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Building strength... Taliban attacks... Arrests in London jewel heist

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilding went through the roof in April to the fastest pace in nearly seven and a-half years. The Commerce Department says housing starts last month increased 20.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million homes. That pace ranks as the fastest clip since November 2007. Housing starts surged in the Northeast, Midwest and West, while slipping slightly in the South.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban is claiming responsibility for a large suicide car bombing in downtown Kabul. An Afghan official says the blast killed four people and apparently targeted justice ministry employees leaving work. It was third large attack in Afghanistan's capital in the past week.

BAGHDAD (AP) — The government of Iraq is renewing its commitment to arm anti-militant Sunni tribes following the loss of the key city of Ramadi to the Islamic State group. A tribal leader says Iraqi forces and allied Sunni tribesmen have repelled an IS attack overnight on a town west of Baghdad.

LONDON (AP) — London's big jewelry heist may have been solved. More than 200 British police swooped down on suspected thieves today, arresting seven men. Authorities say they believe they've recovered some of the stolen loot. Thieves broke into a vault containing safe-deposit boxes during Easter weekend.

GALWAY, Ireland (AP) — Britain's Prince Charles has begun an official visit to Ireland by meeting the leader of the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein (shin fayn) party for the first time. Charles shook hands and chatted over tea with Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

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