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AP Top News at 7:07 a.m. EST

Jordan ready to swap inmate for pilot held by Islamic State
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Jordan said Wednesday it is willing to swap an Iraqi woman held on death row in Jordan for a Jordanian pilot captured in December by extremists from the Islamic State group. The statement by Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani made no mention of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who is also being held by the Islamic State group.


Hezbollah claims responsibility for attack on Israeli convoy
SHEAR YASHUV, Israel (AP) - The Lebanese Hezbollah group claimed responsibility for firing a missile that hit an Israeli military convoy Wednesday, an attack Lebanese officials said prompted Israel to fire at least 50 artillery shells into Lebanon in a significant escalation along the volatile border. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said there were Israeli casualties in the attack, but did not elaborate. The military said it was responding with aerial and ground strikes on Hezbollah positions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond "forcefully."


Blizzard-stricken East digs out amid forecast 2nd-guessing
BOSTON (AP) - New Englanders savaged by a blizzard packing knee-high snowfall and hurricane-force winds began digging out as New Yorkers and others spared its full fury questioned whether forecasts were overblown. The storm buried the Boston area in more than 2 feet of snow and lashed it with howling winds that exceeded 70 mph. It punched a gaping hole in a seawall and swamped a vacant home in Marshfield, Massachusetts, and flipped a 110-foot replica of a Revolutionary War ship in Newport, Rhode Island, snapping its mast and puncturing its hull.


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10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. HOSTAGE MOM TO JAPAN LEADER: PLEASE SAVE KENJI


Cuomo, de Blasio, defend strict NYC storm regulations
NEW YORK (AP) - They appeared to be scenes from a frozen apocalypse. Streets across the nation's largest city were empty, the only movement the changing traffic lights signaling to cars that weren't there. The subway system was shuttered, the city's pulse rendered still. Hardy souls who braved the snow were threatened with fines or arrest.


Human smugglers turn to cargo ships to ferry fleeing Syrians
ABOARD THE COAST GUARD CUTTER TYR (AP) - The crew was about to dig into dinner when word of the "ghost ship" came through: a freighter hurtling out of control toward Italy with no crew - and hundreds of Syrians as cargo. The cattle freighter - its animal pens crammed with families - was on a collision course with the Italian coast, and the refugee who had phoned authorities from on board said the cabin's controls were jammed. The Tyr changed course and set off on a race against time.


After setting iPhone record, what does Apple do next?
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple CEO Tim Cook says consumer demand for new iPhones has been "staggering" and "hard to comprehend." That helped the company report record-smashing earnings for its latest quarter and primed its stock for a rally Wednesday. But after selling a record 74.5 million iPhones in three months that ended in December, what can Apple do next?


Senate to begin hearings for Obama attorney general nominee
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is facing Senate questioners as she seeks to become the first black woman to hold the nation's top law enforcement job. In the first Republican-led confirmation session of the Obama administration, Lynch was to appear Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee as it opens two days of hearings on her nomination.


Palestinian girl, 14, in Israel prison for throwing rocks
BETIN, West Bank (AP) - The fate of a 14-year-old Palestinian girl, tried before an Israeli military court for hurling rocks at passing cars in the West Bank and sentenced to two months in prison, has gripped Palestinians who say her treatment demonstrates Israel's excessive measures against stone-throwing youth. Malak al-Khatib, arrested last month, is one of only a rare few female Palestinian minors who have ever faced arrest and sentencing by Israeli authorities.


Govt tells agents to ID which immigrants not to deport
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has ordered immigration agents to ask immigrants they encounter living in the country illegally whether they might qualify under President Barack Obama's plans to avoid deporting them, according to internal training materials obtained by The Associated Press. Agents also have been told to review government files to identify any jailed immigrants they might be able to release under the program.