The Associated Press

Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year contract, wrapping up five months of negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit automakers.

The UAW said late Friday that Ford's contract passed with a 51.4-percent vote. The agreement covers 53,000 U.S. hourly workers at 22 plants.

President Barack Obama's plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally suffered another setback Monday in a ruling from a New Orleans-based federal appeals court.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based federal judge's injunction blocking the administration's immigration initiative.

Republicans had criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.

A top leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a Paris newspaper, when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet." The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.

The candidates for Arkansas' 2nd District congressional seat say they have problems with new health care law.

Republican French Hill, Democrat Pat Hays and Libertarian Debbie Standiford each appeared at a debate that will be shown Monday night on the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

Hot Springs' city manager says the cleanup of the torn-down Majestic Hotel complex will happen as quickly as possible.

The historic, vacant hotel was destroyed in a fire last week and the city opted to tear down the building for the safety of the public. City Manager David Watkins says the city will not let the cleanup efforts "drag out" over several months.

The Sentinel-Record reports that the structure was torn down over a 12-hour period over the weekend.

UAPress.com

The University of Arkansas Press has a new director.

Officials at the Fayetteville campus announced Tuesday that Mike Bieker is the new leader of the publishing house.

Former director Larry Malley retired in December.

Bieker moves up from his post as business manager and assistant director.

The UA Press focuses on publishing books about Arkansas and the broader academic community.

The University of Arkansas Press was founded in 1980 and was first led by poet Miller Williams. Bieker is the third director of the press in its 34 years.

The search for a missing Ashdown woman who either jumped or was knocked into the Red River during a multivehicle accident on Feb. 8 has been officially suspended.

Miller County Office of Emergency Services Director Larry Pritchett told the Texarkana Gazette that the search for 42-year-old Janice Northcross was suspended Saturday.

The Arkansas House of Representatives chamber.
arkansashouse.org

Arkansas legislators convene in Little Rock every two years to address the state's finances during a fiscal session approved by voters in 2010 - and every two years lawmakers propose non-budget measures that generally would be reserved for a general session.

Legislators say they don't want to wait to debate issues that would affect Arkansans now, even if it means disrupting the regular agenda.

Searcy voters have approved a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund a variety of city services, including street and infrastructure improvements and payments into the police and fire retirement system.

According to unofficial results, about 64 percent of voters approved the tax increase during a special election Tuesday. The levy will increase the city's existing 0.5 percent sales tax to 1.5 percent for eight years. The Daily Citizen reports that the tax increase is expected to generate $51.2 million over eight years.

Authorities will resume their search Monday for a person who jumped from an icy interstate bridge into a river to avoid a skidding tractor-trailer in southwestern Arkansas.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens says teams in boats with sonar were unsuccessful Sunday as they searched the Red River near Fulton.

State Police say three people were outside their vehicles after an accident early Saturday on the Interstate 30 bridge when a commercial truck jackknifed and started sliding toward them.

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