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Government and politics

Obama in Australia at close of Asia-Pacific tour

Obama arrives in Australia for economic summit, speech on US ties to Asia
Josh Lederman, The Associated Press

BRISBANE, Australia - President Barack Obama is closing out his weeklong trip through the Asia-Pacific region with a stop in Australia.

Obama's plane touched down early Saturday at the Royal Australian Air Force's largest base, Base Amberley. From there, Obama travelled to the home of Queensland's state government, Parliament House in Brisbane. There Obama attended a retreat and luncheon with fellow world leaders at the annual Group of 20 economic summit of developed and developing nations.

Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden was at war for years

Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden embodies crucial role for elite special ops troops after 9-11
Ken Dilanian, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill, who says he fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, played a role in some of the most consequential combat missions of the post-9-11 era, including three depicted in Hollywood movies. And now he's telling the world about them.

Iraq's forces drive IS militants from key town

Iraqi forces score major victory over IS, drive militants out of key oil refinery town
Hamza Hendawi And John Heilprin, The Associated Press

BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces drove Islamic State militants out of a strategic oil refinery town north of Baghdad on Friday, scoring their biggest battlefield victory since they melted away in the face of the terror group's stunning summer offensive that captured much of northern and western Iraq.

Jane Byrne, Chicago's 1st female mayor, dies

Jane Byrne, Chicago's 1st and only female mayor, dies at 80
Don Babwin, The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Jane Byrne, who capitalized on Chicago's slow reaction to a snowstorm to score one of the biggest election upsets in the city's history and become its first female mayor, died Friday. She was 80.

Byrne, whose four-year term brought festivals and filmmakers to Chicago but was also filled with upheaval at City Hall, died at a hospice in Chicago, said her daughter, Kathy.

For House, 9th pipeline bill may be the charm

House set to pass 9th bill clearing way for Keystone pipeline - and this time Senate may join
Dina Cappiello, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled House is on track to easily pass a bill Friday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But this time, the Senate may follow.

The bill marks the ninth attempt by the House to secure pipeline approval. Republicans hope the timing will give Louisiana Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy an edge over Sen. Mary Landrieu in a runoff race.

2 officers wounded at Connecticut Navy base

2 officers wounded by ricochet of bullets while confronting knife-wielding man at Navy base
The Associated Press

GROTON, Conn. - Authorities say two Navy civilian police officers have been wounded while confronting a knife-wielding man at a Connecticut base.

Navy officials say an officer guarding the submarine base in Groton Thursday night fired shots at the man who allegedly had tried to enter through a pedestrian gate.

Authorities say two other officers were injured by the ricochet of bullets. They were taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Florida man executed for stepdaughter's slaying

Florida man who killed wife and stepdaughter in 1992 attack put to death for child's slaying
Jason Dearen, The Associated Press

STARKE, Fla. - A Florida man who fatally shot his sleeping wife and then raped and killed his young stepdaughter 22 years ago was put to death Thursday for the child's slaying.

Chadwick Banks, 43, was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m. EST Thursday after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, the office of Gov. Rick Scott said.

Thick bushes no barrier for White House intruder

US: Muted alarms, thick shrubs, unlocked doors, fumbling cop eased White House intruder's way
Alicia A. Caldwell, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Secret Service response to an armed intruder who jumped the fence and raced into the White House was complicated by muted alarms and radios, thick bushes on the lawn, unlocked doors and an officer inside who was physically too small to tackle the intruder and fumbled with her equipment, according to the Homeland Security Department review of the case.

Police ticket boy after toy motorcycle hits SUV

Mexico police ticket 6-year-old boy, impound his toy motorcycle after crash with SUV
The Associated Press

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Police in this border city repented Thursday over ticketing a 6-year-old boy for reckless driving, driving without a license and not having his vehicle registered after he drove his miniature motorcycle into an SUV.

The boy's mother, Karla Noriega, said police impounded the miniature gasoline-powered motorbike that her son got for Christmas after he crashed into an SUV on Dec. 27.

Myanmar frees prominent political prisoners

Myanmar releases prominent political prisoners after presidential pardon
The Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar has freed several prominent political prisoners, which has been a key condition set by Western countries for easing sanctions against the country.

Myanmar authorities freed the prisoners Friday as part of a presidential pardon for 651 detainees. Relatives and supporters of activists and ethnic minority politicians confirmed their release.

Myanmar state radio and television announced said that the 651 detainees were being freed to take part in "nation-building."

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