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Obama: ‘No Excuse’ for Riots in Baltimore

President Barack Obama Tuesday said there's “no excuse” for Monday night's violence in the eastern city of Baltimore and called for those who looted and burned buildings "to be treated as criminals." Riots erupted in the city after the funeral for 25-year-old Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died in police custody earlier this month. Obama said what happened Monday in Baltimore "distracted" from the multiple days of peaceful protests that were focused on what he described as "entirely legitimate concerns" over Gray's death. "There's no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday," Obama said, making his…
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Obama and Castro Meet on Saturday

PANAMA CITY— The White House says President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, are expected to "see each other" on Saturday, in a historic encounter at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. The president's deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters in Panama City Friday that the two leaders would meet during the summit but that no formal bilateral talks are scheduled at this time. A senior White House official told VOA the two presidents spoke on Wednesday, before Obama left the United States for Jamaica and Panama. Jorge Leganoa, deputy director of Cuba's state-run National…
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Two New York City Women Arrested in Alleged Bomb Plot

Two New York City women have been charged with trying to build a homemade bomb to launch a terrorist attack in the United States. A federal criminal complaint made public Thursday says Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui were arrested on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Prosecutors say undercover investigators determined the women were plotting to attack police, government or military targets based on their "violent jihadist beliefs." Authorities say the public was never in danger. The complaint alleges that the defendants possessed propane gas tanks and instructions on how to transform them into explosive devices. According…
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US Military: Human Remains Found in Florida Helicopter Crash

military officials say rescuers have found human remains in the search for an Army helicopter that crashed off the Florida coast with 11 soldiers on board. A spokesman at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida said debris from the wrecked Black Hawk was discovered early Wednesday after the helicopter failed to return to base Tuesday night. Passengers on the helicopter included seven Marines and four crewmen. The Marines were part of a special operations unit based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, while the aircrew and helicopter belonged to a Hammond, Louisiana Army National Guard unit, base spokesman Andy…
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US Efforts to Arm Syrian Rebels Suffer Setbacks

Meredith Buel efforts to provide weapons to moderate rebels in Syria are suffering setbacks as al-Qaida-linked militants force the collapse of mainstream insurgent groups fighting the Syrian military. Analysts say the developments underscore the risks of a new Pentagon program to train and equip moderate rebels. Recent gains in Syria by the al-Qaida affiliated Nusra Front represent a blow to strategy of identifying and arming groups to oppose the Syrian military, analysts say. An onslaught by Nusra fighters forced the Hazzm movement to collapse in recent days as the moderate rebels fled their headquarters in Aleppo Province. Hazzm was once…
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Kerry Calls for US War Powers to Fight IS

Secretary of State John Kerry called on Congress to approve President Barack Obama's war powers request during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wednesday "Our nation is strongest when we act together -- and we simply cannot allow this collection of murderers and thugs to achieve its ambitions," Kerry said, noting that the Islamic State militant group has captured large portions of land in Iraq and Syria threatening  "the death or submission of all who oppose it" and "the incitement of terrorist acts across the globe." Key members of Obama's national security team testified before a Senate committee hearing…
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Kerry, Zarif Continue Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are meeting for a second day in Switzerland to discuss the status of Tehran’s nuclear program. Kerry and Zarif met for two hours Tuesday morning in the city of Montreux. A senior State Department official says they are expected to resume talks later in the day. Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany, the so-called P 5 + 1, are working against a self-imposed March 31 deadline aimed at finding a framework agreement. Negotiators have until July 1 to reach a final agreement.…
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Hispanics Will Fill 75% of New US Jobs Between 2020 and 2034

From 2020 to 2034, about 14 million new jobs will be created in the United States and 75 percent of them—approximately 11 million—will be filled by Hispanics. In the nearer future, over the next five years, Hispanics are expected to fill 40 percent of all new jobs. A wave of baby boomer (people born between 1946 and 1964) retirements, and a younger faster-growing Hispanic population are driving those numbers, according to a new report from the research group IHS Economics. “People think Hispanics are going to take three of every four jobs but a lot of what’s going on is replacing…
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Friction Increasing Between White House, Israel

WHITE HOUSE— The war of words is escalating over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept an invitation to speak to the Congress next week. National security adviser Susan Rice’s remarks on the subject Tuesday on the "Charlie Rose" interview show, the strongest yet from the administration, have raised further questions about the state of relations between the United States and its closest ally in the Middle East. “On both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it's destructive of the fabric of the relationship,” Rice said. At issue…
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US News

Embassy Reopenings Top Americans’ List in Cuba Talks

A Cuban delegation will be at the State Department on Friday to talk about restoring diplomatic ties with the United States for the first time since 1961 — part of President Barack Obama's initiative to end the trade embargo against Cuba. A senior State Department official said Friday's session would focus solely on doing what needs to be done to open embassies in Washington and Havana as quickly as possible. "This is where we roll up our sleeves as diplomats and sit down at the table and make sure that we hammer all of the details out to get embassies…
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