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Palestinian president's wife treated in Israel hospital

The wife of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has been treated in an Israeli hospital, media reported Sunday, as Israel searched for teenagers believed to be held captive in Palestinian territory. Israeli news site Ynet said Amina Abbas was admitted to the private Assuta hospital in Tel Aviv on Thursday. The hospital refused to comment on the report, Ynet said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Saturday held Abbas responsible for the safe return of three youths Israel said were abducted by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Republicans look for answers in Cantor's loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans, including the vanquished majority leader himself, on Sunday considered Rep. Eric Cantor's primary loss last week to a little-known tea party challenger and what it means for the GOP heading forward.

Sudan frees jailed opposition leader Mahdi

Sudan's former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi was released from custody on Sunday, one month after state security agents detained him in a case that sparked concern from Western governments. An AFP reporter saw a smiling Mahdi, chief of the opposition Umma party, greeting about 200 noisy supporters at his headquarters in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. Minutes earlier State Minister of Information Yassir Yousef told AFP that Mahdi "has been released". The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested Mahdi on May 17 after he reportedly accused a counter-insurgency unit of abuses against civilians in the Darfur region.

Defeated U.S. Congress leader Cantor leaves political options open

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. congressional leader Eric Cantor took to the airwaves on Sunday to try to rebuild his political reputation after a stunning primary election loss that has shaken the Republican Party, and refused to rule out a future run for public office. But on two Sunday television talk shows, Cantor left open the door to rekindling his political career sometime in the future and defended his work as majority leader.

Opposition protest in Niger against President Issoufou

Thousands of people marched in the Niger capital Niamey on Sunday to protest against the regime of President Mahamadou Issoufou over the detention of six opposition figures. The six, including a former government minister, were charged on June 4 with threatening state security in the poor west African country. Opposition leader and former premier Seini Oumarou, former president Mahamane Ousmane and Hama Amadou, the current speaker of parliament, took part in the protest. "Nothing will discourage us in our fight against the unjust government of Mahamadou Issoufou," Amadou said.

New clashes in Libya's Benghazi kill at least four

Benghazi (Libya) (AFP) - Forces loyal to rogue Libyan general Khalifa Haftar clashed Sunday with Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi, killing four people and wounding nine, witnesses and a medic said. The clashes were among the fiercest since Khalifa began his offensive against radical Islamist groups in Benghazi, dubbed "Operation Dignity," on May 16, when at least 76 people were killed. The fighting on Sunday left at least four dead and nine wounded, according to the Al-Abyar hospital southwest of Benghazi, where Haftar's forces are treated. The hospital sources did not say which side the casualties were from, and Islamist militias in Benghazi rarely give indications of their dead and wounded.

Mosul governor urges US air strikes on militants

The exiled governor of Mosul, Iraq's second city which was seized by Islamist fighters last week, has called for US and Turkish air strikes against the militants. "Air strikes might be conducted, not in the cities but on (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) ISIL bases in uninhabited areas," Atil al-Nujaifi said in comments published Sunday in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. His comments came as Washington deployed an aircraft carrier to the Gulf and Baghdad launched a counter-offensive against extremist Sunni militants who have overrun all of one Iraqi province and chunks of three more since launching their offensive last Monday. Speaking from Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, Nujaifi said he doubted Baghdad's security forces -- some of whom abandoned their uniforms and vehicles when ISIL fighters attacked -- would be able to repel the militant advance on their own.

GOP's midterm strength could be problem in 2016

DENVER (AP) — Republican strength in this year's House and Senate races could, strangely enough, hurt the party's presidential chances by stalling the changes in style and policy advocated after Mitt Romney's defeat in the 2012 presidential campaign.

