BEIRUT (AP) — Jordan's government says it's highly skeptical of a claim attributed to the Islamic State group today. A statement purportedly from the group says a Jordanian airstrike today killed an American woman who was being held hostage by the group in northern Syria. The statement further claims that no Islamic State militants were killed. It identifies the woman as Kayla Jean Mueller (MYOO'-lur), an Arizona woman who'd reportedly been working with a humanitarian aid agency. The White House says it's "deeply concerned," but that it's seen no evidence to support the claim.
NEW YORK (AP) — The suburban New York rail crossing where six people died in a collision between a commuter train and an SUV had undergone a number of safety upgrades in recent years, but some planned work was never done. Records obtained by The Associated Press show that in 2009, state officials set aside money to install a third set of flashing warning lights at the crossing. For reasons officials can't seem to explain, they were never put in. It's unclear whether more lights would have prevented Tuesday's crash.
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Jurors in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez have spent about 45 minutes touring his home. The former NFL player is accused of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée's sister. Jurors were taken on a bus today to several sites in Massachusetts, with a heavy police escort. Hernandez's home in North Attleboro is not far from the industrial park where Lloyd's body was found.
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News has assigned the head of its own investigative unit to look into statements made by anchor Brian Williams about his reporting in Iraq a dozen years ago. A source at the network confirms the investigation. Williams has apologized for falsely saying on the air that he was in a helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while in Iraq in 2003. The incident has ballooned into a full-blown crisis for NBC and Williams, whose "Nightly News" is the top-rated evening news program.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The mayor of Toledo, Ohio, has died five days after suffering cardiac arrest while driving during a snowstorm. A city spokeswoman says Mayor Michael Collins died today at the University of Toledo Medical Center. The 70-year-old was in his first term as mayor of Ohio's fourth-largest city. He was found unconscious after crashing his SUV into a utility pole Sunday when he suffered cardiac arrest. Collins was thrust into the spotlight last summer when the city's water supply was contaminated by toxins in Lake Erie.