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Casualties mount as Iraqi troops advance in IS-held Mosul
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - "We have wounded!" the men shouted from the roadside. Two soldiers, bleeding, were being bandaged beside their smoking vehicle on the side of a dusty dirt road. Iraqi special forces Maj. Saif Ali yelled to his driver to stop and leaped out. "Put one inside and the other on top!" he called to his men. One was put in Ali's seat, the other laid on the vehicle's hood. "Go!" he shouted, crouching on the hood next to the wounded man. His driver blared the horn and the gunner shot into the air trying to clear a way through a sea of fleeing civilians and livestock.


Malaysia: Poisoning of Kim caused paralysis, quick death
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia's health minister said Sunday that the dose of nerve agent given to North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un's exiled half brother was so high that it killed him within 20 minutes and caused "very serious paralysis." Kim Jong Nam died Feb. 13 at Kuala Lumpur's airport in what Malaysian police say was a well-planned hit by two women who wiped a liquid on Kim's face. Police revealed Friday that the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim, raising the stakes in the case. Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said the dose of VX given to Kim was so high that he showed symptoms within minutes.


Russians march to honor slain opposition leader Nemtsov
MOSCOW (AP) - Thousands of Russians marched through Moscow on Sunday shouting slogans such as "Russia will be free!" and "Putin is war!" to mark two years since opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down outside the Kremlin. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, was a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin. His Feb. 27, 2015, death, in what appeared to be a contract killing, sparked an outpouring of anger and fear in Russia's beleaguered opposition movement. The memorial protest was the largest opposition gathering since a similar march for Nemtsov in 2016. Organizers put the number of participants at just over 15,000.


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Will 'La La' have another day of sun at Sunday's Oscars?
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Will the 89th Academy Awards be a parade of political speeches or landslide for "La La Land"? Probably both. Sunday night's Oscars are shaping up to be one of the most turbulent and politically charged ceremonies in recent memory. The three-hour-plus telecast, which begins at 8:30 p.m. on ABC, is expected to resemble one very glitzy protest against President Donald Trump, whom award-winners - like Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes - have railed against throughout Hollywood's awards season. An unusually tense atmosphere has coalesced before the Dolby Theatre ceremony, with protests, rallies and boycotts swirling around this year's Oscars.


New Dem Party chairman Perez pledges to repair, unite party
ATLANTA (AP) - Newly elected Democratic national chairman Tom Perez pledged on Sunday to unite a fractured party, rebuild at all levels from "school board to the Senate" and reach out to chunks of rural America left feeling forgotten in the 2016 election. Speaking in television interviews, Perez indicated that an important first step was joining with vanquished rival Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who agreed at Perez's invitation to serve as the Democratic National Committee's deputy chairman. Perez said the two would work hard to put out an affirmative party message while opposing President Donald Trump's policies, adding that he and Ellison were already getting a "good kick" that Trump was stirred to tweet that the DNC election was "rigged."


Congress returns, with health care, Supreme Court on agenda
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress returns to Washington this week to confront dramatic decisions on health care and the Supreme Court that may help determine the course of Donald Trump's presidency. First, the president will have his say, in his maiden speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. Majority Republicans in the House and Senate will be closely watching the prime-time address for guidance, marching orders or any specifics Trump might embrace on health care or taxes, areas where some of his preferences remain a mystery. Congressional Republicans insist they are working closely with the new administration as they prepare to start taking votes on health legislation, with the moment finally upon them to make good on seven years of promises to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.


Police say drunk driver caused Mardi Gras crash that hurt 28
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Authorities on Sunday identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated. The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Online jail records showed Rizzuto was arrested on a number of charges and was being held at the city's jail. The accident happened Saturday during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras when thousands of people throng the streets of Mid-City to watch the elaborate floats and clamor to catch beads and trinkets tossed from riders. "We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated," Police Chief Michael Harrison had said on Saturday evening.


Report warns of state money fallout from health law repeal
WASHINGTON (AP) - A sobering report to governors about the potential consequences of repealing the Obama-era health care law warns that federal spending cuts probably would create funding gaps for states and threaten many people with the loss of insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act has two main components for expanding coverage: subsidized private health insurance available in all 50 states, and an optional Medicaid expansion that has been accepted by 31 states and the District of Columbia. Those two components of the health law cover more than 20 million people. A report by the consulting firms Avalere Health and McKinsey & Company concluded that the changes under consideration by the GOP-led House would reduce significantly federal dollars for Medicaid and subsidized private insurance.


Samsung delays its new phone, and showcases tablets instead
NEW YORK (AP) - Samsung's product showcase Sunday is notable for what's missing: a new flagship phone. Instead, Samsung is spotlighting new Android and Windows tablets after delaying the Galaxy S8 smartphone - an indirect casualty of the unprecedented September recall of the fire-prone Note 7 phone . The new tablets will carry the Galaxy brand and come with many of the Note 7's features, including the S Pen stylus and screens with rich colors. Consumers will have to wait at least a few weeks longer for details on Samsung's next major smartphone. That's partly so that Samsung wouldn't have to share the stage with its smartphone rivals at the Mobile World Congress trade show, which begins Monday in Barcelona, Spain.


Family representative says actor Bill Paxton has died
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bill Paxton, a prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as "Apollo 13" and "Titanic" while also cherishing his work in "One False Move" and other low-budget movies and in the HBO series "Big Love," has died from complications due to surgery. He was 61. A family representative issued a statement Sunday on the death but provided no further details. Paxton, a Fort Worth, Texas, native, appeared in dozens of movies and television shows and seemed to be around when history was made both on and off screen. As a boy, he was in the crowd that welcomed President John F.



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