TOP STORIES:

CONGRESS-WAR POWERS

WASHINGTON — The White House circulates a proposal that would authorize the U.S. military to fight Islamic State terrorists but assure Congress there would be no "enduring offensive combat" role, officials said. They said the ambiguous wording was designed to satisfy lawmakers with widely varying views on the need for ground operations. By David Espo and Nedra Pickler.

UNITED STATES-YEMEN

WASHINGTON — The State Department confirms that it has closed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff because of the political crisis and security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels. By Lolita C. Baldor and Matthew Lee. AP Photo.

UNITED STATES-EBOLA

WASHINGTON — The United States is preparing to withdraw nearly all of its troops fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the White House said Tuesday, as the global health crisis recedes amid a sharp decline in Ebola cases. By Josh Lederman.

CONGRESS-UKRAINE

WASHINGTON — The top Republican and Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee callsfor $1 billion in lethal defensive aid to Ukraine as Congress increased pressure on President Barack Obama to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian-backed rebels.

AMERICAN-ISLAMIC STATE

PRESCOTT, Arizona — The small Arizona town where Kayla Jean Mueller grew up gathers in grief upon learning that the 26-year-old aid worker who traveled the world on a quest to help others had died while in the hands of Islamic State militants. By Felicia Fonseca. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: KAYLA MUELLER LATER; ISLAMIC STATE-MISSOURI CHARGES.

ISLAMIC STATE-FOREIGN FIGHTERS

WASHINGTON — Foreign fighters are streaming into Syria and Iraq in unprecedented numbers to join the Islamic State or other extremist groups, including at least 3,400 from Western nations among 20,000 from around the world, U.S. intelligence officials say in an updated estimate of a top terrorism concern. By Intelligence Writer Ken Dilanian. AP Photo.

CONGRESS-ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate's most senior lawmaker says he will skip the Israeli prime minister's speech to Congress next month on Iran, calling the invitation by Republicans without White House consultation a "tawdry and high-handed stunt. By Donna Cassata. AP Photo.

CONGRESS-KEYSTONE

WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled Congress is set to send a bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline to President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto it. It's the first of many likely stand-offs with President Barack Obama on energy and environmental policy. By Dina Cappiello.

MEXICO-OIL WOES

MEXICO CITY — The oil price slump couldn't have come at a worse time for Mexico, which recently opened its energy sector to private investment in hopes of reversing a decade-long decline in crude production. The price crunch has forced the government to reduce its spending, with much of the cut expected to hit the energy sector. By Peter Orsi. AP Photo.

UNITED STATES-MALAYSIA-ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON —The sodomy conviction of Malaysia's opposition leader has set back, but not derailed, Washington's improved ties with a country that is becoming increasingly important for U.S. diplomacy and trade policy in Asia. By Matthew Pennington.

GAY MARRIAGE-ALABAMA

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Gay marriage has come only to parts of Alabama after the state's chief justice sought to put the weddings on hold in defiance of a federal court order, echoing familiar refrains of resistance in the U.S. South to the involvement of federal courts — and inviting comparisons to the turmoil of the 1960s civil rights era. By Kim Chandler and Jay Reeves. AP Photos. AP Video.

WINTER WEATHER

BOSTON — As residents of the U.S. Northeast digout from 2 more feet (60 more centimeters) of snow, there appears to be no relief in sight. Meteorologists predict that more snow is on the way Thursday and perhaps this weekend in the snow-choked region. By Mark Pratt, Philip Marcelo and Denise Lavoie. AP Photos. AP Video.

GUANTANAMO-FREED DETAINEES

WASHINGTON — Former Guantanamo Bay detainees who have returned to the battlefield are complicating President Barack Obama's hopes of closing the detention center for terrorism suspects on the U.S. Navy base in Cuba. Obama has vowed to close the detention center, but members of Congress have thwarted that ambition. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photo.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-BUSH

DES MOINES, Iowa — Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush releases a trove of emails from his time as Florida's governor, along with the first chapter of an e-book that chronicles an obsession with his Blackberry. By Thomas Beaumont. AP Photo.

ARGENTINA-PROSECUTOR'S DEATH

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine investigators say they have found a second person's DNA in the apartment where prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead and have called in a witness to check for a match.

STAIRWELL SHOOTING

NEW YORK — A rookie police officer who fired into a darkened stairwell at a public housing complex, accidentally killing a man, appears in court Wednesday.By Colleen Long.

