KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The Taliban and the U.S. said Tuesday they will hold talks on finding a political solution to ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan, as the international coalition formally handed over control of the country's security to the Afghan army and police. The Taliban met a key U.S. demand by pledging not to use Afghanistan as a base to threaten other countries, although the Americans said they must also denounce al-Qaida.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-led House on Tuesday passed a far-reaching anti-abortion bill that conservatives saw as a milestone in their 40-year campaign against legalized abortion and Democrats condemned as yet another example of the GOP war on women. The legislation, sparked by the murder conviction of a Philadelphia late-term abortion provider, would restrict almost all abortions to the first 20 weeks after conception, defying laws in most states that allow abortions up to when the fetus becomes viable, usually considered to be around 24 weeks.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Declaring "the days of Rambo are over," a top general said Tuesday that cultural, social and behavioral concerns may be bigger hurdles than tough physical fitness requirements for women looking to join the military's special operations units. Maj. Gen. Bennet Sacolick, director of force management for U.S. Special Operations Command, said having seen women working alongside commando teams in Afghanistan, he is less concerned about their physical strength than the social issues that could arise. His comments came as military leaders mapped out plans Tuesday to develop physical and mental standards for thousands of combat jobs and slowly bring women into front-line positions, including possibly Navy SEAL teams or Army Ranger units, where they historically have been banned from serving.
WASHINGTON (AP) - About 8 million immigrants living unlawfully in the United States would gain legal status under sweeping legislation moving toward a vote in the Senate, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, adding the bill would push federal deficits lower in each of the next two decades. In an assessment that drew cheers from the White House and other backers of the bill, Congress' scorekeeping agency said the legislation would boost the overall economy. It put deficit reduction at $197 billion across a decade, and $700 billion in the following 10 years if the bill became law.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. foiled a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange because of the sweeping surveillance programs at the heart of a debate over national security and personal privacy, officials said Tuesday at a rare open hearing on intelligence led by lawmakers sympathetic to the spying. The House Intelligence Committee hearing provided a venue for officials to defend the once-secret programs and did little probing of claims that the collection of people's phone records and Internet usage has disrupted dozens of terrorist plots. Few details were volunteered.
ZARQA, Jordan (AP) - Under the watchful eye of stern-faced American advisers, hundreds of U.S.-trained Jordanian commandos fanned across this dusty desert plain, holding war games that could eventually form the basis of an assault in Syria. With the recent deployment of Patriot missiles near the Syrian border, and the mock Syrian accents of those playing the enemy, the message was clear: There is fear of spillover from the Syrian war in this U.S.-allied kingdom, and the potential for a Jordanian role in securing Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles should Bashar Assad's regime lose control.
ISTANBUL (AP) - After weeks of sometimes violent confrontation with police, protesters in Turkey have found what could be a more potent form of resistance: standing still. The trend was launched by performance artist Erdem Gunduz, who stood silently for hours in Istanbul's central Taksim Square on Monday night, in passive defiance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's violent crackdown on environmental protesters at a park adjacent to Taksim. The square has been sealed off from protesters since police cleared it over the weekend, though pedestrians can still enter.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - In an accelerated election for a new U.S. senator from New Jersey, the Democratic field is Cory Booker vs. everyone else. The Newark mayor's name recognition and deep-pocketed pals would give him an advantage in any statewide race. But the charismatic Booker - who clearly has national political ambitions and has spent significant time raising his profile on social media and giving speeches around the country - may be more familiar to talk show viewers than to New Jersey voters. His ride to Washington got bumpier when the election was moved up a year because of Sen. Frank Lautenberg's death this month.
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - The latest possible resting place of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is an overgrown farm field where the normal calm of chirping crickets is being drowned out by a beeping backhoe, the chop of an overhead news helicopter and the bustle of reporters and onlookers. Over nearly four decades, authorities have pursued multiple leads into Hoffa's death that yielded nothing. Yet the mystery endures, fueled by a public fascination with mobsters and murder.
NEW YORK (AP) - The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are reviving a push against letting food stamps be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks. In a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday, the mayors say it's "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting" the use of the subsidies for sugar-laden beverages, in the interest of fighting obesity and related diseases.