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."
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.
Georgia woman nears execution for husband's murder JACKSON, Ga. (AP) - The only woman on Georgia's death row will become the first female to be executed in 70 years in the state Monday evening, unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in with a last-minute reprieve. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, was scheduled to die by injection of pentobarbital at 7 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson for the February 1997 murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner.
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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.
Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer MOSCOW (AP) - The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge - but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. The emotional account by Anna Duritskaya came amid a swirl of speculation about who was responsible for the high-profile assassination and what it means for Russia.
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.
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 bullet in the chamber and another in the ejection port, indicating a struggle for the weapon.
Toronto Police: men built mystery tunnel to use as man cave TORONTO (AP) - Two young men who built a mysterious tunnel in Toronto had no criminal intent, police said Monday. They just wanted a man cave. Const. Victor Kwong said tips from the public helped them identify the two men in their 20s responsible for building the underground chamber near a Pan Am Games venue. News of the tunnel's discovery set off a social media frenzy, with theories of its purpose ranging from zombie hide outs to affordable housing.
Snowy Boston starts removing parking-space savers BOSTON (AP) - Bostonians have another reason to be steamed about this winter of epic snow: The city is starting to remove the lawn chairs, milk crates, coolers and other stuff that people put on the street to reserve the parking spaces they've dug out. Garbage haulers began collecting the "space savers" Monday after Mayor Marty Walsh declared an end to the longstanding practice - at least until the next major storm.
Television's 'Judge Judy' staying in session NEW YORK (AP) - Daytime television's most popular personality, "Judge Judy" Sheindlin, has extended her contract for three years and plans to keep her court in session into 2020. CBS Television Distribution didn't discuss terms of the deal Monday. TV Guide has reported her current salary at $47 million a year - making her by far the highest-paid personality on television. Sheindlin is 72.