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Updated: 43 min 26 sec ago

IS blasts in Syria regime heartland kill more than 120

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 03:58

More than 120 people were killed Monday in a wave of bombings claimed by the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria, the deadliest attacks yet in the regime’s coastal heartland. Seven near-simultaneous explosions targeted bus stations, hospitals and other civilian sites in the seaside cities of Jableh and Tartus, which until now had been relatively insulated from Syria’s five-year civil war. The unprecedented attacks on strongholds of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime came as IS faces increasing pressure in both Syria and Iraq, where Baghdad’s forces on Monday launched a major offensive to retake the jihadist-held city of Fallujah.

US ex-POW in Japan to travel with Obama to Hiroshima

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 02:37

TOKYO (AP) — An American held by Japan as a prisoner of war during World War II and forced to work in a copper mine has been invited to accompany President Barack Obama on his historic visit to Hiroshima this week, a U.S. veterans group said.

Monitor: Blasts kill more than 100 in Syrian government coastal heartland

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 02:34

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in the Mediterranean cites that have up to now escaped the worst of the conflict.

Mission not quite accomplished: Obama’s antiterrorism legacy

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 01:01

Three years ago today, Barack Obama gave a major counterterrorism address at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. It was what his aides call a “framing” speech, an effort to knit together an overarching approach to the fight against radical terrorists. Predictably, Obama touted his administration’s key successes. Osama bin Laden was dead, the core al-Qaida organization in Pakistan was “on a path to defeat,” and there had been no “large-scale” terror attacks on U.S. soil since he had taken office.

Wild US election fascinates, worries Iran after nuclear deal

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 00:17

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — After decades of officially-imposed detachment from the "Great Satan," Iranians are this time transfixed by the wild U.S. presidential campaign, mindful that the next White House occupant could have direct impact on their lives.

Obama lifts decades-old arms ban in his 1st visit to Vietnam

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 23:52

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday lifted a half-century-old ban on selling arms to Vietnam during his first visit to the communist country, looking to bolster a government seen as a crucial, though ...

In swing-state suburbs, white women are skeptical of Trump

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 23:50

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — For Donald Trump to win the White House in November, he'll need the votes of women like lifelong Republican Wendy Emery.

Obama confirms leader dead as Taliban meet on his successor

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 23:49

By Matt Spetalnick and James Mackenzie HANOI/KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed on Monday that the leader of the Afghan Taliban had been killed in an American air strike, an attack likely to trigger another leadership tussle in a militant movement already riven by internal divisions. Obama, on a three-day visit to Vietnam, reiterated support for the government in Kabul and the Afghan security forces, and called on the Taliban to join peace talks. The president authorized the drone strike that killed Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a remote region just on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan on Saturday, and Afghan authorities have said the mission was successful.

Verdict expected in Freddie Gray-officer trial in Baltimore

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 23:35

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge is expected to announce his verdict in the trial of a police officer charged in the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray.

Germany's Bayer offers $62 billion for Monsanto

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 22:39

The move which would create the world's biggest supplier of seeds, pesticides and genetically modified crops.

Indian climber 3rd to die on Mount Everest in recent days

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 21:40

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An Indian climber who had fallen sick and was being helped down Mount Everest has died, becoming the third to die in recent days while attempting to scale the world's tallest peak, an expedition organizer said Monday.

17 girls dead in fire at school dormitory in Thailand

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 18:56

At least 17 young girls died after a fire swept through the dormitory of a school for children of hill tribes in northern Thailand, officials said Monday, adding several others were either missing or injured. Seventeen girls were killed and two are still missing, with five injured," Colonel Prayad Singsin of the police in Chiang Rai told AFP. A Chiang Rai provincial official confirmed the death toll, adding that the privately-run school is home to girls aged between six and 13 years old, drawn mainly from the deprived local hill tribes.

Iraq announces start of operation to retake Fallujah

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 15:04

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday announced the start of a military operation to retake the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State group. The fight to recapture the jihadist bastion, which has been out of government control for nearly two and a half years, will be one of the toughest in Iraq's war against IS. "We are beginning the operation to liberate Fallujah," Abadi said in a statement.

Police officer fatally shot in traffic stop; suspect on run

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 14:17

AUBURN, Mass. (AP) — A manhunt was underway Sunday for a suspect who shot and killed a police officer during a traffic stop in central Massachusetts, authorities said.

Egypt sends submarine to hunt for crashed jet's black boxes

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 12:43

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt sent a submarine Sunday to join the hunt for the flight recorders from the EgyptAir jetliner that crashed in the Mediterranean and killed all 66 people aboard, while hundreds of Coptic Christian mourners filled a church in Cairo to pray for their relatives among the dead.

Israeli defense minister steps down

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 10:51

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel's defense minister officially stepped down on Sunday, capping a tumultuous week of politics that is expected to result in the replacement of the former military chief with an inexperienced hard-liner in the sensitive post.

Bernie Sanders: Voters see Hillary Clinton as ‘lesser of two evils’ against Donald Trump

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 09:49

According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday, 58 percent of registered voters view Trump unfavorably, while 54 percent view Clinton the same way — the highest unfavorable ratings for likely general election candidates in the history of the survey. “We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked,” Sanders said.

New data backs argument that Trump has not expanded the GOP

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 08:00

Trump has boasted that he is drawing new voters to the the GOP, but new analysis refutes the claim and suggests increased primary numbers won't help in November.

Top US commander makes secret visit to Syria

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:56

NORTHERN SYRIA (AP) — On a secret trip to Syria, the new commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Saturday he felt a moral obligation to enter a war zone to check on his troops and make his own assessment of progress in organizing local Arab and Kurd fighters for what has been a slow campaign to push the Islamic State group out of Syria.

Obama arrives in Vietnam, seeks to turn old foe into new partner

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:17

By Matt Spetalnick and Mai Nguyen HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Vietnam late Sunday ahead of a three-day trip aimed at sealing the transformation of an old enemy into a new partner to help counter China's growing assertiveness in the region. Four decades after a war with Vietnam that deeply divided opinion in America, Obama aims to boost defense and economic ties with the country's communist rulers while also prodding them on human rights, aides say.