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US forces conduct operation in Somalia: Pentagon

Washington (AFP) - US military forces carried out an operation against Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants in Somalia, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.


Actress Jennifer Lawrence contacts authorities after nude photos hacked

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of her online, a spokeswoman said on Monday, part of a reported mass hacking of celebrities' intimate photos. Online pictures of the actress, 24, who won an Academy Award for "Silver Linings Playbook" and stars in "The Hunger Games" movie franchise, began appearing on Sunday. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence," spokeswoman Liz Mahoney said in an emailed statement. A spokesman for the FBI said the agency "is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter." Model Kate Upton was among celebrities whose photos were posted online.


California high school drops mascot criticized by Arab-American group

(Reuters) - A California high school has retired its Middle Eastern-themed mascot and accompanying belly dancers and redrawn its logo after criticism from Arab-Americans that they played on harmful stereotypes, a group advocating for the change said on Monday. Coachella Valley High School agreed to use a new image of a stoic-looking Arab man to represent its sports teams, dubbed "the Arabs," said Abed Ayoub, a spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which worked with the school to choose the new logo.

Detained Americans in North Korea seek U.S. help

By James Pearson, Alina Selyukh and Matt Spetalnick SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three American citizens detained in North Korea appealed to the U.S government on Monday for help returning home, speaking in rare interviews with U.S. One of them said his health was failing and another described his situation as "urgent." The men said they were being treated humanely but asked the U.S. Responding to the interviews, the U.S.


Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week's airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants.


Ukraine accuses Russia of "open aggression"

By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.


Florida power utilities fear return of ‘Green Governor' Crist

By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. As Republican governor between 2007 and 2011, Crist "sent shivers through the entire utility system," said Colleen Castille, who headed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Jeb Bush. Crist was a darling of clean energy advocates, hosting a climate change summit in 2007 alongside another green Republican, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Ukrainians pull back from airport; Poroshenko slams Russia

By Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Monday it had pulled its forces back from defending a vital airport in the east against Russian tanks, as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of "direct and open aggression". The withdrawal from the civilian airport outside the city of Luhansk was the latest in a string of reverses for Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists who Kiev says have the direct support of hundreds of Russian troops and armor. A military statement said Ukrainian paratroopers were engaging a Russian tank battalion near the airport.


Kiev: Ukraine soldiers in battle with Russian tanks in Lugansk

Ukrainian troops on Monday were battling a Russian tank contingent in the eastern city of Lugansk, Kiev said, accusing Moscow's army units of moving into large cities in the region. "The battle between Ukrainian paratroopers and a reinforced tank battalion of the Russian armed forces is continuing with the goal of controlling the Lugansk airfield," military spokesman Leonid Matyukhin wrote on his Facebook page. Ukraine's Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey further said that Russian units are moving into other towns in the region, including the largest city of the region Donetsk.


Paris suburb building blast death toll reaches 7

PARIS (AP) — The death toll in the partial collapse of a four-story apartment building has risen to seven in a northeastern Paris suburb after emergency crews pulled the body of an elderly woman from the rubble.


Brace yourselves: Campaign cash buying tons of ads

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's airwaves are already jammed with political ads, most of them negative, in one of the Senate races nationwide that will decide which party claims the majority.


Dozens arrested at Made in America music festival in Los Angeles

(Reuters) - Seven people were arrested on Sunday at the Made in America music festival in downtown Los Angeles, following an opening day that left more than two dozen people in handcuffs, police said. During Sunday's show at Grand Park there were four felony arrests, including one for battery and the rest for possession of narcotics, besides three misdemeanor arrests, including one charge of public drunkenness, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Another 23 people were given alcohol citations, an LAPD police spokeswoman said. So far about 27,000 tickets have been scanned for Sunday's full day of events, including top-billed stars John Mayer and Kanye West later in the evening.


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