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Budget deal signed...Afghans reassured...Spike in overdose deaths



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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a $1.1 trillion measure that will boost spending for defense and non-defense programs over the coming year. Republican leaders and the White House say the deal is the best they could do under divided government. It does not contain contentious provisions including an effort to halt federal money for Planned Parenthood.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously in favor of a peace process for Syria. The proposal includes a cease-fire and talks between the government and the opposition. The resolution notes that conflict will likely continue despite the process because it bars "terrorist groups" from operating in Syria. It also doesn't address the role of embattled President Bashar Assad.

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter has reassured his Afghan counterpart that the U.S. is committed to supporting Afghan security forces and building their capabilities for years to come. Carter's visit comes as his top commander there, Gen. John Campbell, voiced concerns that foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq are joining with Afghans who have declared loyalty to the Islamic State group near the Pakistan border.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A squabble between the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic National Committee over access to the DNC's voter database has landed in federal court. The DNC temporarily barred the campaign this week from the massive database after Sanders' staff improperly accessed data compiled by the campaign of rival Hillary Clinton.

NEW YORK (AP) — A government report shows drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year. For the nation, overdose deaths last year surpassed 47,000 — up 7 percent from the previous year. That's the most reported in the nation since at least 1970. The highest overdose rates were in West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio. The count includes legal and illicit drugs.

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The Associated Press

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