GOP strength in 2014 could be problem in 2016

DENVER (AP) — Republican strength in this year's House and Senate races could, strangely enough, hurt the party's presidential chances by stalling the changes in style and policy advocated after Mitt Romney's defeat in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Syria govt retakes strategic town on Turkey border

Syria's army said Sunday it had recaptured the strategic town of Kasab and the only border crossing with Turkey in Latakia province, after it fell to rebels almost three months ago. "After crushing many members of the mercenary terrorist gangs... units of our armed troops in collaboration with the (paramilitary) National Defence Force returned safety and security to Kasab this morning," an army statement said. Kasab, an Armenian town, is important because it is at the only border crossing with Turkey in sensitive Latakia province, heartland of the Alawite sect from which President Bashar al-Assad hails. On Sunday, a state television reporter broadcast a stand-up from the recaptured border crossing.

US aircraft carrier welcomes PLA aboard, seeks return invite

The US Navy on Sunday welcomed four members of China's military aboard one of its aircraft carriers -- and said it hoped to receive a return invite someday. The four People's Liberation Army members were among guests flown by a C-2 Greyhound aircraft to the USS George Washington for a "VIP visit" before it berths Monday off Hong Kong on a routine call. Tensions are high in the South China Sea and East China Sea as Beijing asserts its sovereignty over reefs and islands also claimed by US allies such as Japan and the Philippines. But Rear Admiral Mark C. Montgomery, commander of the task force headed by the carrier, said US-Chinese military relations have "moderately improved" in the past six months.

Sudan opposition leader freed after month's detention

Khartoum (AFP) - Sudan's former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi was released from custody on Sunday, one month after state security agents detained him in a case that sparked concern from Western governments.

Shelling kills 10 in north Iraq town

Kirkuk (Iraq) (AFP) - Shelling targeting the largest town not seized by militants in a north Iraq province killed 10 people on Sunday, police and a local official said. The shelling in Tal Afar, a Shiite Turkmen town that is one of the few in Nineveh province not overrun by a major militant offensive, also wounded 40 people, the sources said. Militants unleashed a major offensive, spearheaded by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) but also including supporters of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and other groups, overrunning Nineveh province and seizing major parts of three others. The offensive began in Nineveh's capital Mosul late on Monday, and later swept into Kirkuk, Salaheddin and Diyala provinces.

Indications Hamas involved in Israelis' kidnapping, says US

US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday condemned the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, and said many indications pointed to the involvement of Hamas. "We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement," he said. "As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past." Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly accused Hamas of the kidnapping after Israeli troops arrested 80 Palestinians overnight.

The Clinton Costco circus

The throngs of people were officially there for Clinton to sign their discount copies of “Hard Choices,” the former Secretary of State’s book about her time in the Obama administration. In reality, Clinton herself was the least visible part of the whole, circus-like event. The average Costco patron couldn’t even sneak a glimpse of her, as her book signing took place behind a giant fortress of water bottles and paper towel rolls, built by Costco employees using forklifts in the wee hours of Saturday morning. All that traveled over that bulk-product brick wall was the occasional laugh — was it Clinton’s? Or someone else’s? It was hard to know for sure — and the sound of clicking press cameras. Clinton fans weren’t allowed to bring theirs past the security checkpoint.

For Obama, fresh questions about how wars end

WASHINGTON (AP) — From the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama outlined a timetable for the gradual withdrawal of the last U.S. troops in Afghanistan and said confidently, "This is how wars end in the 21st century."

Home-schooling parents rally against Common Core

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home-schooling mom Jenni White gave some of the loudest cheers when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation to repeal the Common Core education standards.

Obama longs to break out of White House bubble

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — It's perhaps appropriate that President Barack Obama is vacationing this weekend in California, where the state flag features a roaming grizzly.

Photos said to show jihadists executing Iraq troops

Militants from jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have executed dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members, according to photos posted online. The authenticity of the photos, which were shared on Twitter and elsewhere and said to have been taken in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad, could not be independently confirmed. The militants said in one photo caption that they executed hundreds of soldiers. A major offensive spearheaded by ISIL but also involving supporters of executed dictator Saddam Hussein has overrun all of one province and chunks of three others since it was launched on Monday.