US, Cuba to normalize relations  The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.

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GOP-led House backs limits on Obama's authority

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014, 03:50 PM EDT
GOP-led House backs limits on Obama
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has voted overwhelmingly for a $570 billion defense bill that limits President Barack Obama's authority on handling detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The vote was 340-73 on Friday for an election-year measure that also would impose new curbs on the National Security Agency's spying.

Overall, the bill would provide the money for military personnel, aircraft, ships and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon had proposed several cost-saving moves, including base closings and retirement of aircraft. Congress resisted as lawmakers protected favorite programs.

Republicans were angry with Obama's swap of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo for American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive for five years. They backed new restrictions on transferring detainees.
GOP-led House backs limits on Obama's authority
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