DIETARY GUIDELINES-NEWS GUIDE

WASHINGTON — Dietary advice can be confusing. Is it OK to eat meat and eggs? Is fat in or out? What about grains? How much salt? An advisory committee's recommendations for U.S. dietary patterns are due soon, and some advice may be changing. The committee is expected to downplay the importance of lowering cholesterol intake and may put less emphasis on eating lean meats. The panel could also tweak its recommendations on exactly how much salt is too much and put limits on sugar consumption for the first time. By Mary Clare Jalonick. AP Photo.

DEEP SPACE OBSERVATORY

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — Dangerously high winds kept a deep-space observatory grounded Tuesday and put off a radically new landing test of the booster rocket. SpaceX called off its sunset launch with just 12 minutes remaining in the countdown because of gusts of 115 mph (185 kph) several miles up — strong enough to damage the rocket in flight. By Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn. AP Photos.

CLIMATE ENGINEERING

WASHINGTON — It's time to study and maybe even test the idea of cooling the Earth by injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat, a first-of-its-kind U.S. science report says. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein.

NAVY BRIBERY SCHEME

SAN DIEGO — Three Navy rear admirals linked to a massive Asian bribery scandal that cost the government at least $20 million have been reprimanded but will not face criminal charges, the Navy announces.

CHRONIC FATIGUE

WASHINGTON — Chronic fatigue syndrome is a real and serious disease that needs a new name to reflect that — and a straightforward way to diagnose the illness, a U.S. government advisory group declares. By Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard. AP Photos.

MISSOURI EXECUTION

BONNE TERRE, Missouri — A man convicted of breaking into his neighbor's home in a St. Louis suburb and slitting her throat 25 years ago is executed. By Jim Salter. AP Photo.

With: DEATH PENALTY-NITROGEN GAS.

RIO 2016-DIRTY WATER

RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio de Janeiro's top environmental official says he hopes to restart a stalled project to clean the trash- and raw sewage-filled lagoon system that hugs the site of the city's planned Olympic Park. By Jenny Barchfield. AP Photos.

FROZEN ZOO

SAN DIEGO — Whenever an endangered animal dies at the San Diego Zoo, researchers race out to remove its sperm or eggs, maybe a bit of ear or eyeball, and carefully freeze the cells in liquid nitrogen. Today the survival of the northern white rhinoceros and dozens of other species hinge on the Frozen Zoo, whose collection amassed over nearly 40 years has become the largest gene bank of its kind. By Julie Watson. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

GENERAL MOTORS-ACTIVIST SHAREHOLDER

DETROIT — A member of the government task force that restructured General Motors after its 2009 bankruptcy is seeking a seat on the company's board and at least an $8 billion stock buyback. And Harry Wilson says his push for change won't stop there. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher.

VENEZUELA-ECONOMY

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan officials announce they will allow a free-floating exchange rate for the country's battered currency. By Fabiola Sanchez. AP Photos.

PUERTO RICO-TAX OVERHAUL

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico's governor is introducing legislation Thursday calling for a new 16 percent value-added tax as part of a tax overhaul intended to boost government revenue in the U.S. territory mired in a deep economic recession. By Danica Coto. AP Photo.

CARIBBEAN-TOURISM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A record 26.3 million people traveled to the Caribbean last year and spent an unprecedented amount of money in what is considered the world's most tourism-dependent region, officials say. By Danica Coto.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

TV-NBC-WILLIAMS

NEW YORK — NBC announces that it is suspending Brian Williams as "Nightly News" anchor and managing editor for six months without pay for misleading the public about his experiences covering the Iraq War. By Television Writer David Bauder. AP Photos.

TV-JON STEWART

LOS ANGELES — Jon Stewart, who turned his biting and free-wheeling humor into an unlikely source of news and analysis for viewers of "The Daily Show," will leave as host this year, Comedy Central says. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. AP Photos.

FILM-FIFTY SHADES AUTHOR

NEW YORK — "Fifty Shades of Grey" devotees, know this: Whether you end up loving or hating the new movie, author EL James had your back. By National Writer Jocelyn Noveck. AP Photos.

With: FILM REVIEW-FIFTY SHADES OF GREY; MUSIC REVIEW-FIFTY SHADES.

HUGH JACKMAN

NEW YORK — It's not that often that Hugh Jackman gets a role speaking in his native Australian accent, so while working on the upcoming science-fiction thriller "Chappie" he had to get reacquainted with the dialect. By John Carucci. AP Photos.

MUSIC-Q&A-DIANA KRALL

NEW YORK — Singer-pianist Diana Krall wants to make one thing clear about "Wallflower," her new CD: It's a pop album, not a jazz album. By Charles J. Gans. AP Photo.