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.
Fed says it will continue $85B in bond purchases WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve says it will maintain the pace of its program to keep long-term interest rates at record lows, but offered a slightly more optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy and job market. The brighter outlook could be a hint that the Fed is moving closer to reducing its stimulus. But the statement gave no indication of when that might happen.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Illegal immigration into the United States would decrease by only 25 percent under a far-reaching Senate immigration bill, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office that also finds the measure reduces federal deficits by billions. Supporters of the legislation moving toward a vote on the Senate floor seized on the deficit-reduction findings by Congress' nonpartisan scorekeeping agency, along with the agency's forecast that the immigration measure would boost economic growth as millions of workers join the workforce and begin to pay taxes.
SAO PAULO (AP) - Scattered street demonstrations popped up around Brazil Wednesday as protesters continued their collective cry against the low-quality public services they receive in exchange for high taxes and rising prices. In one of several protests, about 200 people blocked the Anchieta Highway that links Sao Paulo and the port city of Santos before heading to the industrial suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo, an industrial suburb on Sao Paulo's outskirts. Another group of protesters later obstructed 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.
US and Cuba to resume migration talks HAVANA (AP) - The United States and Cuba have agreed to resume bilateral talks on migration issues next month, a State Department official said Wednesday, the latest evidence of a thaw in chilly relations between the Cold War enemies. Havana and Washington just wrapped up a round of separate negotiations aimed at restarting direct mail service, which has been suspended since 1963. Both sets of talks have been on hold in recent years in a dispute over the fate of U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year jail sentence in Havana after he was caught bringing communications equipment onto the island illegally.
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - The excavation of a 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: ---
NEW YORK (AP) - Apparently, Men's Wearhouse Inc. doesn't like the way its founder looks anymore. In a terse release issued Wednesday, Men's Wearhouse said it has fired the face of the company and its executive chairman, George Zimmer, who appeared in many of its TV commercials with the slogan "You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."
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.