Merrit Kennedy

Ahead of President Obama's landmark trip to Cuba later this month, the U.S. is loosening sanctions regulations against Cuba.

The changes make it easier for U.S. citizens to travel to the island and allow nonimmigrant Cubans who are in the U.S legally to earn salaries.

"Normalization means not just normalization between governments, it means normalization of our relationship with the Cuban people. And that is what this change really aims to advance," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters as he announced the changes.

Myanmar has elected its first civilian president after decades of military rule.

U Htin Kyaw, a close ally of Nobel laureate and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, won the legislature's vote. Suu Kyi was barred from running herself by the country's constitution — drafted by the former military leaders — because she has two foreign sons.

Eighty million years ago, tyrannosaurs were the top predators in Asia and North America.

And scientists say a newly discovered dinosaur from Uzbekistan helps to explain their rise.

In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers said they have found a specimen from a 20 million-year gap in fossil records — between the small-bodied "marginal hunters" and the "apex predators" the tyrannosaurid group would become. This group includes Tyrannosaurus rex, Albertosaurus and Tarbosaurus.

Turkish warplanes are conducting airstrikes against Kurdish targets in Northern Iraq, following a deadly car bomb that killed at least 37 people in Turkey's capital, Ankara.

The Turkish military said "11 warplanes carried out airstrikes on 18 targets in northern Iraq early on Monday, including ammunition depots and shelters," Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, mourners held funerals for the victims of Sunday's attack.

This week, several Balkan countries slammed their borders shut on migrants, effectively cutting off their main route leading to Northern Europe.

It's causing growing humanitarian concerns as tens of thousands of people who hoped to move north remain stuck in camps in Greece. Meanwhile, EU nations are still struggling to come up with a solution to the crisis.

The Cleveland Clinic says it has removed a transplanted uterus — the first-ever in the U.S. — after the patient suffered from a "sudden complication."

The clinic conducted the landmark operation in late February. As we reported, the procedure is intended to "open up another possible path to parenthood besides surrogacy or adoption for U.S. women who do not have a uterus, or who have a uterus that does not function."

Iran's military tested two ballistic missiles Wednesday, and an Iranian officer says the missiles are designed to reach Israel, according to an Iranian news agency. Iran has conducted a number of other ballistic missile tests this week.

The tests, which come after Iran won sanctions relief in January by curbing its nuclear program, seem to be "aimed at demonstrating that Iran will push forward with its ballistic program," The Associated Press reports.

Ending a Democratic filibuster lasting more than 36 hours, the Missouri Senate has given preliminary approval to a controversial bill that shields religious groups and individuals who have religious objections to same-sex weddings.

Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan testified in his invasion of privacy suit in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the media organization Gawker, which published a portion of a sex tape.

The case raises major questions about freedom of expression, privacy and celebrity. That being said — "it really couldn't be seedier in terms of the topic that provoked this suit," as NPR's David Folkenflik told Here and Now.

The Dutch dentist was initially welcomed to the rural French town of Chateau-Chinon, which had been without a dental care provider for two years.

Then the horror stories started.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova has lost several major sponsors after admitting that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open.

The U.S. military has hit an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia using both drones and manned aircraft, killing at least 150 of the al-Qaida fighters, the Pentagon says.

The weekend strikes hit an al-Shabab training camp about 120 miles north of the capital, Mogadishu, NPR's Tom Bowman reports. Here's more from Tom:

"A Pentagon spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, [who provided the casualty figure] says U.S. intelligence indicated that al-Shabab was preparing for what he called a 'large scale attack' on American and Somali troops.

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The Marshall Islands is on an unlikely mission — trying to press India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom to curb their nuclear programs.

The Pacific archipelago, which was the site of dozens of U.S. nuclear tests in the '40s and '50s, is suing the three countries in the U.N.'s International Court of Justice. The Marshall Islands says the three countries haven't carried out in good faith their obligations to pursue negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.

European Union leaders and Turkey's prime minister have ended talks aimed at resolving the flood of migrants into Europe, signaling their leaders are closer to an agreement.

The Associated Press reports, "Luxembourg's prime minister says that European Union and Turkish leaders have ended talks ... but that more work is needed to finalize an agreement. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said in a tweet early Tuesday that EU Council President Donald Tusk 'will take forward the proposals and work out the details with the Turkish side' before the next EU summit on March 17."

A Turkish court has sentenced two Syrian nationals to four years in prison each in a case tied to the drowning death of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi and four others.

Photos of 3-year-old Alan's body lying facedown on a Turkish beach in September 2015 produced a groundswell of global sympathy for people fleeing violence in the Middle East and North Africa, and laid bare the human cost of their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean.

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