TOP STORIES:

OBAMA-SYRIA

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision? Obama was barreling toward strikes last summer when he abruptly announced that he first wanted approval from congressional lawmakers. But Congress balked at Obama's request for a vote and the operation was eventually scrapped. By Julie Pace.

AP Photos.

GIRL WITH UZI

PHOENIX — The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi has intensified a debate over youngsters and guns, with many Americans wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun. By Jacques Billeaud and Gene Johnson.

AMERICANS' ECONOMIC OUTLOOK-SURVEY

WASHINGTON — Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the Great Recession ended despite stock market gains, falling unemployment and growth moving closer to full health. By Josh Boak.

COLOMBIA-ESCOBAR'S HIT MAN

BOGOTA, Colombia — A man who confessed to hundreds of murders as head of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's army of assassins has been freed from a maximum security prison under heavy police guard. By Joshua Goodman.

AP Photos.

CANADA-TIM HORTONS

TORONTO — Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits — or doughnut holes to Americans. So news this week that Burger King will buy Tim Hortons served as a bittersweet reminder of how beloved the homegrown chain is in Canada. By Rob Gillies.

AP Photo.

MEXICO-MISSING PEOPLE

MEXICO CITY — Relatives of people missing in Mexico blasted authorities as seemingly more interested in manipulating the data on the disappeared than on conducting thorough investigations. By E. Eduardo Castillo.

URUGUAY-LEGAL MARIJUANA

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — People in Uruguay who want to grow their own marijuana at home were able to register to do so as the government launched the latest phase in its first-of-its-kind legalization program. By Leonardo Haberkorn.

AP Photos.

BUSINESS:

ALIBABA-IPO UPDATE

SAN FRANCISCO — Alibaba's quarterly revenue growth is surging again, a development that should help the Chinese e-commerce company sell its shares in what could be one of the world's largest IPOs. By Michael Liedtke.

ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT:

X-MEN DIRECTOR-SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT

HONOLULU — A former child model can drop his lawsuit accusing "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sex abuse in Hawaii and has the option of refiling it later, a federal judge ruled. Michael Egan III said in a previous court filing that he wanted to dismiss the lawsuit, not because it lacks merit but because he can't find a new lawyer to represent him. By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher.