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Sessions responds ... NKorea rejects autopsy in death of Kim Jong Nam ... Donors pledge nearly $200 million for family planning

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is responding to allegations that he twice talked to the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign. Democrats say Sessions didn't mention the discussions during his confirmation hearing, and that he should now recuse himself from a Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. Sessions said last night that he never discussed campaign issues with the Russians, and told NBC this morning, "I have said that when it's appropriate, I will recuse myself."

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator says Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step aside from any role in the Justice Department's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia. Minnesota's Al Franken tells MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Sessions' statements about his contacts with Moscow have been "contradictory." At Session's confirmation hearing in January, Franken asked him what he would do if there was evidence that anyone from the Trump campaign had been in touch with the Russian government during the 2016 White House race. Sessions replied he was "unaware of those activities."

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — North Korea is rejecting a Malaysian autopsy finding that a nerve agent killed the estranged half-brother of the North's ruler Kim Jong Un. A former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations says Kim Jong Nam probably died of a heart attack because he had heart disease. Malaysia dismisses the claim and is now scrapping visa-free entry for North Koreans. Malaysian officials say two women smeared the nerve agent on Kim's face as he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur's airport last month.

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish troops say Russia has brokered an agreement between them and Turkish-backed opposition fighters in an effort to avoid clashes between the two mutually hostile rivals, who are both fighting the Islamic State group in northern Syria. But Turkey's foreign minister says there's been no such agreement between Russia and the Syrian Kurds.

BRUSSELS (AP) — Nations and philanthropists have pledged close to$200 million for family planning in an effort to make up for the gap left by President Donald Trump's ban on U.S. funding to groups linked to abortion. Some 50 governments attended the hastily convened international conference in Brussels, and the funding drive was boosted by Sweden, Canada and Finland each promising $21 million. Private donors like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided tens of millions more.

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