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Obama defends action on Cuba, Russia

WASHINGTON — In a spirited defense of his foreign policy, President Barack Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that normalizing relations with Cuba would bolster American influence there and that his diplomatic strategies to contain Russia and Iran are working.

NYC police killer had long criminal history

NEW YORK — The gunman who fatally ambushed two police officers in their squad car had a long criminal record, a hatred for police and the government and an apparent history of mental instability that included an attempt to hang himself a year ago, authorities said Sunday.

Cuban-Americans, Cubans protest ties

MIAMI — Cuban opposition leaders from the island joined Cuban American politicians and activists on Saturday, pledging to oppose President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize relations with the communist nation and disputing the notion their community is split by a generational divide.

North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack.

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Islamic State recruits broadly, not just fighters

WASHINGTON — The three teenage girls from Colorado swapped Twitter messages about marriage and religion with recruiters for the Islamic State group, then set out for Syria with passports and thousands of dollars in stolen cash. Authorities intercepted them in Germany, then returned them to their families without criminal charges.