Cuba

Fidel breaks silence

Fidel Castro has ended his silence of nearly six weeks over the deal to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, writing in a letter that he supported a peaceful end to conflict but still distrusted U.S. politics. Castro, 88, wrote to the Argentine soccer star, Diego Maradona.

Pakistan

Airstrikes near Afghan border kill 76

Pakistani military jets struck suspected militant hideouts near the Afghan border, killing 76 militants, the army said. Two rounds of airstrikes targeted the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, which has long been a safe haven for local and foreign extremists carrying out attacks on both sides of the border.

Iraq

Gunfire hits jet landing in Baghdad

A commercial jet from Dubai carrying 154 passengers was struck by gunfire as it landed at Baghdad International Airport, adding to fears that Iraq's most important transportation hub remains vulnerable. The plane landed safely; a 6-year-old girl was slightly injured when at least three bullets struck the plane.

Ukraine

More Russian sanctions weighed

The European Union and the United States are considering more sanctions against Russia in technology, energy, defense and banking over its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. The worst clashes have recently broken out between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops since a September truce.

Wisconsin

Walker signals possible 2016 run

GOP Gov. Scott Walker announced that he has formed a political organization to help boost a potential 2016 presidential run, the first concrete step toward a possible campaign that comes as others are also ramping up efforts to seek the GOP nomination. The tax-exempt group, Our American Revival, was formed on Jan. 16.

Washington, D.C.

Senate ready for key Keystone vote

The Senate is on track to pass legislation to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of the week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. The legislation had stalled as Democrats raised objections about the number of amendments they've been allowed to offer.

news services