External attacks rise as Islamic State fortunes fall BEIRUT (AP) - International terror attacks seemingly inspired by the Islamic State group are increasing as its fortunes fall in Syria and Iraq. The attack on the Istanbul airport was still unfolding Tuesday night when Turkish authorities said IS is the likely culprit, although no group has claimed responsibility so far. If IS is behind the latest carnage, it would be in keeping with its accelerated campaign of exporting terror, a tactic which appears aimed at deflecting attention from mounting territorial losses in Syria and Iraq. Here's a look at what the Islamic State group would hope to gain from such an attack: PROJECTING STRENGTH Two years after it declared a caliphate across large parts of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is in crisis.
10 Things to Know for Thursday Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday: 1. WHAT THE ISLAMIC STATE GROUP WOULD HOPE TO GAIN FROM THE TURKEY AIRPORT ATTACK If it is behind the carnage, it would be in keeping with its accelerated tactic of exporting terror, apparently aimed at deflecting attention from mounting losses in Syria and Iraq. 2. LEADERS OF CANADA, MEXICO AND THE U.S. PUSH BACK AGAINST ISOLATIONISM Obama, Trudeau and Pena Nieto defended their calls for freer trade and warned against easy solutions peddled by "demagogues." 3. CONGRESS CLEARS PUERTO RICO RESCUE BILL IN RARE SHOW OF BIPARTISAN UNITY The package aims to help the U.S.
APNewsBreak: Military seeks more time on transgender policy WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior military leaders expressed deep concerns this week that the launch of new Pentagon rules allowing transgender service members to serve openly in the U.S. military is moving too quickly, arguing that a number of details and questions must still be resolved, several senior U.S. officials told The Associated Press. The Pentagon plans to unveil the new regulations in the next day or two. Under the new policy, transgender individuals will be allowed to serve in the military, and can no longer be forced to leave based on their gender identity. Officials familiar with the plan said it states that service in the military should be open to anyone who can meet the rigorous service standards, regardless of their gender identity.
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North America leaders urge against Trump's isolationism OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - President Barack Obama and the leaders of Mexico and Canada pushed back forcefully on Wednesday against the isolationist and anti-immigrant sentiments that have roiled Britain and been championed by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The leaders warned against easy solutions peddled by "demagogues" who feed on economic anxiety. With tensions growing over terrorism and fallout from Britain's exit from the European Union, Obama acknowledged that Americans and others have reason to be concerned about their own future in a rapidly globalizing economy. He said concerns about immigrants had been exploited by politicians in the past, but he insisted he wasn't worried Americans will follow that path.
'Move on' from Benghazi? Republicans say it's unlikely WASHINGTON (AP) - Hillary Clinton says it's "time to move on" after a congressional report on the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks accused the Obama administration of lethal mistakes, but produced no new evidence pointing to wrongdoing by the former secretary of state. Not likely, especially in an election year with Clinton's presidential rival - Donald Trump - lashing out. An 800-page report by a special House committee makes no direct accusations of wrongdoing by Clinton, who was secretary of state during the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Still, Republicans point to Benghazi as a major failure by the administration and by Clinton during her tenure leading the State Department.
EU spells out conditions for single market access to Britain BRUSSELS (AP) - European Union leaders drew a stark line along the British Channel on Wednesday, telling the U.K. that it cannot keep valuable business links with its former continental partners in a seamless single EU market, if it doesn't also accept European workers. The challenge cuts to the heart of the British vote to leave the bloc following a virulent campaign where migration from poorer EU countries was a key concern. It also sets the scene for the complex departure negotiations facing departing Prime Minister David Cameron's successor, for which nominations opened in London Wednesday. Meeting for the first time without the U.K., the 27 other EU nations set out a united strategy to face the next British government which will seek to salvage as many of the EU rights as possible while reneging on a maximum amount of obligations.
The Latest: Canada Parliament wishes Obama 'four more years' Canada's Parliament broke into chants of "four more years" as President Barack Obama wrapped up the first address there by a U.S. leader since 1995. Four years for Obama amounts to wishful thinking. He's nearing the end of his second term in office and speaks fondly of life after the presidency. His term ends in mid-January 2017. The U.S. Constitution bars him from running for a third term. Canada's lawmakers also greeted Obama, who is popular in Canada, with a rousing standing ovation after he arrived in the House of Commons. The reception prompted Obama to joke that the "extraordinary welcome" tempted him to just "shut up and leave." He spoke for nearly an hour.
Film academy invites 683 new members to join LOS ANGELES (AP) - Six months after announcing intentions to double the number of female and minority members in its ranks by 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 683 new members to join the organization. The academy says its invitees are 46 percent female, 41 percent minority and represent 59 countries. Should all of the invitees accept, the new class would make the academy's overall membership 27 percent female and 11 percent non-white, up from 25 percent and 8 percent respectively. Idris Elba, Chadwick Boseman, Eva Mendes, America Ferrera and Anika Noni Rose are among the actors invited to membership.
For Michael Phelps, the 5th Olympics may mean the most yet OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Michael Phelps surged to the wall, and then whipped around to spot his time. That number wasn't really important. The only thing that mattered was No. 5. Phelps became the first male swimmer to qualify for five Olympics with a victory in the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. swimming trials Wednesday night, another huge milestone in the water but even more significant given what's happened away from the pool. A second drunken-driving arrest. A re-evaluation of his life. An impending marriage. And his first child. With 7-week-old Boomer in the arms of his mother at the CenturyLink Center, Phelps cruised to a victory that meant as much personally as all those triumphs that came before.
Istanbul airport attackers seized on chaos to cause carnage ISTANBUL (AP) - It was an attack that echoed the carnage earlier this year at the Brussels airport, down to the taxi that carried the men to their target: Inciting panic and then taking lethal advantage, three suicide attackers unleashed a deadly tide of bullets and bombs at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, leaving 42 dead. Authorities blamed the Islamic State for the blood bath late Tuesday, a coordinated assault on one of the world's busiest airports and on a key NATO ally that plays a crucial role in the fight against the extremist group. There was no immediate claim of responsibility by the militant group.