National News

Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters fire artillery during clashes with ISIS militants in Salahuddin province. The push to retake Tikrit is being aided by Iran, which is providing rockets and other support to Iraq.

With Iran's Help, Iraqi Force Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Tikrit

The new Iraqi effort to retake Tikrit from the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS, brought fierce fighting to areas around the city Tuesday. A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help seize Tikrit.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

People view a memorial to a man killed by police on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The police say two officers who were at the scene were wearing body cameras.

LAPD Shooting Update: Two Body Cameras, And A Gun Malfunction

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience, as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday. Police say the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun before he was shot to death.

Beck called the incident a tragedy that followed a "brutal, brutal fight."

The police confrontation with a man known as Afrika was filmed by at least two eyewitnesses. A dramatic video sparked criticism of the police, as it showed several officers attempting to hold him down before shots rang out..

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while addressing the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

Controverisal Netanyahu Speech Is Latest Glitch In U.S.-Israel Relations

Israel's Prime Minister is expected to deliver a stern warning when he speaks to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday morning. Benjamin Netanyahu says the nuclear deal that the U.S. and other countries are pursuing with Iran could threaten Israel's survival.

That's not a new message from Netanyahu, but it's drawing extra attention because of the way the speech came about: Republican congressional leaders invited the prime minister with no involvement from the White House.

What Shapes Health? Join The Discussion On Harvard's Webcast

Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.

As part of the series "What Shapes Health," created in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard is sponsoring a webcast on Tuesday, March 3 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm EST.

To pose questions, email theforum@hsph.harvard.edu.

A Lego model of All Souls Church rests on the altar, which was retained when the Bolton, England, church was renovated into an interfaith community center. The model was built by children taking part in an after-school program there.

In English Town, Muslims Lead Effort To Create Interfaith Haven

Inayat Omarji vividly remembers the worried reaction when he first looked into renovating the abandoned church in his neighborhood: "There's a bearded young Muslim chap involved in a church! Whoops! He's gonna turn it into a mosque!"

At the time, Omarji was head of the local council of mosques, but there already were three or four in his neighborhood in Bolton, England.

"What it needed is a place where people could meet, people can come to, people can socialize," he says.

Corrections officer Sgt. Charles Galaviz secures an inmate for transfer with handcuffs and shackles Jan. 24 at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, in Lexington, Okla. Overtime is mandatory for correctional officers in the state's prisons, which have a manpower shortage of about 33 percent and the highest inmate homicide rate in the country.

States Face Correctional Officer Shortage Amid A Cultural Stigma

More than 1.3 million people are incarcerated in state prisons in this country, and keeping those prisons running requires tens of thousands of corrections officers. But right now, some states are facing major staffing shortages.

Much of this shortfall is because of the strong economy, but recruiters also are struggling with the job's cultural stigma.

Cadets at Wyoming's Department of Corrections Training Academy are practicing how they'll handcuff prisoners; in a few weeks this scenario will be very real, but right now everyone is pretty relaxed.

In Houston, Falling Oil Prices Spark Fears Of Job Cuts Beyond Energy

In recent weeks, the price of gasoline has ticked up but regular unleaded still costs about a dollar less than it did a year ago. That's good for consumers, who have more money to spend. But in Houston, one way or another, the paychecks consumers depend on come from the oil business.

The world's three biggest oilfield service firms — Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes — have announced a combined 22,000 layoffs in recent months. Those job cuts are worldwide, but many are falling in Houston, where all three companies have headquarters.

Abortion rights opponent Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, holds up a poster during a prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., in January.

Abortion Restrictions Complicate Access For Ohio Women

Ohio may not have gotten the national attention of say, Texas, but a steady stream of abortion restrictions over the past four years has helped close nearly half the state's clinics that perform the procedure.

"We are more fully booked, and I think we have a harder time squeezing patients in if they're earlier in the pregnancy," says Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm. It's one of just two clinics still operating in Cleveland, and its caseload is up 10 percent.

Uzuri Pease-Greene, right, leads a walk through the public housing complex in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where her family lives. She is working to have the old buildings replaced.

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health

Faiza Ayesh giggles with delight as she describes her brand-new two-bedroom apartment in Oakland, Calif. She shares her home with her husband and three little girls, ages 3, 2 and 5 months. Ayesh, 30, says she just loves being a stay-at-home mom. "It's the best job in the world."

Behold The Humble Block! Tools of the Trade

For this series, we've been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using — if only for a short time — in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, Presidential Fitness Test and Bunsen burner.

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