Whitney Houston's last days...Santorum sees 2-man race...'Friends of Syria' to meet


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Aretha Franklin says she's stunned at the death of her goddaughter. Whitney Houston was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton in Southern California yesterday. From the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, Houston was one of the world's best-selling artists, wowing audiences with her effortless, powerful vocals. But she fell from the charts as her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use and her regal image was tarnished by erratic behavior. The cause of death has not been determined. Houston was 48.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Whitney Houston's last days were spent surrounded by family, catching up with old friends and singing. Her death yesterday in a Beverly Hills hotel room came hours before she was scheduled to appear at an annual pre-Grammy party that introduced her to the industry decades ago. Fellow singer Kelly Price says Houston appeared happy last Thursday when the two of them appeared on stage together at a Hollywood club. Price says: "She was the Whitney I always knew."

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rick Santorum says the Republican presidential race will come down to two men: Santorum and Mitt Romney. Santorum is coming off victories last week in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, and predicts he'll have good showings Feb. 28 in Michigan and Arizona. Santorum tells ABC's "This Week" Romney is having trouble figuring how to go after a rival who is a "solid conservative." GOP officials declared Romney winner of Maine's caucuses last night.

CAIRO (AP) — Tunisia says it will host the inaugural meeting of the "Friends of Syria" group later this month to explore ways to further isolate President Bashar Assad, support his foes and end violence. The Tunisia meeting will bring together the United States, its European allies and Arab states working to end Syria's turmoil.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek lawmakers will debate on legislation introducing the severe austerity measures needed for the country to secure a $170 billion bailout and stave off bankruptcy. The debate was due to start early afternoon and continue until midnight. Unions are calling for a large protest outside Parliament starting at 5 p.m.

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