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This Jan. 8, 2015 photo provided by Tami Bradley-Two Eagles Balloon Team, shows pilots from left, Troy Bradley of Albuquerque, N.M., and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia, before they lift off in a gas balloon in Saga, Japan.  The Two Eagles pilots have traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history in a bid to remove the qualifiers that have complicated a century of record keeping in long-distance ballooning. Now they're aiming for a safe landing on the beaches of Baja California.  (AP Photo/Tami Bradley-Two Eagles Balloon Team)

Balloon crew makes history crossing Pacific Ocean

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A pair of American and Russian pilots has traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history, trying to eliminate any remaining debate over a century of records in long-distance ballooning. The Two Eagles pilots surpassed the distance and duration records that have held since the 1970s and 1980s, and were aiming Friday for …

Wisconsin governor Walker ramping up a national political operation

Saturday, January 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — Shifting his focus to Washington, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is expanding his political operation as he fights for early momentum in the increasingly crowded field of GOP White House prospects. The two-term Republican governor will address a Washington audience for the first time this year on Friday afternoon, his only speaking …

Artillery fire kills civilians in Ukraine rebel stronghold

Saturday, January 31, 2015

DONETSK, Ukraine — Artillery fire killed at least 12 civilians in the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Friday amid fierce fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government troops as hopes for a break in hostilities were dashed when an attempt to call a new round of peace talks failed. Five people were killed …

Christie launches PAC for 2016

Monday, January 26, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has taken his firmest step yet toward running for president, launching an organization that allows him to raise money for a potential 2016 campaign. Opening the political action committee allows …

Kurds, US airstrikes dislodge Islamists

Monday, January 26, 2015

BEIRUT — Kurdish fighters backed by intense U.S.-led airstrikes pushed the Islamic State group entirely out of a key Syrian town on Monday, marking a major defeat for the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory when they …

Leftists win Greek election

Sunday, January 25, 2015

ATHENS, Greece — A radical left-wing party vowing to end Greece’s painful austerity program won a historic victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, setting up a showdown with the country’s international creditors that could shake the eurozone. Alexis Tsipras, …

Obama seeks bigger Alaska refuge

Sunday, January 25, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials …

Boko Haram attacks Nigerian city, leaving hundreds dead

Sunday, January 25, 2015

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — In fierce fighting Sunday that killed more than 200 combatants, Nigerian troops clashed with Islamic extremists who attacked Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeastern Nigeria, from three fronts. At the same time the insurgents continued …

Millions of GMO insects could be released in Keys

Monday, January 26, 2015

KEY WEST, Fla. — Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential …

Ukraine says it has proof rebels attacked city, killed 30

Sunday, January 25, 2015

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president said Sunday that intercepted radio and telephone conversations prove that Russia-backed separatists were responsible for firing the rockets that pounded the southeastern city of Mariupol and killed at least 30 people. The …

Apparent death of one IS hostage stuns Japan

Sunday, January 25, 2015

TOKYO — From the prime minister to ordinary people, Japanese were shocked Sunday at a video purportedly showing one of two Japanese hostages of the extremist Islamic State group had been killed. With attention focused on efforts to …

WHO adopts reforms after bungling Ebola

Sunday, January 25, 2015

GENEVA — The World Health Organization has proposed reforms that could overhaul its structure after botching the response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives. On Sunday, several dozen of …

After dove debacle, Vatican makes balloons peace symbol

Sunday, January 25, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Dove lovers, rejoice. Balloons, not doves, were released as a gesture of peace Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, a year after an attack by a seagull and a crow on the symbolic birds sparked protests …