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Today's News

  • Stocks struggle higher despite weak housing news

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher Tuesday, overcoming earlier losses from weak reports on consumer confidence and home prices.

    Home Depot Inc. rose 2.7 percent, the most of the 30 large companies in the Dow Jones industrial average. The retailer said it would buy $1 billion of its own stock with cash from selling bonds.

    Stocks started lower after a report showed that home prices fell in 19 of the 20 large U.S. cities tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Washington was the only city in which prices rose. Prices have fallen 3 percent in the past year.

  • Home prices falling in most major US cities

    NEW YORK (AP) — Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and the average prices in four of them are at their lowest point in 11 years. Analysts expect further prices declines in most cities in the coming months.

    The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday shows price declines in 19 cities from December to January. Eleven of them are at their lowest level since the housing bust, in 2006 and 2007. The index fell for the sixth straight month.

    Home values in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Detroit and Cleveland are now below January 2000 levels.

    The only market where prices rose was Washington, where homes prices gained 0.1 percent month over month.

  • Gunmen kill 56 in grisly Iraq hostage siege

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Wearing military uniforms over explosives belts, gunmen held a local Iraqi government center hostage Tuesday in a grisly siege that ended with the deaths of at least 56 people, including three councilmen who were executed with gunshots to the head.

    The five-hour standoff in Tikrit, former dictator Saddam Hussein's home town, ended only when the attackers blew themselves up in one of the bloodiest days in Iraqi this year.

    First they set fire to the bodies of the three slain Salahuddin province councilmen in a brutal, defiant show of how insurgents still render Iraq unstable — even if it has so far escaped the political unrest rolling across the Arab world.

  • Kan: Japan on 'maximum alert' over nuke crisis--video added

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's leader insisted Tuesday that the country was on "maximum alert" to bring its nuclear crisis under control, but the spread of radiation raised concerns about the ability of experts to stabilize the crippled reactor complex.

    Wan but resolute, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament that Japan was grappling with its worst problems since World War II.

    "This quake, tsunami and the nuclear accident are the biggest crises for Japan" in decades, Kan said, dressed in one of the blue work jackets that have become ubiquitous among bureaucrats since the tsunami. He said the crises remained unpredictable, but added: "From now on, we will continue to handle it in a state of maximum alert."

  • FACT CHECK: How Obama's Libya claims fit the facts

    EDITOR'S NOTE: An occasional look at statements by political leaders and how well they adhere to the facts.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — There may be less than meets the eye to President Barack Obama's statements Monday night that NATO is taking over from the U.S. in Libya and that U.S. action is limited to defending people under attack there by Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

    In transferring command and control to NATO, the U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show.

  • Chicago man arrested in Texas for NM killings

    TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) — A 33-year-old Chicago man has been arrested in the killings of two men at a Tucumcari, N.M., hotel.

    New Mexico state police spokesman Eric Garcia said Monday that Muziwokuthula "Muzie" Madonda was arrested without incident in Conroe, Texas outside of Houston on two counts of murder and tampering with evidence.

    It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

    Madonda is awaiting extradition back to New Mexico to face the charges, which stem from the deaths of 37-year-old Gabriel Baca and 57-year-old Bobby Gonzales, both of Tucumcari.

    A family member who looked through a window at the Tucumcari Inn found the men's bodies Thursday.

    It's unclear how the men were killed.

  • Obama strongly defends US military action in Libya--video extra

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world's conscience and "been a betrayal of who we are." Yet he ruled out targeting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a costly mistake.

    Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead — but offering no estimate on when the conflict might end.

  • NM man faces charges in Rio Arriba Co. double murder

    ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a 28-year-old Ojo Caliente man has been arrested in connection with a double homicide in Rio Arriba County.

    Police say Donald Ferran is facing first-degree murder and tampering with evidence charges in the deaths of 27-year-old Sarah Salazar and 25-year-old Joey Maestas.

    The victims' burned bodies were found after firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire in the early hours of Feb. 28th along U.S. 285 between Espanola and Ojo Caliente.

    Agents with the state police criminal investigations bureau were called to the scene and began an in-depth investigation into what lead up to the vehicle fire. Agents found evidence that led them to believe it was a double homicide.

  • Border agent shot man in back 3 times

    PHOENIX (AP) — A Mexican man was climbing a ladder at an Arizona-Mexico border wall when a Border Patrol agent fatally shot him three times in the back, a sheriff's spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Monday.

    Cochise County sheriff's investigators have no indication that Carlos La Madrid, 19, assaulted or tried to assault the agent when he was shot March 21, said agency spokeswoman Carol Capas.

    La Madrid had fled police in the Arizona border city of Douglas in a truck and drove to the border with Mexico. He was climbing a ladder and trying to cross the border, and another man atop the wall began throwing rocks at the pursuing agent, Capas said.

  • Libyan rebels close in on key Gadhafi stronghold--video extra

    BIN JAWWAD, Libya (AP) — Rebel forces fought their way Monday toward Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold guarding the road to the capital Tripoli.

    Their rapid advance came on the back of international airstrikes that have battered Gadhafi's air force, armor and troops over the past week. The rebels have now recaptured all the territory they lost over the past week and brought them closer than ever to Sirte — within 60 miles (100 kilometers).