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AP Top News at 2:16 a.m. EST

Netanyahu assails Iran deal, touts US-Israel ties
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to lower tensions, Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. officials cast their dispute over Iran as a family squabble on Monday, even as the Israeli leader claimed President Barack Obama did not - and could not - fully understand his nation's vital security concerns. "American leaders worry about the security of their country," Netanyahu said as he opened a controversial trip to Washington. "Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country."


Body-camera maker has financial ties to police chiefs
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Taser International, the stun-gun maker emerging as a leading supplier of body cameras for police, has cultivated financial ties to police chiefs whose departments have bought the recording devices, raising a host of conflict-of-interest questions. A review of records and interviews by The Associated Press show Taser is covering airfare and hotel stays for police chiefs who speak at promotional conferences. It is also hiring recently retired chiefs as consultants, sometimes just months after their cities signed contracts with Taser.


LA police chief: Man killed on Skid Row reached for gun
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police fatally shot a homeless man on Skid Row during a "brutal" videotaped struggle in which a rookie officer cried out that the man had grabbed his gun, the Los Angeles police chief said Monday. Video showed the man reaching toward the officer's waistband, Chief Charlie Beck said. The officer's gun was found partly cocked and jammed with a round of ammunition in the chamber and another in the ejection port, indicating a struggle for the weapon, Beck said.


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Execution of Georgia woman postponed; problem with drug
JACKSON, Ga. (AP) - Georgia postponed its first execution of a woman in 70 years late Monday because of concerns about the drug to be used in the lethal injection. The pentobarbital was sent to an independent lab to check its potency and the test came back at an acceptable level, but during subsequent checks it appeared cloudy, Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan said. Corrections officials called the pharmacist and decided to postpone the execution "out of an abundance of caution," she said. No new date was given.


Iraq launches operation to retake Tikrit from Islamic State
BAGHDAD (AP) - Backed by Iranian-supported Shiite militias, Iraqi forces launched a large-scale offensive Monday to retake Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State group, the first in a series of campaigns to try to reclaim large parts of northern Iraq from the Sunni extremists. Previous attempts to capture the symbolic city have failed, and hours into Monday's operation, the military said it still hadn't entered Tikrit, indicating a long battle lies ahead. Retaking it will help Iraqi forces secure a major supply link for any future operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city which has been under militant rule since June.


Syria's civil war linked partly to drought, global warming
WASHINGTON (AP) - The conflict that has torn Syria apart can be traced, in part, to a record drought worsened by global warming, a new study says. In what scientists say is one of the most detailed and strongest connections between violence and human-caused climate change, researchers from Columbia University and the University of California Santa Barbara trace the effects of Syria's drought from the collapse of farming, to the migration of 1.5 million farmers to the cities, and then to poverty and civil unrest. Syria's drought started in 2007 and continued until at least 2010 - and perhaps longer. Weather records are more difficult to get in wartime.


A year on, what's the latest in the hunt for Flight 370?
SYDNEY (AP) - Nearly a year has passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, sparking one of the most perplexing mysteries of modern times. Since then, search crews have taken to air, land and sea in a thus-far fruitless hunt for the plane and the 239 people who disappeared with it. The current phase of the search in the deep, dark and desolate waters of the Indian Ocean has failed to yield a single clue about the plane's fate. Still, despite the lack of fresh leads, the official heading up the search is no less optimistic than when it began.


Dot-com deja vu: Nasdaq tops 5,000, approaching record high
NEW YORK (AP) - The last time the Nasdaq was this high, Bill Clinton was president, your Internet connection was probably still dial-up and the iPod, iPhone and iPad didn't exist. Fifteen years later the Nasdaq has again closed above 5,000 and is close to topping its record from the dot-com boom. The index has clawed back, riding a six-year bull market, and is now 40 points from its all-time closing high of 5,048.62 reached March 10, 2000.


Boehner leaves open possible vote on Dem-backed DHS bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - Speaker John Boehner left open the possibility Monday that the House might pass long-term funding for the Homeland Security Department without immigration provisions attached, as Republican options dwindled for avoiding a capitulation to the White House and Democrats. Boehner declined to say over the weekend if he would permit a vote on the Senate-passed measure, and his spokesman similarly sidestepped the question Monday. Officials in both parties predict it would pass, and end the recurring threat of a partial agency shutdown.


Artist: Clinton museum portrait has nod to Lewinsky's dress
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia artist has disclosed that his museum portrait of former President Bill Clinton contains a shadow reference to Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress. Nelson Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News that a shadow beside Clinton is a literal reference to the dress and a symbolic nod to the shadow the affair cast on his presidency.