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April 24, 2014

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AP Top News at 4:59 a.m. EST

Updated Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 | 1:59 a.m.

Militants claim responsibility for Egypt blasts

CAIRO (AP) — A statement in the name of a Sinai-based al-Qaida-inspired group has claimed responsibility for four bombings targeting police in the Egyptian capital that killed six people. The claim in the name of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, was posted late Friday on two main militant websites that have previously carried statements by the group and other al-Qaida allies and affiliates. It said the most powerful blast, an attack on Cairo's security headquarters that killed four, was a car bomb that was detonated by remote control.

Egypt Revolution battered on 3rd anniversary

CAIRO (AP) — As Egyptians mark the third anniversary of their spectacular revolt against autocrat Hosni Mubarak in the name of democracy on Saturday, there has been a powerful sign of the country's stunning reversals since: letters of despair by some of the prominent activists who helped lead the uprising, leaked from the prisons where they are now jailed. The letters show a battered spirit, no longer speaking of imminent democracy, but of injustices and a failed struggle that they say has been robbed repeatedly.

10 Things to Know: This Week's Takeaways

Looking back at the stories to remember from the past week: 1. SYRIAN PEACE CONFERENCE CONVENES IN SWITZERLAND

Suspect charged with murder in SC campus shooting

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — A suspect was arrested early Saturday and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a student outside a dormitory at South Carolina State University, law enforcement officials said. Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston, was arrested just after midnight at the parking lot of an apartment complex in Orangeburg, where the campus is located, said Thom Berry, a public information officer with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Clashes rage in Kiev, 2 police captured: officials

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's Interior Ministry has accused protesters in Kiev of capturing two of its officers as violent clashes have resumed in the capital and anti-government riots spread across Ukraine. The ministry urged protesters Saturday to immediately release the policemen who it said are being kept in the Kiev city administration building occupied by protesters for nearly two months. The demonstrators denied the ministry's claim.

Questions and answers about the State of the Union

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama reports to Congress and the nation Tuesday on the State of the Union, an annual rite in official Washington that for one night squeezes the three branches of government underneath the same roof for the speech. Some questions and answers about the State of the Union. ___

Foes of Obama trade pacts mostly fellow Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Debates on lowering trade barriers can turn Congress upside down for Democratic presidents promoting such legislation. Business-minded Republicans suddenly turn into allies and Democrats aligned with organized labor can become outspoken foes. It's a reversal of the usual order of things, where a Democratic president can generally count on plenty of support from fellow Democrats in Congress along with varying levels of resistance from Republicans.

New Guantanamo hearings limit media, NGO access

MIAMI (AP) — Some prisoners at Guantanamo are getting an opportunity to plead for their release, but journalists and observers from human rights groups won't get to hear them in what critics say is a break from past practice at the U.S. base in Cuba. The Department of Defense is restricting access to a series of hearings that start Tuesday, requiring reporters and observers from non-governmental organizations to view the proceedings only by video link from Washington. They also will not be able to listen when prisoners held for more than a decade without charge address a committee known as the Periodic Review Board that will decide whether they can be sent back to their homeland or another country.

Former Va. Gov. McDonnell, wife plead not guilty

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — When former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges, the judges overseeing the case had a message for the lawyers: no talking out of turn. "This case is going to be tried in the courtroom; it is not going to be tried in the media," said U.S. Magistrate Judge David Novak, who ordered the McDonnells released on their own recognizance Friday. "The gamesmanship with the media ends now."

Hospital told to take pregnant woman off support

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — For two months, Erick Munoz has sat inside a North Texas hospital room with his wife's brain-dead body, with what would be their second child together growing inside her. Now a judge has ruled that the hospital must follow Munoz's wishes and disconnect Marlise Munoz from life support that it's refused to remove in hopes of saving the fetus inside her.