KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan's president said Wednesday he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations, while also insisting the militant group stop its violent attacks on the ground after it claimed responsibility for a rocket attack that killed four Americans. Hamid Karzai's strong response and the Taliban attack deflated hopes for long-stalled talks aimed at ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan, just a day after the United States and the Taliban said they would begin initial meetings in Qatar.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of a far-reaching immigration bill in the Senate see fresh momentum from a report by the Congressional Budget Office that says the measure would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits by billions of dollars. Congress' nonpartisan scorekeeping agency said that the immigration bill would decrease federal red ink by $197 billion over a decade and $700 billion in the following 10 years as increased taxes paid to the government offset the cost of benefits for newly legal residents.
SAO PAULO (AP) - Scattered street demonstrations popped up around Brazil early Wednesday as protesters continued their collective cry against the low-quality public services they receive in exchange for high taxes and high prices. In one of several reported protests, about 200 people blocked the Anchieta Highway that links Sao Paulo and the port city of Santos. They left after two hours and headed to the industrial suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo, an industrial suburb on Sao Paulo's outskirts. Another group of protesters later blocked the highway again.
STOCKHOLM (AP) - A WikiLeaks spokesman who claims to represent Edward Snowden has reached out to government officials in Iceland about the potential of the NSA leaker applying for asylum in the Nordic country, officials there said Wednesday. Johannes Skulason, an Icelandic government official, told The Associated Press that WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson had held informal talks with assistants at the Interior Ministry and the prime minister's office.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Worry and speculation have consumed investors since Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke to Congress last month about the Federal Reserve's drive to keep long-term interest rates at record lows. On Wednesday, many hope the Fed will settle the confusion.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Seven al-Qaida-linked gunmen detonated a pick-up truck rigged with explosives at the gate of the U.N. compound in Somalia's capital Wednesday, launching a bombs-and-gunfire assault that saw militants pour into the complex, killing at least nine people, including three foreigners, officials said. The seven al-Shabab militants were from what the militia called its martyrdom, or suicide, brigade. They all died in the assault, an official said, bringing the overall death toll to at least 16.
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - The excavation of a rural field in suburban Detroit has failed to turn up the remains of former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, the FBI announced Wednesday, adding another unsuccessful chapter to a nearly 40-year-old mystery. Authorities stopped the dig after just a few hours on the third day.
Comparison of mass protests in Brazil and Turkey Large-scale protests have engulfed Turkey and Brazil, which are thousands of miles apart, but share some traits such as being new democracies with a growing middle class. Here's a look at the protests in both countries, highlighting the similarities and differences in how they started and developed: ---
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A heat wave hitting Alaska may not rival the blazing heat of Phoenix or Las Vegas, but to residents of the 49th state, the days of hot weather feel like a stifling oven - or a tropical paradise. With temperatures topping 80 degrees in Anchorage, and higher in other parts of the state, people have been sweltering in a place where few homes have air conditioning.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Seems Warner Bros. has taken movie marketing to a whole new level - even higher than a bird or a plane. The studio enlisted Christian-focused firm Grace Hill Media to promote "Man of Steel" to faith-based groups by inviting them to early screenings and creating trailers that highlight the film's religious themes. They also enlisted Craig Detweiler, a Pepperdine University professor and author of "Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top Films of the 21st Century," to create a Superman-centric sermon outline for pastors titled "Jesus: The Original Superhero."