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Obama aims to show solidarity with Baltics
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) - President Barack Obama will stand shoulder to shoulder with Baltic leaders Wednesday in a show of solidarity with NATO allies who fear they could be the next target of Russia's aggression. The president arrived in Estonia's port capital of Tallinn early Wednesday after an overnight flight from Washington. Obama was to hold a news conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, then hold broader security talks that include the leaders of Latvia and Lithuania.


At NATO, goal is to curb Russia but not provoke it
NEWPORT, Wales (AP) - The heady "we won the Cold War" days are over. When President Obama and other NATO leaders assemble here Thursday for a key summit meeting, their No. 1 goal will be an old and familiar one: protecting vulnerable alliance members from Russia, without goading the Kremlin into military action. After reaching out to Russia for two decades as a potential partner, NATO is once again is looking for ways to curb the Kremlin's territorial ambitions without sparking a full-scale return to expensive and risky Cold War confrontation.


Second Syria beheading raises stakes for US
BEIRUT (AP) - Islamic State extremists have released a video purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warned President Barack Obama that continuing airstrikes against the group in Iraq will be met with the killing of more Western captives. The footage - depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality - was posted late Tuesday, two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and just days after Sotloff's mother pleaded for his life.


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Lawsuits seek any Michael Brown juvenile records
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - Lingering questions about Michael Brown could be answered Wednesday as two news organizations seek the release of any possible juvenile records for the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a Missouri police officer last month. Juvenile records are confidential in Missouri, so it's not definitively known if Brown was arrested before he legally became an adult. Police have said Brown had no adult criminal record. The family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, has refused to discuss whether Brown had a juvenile record.


Japan PM selects 5 women in new Cabinet
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's prime minister picked a record-matching five women for his Cabinet Wednesday, sending the strongest message yet about his determination to revive the economy by getting women on board as workers and leaders. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set a goal of having women in 30 percent of leadership positions by 2020, and proved he is out to practice what he preaches in his selection for the 18-member Cabinet, which includes Yuko Obuchi, daughter of a former prime minister, as the trade and economy minister.


Gulf of Maine: 'Poster child' for global warming
FRIENDSHIP, Maine (AP) - Imagine Cape Cod without cod. Maine without lobster. The region's famous rocky beaches invisible, obscured by constant high waters. It's already starting to happen. The culprit is the warming seas - and in particular the Gulf of Maine, whose waters are heating up faster than 99 percent of the world's oceans, scientists say.


UK team unlocking secrets of North Korea volcano
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - More than a thousand years ago, a huge volcano straddling the border between North Korea and China was the site of one of the biggest eruptions in human history, blanketing eastern Asia in its ash. But unlike other major volcanos around the world, the remote and politically sensitive Mount Paektu remains almost a complete mystery to foreign scientists who have - until recently - been unable to conduct on-site studies. Fresh off their third visit to the volcano, two British scientists studying the mountain in an unprecedented joint project with North Korea say they may soon be able to reveal some secrets of the volcano, including its likelihood of erupting again. They're collecting seismic data and studying rocks ejected in Paektu's "millennium eruption" sometime in the 10th century.


News Guide: Thailand's surrogacy scandals and laws
BANGKOK (AP) - A string of recent scandals has lifted a lid on Thailand's largely unregulated commercial surrogacy industry, which has been around for over a decade. Here's a look at the controversies, some of the ethical dilemmas they have raised and the Thai military government's new draft law that is expected to outlaw the business of surrogacy. ---


Casino closings lead to mass unemployment filing
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Thousands of newly laid-off casino workers are expected to turn out at the Atlantic City Convention Center for a mass unemployment filing. The session Wednesday morning comes after a brutal weekend that saw more than 5,000 employees at the Showboat and Revel lose their jobs.


Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated
PHOENIX (AP) - An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation. The statement came as investigators released police reports and 911 recordings involving the Aug. 25 shooting of instructor Charles Vacca at the Last Stop range in White Hills, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas.