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AP Sources: Hagel resigning as Defense secretary
WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure from President Barack Obama's Cabinet, senior administration officials said Monday, following a tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. Hagel is the first senior Obama adviser to leave the administration following the sweeping losses for Obama's party in the midterm elections. It also comes as the president's national security team has been battered by multiple foreign policy crises, include the rise of the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.


Uncertainty fuels speculation on Ferguson decision
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The final weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday passed without a grand jury decision on whether to indict a Ferguson police officer, fueling new speculation about the timing as protesters demand justice for Michael Brown. After meeting Friday but apparently not reaching a decision, the grand jury was widely expected to reconvene on Monday to consider possible charges against Darren Wilson, the white suburban St. Louis officer who fatally shot the black 18-year-old after a confrontation in August. There was no official confirmation about when the grand jury would meet again.


Iran nuclear talks to be extended until July
VIENNA (AP) - Nuclear negotiators have failed to meet a Monday deadline for a deal that would ease international concerns about Iran's atomic program and are poised to extend the negotiations for a comprehensive agreement until July 2015, diplomats said. Under the terms of limited agreements reached after a frenetic six days of talks in Vienna, a political accord is to be completed by March 1, with final details contained in annexes to be sealed by July 1, the diplomats said.


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Israel leader vows to pass nationality law
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's prime minister has vowed to pass a contentious nationality law, but is leaving the door open to negotiations to soften the language. Benjamin Netanyahu told members of his Likud Party on Monday that he is determined to pass the legislation.


GOP hopefuls avoid specifics in response to Obama
WASHINGTON (AP) - The rhetoric is barbed, but Republican presidential hopefuls generally fell in line behind the voices of restraint in the wake of President Barack Obama's order blocking deportation for millions of immigrants in the country unlawfully. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a tea party favorite in the 2012 race, urged the Republican leadership in Congress to "use any means available to stop this unconstitutional attack on our liberty."


Buffalo residents ready melt, possible evacuations
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - People in storm-socked areas around Buffalo began returning to work on Monday as fast-melting mounds of snow fed into creeks that were starting to swell. It was not clear how widespread flooding would be almost a week after western New York was pummeled by epic snowfall. Thermometer readings were approaching 60 degrees by midmorning, and some residents of the Buffalo area were out and about in T-shirts riding bicycles while others focused on the tasks at hand.


Japan's young fret as unexpected recession hits
TOKYO (AP) - When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded to Japan's surprise recession by delaying a sales-tax increase, it was a cause for worry, not celebration, for many young Japanese. This generation, barely aware of their country's economic heyday, frets that putting off tough decisions now could make the future even worse. Despite Abe's unprecedented stimulus efforts - almost everything short of dropping money from helicopters - Japan has slipped into recession less than two years after the last one. With the country's debt rising, population aging and job security fading, young people in particular wonder when, and if, Japan will bounce back.


Mom charged with trying to kill baby left in drain
SYDNEY (AP) - A 30-year-old Australian has been charged with trying to kill her newborn son by abandoning him in a roadside drain for five days before passers-by heard his cries, police said Monday. The week-old baby was in serious but stable condition in Westmead Children's Hospital a day after cyclists found him in a 2.5-meter (8-foot) deep drain beside the M7 Motorway in the Sydney suburb of Quakers Hill, police said in a statement.


Probe begins in fatal shooting of boy by officer
CLEVELAND (AP) - A 12-year-old boy was fatally shot by police in Cleveland after brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun, triggering an investigation into his death and a legislator's call for such weapons to be brightly colored or bear special markings. The boy, identified by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner as Tamir Rice, died from his wounds Sunday, a day after officers responded to a 911 call about someone waving a "probably fake" gun at a playground.


Review: 3 cheap smartphones to consider
NEW YORK (AP) - The cheapest smartphones don't have all the gizmos of Apple or Samsung models, but I'm impressed by how many features you do get for roughly a third of the price. Processors are slower, yet that's not so noticeable for basic tasks such as email, Facebook and weather checks. Video and audio are also enjoyable, as long as I'm not expecting the same performance I get on high-end phones. Batteries don't last quite as long without a recharge but I still got about seven hours of streaming video on Hulu. Do I really need the nine to 12 hours I can get with an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy?

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