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WASHINGTON (AP) — A rebellion among Republicans has forced House leadership to drop plans for a Thursday debate and vote on a bill that would criminalize virtually all late-term abortions. The opposition comes from women and others in the GOP who opposed limiting exemptions for victims of rape or incest to only those who had previously reported those incidents to authorities. Critics say that would put unfair pressure on women who often feel shame or fear retaliation if they report those assaults.
HAVANA (AP) — Broader negotiations will pick up Thursday in Havana between American and Cuban officials. It's the first time in decades that a high-level U.S. delegation is on the Communist island. The nations hope to re-establish embassies and post ambassadors to each other's capitals in the coming months. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard has placed additional vessels in the Florida Straits to prevent Cuban rafters who are anxious that the U.S. might change its policy of allowing legal status to those who make it to U.S. soil
TOKYO (AP) — Japan says it is considering any and all possible ways to seek the release of two hostages held by the Islamic State group. A government spokesman said Thursday that there has been no message from the extremists since the release of a video saying the hostages would be killed within 72 hours unless a $200 million ransom was paid. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay), who returned from a six-day Middle East tour on Wednesday, has vowed not to give in to terrorism, and to continue to cooperate on providing humanitarian aid to those affected by conflict in the region.
WASHINGTON (AP) — According to a U.S. official, the FBI has wrapped up its probe of the fatal police shooting by a white officer of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri. A local grand jury cleared former officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. The New York Times reports that Justice Department lawyers don't believe the case meets the higher federal standard needed for federal prosecution. There's no word when a final decision will be announced.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego police sergeant has reportedly filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the city claiming he was punished for complaining about a racist cartoon that was used in a training class. The UT San Diego reports the lawsuit was filed by 10-year veteran Arthur Scott — who is black. At issue is a century-old newspaper cartoon mocking a black police officer in the city. It shows Chinese men in pigtails running in fear from an ape-like caricature.
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