North Korea

In fiery terms, talks with U.S. rejected

North Korea said it won't agree to talks with the United States and is now focused on its ability to destroy the country with conventional, nuclear and cyberwarfare attacks. Kim Jong Un's regime accused the U.S. of "inching closer to the stage of igniting a war of aggression" by stepping up sanctions, holding military drills with South Korea and predicting the collapse of the regime, the official news agency said, referring to "gangster-like U.S. imperialists."


Costs rise as refugee population grows

The cost of caring for refugees and displaced persons more than tripled in the past decade amid turmoil from Syria to the Central African Republic, straining the international community's efforts. Global spending on humanitarian aid rose to $21 billion last year from $14.5 billion in 2013 and $4.7 billion in 2004, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said in Budapest. The United Nations is asking members for $16.4 billion for humanitarian aid in 2015, 27 percent more than in 2014.


Government critics get life sentences

A Cairo court sentenced a prominent rights activist and 229 others to life in prison. The sentences, which can be appealed, are the longest jail terms handed down to non-Islamist opponents of the government. The case also points to a systematic crushing of mostly secular figures who played key roles in Egypt's 2011 revolution that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. France

Ex-military members have joined ISIL

At least 12 former members of the French military are among the estimated 1,000 French citizens who have joined the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, including one special forces commando who was radicalized while working as a security contractor in the Persian Gulf, officials said. At least three former soldiers have been apprehended attempting to return to France from the Middle East after having fought alongside insurgents, according to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Nine others currently fighting with ISIL have been identified.

Washington, D.C.

Alternatives to health law are floated

A small, influential group of Republicans in search of a replacement health care law will propose tax credits to help lower-income individuals and families purchase insurance, officials said. The GOP lawmakers would jettison the controversial coverage requirement in the current Affordable Care Act. The proposal is part of an outline that will be made public Thursday.


Trial in sniper's murder set to begin

Stephenville is preparing for the first day of jury selection in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, who is accused of killing Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle, who became one of the country's most lethal snipers during four tours of duty in Iraq, writing a book that was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie. He was gunned down two years ago. Routh is being held on murder charges.

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