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 characterized as yet another example of a 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) - Sweeping immigration legislation moving toward a vote in the Senate would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, at the same time it would bestow legal status on an estimated 8 million immigrants living in the United States unlawfully. In an assessment that drew cheers from the White House and other backers of the bill, Congress' scorekeeping agency said the measure would reduce federal red ink by $197 billion across a decade, and $700 billion in the following 10 years as increased taxes paid to the government offset the cost of government benefits for newly legal residents.
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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Selma Blair is making a sudden exit from the Charlie Sheen sitcom "Anger Management." In a statement Tuesday, producer Lionsgate says the actress won't be returning to the FX comedy. The company says it wishes her "the very best" but has no further comment.
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.
MIAMI (AP) - Mario Chalmers broke out of a shooting slump to score 10 points, lifting the Miami Heat to a 27-25 lead over the San Antonio Spurs after one quarter of Game 6 in the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. LeBron James added five points, five assists and two rebounds for the Heat, who were down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series and needed a win to keep their hopes of defending their title alive.