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Details of aid to Afghan army now secret

Afghan National Army soldiers in Kandahar province on January 11, 2015The US military will no longer divulge facts and figures about its costly effort to assist Afghan security forces, declaring the information top secret, officials said Thursday. The move marks an about-face for the Pentagon, which for the past six years has reported a range of data about the $65 billion program to build up the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). "The decision leaves SIGAR unable to publicly report on most of the $65 billion US-taxpayer-funded efforts to build, train, equip and sustain the ANSF," Sopko's office said in its latest report. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, defended the move, saying the information -- which includes an assessment of the combat readiness of Afghan units -- could prove helpful to Taliban insurgents and needed to be kept secret.


As Romney weighs '16 bid, his past donors commit to Jeb Bush

 what it takes, both in personality as a candidate and in a supporting staff, to win the White House for the GOP. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Closing in on a decision about whether to again run for president, Mitt Romney is finding that several past major fundraisers and donors in key states have defected to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.


Some doctors won't see patients with anti-vaccine views

Graphic shows measles cases in the U.S. since 1994.; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;LOS ANGELES (AP) — With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice on his door and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won't get them vaccinated.


APNewsBreak: Pot arrests plunge in NYC after policy change

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's pledge to stop making many marijuana arrests is playing out on the streets, where arrests and summonses for small-time pot possession have plummeted since the policy change this fall.

McCain to protesters: 'Get out of here, you low-life scum'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain kicked protesters out of a committee hearing Thursday, calling them "low-life scum" as they hollered for the arrest of one of the witnesses, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Google quarterly profit up 41%, but short of forecasts

Google reported net profit up 41 percent from last year at $4.76 billion in the final three months of last yearGoogle on Thursday reported that its profit in the recently ended quarter jumped, but the leap fell short of market expectations. The Internet colossus reported net profit up 41 percent from last year at $4.76 billion in the final three months of last year. Revenues were up 15 percent in the quarter to $18.1 billion, also slower that anticipated as Google saw slowdowns in some of its online advertising metrics such as costs per click. Google shares fell 1.7 percent in after-hours trading on the news.


EU wins Greek backing to extend Russia sanctions, delays decision on new steps

A man walks past a shop which was recently damaged by shelling, at a local market in DonetskBy Robin Emmott and Pavel Polityuk BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) - European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. They also agreed to list the names of additional people who could be targeted with sanctions when they meet again on Feb. 9. The bloc's foreign policy chief said a decision on such measures would be left to EU leaders meeting next month. On Saturday, suspected rebel forces shelled the major port city of Mariupol, killing 30 people.


FTC settles case against 'revenge porn' site operator

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Colorado man accused of operating a "revenge porn" website has settled with federal regulators who said he broke the law by posting nude pictures of women without their consent or knowledge.

Tom Petty says no hard feelings on Sam Smith song

Tom Petty, performing on August 3, 2014 in San Diego, California, says similarities between Sam Smith's smash hit "Stay With Me" and his own "I Won't Back Down" were coincidenceRocker Tom Petty says he never threatened to sue Sam Smith over his smash hit "Stay With Me" and agreed that similarities to his own "I Won't Back Down" were coincidence. Petty concurred with Smith's account that the two sides reached a quick agreement after the American rocker contacted the younger star.


Dems threaten to block action on Homeland-immigration bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats threatened Thursday to block action on legislation funding the Homeland Security Department until Republicans jettison House-passed provisions that reverse President Barack Obama's key immigration policies.

Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

Firemen investigate the scene of a fatal fire Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in San Francisco. Officials are investigating whether fire alarms and fire escapes were working properly after a massive blaze ripped through a building in San Francisco's bustling Mission District, killing a man and injuring five other people. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Residents fleeing a massive blaze that killed a man and injured five people as it ripped through a San Francisco building told officials they did not hear fire alarms and could not get to fire escapes.


Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American public and U.S. scientists are light-years apart on science issues. And 98 percent of surveyed scientists say it's a problem that we don't know what they are talking about.

Ford Motor CEO: F-Series pickup trucks having best January since 2004

Ford Motor Chief Executive Mark Fields said that sales of the company's profitable and best-selling pickup trunk line, the F-Series, are on a pace to show the best January since 2004. Ford introduced an aluminum body F-150 in the fall and continues to ramp up production of the new truck. The F-150 is key to the company's profit in North America, which is was easily the best performing region for Ford in 2014.

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