TOP STORIES:

CONGRESS-HOMELAND SECURITY

WASHINGTON — Republicans trying to avert a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department offer to allow a vote on bill to fund the agency — stripped of provisions that would overturn President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AP Photos.

OBAMA-CONFRONTATIONS

WASHINGTON — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment. By Jim Kuhnhenn.

OBAMA-KEYSTONE

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama rejects a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying the Republican-led Congress and wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency. By Josh Lederman. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-IRAN

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry tells wary lawmakers that it was premature to criticize nuclear negotiations with Iran before any deal can be reached to keep Tehran from developing atomic weapons. By Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: NETANYAHU-DEMOCRATS.

AMERICAN SNIPER-TRIAL

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A former Marine is convicted in the deaths of the "American Sniper" author and another man at a Texas shooting range two years ago, as jurors rejected defense arguments that he was insane and suffered from psychosis. By John L. Mone and Jamie Stengle. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA-NUCLEAR

WASHINGTON — North Korea could increase its nuclear arsenal from at least 10 weapons today to between 20 and 100 weapons in five years, U.S. researchers say, as the Obama administration vows to work with U.S. allies to pressure Pyongyang to denuclearize. By Matthew Pennington.

UNITED STATES-SOMALIA

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has nominated a career diplomat to be the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in nearly 25 years, filling a post that has been vacant since the Horn of Africa country collapsed into chaos in 1991, forcing the closure of the American embassy. By Matthew Lee.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON

SANTA CLARA, California — Hillary Rodham Clinton says that if she decides to seek the White House again she would try to encourage Republicans and Democrats to solve problems. AP Photos.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN

MIAMI — George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confrontation with the teenager, will not face federal charges, the U.S. Justice Department says. By Jennifer Kay and Eric Tucker.

SUPREME COURT-RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is considering the employment discrimination claim of a Muslim woman who was turned down for a job by clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch after she showed up at her job interview wearing a black headscarf that conflicted with the company's dress code. By Mark Sherman. AP Photo.

VENEZUELA-UNREST

SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela — A 14-year-old boy dies after being shot in the head during an anti-government protest in Venezuela's restive western region. By Luz Dary Depablos and Hannah Dreier. AP Photos.

SILICON VALLEY-SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION

SAN FRANCISCO — The trial of a high-profile sex bias lawsuit in Silicon Valley begins with a lawyer for a former junior partner at a venture capital firm claiming his client was denied a promotion because of her gender and then fired when she complained. By Paul Elias and Sudhin Thanawala. AP Photo.

JAMAICA-DECRIMINALIZING POT

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican lawmakers pass an act to decriminalize small amounts of pot and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry on the Caribbean island. By David McFadden. AP Photo.

WASHINGTON POLICE SHOOTING

KENNEWICK, Washington — When Agapita Montes-Rivera first watched the video of her son being gunned down by police in the northwestern state of Washington, she rushed to the TV set in a futile effort to help him. The 60-year-old woman from tiny Parotita, Mexico, was more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away and hadn't seen her son in a decade. By Nicholas K. Geranios. AP Photos. AP Video.

TRAIN-TRUCK CRASH

OXNARD, California — A commuter train slams into a truck stuck on the tracks, sending three rail cars tumbling onto their sides and injuring 30 people in the fiery crash in California. By Christopher Weber and Tami Abdollah. AP Photos.

COLOMBIA-CRUDE REALITIES

PUERTO GAITAN, Colombia — Over the past decade, when oil prices were sky high, the population of this rural backwater tripled, modern hotels opened and a surfeit of royalties paid for a giant concrete arch to nowhere. Now, like much of Latin America, the town is bracing for a major comeuppance as crude prices plunge. By Jacobo Garcia and Joshua Goodman. 900 words, photos.

CHICAGO MAYOR-ELECTION

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fails to capture a majority of the vote in his bid for a second term, an embarrassment for the former White House chief of staff who now faces a runoff. By Sophia Tareen. AP Photos.

LEGAL MARIJUANA-ALASKA

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska becomes the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana. But the historic day passes with little public acknowledgement in a state with a savvy marijuana culture that has seen varying degrees of legal acceptance of the drug for 40 years. By Molly Dischner. AP Photos.

