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AP Top News at 7:14 a.m. EST

Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78
WASHINGTON (AP) - Divisive and flamboyant, maddening and beloved, Marion Barry outshone every politician in the 40-year history of District of Columbia self-rule. But for many, his legacy was not defined by the accomplishments and failures of his four terms as mayor and long service on the D.C. Council. Instead, Barry will be remembered for a single night in a downtown Washington hotel room and the grainy video that showed him lighting a crack pipe in the company of a much-younger woman. When FBI agents burst in, he referred to her with an expletive. She "set me up," Barry said.


A way for GOP to defuse immigration issue?
DENVER (AP) - Republicans in search of a way to oppose President Barack Obama's moves on immigration without alienating the nation's fast-growing population of Hispanic voters may find a playbook in Colorado. GOP Rep. Cory Gardner won election to the Senate in the midterms in a state where 14 percent of voters are Hispanic. His GOP colleague, Rep. Mike Coffman, won re-election in a district where 14 percent of residents were born in foreign countries.


Cleanup on, flood threat looms after huge NY snow
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The weekend offered the Buffalo region a chance to dig out of record levels of deep snow before a flood warning took effect because of rising temperatures and rain. With roughly the equivalent of six inches of rain tied up in the snowpack, volunteers moved through the area assisting residents.


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Afghan parliament approves US, NATO agreements
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan's parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year amid a renewed offensive by Taliban militants. The international combat mission in Afghanistan, begun after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, was to conclude at the end of this year. The new agreements ratified by parliament allow the U.S. and NATO to keep a total of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year to support local forces.


Islamic State group recruits, exploits children
BEIRUT (AP) - Teenagers carrying weapons stand at checkpoints and busy intersections in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. Patched onto the left arms of their black uniforms are the logos of the Islamic Police. In Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital in Syria, boys attend training camp and religious courses before heading off to fight. Others serve as cooks or guards at the extremists' headquarters or as spies, informing on people in their neighborhoods.


Iraqi premier, US look to aid Islamic State battle
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group focused their offensive Sunday on the city of Ramadi, backed by Sunni tribal fighters that the U.S. plans to arm. Authorities in the city implemented a 24-hour curfew as Iraqi armed forces and tribesmen fought to regain Ramadi's eastern Sijariya neighborhood, which the extremist group said it captured Friday.


Ferguson prepares for grand jury decision
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Crews erected barricades around the building where a grand jury has been considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, even as a grand jury decision seemed unlikely this weekend. Tension has been mounting in Ferguson and elsewhere in the St. Louis area in recent days, with many speculating that the grand jury's decision would be announced on Sunday. That seemed increasingly unlikely by late Saturday, although there was a noticeable uptick in the preparations being made.


Iran: Nuclear talks may focus on extension soon
VIENNA (AP) - Iran says that if obstacles remain in the talks about its nuclear program, the discussion will have to shift to extending them beyond Monday's deadline. A member of the Iranian delegation said if that is the case Sunday night, the negotiations will focus on reaching a "general political agreement" on what both sides are committed to resolving. He says talks would then be held in the near future to sign that agreement, leading to more negotiations on those outstanding issues.


37 homes collapse, dozens injured in Japan quake
TOKYO (AP) - Helicopter surveys on Sunday showed more extensive damage than earlier thought from an overnight earthquake in the mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. At least 37 homes were destroyed in two villages, and 39 people were injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.


2009 massacre haunts Philippines as trial slows
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Five years after gunmen flagged down a convoy of cars in a southern Philippine province and massacred all 58 occupants, including scores of journalists, the body count continues to rise. Just days before the Philippines marked Sunday's anniversary of the carnage with prayers and calls to end impunity, another potential witness in the ongoing trial against the politically powerful suspects was gunned down.