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Saudi leader dies...Yemen power shift...Popular shoe designer dies



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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. He was a powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington's fight against al-Qaida. He's also credited with attempting to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms. President Barack Obama praised Abdullah's efforts to promote peace in the region. Abdullah was 90.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — An American ally is out of power in Yemen. President Abed Rabbo Masour Hadi has stepped down under pressure from Shiite rebels who were holding him captive in his home. The rebels, known as Houthis, (HOO'-theez) control the capital -- Sanaa (sah-NAH'). They're believed to be backed by Iran and had demanded a greater share of power. The shakeup could affect U.S. efforts to use Yemen as a base to go after al-Qaida in the region.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have passed a bill tightening federal restrictions on abortions. The House approved the bill by a near party-line 242-179 vote. The White House has warned that President Barack Obama would veto the measure, all but ensuring that it will never become law. The bill would permanently bar federal funds for any abortion coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he's no cheater and did not alter the footballs used in Sunday's AFC Championship game. Brady responded to questions today amid an NFL investigation into how balls used in the game ended up being underinflated. Brady acknowledged checking and approving the game balls in advance but said he would never break the rules and had no knowledge of anyone doctoring them. The Patriots beat the Colts Sunday to earn another trip to the Super Bowl.

UNDATED (AP) — Famed footwear designer Vince Camuto has died in Connecticut at age 78. Camuto co-founded the shoe company Nine West Group in 1978. Camuto had been battling cancer.

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The Associated Press

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