PRESIDENTIAL RACE-REPUBLICAN DEBATE
LAS VEGAS -- In a presidential race reshaped by national security concerns, Republican front-runner Donald Trump defends his provocative call for banning Muslims from the United States as the candidates debate their plans for fighting Islamic State militants and keeping Americans secure. By Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz. AP Photos. AP Video.
PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON TERRORISM
MINNEAPOLIS -- Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton says that the American people "cannot give into fear" in the aftermath of attacks in Paris and California, laying out a multi-pronged strategy to protect the homeland and prevent domestic terrorist attacks. By Ken Thomas. AP Photos. AP Video.
With: PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON BUFFETT.
WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders and the White House have reached agreement on a massive year-end tax and spending package, House Speaker Paul Ryan tells Republican lawmakers, urging support for the legislation that delivers wins for his party but also includes many Democratic priorities. By Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama describes immigration as the oldest U.S. tradition and part of what makes the country exceptional, as he seeks to draw a contrast with those who want to seal the borders against people seeking to escape hardships and persecution. By Kevin Freking. AP Photos. AP Video.
LOS ANGELES SCHOOLS THREAT
LOS ANGELES -- The nation's two biggest school systems -- New York City and Los Angeles -- received threats of a large-scale jihadi attack with guns and bombs, and LA reacted by shutting down the entire district, while New York dismissed the warning as an amateurish hoax and held classes as usual. By Christine Armario and Colleen Long. AP Photos. AP Video.
BALTIMORE POLICE DEATH
BALTIMORE -- Jurors say they are deadlocked as they weigh manslaughter and other charges against a Baltimore police officer in the death of a black man whose neck was broken in a police van. The judge tells them to keep deliberating and they go home for the night without reaching a verdict. By Juliet Linderman and David Dishneau. AP Photos.
HAVANA -- Colombia's government and the country's largest rebel group took another major step toward signing a peace deal, agreeing on a framework to address the needs of millions of victims left by a half century of fighting. By Andrea Rodriguez. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON -- Violence in Afghanistan is on the rise, according to a new Pentagon report to Congress that says the Taliban was emboldened by the reduced U.S. military role and can be expected to build momentum from their 2015 attack strategy. By National Security Writer Robert Burns. AP Photo.
UNITED STATES-ISLAMIC STATE-OIL
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. military raid that killed an Islamic State leader in Syria last spring yielded intelligence that allowed the U.S. to more effectively target the extremist group's oil revenues, the State Department's top diplomat for energy affairs says. By National Security Writer Robert Burns.
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is planning its first arms sale to Taiwan in four years, congressional aides said Tuesday, a move that typically draws stiff criticism from Beijing but is unlikely to derail U.S.-China relations. By Matthew Pennington.
WASHINGTON -- The United States and Cuba are close to an agreement on restoring regularly scheduled, commercial flights between the countries, a senior American diplomat says, as talks on the matter were ongoing. By Bradley Klapper.
HAVANA -- A lineup of Cuban-born baseball stars, including some of the most famous defectors in recent memory, made a triumphant return to the island as part of the first Major League Baseball trip here since 1999. By Michael Weissenstein. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON -- The attorney for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl lashes out at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and congressional committees for peddling misinformation that he says is impeding his client's right to a fair trial. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photos.
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil's federal police carried out sweeping raids in the homes and offices of top political figures ensnared in a massive corruption investigation. Among the targets was the speaker of the nation's lower house, who earlier this month introduced impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. By Brad Brooks.
CALIFORNIA SHOOTINGS-WORKPLACE SECURITY
NEW YORK -- The terror attack at a social services facility in California has become a sobering reminder to companies of how vulnerable workplaces can be when employees are confronted with active shooters. By Elliot Spagat and Joyce M. Rosenberg. AP Photo.
GUATEMALA CITY -- In this nation where the legal system has long been seen as for sale, Miguel Angel Galvez is the judge who jailed a president during a year of unprecedented graft investigations that has helped restore some public confidence in the rule of law. By Sonia Perez. 830 words, photos.
DEATH PENALTY DECLINES
WASHINGTON -- The number of people executed in the United States this year dropped to the lowest level since 1991, as states impose fewer death sentences and defendants in capital cases get access to better legal help. By Sam Hananel. AP Photo..
NEW YORK -- A sprawling U.S. bribery prosecution that has scandalized soccer's governing body took another step forward, with the former president of Honduras and a former FIFA vice president pleading not guilty at their first court appearance and authorities announcing that two other defendants would be extradited to face charges as well. By Tom Hays.
ALLEN PARK, Michigan -- Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah isn't worried about facing any hostility over his religious views. With Donald Trump calling for Muslims to be blocked from coming into the United States -- and with fears of terrorism simmering throughout America following the Paris attacks and the shootings in San Bernardino, California -- Abdullah and other Muslim athletes in the NBA and NFL expressed hope of continued acceptance. None of the players reported being taunted or confronted by fans because of religion. By Sports Writer Noah Trister. AP Photos.
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- It's the same prison, but its wings are worlds apart. In one, violent gangs rule, using cellphones to keep trafficking drugs and committing other crimes. Elsewhere, the cells are neat and tidy, the violence less. With photo gallery by Felipe Dana. 420 words, photos.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
WASHINGTON -- In a momentous move, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its key rate from record lows, potentially heralding higher lending rates in an economy much sturdier than the one the Fed helped rescue in 2008 with borrowing rates near zero. The Fed's busy day will also include updated economic forecasts and a news conference by Chair Janet Yellen. By Martin Crutsinger. AP Photos.
With: FED-5 THINGS TO WATCH FOR.
DETROIT -- The thin, lightweight glass on your smartphone could soon be found on your car. Corning Inc.'s Gorilla Glass is used for the screens on billions of mobile phones. Now, car makers are using an automotive version to help shave weight off their vehicles and improve fuel economy. By Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin. AP Photos.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
NEW YORK -- The effect that "Star Wars" has had on movies is as colossal as the Death Star itself, and to some, just as fearsome. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.
With: STAR WARS-PREMIERE; FILM-STAR WARS-REACTION.
EDITH PIAF ANNIVERSARY
NEW YORK -- Edith Piaf would have turned 100 this month and never has she been more vital. The cabaret singer who once sang on the streets for spare change was celebrated and channeled by the likes of Madonna and Celine Dion in the days after the worst attack on French soil in more than a half-century. By Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy.
NEW YORK -- They say it's practice, practice, practice that gets you to Carnegie Hall. But for Sting, it was a chance encounter with Britain's Queen Mother when he was 10 years old that gave him the ambition and drive he needed to reach that hallowed stage. The rocker told the story of that fateful encounter during an ebullient show -- at once intimate and grand -- that marked his first solo headline gig at the venerable New York venue, despite his having performed many times there. By National Writer Jocelyn Noveck. AP Photos.
TV-BIG BANG THEORY
BURBANK, California -- In the same week, "Star Wars" returns and scientists-in-love Sheldon and Amy finally consummate their relationship on "The Big Bang Theory." Could even the geekiest fan ask for more? On Thursday's episode, Jim Parsons' Sheldon and Mayim Bialik's Amy have sex for the first time, with each other or anyone else, more than six TV seasons after meeting through an online dating site. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. AP Photo.
With: YE-10 BEST TV SHOWS.