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Credibility a factor in Russia probe...Gay vets can march in parade...Sessions asks for holdovers' resignations

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as lawmakers began to review classified information at CIA's headquarters, ahead of the first hearing about Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election, the key question is credibility. Some say it's merely political theater and Democrats have called for an independent panel and special prosecutor. And the hearings will need a bipartisan buy-in to produce findings that are broadly accepted.

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade now say a gay veterans group is welcome to march. The original decision barring OutVets, who had marched the past two years, drew immediate condemnation from high-profile politicians, some of whom said they would not march if the gay veterans were excluded. It caused some sponsors to back out and stirred up a furor on social media.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department spokeswoman says it's about ensuring a uniform transition. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were holdovers from the Obama administration. By Friday evening, U.S. attorneys around the country — including in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Arkansas — had publicly announced their resignations. It's customary for that to happen.

BERLIN (AP) — A shopping center in the western German city of Essen is shuttered today after police said they received credible tips of an imminent attack. Police ordered the mal not to open and more than a hundred police officers searched the compound. The German news agency dpa reported that the downtown mall, one of the biggest in the region, would be closed for the entire day.

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Families buried some of the 37 girls killed in a fire at an overcrowded government-run youth shelter as Guatemalan authorities worked Friday to determine exactly what happened. The death toll mounted as girls succumbed to gruesome burns from Wednesday's disaster, which officials said began when mattresses were set afire during a protest. Questions remain over whether doors remained locked as the girls pleaded for their lives.

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