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The latest on damaging earthquake in California

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — This is what Associated Press reporters on the scene are learning following the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years:


US hostage freed after being held in Syria for two years

An American who has been held hostage for 22 months by an Islamic rebel group in Syria was released Sunday to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, US and UN officials said. "Finally he is returning home," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, confirming the release of Peter Theo Curtis, a 45-year-old author and freelance journalist whose disappearance in Syria had not been previously reported. Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the village of Al Rafid, Quneitra, in the Golan Heights and after undergoing a medical checkup was turned over to US representatives, the United Nations said. The news of his release came less than a week after a video surfaced showing the slaying of captive US journalist James Foley at the hands of an Islamic State militant.


Bishop: Slain US journalist Foley opened our eyes

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Slain U.S. journalist James Foley was living his faith by bringing images to the world of people suffering from war and oppressive regimes, a Roman Catholic bishop said Sunday at a Mass in his honor.


Iraq pleads for global help in fight against jihadists

Iraq called Sunday for global support for its fight against jihadists, as Shiite neighbour Iran said it was helping Baghdad resist the militants but not with soldiers on the ground. Iraq is struggling to regain significant parts of the country after a lightning militant offensive led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group seized second city Mosul in June and swept through the country's Sunni heartland, as security forces fled. The jihadist fighters have been bombarded since August 8 by US air strikes in northern Iraq, allowing Kurdish peshmerga security forces to claw back a limited amount of lost territory, including the Qaraj area, which they retook on Sunday.


Invasive insect threatens iconic Florida citrus

LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) — The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state's five official welcome centers. They walk inside, and then they look up.


Crunch Time: The Last-Minute Sunday Night Reservation Guide

Eater scanned through all 1,270 NYC restaurants on OpenTable with reservations for two still available for tonight. Here's the best of the bunch. Get 'em while they're hot: · Minetta Tavern (6:00) · Union Square Cafe (9:00, 9:15) · The...


Cubs' Wada has no-hitter broken up in 7th

CHICAGO (AP) — Tsuyoshi Wada of the Chicago Cubs has lost his no-hit bid when Baltimore's Steve Pearce led off the seventh inning with a home run.


Strongest Earthquake in 25 Years Hits Northern California

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Bay area near Napa, California, this morning (Aug. 24), the largest such event in the area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


Briton with Ebola arrives in London from Sierra Leone

A British nurse who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone arrived in London by military plane on Sunday, BBC news reported. The patient, who is not "seriously unwell" according to the Department of Health, is to be treated at an isolation unit at a London hospital. A spokesman for Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health, Yahya Tunis, said the man was a volunteer nurse working in Kenema in eastern Sierra Leone, one of the areas hardest hit by Ebola which has now been quarantined. "His colleagues are very sad over the development as he is considered as a valued member," Tunis said, adding that he was involved in "surveillance, contact tracing and the burial of Ebola victims".


Bouchard, Halep seek tennis Grand Slam breakthrough

Eugenie Bouchard, tipped as the next superstar of women's tennis, arrives at the US Open seeking to take a year of remarkable Grand Slam success to the last level -- victory. The 20-year-old Canadian has accomplished the rare feat of reaching at least the semi-finals of the year's first three Grand Slams. Her first trip to a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon resulted in a crushing defeat at the hands of Petra Kvitova. The fanfare surrounding seventh-seeded Bouchard is in contrast to the relatively low profile of Simona Halep, the 22-year-old Romanian who fell in the French Open final to Maria Sharapova.


Fall Tracking: Tom Murphy Opening Paces & Vine in Vinings

Tom Murphy, who established Murphy's in Virginia-Highland more than 30 years ago, has previously discussed the idea of opening another restaurant. His plans are coming to fruition with Paces & Vine, which will open in the old Garrison's Boiler &...


As Obama's vacation ends, criticism does not

By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton EDGARTOWN Mass./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As Barack Obama discovered over the past two weeks, presidents can run into trouble when their playtime is perceived as detached from the concerns of Americans. Obama returns to Washington on Sunday faced with having to repair some of the dings to his reputation after he came under fierce criticism for playing golf amid smoldering crises involving Islamic State militants, racial unrest in Missouri, a Chinese plane's altercation with an American aircraft over Japan, and renewed violence in Ukraine. "Perception is reality, and it takes a long, sustained effort to change perception," said Dana Perino, a former press secretary for President George W. Bush. George H.W. Bush was seen as out of touch by rocketing around the waters off the coast of Maine in a pricey speedboat while the country faced an economic slowdown.


US sends medical equipment to fight Ebola in Liberia

Sixteen tonnes of medical equipment donated by the US government arrived on Sunday in Liberia, which has tallied the highest death toll in the West African epidemic. Kai Olsen, from the US Agency for International Development, said the shipment included plastic sheeting to build temporary shelters and water purification kits. It also included personal protective equipment such as "gloves, facial masks and body suits that allow workers to work with either patients or samples of materials -- to work with the Ebola virus safely." Olsen said it was the "first load" of Ebola-focussed aid from USAID to Liberia, where 624 people have died from the infectious tropical virus.


British Ebola victim flown home as Congo finds new outbreak

By Josephus Olu-Mammah and Kylie MacLellan FREETOWN/LONDON (Reuters) - A British medical worker was flown home from West Africa on Sunday after becoming the first Briton infected in the world's worst Ebola epidemic, as a separate new outbreak of the disease was detected in Democratic Republic of Congo. A specially adapted Royal Air Force cargo plane picked up the male healthcare worker in Sierra Leone on Sunday after Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond authorized his repatriation for treatment. The U.K. Department of Health said the patient - whose identity has not been disclosed - was "not currently seriously unwell". The man will be transported to an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London.


DR Congo confirms first Ebola cases

The Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday confirmed its two first cases of Ebola this year, but claimed they were unrelated to the epidemic raging in four countries of West Africa. The UN's World Health Organization also announced that one of its health experts, an epidemiologist, had been infected while working in Sierra Leone. In Kinshasa, Congolese Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said that two of eight samples taken from victims of a mystery fever had tested positive for Ebola. The Ebola virus is confirmed in DRC," Kabange told AFP.


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