WASHINGTON — The deteriorating situation in Iraq is giving Congress pause about President Barack Obama's plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, with fears that hard-fought gains could be wiped out by a resurgent Taliban. By Donna Cassata.


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and congressional leaders believe he does not need authorization from Congress for some steps he might take to quell the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency sweeping through Iraq, the Senate's top Republican and congressional aides said after the president briefed senior lawmakers. By Julie Pace and Donna Cassata.

AP Photos.


WASHINGTON — The capture of an alleged leader of the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, gave U.S. officials a rare moment of good news. Now, they are preparing to try the captured Libyan in the U.S. court system and pledging to step up efforts on catching others responsible for the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in the attacks. By Lolita C. Baldor and Nancy Benac.

AP Photos, video.


ST. LOUIS — With Florida carrying out the nation's third execution in less than 24 hours, some death penalty states — particularly in the South — appear unfazed by the recent furor over how the U.S. performs lethal injections. By Jim Salter.

AP Photos.


PHILADELPHIA — A decade after a court ruling allowed him to live out his quiet middle-class life in the U.S., an 89-year-old Philadelphia man faces possible extradition to Germany on charges he aided the killing of 216,000 Jewish men, women and children at a Nazi death camp. Johann "Hans" Breyer, a retired tool-and-die maker, is being held without bail on allegations stemming from his suspected service as an SS guard at Auschwitz during World War II. He was arrested Tuesday outside his home in northeast Philadelphia. By Kathy Matheson.


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — A Guantanamo prisoner accused of being an al-Qaida commander who organized deadly attacks in Afghanistan has his first day in court more than seven years after he was taken to this U.S. base. By Ben Fox.

AP photos.


BOGOTA, Colombia — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden pledges firm support for Colombia's newly re-elected leader and the peace process on which he has bet his presidency. By Frank Bajak.

AP photos.


TRES VALLES, Mexico — At least 28 bodies have been recovered from a mass grave in Veracruz, an eastern Mexican state plagued by attacks on migrants and drug cartel violence, officials say. By Rodrigo Soberanes Santin.


HAVANA — Cuban health authorities say they detected six cases of chikungunya fever, a debilitating, mosquito-borne virus that is suspected of afflicting tens of thousands across the Caribbean since its arrival in the region last year. By Peter Orsi.


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina's government has finally agreed to negotiate a payment plan to resolve $1.5 billion in bad debts and interest owed to the U.S. hedge funds it demonizes as "vultures." But before both sides finally sit down for talks in New York next week, President Cristina Fernandez wants everyone to know she still has some cards to play. By Michael Warren.

AP Photos.


BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Children's faces pressed against glass. Hundreds of young boys and girls covered with aluminum-foil-like blankets next to chain link fences topped with barbed wire. The pungent odor that comes with keeping people in close quarters. These were the scenes from tours of crowded Border Patrol stations in South Texas and Arizona, where thousands of immigrants are being held before they are transferred to other shelters around the country. By Christopher Sherman and Astrid Galvan.

AP Photos, video.



SEATTLE — Amazon unveils its first smartphone ever, a device that assists shoppers by using six cameras that can make sense of its user's face and the world around it. By Ryan Nakashima and Anick Jesdanun.

AP Photos, video.


ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — A Canadian company buying the PokerStars website will begin licensing talks with New Jersey casino regulators aimed at letting the world's largest Internet poker site operate legally in the state, the state's top casino regulator says. By Wayne Parry.



ORLANDO, Florida — Universal Orlando Resort opens its new, richly detailed Harry Potter-themed area to media and other travel industry insiders. The new park zone is called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley. By Tamara Lush.

AP Photos.



WASHINGTON — A federal trademark board rules that the NFL's Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's trademark protections should be canceled, a decision that applies new financial and political pressure on the team to change its name. By Joseph White.

AP Photos.


SAO PAULO — The number of fans cheering Mexico at the World Cup has taken observers in Brazil by surprise. But talk to those waving the green-white-and-red, and it becomes clear that when the tournament ends, many will return home not to Mexico, but to the United States. By Adriana Gomez Licon.

AP Photos.