Families of Russian troops in Ukraine want answers MOSCOW (AP) - The last time Valeria Sokolova saw her husband, the 25-year-old paratrooper told her that he and his fellow soldiers were heading for military exercises in southern Russia, near the Ukrainian border. "He was vague in a way that was very unusual, and it was hard for all of them to say goodbye," Sokolova told The Associated Press, recounting their conversation from earlier this month.
At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home WASHINGTON (AP) - The case of Mehdi Nemmouche haunts U.S. intelligence officials. Nemmouche is a Frenchman who authorities say spent 11 months fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria before returning to Europe to act out his rage. On May 24, prosecutors say, he methodically shot four people at the Jewish Museum in central Brussels. Three died instantly, one afterward. Nemmouche was arrested later, apparently by chance.
Building coalition for Syria action no easy matter WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's acknowledgement the U.S. still lacks a strategy for defeating the growing extremist threat emanating from Syria reflects a still unformed international coalition. The president is meeting with his top advisers and consulting members of Congress to prepare U.S. military options. At the same time, he is looking for allies around the world to help the U.S. root out the Islamic State group that has seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.
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Judge finds Texas abortion rules unconstitutional AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Tough new Texas abortion restrictions are on hold after a federal judge found Republican-led efforts to hold abortion clinics to hospital-level operating standards unconstitutional in a ruling that spares more than a dozen clinics from imminent closure. The state vowed to quickly appeal Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin, who cited other rules GOP lawmakers have recently passed in his decision to throw out requirements that clinics meet hospital operating standards.
11 of 24 trapped gold miners rescued in Nicaragua BONANZA, Nicaragua (AP) - The first 11 of 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a collapse in a mine in northern Nicaragua have been rescued and crews were working early Saturday to free more, officials said. The men walked out of the mine on their own as their relatives and fellow miners cheered late Friday night, more than 24 hours after a collapse at the El Comal gold and silver mine in the town of Bonanza left them cut off in a mine shaft.
Liberia to unseal slum cordoned off to stop Ebola DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - Liberia says it will open up a slum in its capital where thousands of people were barricaded to contain the spread of Ebola. Information Minister Lewis Brown says lifting the quarantine Saturday morning will not mean there is no Ebola in the West Point Slum.
What dispute? India and China ignore land squabble NEW DELHI (AP) - For more than 50 years, it has pitted India against China - a smoldering dispute over who should control a swath of land larger than Austria. Two militaries have skirmished. A brief, bloody war has been fought. And today, thousands of soldiers from both countries sit deployed along their shared frontier, doing little but watching each other. But as Beijing confronts countries across the South China and East China seas, displaying its diplomatic and strategic strength in a series of increasingly dangerous territorial disputes, the India-China standoff results in almost nothing beyond regular diplomatic talks and professions of international friendship.
Obama immigration delay a pre-election curveball WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's possible delay in taking action on immigration has thrown advocates and lawmakers from both parties a curveball, barely two months before the midterm elections. Democrats who were bracing for the impact that Obama's long-awaited announcement would have on their campaigns are now rethinking aspects of their strategy for the fall. Republicans who were considering legislative attempts to block Obama must reconsider whether that's the best use of the few remaining work weeks before Election Day.
Economic sanctions spare Western-tied Russian fund WASHINGTON (AP) - Western business connections are complicating efforts to bring economic sanctions against executives and companies closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle. A prime example: the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a $10 billion sovereign wealth fund that's escaped sanctions in spite of international efforts to punish Russia for its incursions in Ukraine. A sanctioned Russian bank funds the RDIF, and a top Putin aide serves on one of its board. The fund's international advisory board, meanwhile, is stocked with blue-chip American and European private equity executives, among them Stephen Schwarzman of The Blackstone Group LP, Leon Black of Apollo Global Management LLC and David Bonderman of TPG Capital LP.
Obama's tan suit buzzed around the world NEW YORK (AP) - Quick! What exactly did President Barack Obama say from the White House briefing room about Syria, Iraq and Ukraine while dressed in the tan suit buzzed `round the world? Precisely. If you get all your news from social media.