U.S. ECONOMY GREW IN FIRST QUARTER AT SLOWEST PACE IN TWO YEARS *

COMMERCE DEPT SAYS GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) GREW 0.5% FROM JAN-MARCH, DOWN FROM 1.4% GROWTH IN FOURTH QUARTER OF 2015 *

PERFORMANCE WAS THE POOREST SHOWING SINCE GDP CONTRACTED BY 0.9% IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2014 *

GDP HAS BEEN WEAK IN FIRST QUARTER EACH YEAR SINCE RECESSION ENDED IN 2009, TYPICALLY REBOUNDING IN THE SPRING *

DEFENSE SECY ASH CARTER DEFENDS U.S. STRATEGY FOR DEFEATING ISIS, TELLING SENATE ARMED SERVICES CMTE THURS U.S.-BACKED LOCAL FORCES IN IRAQ AND SYRIA ARE MAKING SUBSTANTIVE GAINS *

CARTER ALSO SPOKE OUT AGAINST HAVING A U.S.-LED "FOREIGN GROUND FORCE" TO BATTLE ISIS, SAYING IT WOULD PLAY INTO ISIS' HANDS *

CARTER SAYS U.S. CYBERATTACKS AGAINST ISIS ARE CONTINUING WITH GOAL OF DISRUPTING TERROR ORG'S FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND RECRUITING ABILITIES, WITH JOINT CHIEFS CHMN GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD ADDING U.S. WANTS TO DRIVE ISIS INTO "VIRTUAL ISOLATION" *

SEN JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ) SAID THURS THAT U.S. MILITARY OPS ARE BEING MICROMANAGED BY OBAMA ADMIN *

DEFENSE OFFICIALS CONFIRM TO FOX THAT RUSSIAN MIG-31 JET BUZZED U.S. MILITARY RECON AIRCRAFT OFF COAST OF RUSSIA LAST WEEK, COMING WITHIN 50 FEET OF U.S. NAVY P-8 AIRCRAFT *

INCIDENT CAME TWO WEEKS AFTER PAIR OF RUSSIAN FIGHTER JETS CONDUCTED OVER 30 LOW-LEVEL FLYBYS OF U.S. NAVY DESTROYER AND RUSSIAN JET CONDUCTING A BARREL-ROLL OVER A USAF SPY PLANE IN BALTIC SEA *

LATEST INCIDENT TOOK PLACE NEAR RUSSIAN CITY OF PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, A PORT ON KAMCHATKA PENINSULA *

KAMCHATKA IS RUSSIA'S MAIN MILITARY HUB IN THE PACIFIC AND IS FOCUS OF BUILDUP OF RUSSIAN MILITARY FORCES THAT MOSCOW SAYS AIMS TO MATCH U.S. MILITARY REBALANCE IN ASIA *

DEFENSE SECY ASH CARTED SAID WED RECENT INCIDENTS WERE "DANGEROUS" AND COULD HAVE LED TO A CONFLICT *

VP JOE BIDEN MEETS WITH IRAQI PRIME MIN HAIDER AL-ABADI IN BAGHDAD THURS TO DISCUSS RESOLVING IRAQ'S POLITICAL CRISIS *

BIDEN'S UNNANOUNCED VISIT COINCIDES WITH RESHUFFLING OF IRAQ'S CABINET POSTS IN RESPONSE TO PROTESTS IN BAGHDAD OVER SLOW PACE OF ANTI-CORRUPTION REFORMS *

PROTESTS HAVE DISTRACTED IRAQ'S ATTENTION FROM WAR AGAINST ISIS, PROMPTING IRAQI GOVT TO TEMPORARILY WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM FRONT LINE TO PROVIDE SECURITY IN IRAQI CAPITAL *

OBAMA ADMIN THIS MONTH AGREED TO SEND 200 MORE TROOPS AND APACHE HELICOPTERS FOR FIGHT AGAINST ISIS *

U.S. ARMY CAPT. KRISTEN GRIEST BECOMES ARMY'S FIRST FEMALE INFANTRY OFFICER *

GRIEST, A WEST POINT GRAD, WAS ONE OF TWO WOMEN WHO GRADUATED FROM ARMY'S RANGER SCHOOL LAST SUMMER, ENDING SCHOOL'S SIX-DECADE HISTORY AS AN ALL-MALE INSTITUTION *

AT THE TIME OF HER GRADUATION, GRIEST COULD WEAR PRESTIGIOUS RANGER TAB, BUT WAS BARRED FROM SERVING IN INFANTRY AND SPECIAL OPS UNITS, INCLUDING ARMY'S 75TH RANGER REGIMENT *

