Ukraine, NATO, US: Russian forces inside Ukraine NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) - "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," the country's president declared Thursday, cancelling a foreign trip and calling an emergency meeting of his security council. Reports from analysts to separatist rebels to NATO and U.S. officials backed up that assessment. President Petro Poroshenko summoned the council as the strategic southeastern town of Novoazovsk appeared firmly under the control of separatists and their Russian backers, a new front in the war in eastern Ukraine between the separatists and Poroshenko's government in Kiev.
A look at the Islamic State militants in Syria BEIRUT (AP) - As the U.S. strikes Islamic State targets in Iraq, extremists belonging to the same militant group across the border in Syria are capturing new territory and becoming bolder by the day. There, in its power base, the Islamic State group controls thousands of square kilometers (miles) of territory, including most of Syria's oil-producing region. In the areas under its control, it has established an elaborate governing system that oversees every aspect of people's lives.
On Syria, Obama faces questions on Congress' role WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision? Obama was barreling toward strikes last summer when he abruptly announced that he first wanted approval from congressional lawmakers. But Congress balked at Obama's request for a vote and the operation was eventually scrapped.
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UN: Ebola cases could eventually reach 20,000 GENEVA (AP) - The Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are now known, the World Health Organization said Thursday. A new plan by the U.N. health agency to stop Ebola also assumes that the actual number of cases in many hard-hit areas may be two to four times higher than currently reported. If that's accurate, it suggests there could be up to 12,000 cases already.
Gun tourism grows in popularity in recent years LAS VEGAS (AP) - The death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi displayed a tragic side of what has become a hot industry in the U.S.: gun tourism. With gun laws keeping high-powered weapons out of reach for most people - especially those outside the U.S. - indoor shooting ranges with high-powered weapons have become a popular attraction.
US to begin safety testing Ebola vaccine next week WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal researchers next week will start testing humans with an experimental vaccine to prevent the deadly Ebola virus. The National Institutes of Health announced Thursday that it is launching the safety trial on a vaccine developed by the agency's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline. It will test 20 healthy adult volunteers to see if the virus is safe and triggers an adequate response in their immune systems.
Israelis skeptical of PM's Gaza victory claim JERUSALEM (AP) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that Israel achieved a "great military and political" victory over Hamas in the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip has met with skepticism from many Israelis, according to a poll published Thursday. The poll, published in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, shows that 54 percent of those surveyed believe there was no clear winner in the 50 days of war. The fighting killed 2,143 Palestinians, most of them civilians, according to Palestinian health officials and U.N. officials. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers, five civilians and a Thai worker were killed.
White House preps legal case for immigration steps WASHINGTON (AP) - With impeachment threats and potential lawsuits looming, President Barack Obama knows whatever executive actions he takes on immigration will face intense opposition. So as a self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act approaches, Obama's lawyers are carefully crafting a legal rationale they believe will withstand scrutiny and survive any court challenges, administration officials say. The argument goes something like this: Beyond failing to fix broken immigration laws, Congress hasn't even provided the government with enough resources to fully enforce the laws already on the books. With roughly 11.5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally - far more than the government could reasonably deport - the White House believes it has wide latitude to prioritize which of those individuals should be sent home.
A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat. In her twenties, Oh traveled around South Korea to learn dog meat recipes from each region. During a period of South Korean reconciliation with North Korea early last decade, she went to Pyongyang as part of a business delegation and tasted a dozen different dog dishes, from dog stew to dog taffy, all served lavishly at the Koryo, one of the North's best hotels.
Tim Hortons a big part of Canadian identity TORONTO (AP) - Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits - or doughnut holes to Americans. So news this week that Burger King will buy Tim Hortons served as a bittersweet reminder of how beloved the homegrown chain is in Canada, where 75 percent of the all the coffee sold at fast food restaurants comes from "Timmy's," as it is affectionately known. Tim Hortons is found in just about every small town and large city across Canada, and hockey-mad Canadians often head to their local Timmy's before or after their kids' games.