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Ryan: World is watching...Russia says it was nothing...Colombia confirms defects linked to Zika



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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan says the whole world is watching American politics -- and that he can understand how Middle East allies would be rattled by Republican Donald Trump's comments. In an interview with reporters today, Ryan also criticized President Barack Obama's foreign policy and said allies want to know if the U.S. is "still in the game." Ryan recently led a congressional delegation to five countries, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is giving a very different account of the encounter between Russian attack planes and a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea. The U.S. European command, backed by photos and video, says the Russian planes buzzed a U.S. ship multiple times Monday and Tuesday. But a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry insists that the pilots saw the ship and turned back "while using all measures of precaution." And he says he's baffled by what he calls "the distressed reaction" of the U.S. military.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will deliver his final commencement speeches as president at Rutgers (RUHT'-gurs) University in New Jersey, Howard University and the Air Force Academy. The president typically delivers just a few graduation speeches every year, including one to a service academy. His speech at Howard will be his third at a historically black college or university.

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia is confirming its first two cases of a rare birth defect linked to the spread of Zika (ZEE'-kuh). The country's health officials say that of the 33 cases of babies being born with abnormally small heads so far this year, two have been confirmed to have been caused by the virus, which is carried by mosquitoes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control yesterday confirmed that Zika is a cause of the defect.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York has ended its ban on professional mixed martial arts as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law to regulate the fights. The governor said the fights will boost the economy. New York was the last state to lift its ban on the bouts. Cuomo signed the measure at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, a potentially lucrative site for big promotions like Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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The Associated Press

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