HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's hometown abruptly canceled plans Wednesday for a welcome-home celebration, citing security concerns over the prospect of big crowds — both for and against the soldier. The town of 8,000 has been swamped with hate mail and angry calls over Bergdahl, whose release after five years of Taliban captivity in Afghanistan has touched off a debate over whether the 28-year-old should get a hero's welcome or be punished a deserter.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The family of a pregnant American woman who went missing in Afghanistan in late 2012 with her Canadian husband received two videos last year in which the couple asked the U.S. government to help free them and their child from Taliban captors, The Associated Press has learned. The videos offer the first and only clues about what happened to Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle after they lost touch with their families 20 months ago while traveling in a mountainous region near the capital, Kabul. U.S. law enforcement officials investigating the couple's disappearance consider the videos authentic but say they hold limited investigative value since it's not clear when or where they were made.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A huge new paperwork headache for the government could also be jeopardizing coverage for some of the millions of people who just got health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. A government document provided to The Associated Press indicates that at least 2 million people enrolled for taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance have data discrepancies in their applications that, if unresolved, could affect what they pay for coverage, or even their legal right to benefits.
The announcement that the U.S. government had secured the release of missing U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and that it was freeing five senior Taliban figures from Guantanamo Bay has been portrayed first and foremost as a prisoner exchange. But the four-year history of secret dialogue that led to Saturday's release suggests that the main goal of each side may have been far more sweeping. It was about setting the stage for larger discussions on a future peaceful Afghanistan.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — When two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls were charged this week with stabbing a friend nearly to death, authorities had no choice but to send them to adult court. In more than half of the nation, kids as young as 10 are often charged as adults automatically using laws intended to crack down on gangs and guns. But the practice has been widely questioned by juvenile-crime experts, who say that research shows many young offenders pose no long-term threats to society.
DOVER, Del. (AP) — A contractor dumped a mountain of dirt about two stories high and 100 yards long next to an interstate bridge over several years, so much that it may have moved the ground and caused the bridge to tilt, state officials said Wednesday. The Interstate 495 bridge, a major East Coast thoroughfare traveled by 90,000 vehicles daily, was closed Monday when engineers determined that bridge support columns were leaning.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A half dozen key lawmakers were struggling Wednesday to quickly craft a compromise bill to help veterans facing long appointment waits at veterans hospitals and make it easier to fire administrators who covered up the delays. The goal is to address an uproar over veterans' health care following allegations that veterans have died while waiting to see a Veterans Affairs doctor. Senators hope to pass the bill before Friday's 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe in World War II. Up to a dozen senators are expected to attend the ceremonies in France.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Proposed legislation to permit the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike is pitting Israel's government against much of the country's medical community, including the main doctors' association which contends the practice amounts to torture. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly asked to fast-track the bill as a hunger strike by dozens of Palestinian detainees entered its sixth week.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Like millions of gym goers, President Barack Obama grimaces while lifting weights. Like millions, he does lunges and step ups and tests his cardio on an elliptical machine. Unlike millions, he is surreptitiously captured on a video that goes viral on the Internet. A one-minute, 25-second clip of Obama exercising in the gym at the Marriott Hotel Warsaw in Poland surfaced Wednesday, offering an unusual glimpse of the president in full workout mode. The clip, made by a hotel guest, shows Obama in a black gym suit, ear buds in place, choosing weights and working through an exercise routine that includes shoulder presses and deltoid lifts. Obama stayed at the hotel Tuesday night at the start of a three-country European trip.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling agreed Wednesday to sign off on selling the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for what would be a record $2 billion, according to his attorney. Sterling "has made an agreement with the NBA to resolve all their differences" and as co-owner has given his consent to a deal that was negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell the team, said attorney Maxwell Blecher.