Confederate flag's removal turns King Day into celebration

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Civic leaders, activists, artists and others are celebrating, marching and paying homage Monday to Martin Luther King Jr., marking the 30th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

  • Written by JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press

Iran releases Americans in breakthrough prisoner exchange

VIENNA (AP) — Four Americans detained in Iran will be coming home and seven Iranians in U.S. custody also will win their freedom in a breakthrough swap negotiated by the longtime foes, officials in both countries said. As well, a fifth American was freed separately.

  • Written by BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press

Search for 12 Marines from downed helicopters enters 3rd day


HONOLULU (AP) — The ongoing search for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii entered the third day with no plans Sunday to call off or suspend the massive effort, the Coast Guard said.

  • Written by AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER, Associated Press

Obama cites Americans' release as win for 'smart' diplomacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Sunday heralded the release of Americans held prisoner in Iran and the full implementation of a historic nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic, holding both up as a victory for "smart" diplomacy and fulfillment of his pledge to deal directly with enemies of the United States.

  • Written by JULIE PACE, Associated Press KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

In tight race, Democrats debate passion versus practicality

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — With just two weeks to go before the first votes of the 2016 race for president, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders engaged in their most contentious debate match-up to date, underscoring their tightening primary race as the Iowa caucuses draw near.

  • Written by LISA LERER, Associated Press NANCY BENAC, Associated Press