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Iraq slows Islamist rebel advance, regains some territory

By Ahmed Rasheed and Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An offensive by insurgents that threatens to dismember Iraq seemed to slow on Saturday after days of lightning advances as government forces regained some territory in counter-attacks, easing pressure on the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad. As Iraqi officials spoke of wresting back the initiative against Sunni militants, neighboring Shi'ite Iran held out the prospect of working with its longtime U.S. arch-enemy to help restore security in Iraq. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday he was reviewing military options, short of sending combat troops, to combat the insurgency. The United States ordered an aircraft carrier moved into the Gulf on Saturday, readying it in case Washington decides to pursue a military option after insurgents overran towns and territories in the north and advanced on Baghdad.


Pentagon orders aircraft carrier to Gulf in case Iraq military option needed

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an aircraft carrier moved into the Gulf on Saturday, readying it in case Washington decides to pursue a military option after insurgents overwhelmed a string of Iraqi cities this week and threatened Baghdad. "The order will provide the Commander-in-Chief additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq," the Pentagon said in a statement. The carrier USS George H.W. Bush, moving from the North Arabian Sea, will be accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun, the statement said. President Barack Obama said on Friday he needed several days to determine how the United States would help Iraq deal with the insurgency.


Afghans line up to vote in presidential runoff

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Despite a Taliban threat to stay away, Afghans lined up Saturday to vote in a presidential runoff between two candidates who both promise to improve ties with the West and combat corruption as they confront a powerful Taliban insurgency and preside over the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of the year.


Kings win Stanley Cup on Martinez's double-OT goal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The longest postseason for the Los Angeles Kings led into the longest game they had ever played. After 94 minutes of impossibly tense hockey, Alec Martinez could scarcely believe it when a rebound off Henrik Lundqvist's pads came straight to his stick.


Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll dead at 82

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Friday night at his home. He was 82.


VA: Vets who got quick appointments were left out of audit

NEW YORK (AP) — Data released by Veterans Affairs officials earlier this week appeared to confirm that new patients at the agency's medical centers were routinely waiting 30, 50 or even more than 90 days to see a doctor. It turns out those statistics came with some big caveats.


Massive GM recall: Ignitions can be switched off with knee

Every Chevrolet Camaro built since General Motors relaunched the pony car in 2010 – some 511,508 cars worldwide — was recalled today after GM discovered drivers could accidentally turn the car off with their knees, the same problem at the heart of the deadly Chevy Cobalt recall.


American among 3 missing teens in Israel

Israeli soldiers searched the West Bank on Friday for three missing teenagers from nearby settlements, one of them a U.S. citizen, amid fears Palestinian militants abducted them, authorities said.


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