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Deadly Baghdad bombings...IS hostage death questioned...Merkel: latest Ukraine effort uncertain

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BAGHDAD (AP) — With a long-time curfew about to end in Iraq's capital, a pair of deadly bombings is serving as a reminder that Baghdad can still be a very violent place. A suicide bomber killed at least 14 people when he blew himself up on a street filled with hardware stores. In a market in another part of Baghdad, two improvised explosive devices detonated near one another, killing at least 11 people.

PRESCOTT, Arizona (AP) — The Islamic State group's claim that a 26-year-old woman hostage died in a Jordanian airstrike into Syria is still being disputed. Jordan dismisses the claim as "criminal propaganda" while the U.S. says it has no proof. The parents say they still hope Kayla Jean Mueller of Arizona is alive and that they hold IS responsible for her safety.

MUNICH (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that despite her uncertainty about success, the latest effort to broker peace in eastern Ukraine is worth it. Merkel insisted after returning from talks in Moscow that a military solution is not an option. She addressed the Munich Security Conference. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are all attending.

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Elections in Nigeria are off for now because of a militant threat. An official says Nigeria's electoral commission will postpone Feb. 14 presidential and legislative elections for six weeks to give a new multinational force time to secure northeastern areas under the sway of Boko Haram. Millions could be disenfranchised if the voting went ahead now.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — TransAsia Airways pilots who fly the airline's ATR propjet planes are getting recertified over the next few days on orders from Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration following a deadly crash that killed at least 39 people. The airline says it canceled 90 flights over the next three days to accommodate the retesting requirement.

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