Russia

Putin is healthy, spokesman says

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has dismissed rumors circulating on the Internet that the Russian leader is in poor health. Dmitry Peskov said the president was "absolutely" healthy, adding that the president's handshake was still so strong it could "break your hand." Putin has not been seen in public since March 5 and he has postponed a trip to Kazakhstan.

Iran

Ayatollah: GOP letter 'a sign of decline'

Iran's highest leader issued a sharp response to a letter to the country's leadership by Republican lawmakers, deriding it as an indication that Washington is "disintegrating" from within. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, said the letter warning that any nuclear deal could be scrapped by a new president was "a sign of a decline in political ethics and the destruction of the American establishment from within."

Arizona

Six tons of marijuana seized at border

Authorities have found more than six tons of marijuana — worth nearly $6.2 million — hidden in a truck that tried to cross into the United States from Mexico. It was the third largest seizure in record at any Arizona port of entry.

Alabama

Harper Lee book inquiry is closed

An Alabama official says a state agency closed an inquiry into whether the deal to publish Harper Lee's upcoming novel involved fraud. Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph Borg said the "To Kill A Mockingbird" author, 88, answered questions to an investigator's satisfaction, so they closed the file.

news services