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Iraqi forces push on to Tikrit as IS destroys ancient site
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi forces pressed their offensive against the Islamic State group Friday, expecting to reach the outskirts of the militant-held city of Tikrit, a day after the extremists reportedly "bulldozed" a famed archaeological site in the area. In Paris, the head of the U.N.'s cultural agency said the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage - such as the latest rampage at Iraq's archaeological site of Nimrud - amounts to a "war crime."


IS group erasing history, culture in Syria, Iraq
BEIRUT (AP) - The Islamic State group's destruction of the ancient city of Nimrud in northern Iraq is part of a systematic campaign to destroy archaeological sites it says promote apostasy. Some of the world's most precious cultural treasures, including ancient sites in the cradle of civilization, are in areas controlled by the group and at the mercy of extremists bent on wiping out all non-Islamic culture and history.


10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. IRAQI FORCES, SHIITE MILITIAS PRESS ON TO TIKRIT AS IS DESTROYS FAMED CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE


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Obama: Racial bias in Ferguson police dept. not isolated
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama said the type of racial discrimination found in Ferguson, Missouri, is not unique to that police department, and he cast law enforcement reform as a chief struggle for today's civil rights movement. Obama said improving civil rights and civil liberties with police is one of the areas that "requires collective action and mobilization" 50 years after pivotal civil rights marches brought change to the country. The president made his first remarks about this week's Justice Department report of racial bias in Ferguson, which found officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force.


'Eurabia' fears rise after terror strikes: Myth or reality?
BERLIN (AP) - The headlines would suggest Europe is under siege: Thousands of Germans march against the continent's "Islamization." French readers flock to read a novel about a Muslim president who imposes Sharia law on their country. Commentators warn darkly about an encroaching age of "Eurabia" in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. But is Europe actually heading toward Islamization?


US adds a robust 295K jobs; jobless rate falls to 5.5 pct.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers extended a healthy streak of hiring in February by adding 295,000 jobs, the 12th straight monthly gain above 200,000. It was the latest sign that the U.S. economy is further strengthening and outpacing other major economies around the world. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent, the government said Friday. But the rate declined mainly because some people out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.


Harrison Ford's love of flight marked by mishaps, service
LOS ANGELES (AP) - When a man battles Darth Vader, Nazis and other evil-doers for work, what does he do for fun? Harrison Ford finds his answer in a pilot's license and the freedom to take to the skies. But with adventure comes risk, just as Han Solo, Indiana Jones and other daring movie characters Ford brought to life realized. On Thursday, one of Hollywood's pre-eminent stars added a plane crash to an aviation record that includes both mishaps and service to others.


NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A NASA spacecraft for the first time has arrived at a dwarf planet to begin a 16-month exploration. The space agency on Friday confirmed that the Dawn craft entered orbit around Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.


Runways open at LaGuardia after plane that skidded removed
NEW YORK (AP) - LaGuardia Airport has both its runways open now that a Delta jetliner that skidded and smashed through a fence has been removed. Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo (pehn-TAN'-jeh-loh) says the second runway was reopened around 10:30 a.m. Friday. The airport's other runway was reopened about three hours after Thursday's accident.


Security questioned in probe of attack on US envoy to Seoul
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Police on Friday investigated the motive of the anti-U.S. activist they say slashed the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, as questions turned to whether security was neglected. The attack Thursday on Mark Lippert, which prompted rival North Korea to gloat about "knife slashes of justice," left deep gashes on his face and hand and damaged tendons and nerves. It also raised safety worries in a city with a reputation as a relatively low-risk diplomatic posting, despite regular threats of war from North Korea.

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