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J.C. Penney to shut 130-plus stores, offer early retirements

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney is joining its department store rivals in pruning its store numbers in an era of online shopping. Penney said Friday that it will close 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it tries to improve profitability. The company said that it would also initiate a ... Read More »

Democratic senators criticize Trump on Chinese trademarks

SHANGHAI (AP) — Democratic senators are protesting the Trump Organization’s acceptance of a valuable trademark from the Chinese government without asking Congress first if doing so is constitutional. A group of 13 senators warned President Donald Trump in a letter Thursday that they intend to hold him accountable to his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Additional Democrats signed a ... Read More »

The Latest: Turkey’s military says ‘achieved goals’ in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the developments in the Syrian conflict (all times local): 6:45 p.m. Turkey’s chief of military staff says Turkey has “achieved the goals” it set for its military operation in northern Syria. Gen. Hulusi Akar made the comment on Friday during a visit to the border with Syria, after Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition forces ... Read More »

Report: German spy agency targets foreign reporters’ phones

BERLIN (AP) — The German weekly Der Spiegel reports that the country’s spy agency had at least 50 numbers and email addresses of journalists among its surveillance targets. Spiegel reported Friday that a list seen by the magazine contained over a dozen numbers belonging to the BBC in Afghanistan and London. It says a New York Times phone number in ... Read More »

US stocks dip as banks and energy companies fall

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are declining Friday morning as investors again look for safer places to put their money. Business technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprises is falling after it announced weak sales. Bond prices are dropping and yields are rising. That’s sending interest rates lower, which hurts banks. High-dividend stocks are rising. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial ... Read More »

‘No anonymous sources,’ Trump scolds _ after WH uses them

Reince Priebus, Stephen Bannon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump used his first presidential appearance before the nation’s largest gathering of conservative activists on Friday to sharply escalate his criticism of the news media and take direct aim at the use of anonymous sources. Reporters “shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,” he declared, just hours after members of his own ... Read More »

South Africa anti-immigrant protests erupt in capital

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon Friday as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in South Africa’s capital, while President Jacob Zuma condemned the violence but said his country’s migrant burden is bigger than Europe’s. A petition the protesters handed to the foreign ministry, seen by The Associated Press, suggested ... Read More »

Officials: Trump adviser asked FBI to dispute Russia reports

Reince Priebus

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials to dispute media reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, according to three White House officials who confirmed the unusual contact with law enforcement involved in a pending investigation. The officials said that Priebus’ Feb. 15 ... Read More »

The Latest: Trump speech to conservatives evokes campaign

Donald Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 11:30 a.m. President Donald Trump’s speech Friday to a leading conservative group was like a series of greatest hits from his campaign rallies. He reminisced about his victory in the Republican primaries. He vowed to “build the wall” along the Mexican border. He denounced Hillary Clinton’s characterization of ... Read More »

Bosnia: landslide forces home evacuations, road closure

Bosnia landslide

KAKANJ, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — More than 150 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in central Bosnia on Friday because a major landslide from huge piles of soil and mine waste from a nearby open pit coal mine threatens to bury their villages. Some 40 homes in the villages of Ribnica and Mramor in the direct path of the ... Read More »