False alarm in South China Sea...Holder calls heroin an 'urgent public health crisis'...Nome prepping for Iditarod end

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 10, 2014 at 5:00 a.m.



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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A yellow object in the South China Sea thought to be possibly a life raft from a missing Malaysia Airlines jet has turned out to be floating moss-covered trash. After more than two days of searching for the plane with 239 people on board, there's still no confirmation that it's even crashed. Meanwhile, authorities have questioned the travel agency in Malaysia that sold one-way tickets to two passengers who used stolen passports.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban says they'll order their fighters to "use all force" possible to disrupt the upcoming presidential election April 5. A Taliban spokesman says clerics across Afghanistan are being told to spread the word that the election is "an American conspiracy." The vote is seen as key to Afghanistan's stability ahead of the final withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of December.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder says first responders should carry with them drugs to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. In a new video message released by the Justice Department, Holder says the increase in heroin-related deaths is an "urgent public health crisis," and he says addiction to opiates and heroin is affecting Americans in all states and from "every background and walk of life."

DAMASCUS (AP) — Thirteen Greek Orthodox nuns who were freed today after being held hostage for months by al-Qaida linked Syrian rebels have arrived in Damascus. Syria's state-run news says the nuns have reached a predominantly Christian neighborhood in the Syrian capital to a popular welcome by residents. The nuns were released in a rare deal between the Syrian government and rebels of the Nusra Front in which about 150 imprisoned Syrian women will be released.

NOME, Alaska (AP) — Nome, Alaska is getting ready for the end of the Iditarod sled dog race. Today they plan to put up the finish line banner and public works employees have trucked in snow to give the mushers a path once they leave the Bering Sea ice. About 200 volunteers have descended on Nome to make other last-minute preparations. Four-time champion Jeff King is leading the race about 20 minutes ahead of the next team.

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The Associated Press

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