether voters can cut elected lawmakers out of redistricting in an effort to reduce political influence in the drawing Read More…

New round of snow could push Boston to season record

Pedestrians walk single file through snow banks on a Beacon Street sidewalk in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (AP) — After cold and snow that set February records, southern New England entered March with another round that could push Boston over its 20-year-old snowfall record. With 102 inches, Boston needs 5.7 more to break the 1995-1996 record of 107.6. Snowfall of 4 to 6 inches was expected by early Monday across the Read More…

Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr. Spock on ‘Star Trek,’ dies

In this Jan. 11, 1982 file photo, actor Leonard Nimoy poses for a photo in Los Angeles. Nimoy, famous for playing officer Mr. Spock in “Star Trek” died Friday in Los Angeles of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died. Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, said the actor died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home. He was 83. Although Leonard Nimoy followed Read More…

10 Things to Know, Friday, Feb. 27

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. Why some in GOP say DHS funding lapse worth a fight Numerous House Republicans believe it’s preferable to have a partial government shutdown if that’s the cost of undoing a White House immigration policy. 2. Despite spat Read More…