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AP Top International News At 3:12 a.m. EST

Japan special envoy hopeful about release of hostage, pilot
TOKYO (AP) -- A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home "with a smile on their faces," as questions rose Tuesday over the government's handling of the crisis....

Failed Iraqi bomber named in Islamic State hostage crisis
BEIRUT (AP) -- In the moments after her husband blew himself up in the ballroom of a Jordanian hotel as part of an al-Qaida plot, Sajida al-Rishawi fled the scene of chaos wearing her own explosive belt....

Leaders mark Auschwitz liberation 70 years on without Putin
OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) -- When the Soviet army entered Auschwitz exactly 70 years ago, finding piles of corpses and prisoners close to death, a Russian soldier took a small and hungry 11-year-old girl into his arms and rocked her tenderly, tears coming to his eyes....

US drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- A U.S. drone strike targeted al-Qaida in Yemen on Monday, signaling Washington's determination to keep fighting the militants despite political paralysis brought on by a Shiite power grab....

Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani
BEIRUT (AP) -- Jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted Islamic State militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after a four-month battle - a significant victory for both the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition....

Emirati airlines halt flights to Baghdad after shooting
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Three airlines from the United Arab Emirates are cancelling flights to Baghdad after a flight from the Mideast's busiest airport in Dubai came under fire as it landed in the Iraqi capital Monday night....

Fidel Castro writes statement on shift in Cuba-US relations
HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro ended his long silence over his country's decision to restore diplomatic ties with the United States, writing that he backs the negotiations even though he distrusts politics in Washington....

Argentine president seeks overhaul of intelligence services
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- President Cristina Fernandez called on Congress to dissolve Argentina's intelligence services in the wake of the mysterious death of a prosecutor, strongly denying his accusation that she had sought to shield former Iranian officials suspected in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center....

Egypt: Release of Mubarak's sons caps weekend of violence
CAIRO (AP) -- In a sign of confidence by a tough Egyptian government, Hosni Mubarak's two sons were freed Monday after almost four years in prison, following a weekend marked by a spate of protester killings by an increasingly heavy-handed police force....

Arab lawmakers shake up Israeli politics with historic union
HAIFA, Israel (AP) -- Israel's Arab political parties are banding together under one ticket for the first time ever ahead of national elections in March, hoping to boost turnout and help unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
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Fidel Castro writes statement on shift in Cuba-US relations

Middle East
Emirati airlines halt flights to Baghdad after shooting