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Free Syrian Army members train outside Idlib, Syria, Feb. 7, 2012. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Al Qaeda fighters overrun Syrian rebel bases: report

Associated Press

Activists and local residents say intense clashes between a Western-backed rebel group and al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate have killed at least 20 fighters on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, before the Senate Armed Services Committee to deliver the annual assessment by intelligence agencies of the top dangers facing the country.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

James Clapper: Half the world’s stable countries ‘at risk of instability’

- The Washington Times

Breaking sharply with Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s far sunnier assessment just a day before, the Obama administration’s intelligence czar told Congress on Thursday that political instability and state-sponsored mass killing are at their “highest rate” in decades, and the U.S. still faces ominous challenges from China, Russia, cyberterrorists and the continuing turmoil in the Middle East.

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Navy to buy 3 boats from Hornbeck Offshore Services

Associated Press

The U.S. Navy has agreed to buy three supply boats from Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services as well as retain its services to operate the boats. Together, the contracts total $132 million.

VA report: 48 claims' dates in Little Rock altered

Associated Press

A surprise inspection of the Little Rock veterans benefits center revealed staff members marking overlooked claims - many almost 2 years old- to make them appear as if they had just been filed.

FILE - This undated image shows a frame from a video released Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, by Islamic State militants that purports to show the militant who beheaded of taxi driver Alan Henning . A British-accented militant who has appeared in beheading videos released by the Islamic State group in Syria over the past few months bears "striking similarities" to a man who grew up in London, a Muslim lobbying group said Thursday Feb. 26, 2015. Mohammed Emwazi has been identified by news organizations as the masked militant more commonly known as "Jihadi John." London-based CAGE, which works with Muslims in conflict with British intelligence services, said Thursday its research director, Asim Qureshi, saw strong similarities, but because the hood worn by the militant, "there was no way he could be 100 percent certain."  (AP Photo)

Unmasking of 'Jihadi John' as a London lad shocks Britain

- Associated Press

The unmasking of Islamic State militant "Jihadi John" as a Londoner who had repeatedly been questioned by security services sent shock waves through Britain Friday, with Prime Minister David Cameron stepping in to defend British spy craft.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Rand Paul: National security trumps all other spending

- Associated Press

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Friday he understands some conservatives' skepticism toward his foreign policy views but emphasized that the first priority of the president must be national security.

FEMA suspends hazard mitigation funds for Indiana

- Associated Press

Indiana plans to take legal action against the city of Kokomo after unresolved compliance issues with its baseball stadium project spurred federal officials to freeze more than $6 million in hazard mitigation grants for the entire state, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said Friday.