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Fate of hostages unclear...Keystone XL clears Senate...Rod McKuen dies



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TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials say they have nothing to report on a possible prisoner swap purportedly sought by the Islamic State group holding a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian military pilot. The deadline passed on Thursday night. A government spokesman said Friday that Japan has "strong trust" in Jordan to help save the Japanese hostage. The extremists want the release of an Iraqi woman linked to al-Qaida.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The FBI has added a former taxi driver from northern Virginia to its list of most-wanted terrorists. An arrest warrant unsealed on Thursday says Liban Haji Mohamed was a recruiter for the Somali terror group al-Shabab. Mohamed is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia. A hearing on his case will be held Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite the threat of a veto, the GOP-led Senate has pushed through a bill calling for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would move Canadian crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries. Nine Democrats voted with Republicans. But the margin of victory would not be enough to override a veto. The Senate measure must be reconciled with the House version.

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) — Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge (shug)" Knight is being investigated as a "person of interest" in a fatal hit-and-run in suburban Los Angeles. A lawyer for the rap music mogul says Knight was attempting to escape attackers when his vehicle struck two men in Compton. An investigator says Knight was seen in a dispute and then driving a red pickup truck that backed into and then drove forward over the men before taking off. The truck was found late Thursday.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rod McKuen, one of the most prolific songwriter-performers ever, has died. A relative says McKuen, who was 81, died Thursday in Beverly Hills of pneumonia after a lengthy illness. Despite harsh criticism and a throaty sound, McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums — dozens of which went gold or platinum — and more than 30 collections of poetry. His 1969 song "Jean" was nominated for an Oscar.

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The Associated Press

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