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Gulf nations struggle with Iraq militant blowback

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia and other petro-powerhouses of the Gulf for years encouraged a flow of private cash to Sunni rebels in Syria. Now an al-Qaida breakaway group that benefited from some of that funding has stormed across a wide swath of Iraq, and Gulf nations fear its extremism could be a threat to them as well.


Luxembourg approves same sex marriage, adoption by gay couples

Lawmakers in Luxembourg, whose prime minister is openly gay, overwhelmingly approved changes in the small European nation's legislation governing marriage that will allow people of the same sex to wed and to adopt children.


US Patent Office finds Redskins' name offensive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins' name is "disparaging of Native Americans" and should be stripped of trademark protection — a decision that puts powerful new financial and political pressure on the NFL team to rename itself.


Iraq requests U.S. air strikes

Query follows a lightning advance by Sunni rebels, urging swift action by the Shi'ite-led gov’t.


Afghan candidate seeks halt to runoff vote count

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah demanded Wednesday that Afghan electoral authorities stop counting ballots from a weekend runoff vote, citing new allegations of widespread fraud. The election commission refused and appealed to all sides to await final results.


All gone: How erasing billions of birds shocked us

WASHINGTON (AP) — With one death a century ago humanity learned we had the awesome power to erase an entire species in the scientific equivalent of a blink of an eye: The passenger pigeon went from billions of birds to extinct before our very eyes.


Ukraine's president offers cease-fire in east

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The new president of Ukraine promised on Wednesday that government troops would soon stop firing on pro-Russian armed separatists, offering a chance to end the fighting that has killed hundreds and wracked the industrial east.


Iraq fights militants around oil refinery

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces battled insurgents targeting the country's main oil refinery and said they regained partial control of a city near the Syrian border Wednesday, trying to blunt a weeklong offensive by Sunni militants who diplomats fear may have also seized some 100 foreign workers.

Senators propose 12-cent gas tax increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators unveiled a bipartisan plan Wednesday to raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the first time in more than two decades, pitching the proposal as a solution to Congress' struggle to pay for highway and transit programs.


Iraq strategy: Obama, Congress leaders meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has shifted his focus away from airstrikes in Iraq as an imminent option for slowing the Islamist insurgency, in part because there are few clear targets the U.S. could hit, officials say.


US man, 89, is held on Nazi death camp charges

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An 89-year-old Philadelphia man was ordered held without bail Wednesday on a German arrest warrant charging him with aiding and abetting the killing of 216,000 Jewish men, women and children while he was a guard at the Auschwitz death camp.

Trademark board rules against Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal trademark board ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's trademark protections should be canceled, a decision that applies new financial and political pressure on the team to change its name.


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