• Iraqi, Kurdish forces try to recapture Islamic State-held towns

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters attempted on Friday to recapture two towns in the north from Islamic State militants, security sources said. The Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airpower, took one district near the eastern entrance to Jalawla, 115 km (70…

  • Mine collapse in Central African Republic kills 25

    At least 25 people have died in a collapse at a gold mine 60 km (40 miles) north of the Central African Republic town of Bambari, Ahmat Negat, spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, said on Friday. The mine at Ndassima is carved deep into a forested hilltop north of Seleka's military…

  • Arab states, Israel set to clash at U.N. nuclear meeting

    By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - As war rages in Gaza, Arab states will likely try to heighten diplomatic pressure on Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at next month's annual meeting of the U.N. nuclear agency's 160 member states, diplomats said on Friday. "I would expect ongoing conflict…

    Reuters48 mins ago
  • Florida's gay marriage ban is latest one to be struck down by a federal judge

    US District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of 10 same-sex couples seeking to have their out-of-state marriages formally recognized by Florida officials and on behalf of one same-sex couple who sued to obtain a marriage license. Same-sex marriages are banned in Florida by both state statute and…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Why US Special Forces failed to rescue James Foley

    The failed attempt to rescue journalist James Foley before he was killed by Islamic State militants – and the ongoing efforts to track down other American hostages before it’s too late – illustrate a glaring shortcoming in US military capabilities: that good US military intelligence on these…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Why did US refuse Islamic State ransom demand for James Foley?

    The revelation that militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization sought a ransom in exchange for the release of American journalist James Foley is putting a new spotlight on the US government’s strict no-ransom policy. The US has a longtime policy spanning administrations of both major…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • Ferguson: How the balkanization of greater St. Louis fueled the strife

    As normalcy begins to return to strife-torn Ferguson, Mo., there’s a rising awareness in a shocked and sad city that Ferguson and greater St. Louis need deep, political, and structural changes that, given a racist history, will be inordinately difficult to attain. Yet there are few, if any, places…

    Christian Science Monitor
  • 10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos

    Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.

    Associated Press
  • Martyrs and peace with Pyongyang top pope's agenda

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis' five-day visit to South Korea will be the first time in a quarter-century that a pope has been on the divided Korean peninsula. Francis plans to bring a message of peace and reconciliations to Koreans on both sides of the 38th parallel, while encouraging Catholics…

    Associated Press
  • Athens Olympics leave mixed legacy, 10 years later

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — In an obscure corner of a park sits a forlorn reminder that, 10 years ago, Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. The crumbling miniature theater is inscribed with the words "glory, wealth, wisdom, victory, triumph, hero, labor" — and it is where visiting Olympic officials…

    Associated Press
  • Palestinians mull Egyptian proposal for Gaza truce

    CAIRO (AP) — Palestinian negotiators mulled over an Egyptian proposal to end the monthlong Israel-Hamas war as the latest 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip was due to expire at midnight Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Islamic militants seize 2 northern Syrian towns

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic extremists captured two key towns and several villages near Syria's northern border with Turkey on Wednesday after pushing out rival fighters in fierce clashes, opposition groups and activists said.

    Associated Press
  • Israeli tactic to stop soldier capture criticized

    JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli military tactic that allows overwhelming fire to stop the capture of soldiers — even at the risk of killing them — is facing criticism after its use in the Gaza war killed some 100 Palestinians.

    Associated Press
  • Dempsey hits Islamic militant 'end-of-days' vision

    WASHINGTON (AP) — America's top-ranked military officer says the surging Islamic State group has an "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision" in the Middle East and cannot be defeated unless the United States and a coalition of partners confront it head-on in Syria.

    Associated Press16 mins ago
  • India minister stirs anger by making light of Delhi rape case

    Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley faced criticism on Friday for making light of the gang rape of a Delhi woman in 2012 and her subsequent death by saying it was a small incident that had cost India billions of dollars in tourism. Jaitley, who is also defense minister and a key lieutenant of…

    Reuters18 mins ago
  • MH17 bodies returned as Malaysia battles fallout

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Carried by soldiers and draped in the national flag, coffins carrying Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 returned home Friday to a country still searching for those onboard another doomed jet and a government battling the political fallout of both tragedies.

    Associated Press18 mins ago
  • Kenya: Man admits he is Somali terror suspect

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Kenya police official says a Somali man in their custody has admitted that he is Hassan Hanafi, who is wanted in Somalia for killing journalists.

    Associated Press18 mins ago
  • Serbia says it won't impose sanctions on Russia

    BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's prime minister says the Balkan country will not impose sanctions against Russia or curb its food exports despite pressure from the European Union.

    Associated Press18 mins ago
  • Iraqi cleric urges leaders not to delay government

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has called on the country's leaders to settle their differences in a "realistic and doable" manner and swiftly form a new government, amid a growing Sunni insurgency that threatens to break up the country.

    Associated Press20 mins ago
  • In rare move, Chinese man acquitted of murder

    BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese court on Friday acquitted a death-row inmate who spent eight years behind bars for double murder in a high-profile case that observers say may be a rare exception in a court system riddled with wrongful convictions.

    Associated Press21 mins ago