TOP STORIES:

AL-QAIDA SYRIA

WASHINGTON — While the Islamic State group is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria — a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe — poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation, American officials say. By Ken Dilanian and Eileen Sullivan.

AP Photos.

OBAMA-BRITON SLAIN

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama condemned as a "barbaric murder" the slaying of British aid worker David Haines by Islamic State extremists. Haines was abducted last year in Syria, and extremists released a video showing his beheading.

JAMAICA-RASTA RIGHTS

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Their dreadlocked image and pot-laced mysticism is used to promote Jamaica as a tourist destination yet Rastafarians for decades have been locked up for smoking marijuana as a ritual sacrament. But times are changing for followers of Jamaica's homegrown Rasta religion. The government is pushing ahead with a plan to decriminalize pot. By David McFadden.

AP Photos.

BUSINESS:

APPLE MOBILE PAYMENTS

NEW YORK — Apple wants the plastic credit card to become as rare as the paper check. The company this week announced Apple Pay, a digital payment system that lets people pay for retail store purchases using their phones rather than cash or credit cards. By Mae Anderson.

AP Photo.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

OBIT-JOE SAMPLE

UNDATED — Pianist and composer Joe Sample, a founding member of the genre-crossing Jazz Crusaders who helped pioneer the electronic jazz-funk fusion style, has died. He was 75. By Charles J. Gans.

AP Photos.