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US-NATO-Ukraine ... Jordan-Islamic State ... Taiwan air crash

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is moving closer to sending arms to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed rebels. Three U.S. Cabinet-level officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, are flying to Europe for consultations with NATO allies and officials in Kiev and Munich. Meanwhile, NATO's secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg (yehnz STOHL'-tehn-burg), is telling reporters the alliance is set to more than double the size of its Response Force in view of Russia's actions in Ukraine.

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The killing of a captured Jordanian pilot has strengthened King Abdullah's resolve to fight the Islamic State group. The king vowed to wage a "harsh" war against the militants after they released a video of the pilot being burned alive in a cage. The images have sent waves of revulsion across the Mideast.

NEW YORK (AP) — The deadly crash of a TransAsia plane into a river in Taiwan is again focusing the world's attention on the safety challenges facing fast-growing Asian airlines. TransAsia has been adding new routes rapidly since the Taiwanese carrier went public in 2011. TransAsia and others like it are rushing to keep up with a travel boom driven by the region's growing middle class. TransAsia Airways Flight 235 crashed shortly after takeoff from Taipei, Taiwan yesterday with 58 people on board. At least 32 have been confirmed dead.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The annual National Prayer Breakfast featuring a coming together of public and private celebrities in Washington is attracting more attention than usual. President Barack Obama is attending today's event, as he has in the past. But so, too, is the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The question is whether the two will interact at the breakfast, which will attract about 3,600 guests.

UNDATED (AP) — If you bought a ticket or tickets for last night's $317 million Powerball drawing, sorry. Nobody won the jackpot. There'll be another drawing Saturday night. Each drawing without a winner rolls the jackpot over and makes it more lucrative. The Powerball website shows the current estimated haul for the next drawing is $360 million.

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