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Preventing a flotilla...German anti-Muslim leader steps down...Big job cuts at American Express

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HAVANA (AP) — The Coast Guard has additional vessels in place off Florida to prevent Cuban rafters from starting an exodus to the U.S. now that it is talking with the Cuban government about normalizing ties. In Havana, an American delegation is meeting with Cuban officials for the first time in three decades. Some Cubans are worried that current rules granting virtually automatic legal residency to Cubans who reach U.S. soil may change.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pushing back against a plan by House Speaker John Boehner to invite Israel's prime minister to speak to Congress about new sanctions against Iran. President Barack Obama had already warned that congressional interference could derail international talks limiting Iran's nuclear program. Secretary of State John Kerry says an unidentified Israeli intelligence official says slapping sanctions on Iran now "would be like throwing a grenade into the process."

BERLIN (AP) — The leader of a German organization against so-called "Islamization" of Europe has stepped down after online posts surfaced in which he used derogatory language to refer to refugees and posed looking like Adolf Hitler. Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, had called refugees "cattle" and "filthy," and a photo showed him with a Hitler mustache and hair combed over like the Nazi leader.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's foreign minister says Russia and Ukraine have agreed on procedure for pulling back heavy weapons. The two sides are said to have agreed that heavy arms should be pulled back 9 miles from a demarcation line defined in a previous agreement of last year.

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express says it will cut more than 4,000 jobs across the company this year. A spokeswoman says the cuts will span U.S. and international operations. American Express Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Campbell said some of the job cuts will be offset by hiring in other parts of the company.

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