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Islamic State hostage drama reveals 'chink in the armor'


FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, a passerby is silhouetted against a large TV screen broadcasting a news program in Tokyo reporting on a video posted on YouTube by jihadists on Tuesday, Jan. 27, that purports to show a still photo of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding what appears to be a photo of Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh. Far from the high-tech, slickly edited videos involving beheaded Western hostages through which the group impressed supporters and terrorized opponents, recent messages purporting to be from Japanese hostage Kenji Goto have been through digitized, audio dispatches featuring either still photos or text. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)Experts say there is a change in the extremist group's propaganda technique.


First lady defends 'American Sniper' at veterans event


Actor Bradley Cooper speaks on a panel during the launch event for "Got Your 6," a multifaceted program that includes encouraging film and television to include characters who are veterans, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at the National Geographic Society in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated "American Sniper," which has received criticism for its depiction of war.


Hagel: U.S. ground troops could be needed in Iraq


U.S. President Barack Obama hugs outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia,Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says all options must be considered in Iraq.


Texas Governor to declare 'Chris Kyle Day' in honor of sniper


Texas Attorney General Abbott speaks during an anti-abortion rally at the State Capitol in Austin(Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday he would officially declare Feb. 2 "Chris Kyle Day" in the state, in honor of the late Navy Seal sharpshooter portrayed in the film "American Sniper." The movie, starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle who was killed by a disgruntled U.S. veteran on a Texas gun range in 2013, has been a box office hit as well as a flashpoint of debate between liberals and conservatives. Abbott, a Republican, made the announcement during a speech at the Texans Veterans of Foreign Affairs Mid-Winter Convention in Austin, according to a statement from the governor's office. "In honor of a Texas son, a Navy SEAL and an American hero – a man who defended his brothers and sisters in arms on and off the battlefield – I am declaring February 2nd Chris Kyle Day in Texas," Abbott said during the speech, according to the statement.


San Francisco police detain two over body parts in suitcase


San Francisco police said on Friday night they had detained two people in connection with a case involving a suitcase full of body parts discovered on a downtown street earlier this week. An anonymous tip offered around 7:30 p.m. local time led officers to the Tenderloin neighborhood where they found the individuals, one of whom was identified earlier on Friday as a person of interest in the homicide case, San Francisco Police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said. The San Francisco Chronicle said the city medical examiner determined that the remains belonged to a "light-skinned male," but neither an identity nor cause of death could be immediately established.

In Los Angeles, Muslim women find empowerment in female-only Friday prayers


Muslim women arrive for the prayer service at the Women's Mosque in downtown Los AngelesBy Daina Beth Solomon LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After the traditional call to prayer, Edina Lekovic stood in front of some 150 women seated on the floor at an interfaith center in Los Angeles, and delivered a sermon, a role traditionally reserved for Muslim men. Lekovic, an activist with California's Muslim Public Affairs Council, then joined the women in kneeling in prayer in the direction of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. Friday's gathering at the interfaith center - a former Jewish synagogue near downtown Los Angeles with Stars of David etched into the stained glass windows - aims to encourage women to participate fully in Muslim prayer and education. Muslim women often meet for casual gatherings and prayer, but rarely do they unite in a formal setting, such as the Friday worship, under the banner of a mosque.


Concerts

Fleetwood Mac @ KFC Yum Center Tues Feb 17


Nickelback @ KFC YUM CENTER Wednesday, Feb 25


Elton John @ U.S. Bank Arena Friday, February 27


Kongos @ Mercury Ballroom Saturday, February 28


Chris Brown & Trey Songs @ U.S. Bank Arena Saturday, February 28


Meghan Trainor @ Mercury Ballroom Sunday, March 1


Maroon 5 & Magic! @ KFC Yum Center Saturday, March 14


Andy Grammer @ 20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati Wednesday, March 25


Stevie Wonder @ KFC Yum Center Friday, March 27


The Who @ KFC Yum Center Sat, May 9