POLICY CHANGED DEC 3, WHEN DEFENSE SECY ASH CARTER LIFTED GENDER-BASED RESTRICTIONS ON MILITARY SERVICE *

ISRAEL REJECTS FRENCH INITIATIVE AIMED AT RESTARTING PEACE EFFORTS WITH PALESTINIANS *

ISRAELI PM BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYS DIRECT, BILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS ARE BEST WAY TO RESOLVE CONFLICT *

PALESTINIANS ARE IN FAVOR OF INTL CONFERENCE, PROPOSED LAST WK BY FRENCH FOREIGN MIN *

LAST ROUND OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE TALKS, MEDIATED BY U.S., COLLAPSED IN 2014 *

AUTHORITIES ARREST THREE PEOPLE CONNECTED TO SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTER SYED FAROOK IN MARRIAGE FRAUD CONSPIRACY *

THE THREE INCLUDE FAROOK'S BROTHER AND SISTER-IN-LAW AND THE WIFE OF ENRIQUE MARQUEZ JR., A FRIEND OF FAROOK'S WHO FACES CHARGES FOR HIS ALLEGED ROLE IN ATTACK *

PROSECUTORS SAY THE MARRIAGE FRAUD CONSPIRACY INVOLVED LYING UNDER OATH TO OBTAIN IMMIGRATION BENEFITS *

FAROOK AND HIS WIFE OPENED FIRE ON HIS CO-WORKERS AT A COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY ON DEC 2, KILLING 14 AND WOUNDING 22 *

PROTESTERS CLASH WITH POLICE ACROSS FRANCE OVER PROPOSED REFORMS TO COUNTRY'S LABOR RULES *

THOUSANDS MARCHED IN PARIS, WHERE VIOLENCE BROKE OUT AFTER DOZENS OF PEOPLE THREW OBJECTS AT POLICE *

FRENCH TV ALSO SHOWED CLASHES IN MARSEILLE, NANTES AND RENNES *

MEANWHILE, STRIKING AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS FORCED CANCELLATION OF FLIGHTS AT PARIS' ORLY AIRPORT AND DELAYS AT DE GAULLE *

STATE AND FED PROSECUTORS SUBPOENA OFFICE OF NYC MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D) IN CONNECTION WITH SERIES OF CORRUPTION PROBES *

THE MAYOR HAS NOT BEEN SERVED PERSONALLY *

NEWS OF SUBPOENAS COMES DAYS AFTER LEAK OF A JAN REPORT FROM NY STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS ACCUSING THE MAYOR AND OTHERS OF INTENTIONALLY EVADING CAMPAIGN FINANCE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS IN 2014 *

DE BLASIO SPOX SAYS MAYOR'S OFFICE IS "FULLY COOPERATING" WITH INVESTIGATION *

USGS: MAG 7.3 EARTHQUAKE STRIKES OFF COAST OF VANUATU, A SMALL ISLAND IN SOUTH PACIFIC *

NO IMMEDIATE REPORTS OF CASUALTIES OR DAMAGE AND PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER SAYS THERE IS NO THREAT OF A PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI *

MORE INDIANA RESIDENTS CAST THEIR VOTES EARLY FOR STATE'S PRIMARY ELECTION TUES THAN IN ANY OF PREVIOUS NOMINATION CONTESTS IN AT LEAST TWO DECADES *

OFFICIALS SAY MORE THAN 157,000 EARLY VOTES HAD BEEN CAST AS OF WED, NEARLY 30,000 MORE THAN 2008 PRIMARY *

RECORD EARLY TURNOUT COMES AS PRES CANDIDATES CRISSCROSS THE HOOSIER STATE IN LAST-DITCH EFFORTS TO WIN SUPPORT BEFORE TUES VOTE *

FIAT CHRYSLER AND GOOGLE'S SELF-DRIVING CAR PROJECT REPORTEDLY IN ADVANCED TALKS TO FORM TECHNICAL PARTNERSHIP *

PARTNERSHIP WOULD BE THE FIRST TO MATCH AN AUTOMAKER WITH GOOGLE'S 7-YR-OLD AUTONOMOUS CAR PROJECT, WHICH IS NOW PART OF SO-CALLED X LAB AT ALPHABET INC., GOOGLE'S PARENT COMPANY *

GOOGLE, WHICH HAS BEEN TESTING SELF-DRIVING CARS ON PUBLIC ROADS FOR TWO YEARS, HAS REPEATEDLY SAID IT DOESN'T INTEND TO MAKE SELF-DRIVING CARS AND WOULD PREFER TO LICENSE ITS TECHNOLOGY TO CARMAKERS *

HOWEVER, IT HAS SET GOAL OF HAVING SELF-DRIVING CARS IN PUBLIC'S HANDS BY 2020 *

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