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A Syrian shopkeeper waits for customers next to paintings of of President Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, center, at the popular Souk Tawil old market in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Russian leader pushes Syria truce deal amid skepticism

BEIRUT — Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Wednesday with key players in…

A Syrian shopkeeper waits for customers next to paintings of of President Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, center, at the popular Souk Tawil old market in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, gestures while being interviewed in Damascus, Syria, by a journalist with Spanish El Pais newspaper published Sunday.  (Syrian Presidency/El Pais video via AP)

US, Russia agree on Syria cease-fire plan; questions remain

DAMASCUS, Syria — The United States and Russia have agreed on a…

Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, gestures while being interviewed in Damascus, Syria, by a journalist with Spanish El Pais newspaper published Sunday.  (Syrian Presidency/El Pais video via AP)
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians gather in a street that was hit by shelling, in the predominantly Christian and Armenian neighborhood of Suleimaniyeh, Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/SANA)

Russia proposes March 1 ceasefire in Syria; US wants it now

MUNICH — Russia has proposed a March 1 ceasefire in Syria, U.S.…

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians gather in a street that was hit by shelling, in the predominantly Christian and Armenian neighborhood of Suleimaniyeh, Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/SANA)
President Barack Obama leaves the podium after speaking about the release of Americans by Iran on Sunday in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Triumph or travesty, US-Iran ties warming over nuclear deal

WASHINGTON — Diplomatic triumph or travesty, America's relationship with one of its…

President Barack Obama leaves the podium after speaking about the release of Americans by Iran on Sunday in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held prisoner for years by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, file)

Bergdahl says he left base to expose ‘leadership failure’

BOISE, Idaho — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he walked off his base…

This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held prisoner for years by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, file)
This image posted online Sunday by supporters of the Islamic State militant group on an anonymous photo sharing website, shows smoke rising in the aftermath of an airstrike that targeted areas in Raqqa, Syria. (militant photo via AP)

Syria: 3 troops killed by US-led strikes; US blames Russia

BEIRUT — Syria on Monday accused the U.S.-led coalition of bombing an…

This image posted online Sunday by supporters of the Islamic State militant group on an anonymous photo sharing website, shows smoke rising in the aftermath of an airstrike that targeted areas in Raqqa, Syria. (militant photo via AP)
President Barack Obama meets with President Francois Hollande of France in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Obama and Hollande pledge solidarity against Islamic State

WASHINGTON — In a show of Western solidarity, President Barack Obama and…

President Barack Obama meets with President Francois Hollande of France in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service, Pool )

Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace

MOSCOW — Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday that it…

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service, Pool )
A Maldives bomb squad member checks a suspected explosive inside the engine compartment of a parked broken car in Male, Maldives on Wednesday.(Sharwaan/Sun Online via AP)

US, Amnesty criticize Maldives state of emergency

MALE, Maldives — The United States, Amnesty International and the main opposition…

A Maldives bomb squad member checks a suspected explosive inside the engine compartment of a parked broken car in Male, Maldives on Wednesday.(Sharwaan/Sun Online via AP)
Secretary of State John Kerry walks to the Hotel Bristol in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday for a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP)

At heart of Syria talks, what to do about Assad

VIENNA — The success or failure of the Syrian peace talks this…

Secretary of State John Kerry walks to the Hotel Bristol in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday for a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP)
US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Iran to take a seat among world powers for Syria talks

BEIRUT — Iran will take part in international talks on Syria for…

US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Defense secretary says US is retooling fight against IS

WASHINGTON — Signaling a possible escalation of U.S. military action in the…

Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
This handout photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry official web site shows a Russian Su-24 bomber taking off on a night combat mission from Hemeimeem airbase in Syria. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Syria’s Assad said to favor vote, but only after victory

DAMASCUS, Syria — President Bashar Assad is willing to run in an…

This handout photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry official web site shows a Russian Su-24 bomber taking off on a night combat mission from Hemeimeem airbase in Syria. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti,  Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Assad-Putin meeting signals push to end Syria crisis

MOSCOW — Bashar Assad's surprise meeting with Vladimir Putin could signal that…

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti,  Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
A Russian  SU-24M jet fighter armed with laser guided bombs takes off from a runaway at Hmeimim airbase in Syria. (Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via AP)

Russia, US sign deal to minimize risks in Syrian skies

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Russia put into practice on Tuesday new…

A Russian  SU-24M jet fighter armed with laser guided bombs takes off from a runaway at Hmeimim airbase in Syria. (Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via AP)
A Russian  SU-24M jet fighter armed with laser guided bombs takes off from a runaway at Hmeimim airbase in Syria.  (AP Photo/Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via AP)

NATO denounces Russia for violating Turkish airspace

ANKARA, Turkey — In a signal of new tensions raised by Moscow's…

A Russian  SU-24M jet fighter armed with laser guided bombs takes off from a runaway at Hmeimim airbase in Syria.  (AP Photo/Alexander Kots, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Photo via AP)
In this Nov. 10, 2014 file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama, center, speaks during his meeting with leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

United States, 11 Pacific Rim countries reach trade deal

WASHINGTON — Having hammered out an ambitious trade deal with 11 Pacific…

In this Nov. 10, 2014 file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama, center, speaks during his meeting with leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Thursday.   (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Russia defends its military action in Syria

MOSCOW — As Russian warplanes carried out a second wave of airstrikes…

In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Thursday.   (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)
This Sept. 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows the moon, left, and the Earth, top, transiting the sun together, seen from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. (NASA/SDO via AP)

Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse

LOS ANGELES — Stargazers are about to get a double celestial treat…

This Sept. 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows the moon, left, and the Earth, top, transiting the sun together, seen from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. (NASA/SDO via AP)
In ramping up its military involvement in Syria's civil war, Russia appears to be betting that the West, horrified by Islamic State's atrocities, may be willing to tolerate Assad for a while, perhaps as part of a transition. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)

Analysis: Russia gambles in Syria, ramping up involvement

BEIRUT — In ramping up its military involvement in Syria's civil war,…

In ramping up its military involvement in Syria's civil war, Russia appears to be betting that the West, horrified by Islamic State's atrocities, may be willing to tolerate Assad for a while, perhaps as part of a transition. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)