HIV PREVENTION PILLS

SEATTLE — For the first time, a study shows that a drug used to treat HIV infection also can help prevent it when taken before and after risky sex by gay men. By Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione. AP Photo.

ARGENTINA-O'REILLY

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The war was over, disastrously for Argentina, and thousands poured into the streets of Buenos Aires to express anger at the military junta that had led the country into conflict over the Falklands Islands. That demonstration three decades ago has drawn renewed attention due to controversy over the way Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, then a young reporter who covered the protest, recalled events. By Debora Rey. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

YELLEN-TESTIMONY

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen navigates the tricky job of managing expectations in her first public comments on interest rate policy in more than two months. She wants the world to know the Fed isn't ready yet to raise rates from record lows. The job market is still healing, and inflation is too low, she said. At the same time, Yellen signals that the Fed is moving closer to a rate hike by sketching the steps the central bank would take when it deemed the time was right. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. AP Photos.

BANK EARNINGS

WASHINGTON — U.S. banks' earnings dropped 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as a few big banks had increased costs to settle legal cases and the industry had declines in income from the mortgage business. By Business Writer Marcy Gordon.

CONSUMER REPORTS-AUTO RANKINGS

DETROIT — Buick is the first U.S.-based automotive brand to crack the top 10 in Consumer Reports magazine's annual brand report cards. U.S. automakers also placed three vehicles on the magazine's list of "top picks" for vehicles, the first time that's happened in 17 years. The rankings were unveiled in the magazine's annual auto issue. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher.

COMCAST-RESULTS

NEW YORK — Comcast Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income edged up less than 1 percent as the company added more customers for its cable TV, high-speed Internet and phone services. The nation's largest cable provider also raised its dividend and said it would repurchase $10 billion in stock. By Technology Writer Mae Anderson. AP Photo.

VIKING CRUISES-MISSISSIPPI RIVER

NEW ORLEANS — European river cruise giant Viking, already gaining a high profile in the United States with its sponsorship of popular PBS television shows, announces that it will make New Orleans its first North American home port for Mississippi River cruises expected to begin by late 2017. By Kevin McGill.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM FOCUS-WILL SMITH

LOS ANGELES — Things started to come into focus for Will Smith when "After Earth" bombed. Once the biggest movie star in the world, his $130 million sci-fi spectacle "After Earth" opened in June 2013 to a lousy $27.5 million and would only go on to make up less than half of its production budget, domestically, by the end of its run. For a man who once defined himself by his box office star power, the blow was crushing. By Film Writer Lindsey Bahr. AP Photos.

THEATER-ELISABETH MOSS

NEW YORK — The cocktail of choice for Elisabeth Moss these days is very post-"Mad Men." ''It's close to 5:30, isn't it?" she asks a waitress at a chic bar in the theater district one recent afternoon. "I'll do a vodka ginger ale, please. A little light on the vodka." No Don Draper-style whiskey sours or martinis for Moss, who has left her beloved character Peggy Olson to play the title character in "The Heidi Chronicles" on Broadway. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy. AP Photos.

SONY-PASCAL REPLACEMENT

NEW YORK — Former 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman has been named chairman of Sony's Motion Picture Group, replacing Amy Pascal as studio head and effectively concluding Sony's shake-up following the damaging hacking scandal. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photo.

OPERA-CHRISTINE GOERKE

Like a Valkyrie swooping down from her mountaintop, soprano Christine Goerke is poised to descend on America's opera houses — but instead of wearing a set of wings on her shoulders, she's carrying the role of a lifetime. The role is Bruennhilde, the heroine of Richard Wagner's four-opera "Ring" cycle, a part requiring such power, stamina and beauty of voice that few singers dare undertake it and fewer still can do justice to all its facets. Goerke has just sung "Die Walkuere" with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto — and the critics are raving. By Mike Silverman. AP Photos.

CANADA-CHRIS BROWN

TORONTO — Chris Brown tweeted Tuesday that he's been denied entry into Canada and that his concerts in Montreal and Toronto have been canceled. By Rob Gillies. AP Photos.