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Iraq violence kills 21 as militants press offensive

A series of bombings in Baghdad and shelling in another Iraqi city killed 21 people on Tuesday, while police found the bodies of 18 security personnel north of the capital. The violence came during a major offensive, spearheaded by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant but involving other groups, which overran all of one province and chunks of three more in a matter of days. In the deadliest single attack, a car bomb exploded in a market in the predominantly-Shiite Muslim area of north Baghdad, killing at least 11 people and wounding more than 20, security and medical officials said. In Fallujah, a city west of Baghdad that has been held by anti-government fighters for more than five months, shelling killed four people and wounded three, Dr Ahmed Shami said.

Obama’s Fave Think Tank Says: Bomb Iraq

As the White House debates whether to strike ISIS inside Iraq, a Washington think tank deeply connected to the Obama administration is recommending that the United States start getting ready now for U.S. airstrikes.

France drops corruption probe into son of Senegal's ex-leader

French prosecutors have dropped a corruption investigation into the flamboyant son of former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, his lawyers said Tuesday, weeks before he stands trial in his own country. Karim Wade is suspected of having corruptly acquired a multi-million-dollar fortune while his father was in power and is due to be tried in Senegal next month. Senegalese authorities had also lodged an official complaint in France in 2012 in the belief that part of Wade's alleged $242 million (179 million euro) fortune may have been invested in the country. French prosecutors dropped their probe for lack of sufficient proof, his lawyers said.

18 Iraq security personnel found dead

Baghdad (AFP) - Iraqi police discovered the bodies of 18 security forces members near a city north of Baghdad on Tuesday, police and a doctor said.

Car bomb kills seven in Shiite area of Baghdad

Baghdad (AFP) - A car bomb in a market in the predominantly Shiite north Baghdad area of Sadr City killed at least seven people Tuesday evening, security and medical officials said.

Race against the clock for Iran nuclear talks

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers sought Tuesday to overcome major differences and hammer out the text of a momentous nuclear deal just five weeks before a deadline. This hugely complex accord would see the Islamic republic scale down its nuclear programme to ease concerns that it wants atomic weapons -- something Iran has long denied. In return Iran is demanding the lifting of all UN and Western sanctions that are hitting its vital oil exports, clogging up its financial system and causing major economic problems.

The US Politicians Kissing Up to Russia

Washington’s celebration of U.S.-Russian relations quickly turned into a pity party for the Kremlin’s die-hard American apologists.

Miami exiles pressure U.S. to loosen policy on Cuba

By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Cuban exile Joe Arriola at one time would never have dreamed of returning to his homeland while it was under communist rule. But after 53 years in the United States, the former manager of the city of Miami swallowed his pride and decided he had waited long enough. Arriola, 67, said a week-long trip to the island last year had opened his eyes to what he now believes is a failed U.S. policy of trying to isolate Cuba. "The number one weapon we have is capitalism and we are not using it," he said over breakfast at the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables, a bastion of older, conservative-minded exiles in Miami-Dade County.

London FTSE 100 closes higher

London's stock market closed higher on Tuesday as investors awaited this week's US Federal Reserve policy meeting, while fears that violence in Iraq could disrupt energy supplies still weighed on sentiment. The benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.18 percent to 6,766.77 points. The "focus will increasingly... shift away from events unfolding in Iraq and the Ukraine to tomorrow's FOMC meeting," said analyst Markus Huber at broker Peregrine & Black. The Federal Reserve should keep monetary policy unchanged in a two-day meeting, but analysts will looks for any hint on changes to the trajectory for interest rates.

US to expand marine park, clamp down on 'pirate' fishers

The United States Tuesday unveiled "historic" steps to combat illegal fishing and proposed plans to create the world's largest marine sanctuary in a bid to help save the world's besieged oceans. "We all know how fragile our planet can be," Obama said opening the second day of a landmark conference dubbed "Our Ocean" urging everyone to "redouble our efforts." The White House said Obama had ordered his cabinet to look at ways to expand a US marine sanctuary in the central Pacific Ocean where "tropical coral reefs and associated marine ecosystems are among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification." Overfishing threatens whole species as well as the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods," Obama said.

Brat makes 1st appearance since beating Cantor

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In his first public appearance since last week's primary victory against Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Dave Brat said Tuesday he was "hitting the ground running" in his general election campaign, with a message promoting "economic prosperity."

Obama to create world's largest ocean preserve

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is looking to create the largest marine preserve in the world by protecting a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean from drilling, fishing and other actions that could threaten wildlife, the White House said.

Biden 'confident' relations with Brazil can be improved

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he is confident that relations between the United States and Brazil can improve following a cooling in bilateral ties caused by last year's revelations that the National Security Agency spied on the country's president. "I am confident they can," Biden said when asked by reporters about the future of Brazilian-U.S. relations as he arrived for a meeting with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia.

US forces move into Iraq with security mission

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets as President Barack Obama nears a decision on an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces.

European stocks stage modest rebound

European stock rose on Tuesday as investors took their cue from slender gains on Wall Street before this week's US Federal Reserve policy meeting, but gains were capped by Iraq fears. In late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.28 percent to 6,773.53 points. The European single currency drifted down to $1.3569, from $1.3570 late in New York on Monday. "European stock markets are staging a mild rebound following recent weakness on the back of the Iraq conflict," said ETX Capital analyst Daniel Sugarman.