US won't let borders hamper fight vs. extremists WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior White House official raised the possibility Friday of a broader American military campaign that targets an Islamic extremist group's bases in Syria, saying the U.S would take whatever action is necessary to protect national security. "We're not going to be restricted by borders," said Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser.
West condemns Russia over convoy to Ukraine LUHANSK, Ukraine (AP) - Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated sharply on Friday as Moscow sent more than 130 trucks rolling across the border in what it said was a mission to deliver humanitarian aid. Ukraine called it a "direct invasion," and the U.S. and NATO condemned it as well. In another ominous turn in the crisis, NATO said it has mounting evidence that Russian troops are operating inside Ukraine and launching artillery attacks from Ukrainian soil - significantly deeper involvement in the fighting than the West has previously alleged.
Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Gaza militants Friday gunned down 18 alleged spies for Israel in an apparent attempt to plug security breaches and deter others, a day after Israel killed three top Hamas military commanders in an airstrike likely guided by collaborators. In one incident, masked gunmen lined up seven men, their heads covered by bags, along a wall outside a Gaza City mosque and shot them to death in front of hundreds of people, witnesses said. A note pinned on the wall said they had leaked information about the location of tunnels, homes of fighters and rockets that were later struck by Israel.
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Gov't warns US retailers about hacking software WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday. The government urged businesses of all sizes to scan their point-of-sale systems for software known as "Backoff," discovered last October. It previously explained in detail how the software operates and how retailers could find and remove it.
New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges? FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Conditions calmed this week in Ferguson after nights of sometimes violent unrest stemming from the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer. But a delicate and crucial question lingers: What happens if the grand jury now considering the case doesn't return a charge against the officer? The fear among some local residents and officials trying to maintain peace in Ferguson is that failure to charge the officer could stoke new anger among a community profoundly mistrustful of the legal system. Many say they just hope the grand jury's decision, whatever it is, has irrefutable facts to back it up.
Costa Rica to investigate US anti-Cuba program SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - The Costa Rican government will investigate undercover U.S. programs operated from the Central American country and using its citizens in a ploy to destabilize the government in Cuba, the director of intelligence and security said Friday. Mariano Figueres told The Associated Press that the new administration, which took office May 8, has found no records or information from their predecessors about the U.S. Agency for International Development project, which starting in 2009 sent young Venezuelans, Costa Ricans and Peruvians to Cuba in hopes of stirring opposition to the island's communist government.
Mosque attack kills 64 in Iraq, Sunnis halt talks BAGHDAD (AP) - Gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers and killed at least 64 people, prompting Sunni lawmakers to withdraw from talks on forming a new, more inclusive government capable of confronting the Islamic extremists who have overrun large swaths of Iraq. It was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by Shiite militiamen or insurgents of the Islamic State group, who have been advancing into mixed Sunni-Shiite areas in volatile Diyala province and have been known to kill fellow Sunni Muslims who refuse to submit to their harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberia has 1,000 deaths ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Two alarming new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria, widening the circle of people sickened beyond the immediate group of caregivers who treated a dying airline passenger in one of Africa's largest cities. The outbreak also continues to spread elsewhere in West Africa, with 142 more cases recorded, bringing the new total to 2,615 with 1,427 deaths, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory' BANGKOK (AP) - Interpol said it has launched a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the "Baby Factory" case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to father hundreds more. Police raided a Bangkok condominium earlier this month and found nine babies and nine nannies living in a few unfurnished rooms filled with baby bottles, bouncy chairs, play pens and diapers. They have since identified Mitsutoki Shigeta as the father of those babies - and seven others.
UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000 GENEVA (AP) - The death toll from three years of Syria's civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people, the United Nations reported Friday. The figure, covering the period from March 2011 to April 2014, is the first issued by the U.N.'s human rights office since July 2013, when it documented more than 100,000 killed.