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Merkel pushing diplomacy...No to Netanyahu...Alabama standoff

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl), who is pushing a peace initiative in Ukraine, said in Canada that the Ukraine conflict can't be solved by "military means." Fighting in eastern Ukraine between its forces and Russian-backed separatists has spiraled recently. Merkel offered the same position earlier today during a joint White House news conference with President Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Iran needs to decide now whether it will accept limits on its nuclear capability or face further sanctions. The president also told reporters at the White House that he has "very real differences" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the international nuclear talks with Iran. Obama also defended his decision not to meet with Netanyahu next month, saying protocol calls for not meeting with foreign leaders during their political campaigns.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has designated a German citizen as a global terrorist for fighting for the Islamic State group. According to the State Department, Denis Cuspert joined the militants in 2012 and has appeared in propaganda videos, including one in which he holds the head of a man he claimed was executed for opposing the group.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal today to block a lower court's ruling, most Alabama counties today have refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The local officials followed the order of the state's chief justice, who says federal courts are acting without authority. Judge Roy Moore was removed from the bench in 2003 for disobeying a federal court order to remove a boulder-size Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse.

BOSTON (AP) — Some New Englanders are scrambling to get deep snow off their homes to prevent roof collapses. More than 2 feet of snow has fallen in the latest storm and forecasters say more could fall later this week. More than 5 feet or more has fallen in less than two weeks. Boston-area subways, trolleys and commuter rail trains are closing early and will remain idle tomorrow.

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