Florida

Bush takes another step toward candidacy

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced the formation of a political action committee designed to lay the groundwork for a 2016 presidential campaign. He revealed his plans in a video posted in English and Spanish on Facebook. The announcement thrust him into the top tier of likely GOP contenders.

Virginia

Former governor gets 2 years in prison

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced to two years in federal prison for taking bribes to promote a dietary supplement. Prosecutors initially wanted a 10-year sentence. A jury in September found McDonnell, a Republican, and his wife, Maureen, guilty of public corruption.

Texas

Two dead in shooting at VA clinic

Two people were killed in a shooting at a veterans health clinic at the Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso, including the gunman, officials said. The authorities reported an "active shooting" at the El Paso VA Health Care clinic, which is run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, around 3:10 p.m., sending the complex into lockdown, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Twitty.

China

Controversial election plan to proceed

The Hong Kong government vowed to press ahead with an election proposal that ignited months of street protests last year, warning that the authorities would not shift course from plans laid down by Beijing. China has ruled out protesters' demands that members of the public have a more direct say in nominating future candidates for chief executive.

Iraq

23 die at hands of Islamic extremists

A suicide blast targeting Iraqi security forces and subsequent clashes with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremists killed 23 troops and pro-government Sunni fighters in the country's embattled Anbar Province.

News services