Here are today's top stories from The Associated Press.
Obama tours ancient city of Petra before heading home from Mideast
PETRA, Jordan — President Barack Obama set aside the Middle East's tricky politics Saturday to marvel at the beauty of one of the region's most stunning sites, the fabled ancient city of Petra.
"This is pretty spectacular," he said, craning his neck to gaze up at the rock faces after emerging from a narrow pathway into a sun-splashed plaza in front of the grand Treasury. The soaring facade is considered the masterpiece of the ancient city carved into the rose-red stone by the Nabataeans more than 2,000 years ago.
Obama's turn as tourist capped a four-day visit to the Middle East that included stops in Israel and the West Bank, as well as Jordan. The White House set low policy expectations for the trip, and the president was returning to Washington with few tangible achievements to show. Aides said his intention instead was to reassure the region's politicians and people — particularly in Israel — that he is committed to their security and prosperity.
Pentagon: U.S., Afghanistan reach agreement on detention facility transfer
WASHINGTON — The U.S. has reached an agreement with the Afghanistan government to transfer the Parwan Detention Facility to Afghan control, the Pentagon said Saturday, two weeks after negotiations broke down over whether the U.S. would have the power to block the release of some detainees.
According to a senior U.S. official, a key element to the agreement is that the Afghans can invoke a procedure that insures prisoners considered dangerous would not be released from the detention center. The agreement also includes a provision that allows the two sides to work together to resolve any differences. The official lacked authorization to discuss the details of the agreement publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Transfer of the Parwan detention center Monday is critical to the ongoing effort to gradually shift control of the country's security to the Afghans as the U.S. and allies move toward the full withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2014.
Boris Berezovsky, self-exiled Russian tycoon, found dead in England
LONDON — Boris Berezovsky, a self-exiled and outspoken Russian tycoon who had a bitter falling out with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead in southeast England on Saturday. He was 67.
In recent years, the one-time Kremlin powerbroker-turned-thorn in Putin's side fended off verbal and legal attacks in cases that often bore political undertones — and bit into his fortune.
The cause of Berezovsky's death was not immediately clear, and Thames Valley police said it was being treated as "unexplained." The police would not directly identify him, but when asked about Berezovsky by name they read a statement saying they were investigating the death of a 67-year-old man at a property in Ascot, a town 25 miles west of London.