US home construction tumbled 8.2 percent in December


WASHINGTON (AP) — Groundbreakings on new homes fell 8.2 percent in December, with builders ending 2017 by slowing down their construction of single-family houses.

  • Written by By JOSH BOAK , AP Economics Writer

South's slow-motion freeze begins to relent


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The deep freeze that killed 10 people and shut down much of the South began to relent Thursday, but several states were still dealing with the lingering effects of the slow-moving storm that dumped up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow in central North Carolina.

  • Written by By JONATHAN DREW and TOM FOREMAN Jr. , Associated Press

Grandparents shocked by reports of 13 starved grandchildren


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The grandparents of 13 starved and tortured children say their son's family looked happy and healthy when they last visited California six years ago.

  • Written by By BRIAN MELLEY and MICHAEL BALSAMO , Associated Press

Nearly 4 years on, much of Syrian rebel 'capital' abandoned

HOMS, Syria (AP) — Sumaya Bairuty walked through abandoned streets pocked with shell craters amid rows of destroyed buildings, at times climbing over giant sand barriers before reaching her parent's apartment in the once rebel-held district of Bab Dreib in this central Syrian city.

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  • Written by BASSEM MROUE , Associated Press