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U.S. air power aids retaking of Iraqi town

American jets clear a path for militias to break siege

Subscriber onlyBAGHDAD -- A coalition of Shiite militias, regular Iraqi army units and Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. air power, on Sunday broke a long siege of Amirli, a town in northern Iraq that for weeks had been surrounded by Sunni extremists who threatened to slaughter thousands of Shiite residents. Continue reading...

Putin calls on Ukraine to start 'statehood' talks

Subscriber onlyMOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Sunday called on Ukraine to begin talks on "the statehood" of that country's rebellious southeast, a vague and provocative turn of phrase used by Putin as he demanded that the Ukrainian government negotiate directly with pro-Russia separatists. Continue reading...

Pakistani military urges clashes' end

Subscriber onlyISLAMABAD -- Anti-government protesters armed with slingshots and hammers clashed repeatedly with police Sunday in the Pakistani capital, and the powerful military cautioned the prime minister against further use of force in the crisis that has triggered the biggest challenge yet to his authority. Continue reading...

No open Hong Kong nominations

China’s legislature says election option would result in chaos

Subscriber onlyBEIJING -- China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." Continue reading...

Senegal's Ebola said WHO's 'top priority'

Subscriber onlyDAKAR, Senegal -- The effort to contain Ebola in Senegal is "a top priority emergency," the World Health Organization said Sunday, as the government continued tracing everyone who came in contact with a Guinean student who has tested positive for the deadly disease in the capital, Dakar. Continue reading...

Tripoli militia guards U.S. Embassy

Islamist Dawn of Libya in control of diplomats’ homes

Subscriber onlyTRIPOLI, Libya — An Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya’s capital now guards the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said Sunday, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago. Continue reading...

Filipinos hail troops' escape near Syria

Subscriber onlyBEIRUT -- Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers escaped their besieged outpost in the Golan Heights after a seven-hour gunbattle with Syrian rebels, Philippine officials said Sunday. Al-Qaida-linked insurgents still hold captive 44 Fijian troops. Continue reading...

The world in brief

Subscriber onlyParis apartment-building collapse kills 2 Continue reading...

EU gives Russia week for Ukraine pullback

Subscriber onlyThe European Union warned Saturday that the apparent incursion of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil pushes the conflict closer to a point of no return, with new economic sanctions being drawn up to make Moscow reconsider its position. Continue reading...

U.N.'s forces face off with rebels from Syria

After fight, Filipinos escape to safety

Subscriber onlyClashes broke out Saturday between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and United Nations peacekeepers in the Golan Heights after the militants surrounded the U.N. encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict. Continue reading...

Islamic State messaging bloody, but cutting-edge

Subscriber onlyThe extremists who have seized large parts of Syria and Iraq have riveted the world's attention with their military prowess and unrestrained brutality. But Western intelligence services are also worried about their command of seemingly less lethal weapons: cutting-edge videos, video shot from drones and multilingual Twitter messages. Continue reading...

Pop culture cuts deep

Korean TV, music fuel plastic surgery wave

Subscriber onlyAll around the southern Seoul district of Gangnam -- the area of conspicuous consumption made famous by the hit song "Gangnam Style" -- Chinese women walk down the street with bandages over their faces and around their heads. Continue reading...

Mexico's minimum spurs wage debate

$144 per month highlights inequality in the world’s 14th-largest economy

Subscriber onlyMexico has the 14th-largest economy in the world, a humming manufacturing sector, a newly opened energy sector that's drawing worldwide interest and, at $144 a month, one of the lowest minimum wages in Latin America. Continue reading...

Somali troops takeal-Shabab bastion

Subscriber onlySomali government troops fighting alongside African Union troops ousted Islamic militants from a southern town they have been controlling, an official said Saturday. Continue reading...

Group: 20 years to rebuild Gaza

Netanyahu says extremists are ‘galloping toward’ Israel

Subscriber onlyAn international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years under current levels of restrictions to rebuild the Gaza Strip's battered and neglected housing stock after the fighting between Hamas and Israel. Continue reading...

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