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January 21, 2014

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(Continued)

"I believe that my problem can be solved by close cooperation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country," he said.

Bae, the longest-serving American detainee in North Korea in recent years, expressed hope that the U.S. government will do its best to secure his release. He said he has not been treated badly in confinement.

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With stakes high and expectations low, Syrian peace talks set to open this week in Switzerland

BEIRUT (AP) — With stakes high and expectations low, Syria's government and its opponents are supposed to sit down face-to-face this week for the first time — muscled to an international peace conference by foreign powers that fear the bloodiest of the Arab Spring uprisings may engulf the entire region in sectarian war.

But the negotiations, tenuous from the beginning, were again up in the air on Monday as a new U.N. invitation extended to Iran prompted a threat from the Western-backed opposition to pull out of the gathering.

The international community seemingly agrees on the urgent need to end fighting that has killed more than 130,000 people, touched off the worst humanitarian crisis in decades and unleashed sectarian hatreds that have sent tremors across the Middle East.

But they do not agree on how — or who — can end the war.

Both the government and the opposition have suffered enormous losses, but even now, neither side appears desperate enough for a deal to budge from its entrenched position. The front lines of the war itself have been largely locked in place since last March.

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Several of Obama's key surveillance changes are hampered by legal, logistics complications

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several of the key surveillance reforms unveiled by President Barack Obama face complications that could muddy the proposals' lawfulness, slow their momentum in Congress and saddle the government with heavy costs and bureaucracy, legal experts warn.

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