AP Top News at 12:01 a.m. EDT

Airstrikes and aid provide relief for Iraqi town
WASHINGTON (AP) - Aircraft from the United States, Australia, France and Britain dropped food and water to the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, which has been under siege by Islamic State militants for nearly two months, the Pentagon said Saturday night. U.S. airstrikes supported the humanitarian mission. Thousands of Shiite Turkmen have been stranded in the farming community about 105 miles north of Baghdad. The aid came at the request of the Iraqi government, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.


5 US airstrikes target Islamic State fighters
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. military says fighter aircraft and unmanned drones have struck Islamic State militants near Iraq's Mosul Dam. In a statement issued Saturday, U.S. Central Command says the five latest U.S. airstrikes were in support of operations conducted by Iraqi security forces.


EU threatens Russia with more sanctions
BRUSSELS (AP) - Despite tough rhetoric decrying Russia's increasing military involvement in Ukraine, European Union leaders on Sunday stopped short of imposing new sanctions against Moscow right away. Instead, the 28-nation bloc's heads of state and government tasked their executive body to "urgently" prepare tougher economic sanctions that could be adopted within a week, according to EU summit chairman Herman Van Rompuy.


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All Filipino peacekeepers escape Golan standoff
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and coming under fire by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, the Philippine military chief said Sunday, while 44 Fijian troops remained in the hands of the al-Qaida-linked insurgents. After coming under rebel attack Saturday, the first group of 35 Filipino peacekeepers was successfully escorted out of a U.N. encampment in Breiqa by Irish and Filipino forces on board armored vehicles, Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang and other military officials said.


Saudi king warns of terrorist threat to Europe, US
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - The king of Saudi Arabia has warned that extremists could attack Europe and the U.S. if there is not a strong international response to terrorism after the Islamic State group seized a wide territory across Iraq and Syria. While not mentioning any terrorist groups by name, King Abdullah's statement appeared aimed at drawing Washington and NATO forces into a wider fight against the Islamic State group and its supporters in the region. Saudi Arabia openly backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but is concerned that the breakaway al-Qaida group could also turn those very same weapons on the kingdom.


Pro-Russia rebels confident after making gains
STAROBESHEVE, Ukraine (AP) - As the survivor of a tank attack on a Ukrainian army truck was being carried into an ambulance, he was showered with verbal abuse by a rebel fighter. "Why didn't you say before that you were alive? Why so quiet?" the rebel taunted. Minutes later, the Ukrainian soldier drew his last breath.


Rebuilding Gaza will take 20 years, group says
JERUSALEM (AP) - An 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 following the war between Hamas and Israel. Most of the new building would be to make up for the current housing deficit, rather than to address damage from fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants.


Trapped miners rescued in Nicaragua; 5 remain
BONANZA, Nicaragua (AP) - Rescue workers and trapped miners alike frantically dug away at opposite sides of rock and mud that blocked a Nicaragua gold mine, finally succeeding in freeing at least 20 men. Efforts to reach five miners still missing continued Saturday. Antonio Diaz said the miners tried to cheer each other up inside the dark, cold shaft, attacking the slide with their picks and shovels by the light of helmet lamps. But after 24 hours, they began feeling hungry and some started losing hope.


AP PHOTOS: Fairy-tale night for girls in Rio slum
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Dressed in long evening gowns, girls from Rio de Janeiro's Santa Marta "favela" slum have celebrated a fairy-tale evening in a debutante ball sponsored by local police. The 15-year-old girls were escorted to the ball held in a Copacabana dancehall Friday night by members of the Pacifying Police Unit from their community. The police units have re-conquered slums ruled for decades by drug-dealing gangs.


Sam cut from Rams, but may still have NFL future
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Not long after Michael Sam waved to an adoring crowd at Missouri's season opener, he looked down at his cell phone. It was 3 p.m. CT, the deadline for NFL teams to pare rosters to 53 players. And the Rams coach was talking to the players who didn't make the cut.

 

 

 



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