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Arab League unveils joint military force amid Yemen crisis
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) - A two-day Arab summit ended Sunday with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force, setting the stage for a potentially dangerous clash between U.S.-allied Arab states and Tehran over influence in the region. Arab leaders taking turns to address the gathering spoke repeatedly of the threat posed to the region's Arab identity by what they called moves by "foreign" or "outside parties" to stoke sectarian, ethnic or religious rivalries in Arab states - all thinly-veiled references to Iran, which has in recent years consolidated its hold in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and now Yemen.


Hometown pastor says community stands by co-pilot, family
MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) - The pastor of the Lutheran church in Andreas Lubitz's hometown said Sunday that the community stands by him and his family, despite the fact that prosecutors blame the 27-year-old co-pilot for causing the plane crash that killed 150 people in southern France. The town of Montabaur has been rattled by the revelation that Lubitz, who first learned to fly at a nearby glider club, may have intentionally caused Tuesday's crash of Germanwings Flight 9525.


AP Exclusive: Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program
WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Security Agency considered abandoning its secret program to collect and store American calling records in the months before leaker Edward Snowden revealed the practice, current and former intelligence officials say, because some officials believed the costs outweighed the meager counterterrorism benefits. After the leak and the collective surprise around the world, NSA leaders strongly defended the phone records program to Congress and the public, but without disclosing the internal debate.


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Officials: Iran nuke talks solving some issues, not others
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Iran is considering demands for further cuts to its uranium enrichment program but is pushing back on how long it must limit technology it could use to make atomic arms, Western officials involved in the nuclear talks said Sunday. Iran's potential movement on enrichment reflected the intense pressure to close a deal. But substantial differences between the sides may prove too difficult to bridge before Tuesday's deadline for a preliminary agreement, which is meant to set the stage for a further round of negotiations toward a comprehensive deal in June.


Indiana governor: New law 'not about discrimination'
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defended the new state law that's garnered widespread criticism over concerns it could foster discrimination against gays and lesbians and said Sunday it wasn't a mistake to have enacted it. Pence appeared on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" to discuss the measure he signed last week prohibiting state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.


Nigerians vote Sunday despite violence, technical hitches
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Boko Haram fighters attacked poll stations in northeast Nigeria and a governor demanded elections be canceled in an oil-rich southern state Sunday as the count started for a presidential election too close to call. Two electoral workers were killed Saturday in Boko Haram's campaign to disrupt the elections, chairman Attahiru Jega of the Independent National Electoral Commission told reporters.


Saudi response to Swedish criticism tests Europe's reach
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Sweden's foreign minister is hardly the first diplomat to raise concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, but when she used the word "dictatorship" in a speech last month she crossed a red line for the kingdom at a time of intense regional turmoil, igniting a diplomatic crisis. The harsh response from Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies jolted Stockholm's standing in the Arab world, threatened its Gulf business interests and may have imperiled its bid for a rotating seat at the U.N. Security Council. The crisis also underscored the perils of promoting reform four years after the Arab Spring, particularly in Gulf monarchies that rode out the ensuing unrest by clamping down on dissent.


Police: 2nd body found 3 days after NYC blast
NEW YORK (AP) - Emergency workers found a second body Sunday in the mass of rubble left behind by an apparent gas explosion three days earlier in Manhattan's East Village, police said. The names of the two dead were not immediately released; a medical examiner was to determine the identifications.


Air Canada plane skids off Halifax runway after hard landing
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) - An Air Canada plane made a hard landing short of the runway at the Halifax airport during a snowstorm, crashing into a bank of antennas and shearing off its main landing gear, nose cone, and an engine as it skidded on its belly, officials said. The airline said Sunday that 25 people were taken to hospitals for observation and treatment of minor injuries. The airline said Flight AC624, an Airbus 320 that left Toronto late Saturday, had 133 passengers and five crew members. Air Canada said the aircraft landed in stormy conditions at 12:43 a.m. Sunday.


Spartans Final Four-bound after 76-70 OT win over Louisville
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Coach Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans capped an improbable run to the Final Four with an overtime win. Senior guard Travis Trice scored 17 points and the seventh-seeded Spartans clamped down on defense to pull out a 76-70 victory over fourth-seeded Louisville in a thrilling NCAA Tournament East Regional final Sunday.