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Cubans celebrate...Freed American looks for better US-Cuban relations...Stocks surge on Fed statement

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HAVANA (AP) — One man in the Cuban capital of Havana says it's "a wish come true." He's among the Cubans celebrating the news that his country and the United States are re-establishing diplomatic relations. Carlos Gonzalez says it will "open the road to a better future for the two countries." In Cuba, bells pealed and schoolchildren interrupted lessons to mark the historic news.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The plans by President Barack Obama to move toward normalized relations with Cuba are sweeping. Obama is looking to expand economic ties with Cuba, open an embassy in Havana, and review that country's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. The U.S. is also easing restrictions on travel to Cuba -- but tourist travel will still be banned.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alan Gross says he learned the lesson during five years in Cuban captivity that freedom is not free. Gross spoke in Washington just after returning from Cuba, where he was imprisoned for five years. Cuba released him as part of an agreement to re-establish diplomatic relations with the United States. Gross says he hopes the U.S. and Cuba can now move beyond their mutually belligerent policies. He says two wrongs never make a right. Gross says knowing he wasn't forgotten by people in the U.S. was crucial to his survival.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is offering the nation's continued support to Pakistan in its fight against extremism after a terrorist attack that killed scores of schoolchildren. Obama expressed America's condolences in a telephone call last night with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (nah-WAHZ' shah-REEF'). Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the city of Peshawar (puh-SHAH'-wuhr) in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing 148 people. Most were children. The Taliban said the attack was revenge for a military offensive against their safe havens in the northwest, along the border with Afghanistan.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average has surged this afternoon -- rising by as much as 300 points. This, after the Federal Reserve signaled it was edging closer to raising interest rates because of a strengthening U.S. economy, but promised to be "patient" in its approach. The Fed gave no specific guidance on when the first rate hike might occur.

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