Islamist militia now guards US Embassy in Libya TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - An Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya's capital now guards the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said Sunday, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago. An Associated Press journalist saw holes left by small-arms and rocket fire dotting the residential compound, reminders of weeks of violence between rival militias over control of Tripoli that sparked the evacuation.
Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire BAGHDAD (AP) - The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town - not realizing he's fired it backward at his leader. The "Looney Tunes"-style cartoon targeting the Islamic State group comes after its militants have swept across large swaths of Syria and Iraq, declaring their own self-styled caliphate while conducting mass shootings of their prisoners. The group cheers its advances and beheadings in slickly produced Internet videos.
Beijing faces defiance in Hong Kong on vote reform HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers disrupted a Beijing official's speech Monday as he sought to explain a decision announced over the weekend to tightly limit voting reforms for the southern Chinese financial hub. The legislators chanted slogans and held up placards accusing China's central government of "breaking its promise" to let Hong Kong directly elect its leader. Some stood on chairs and pumped their fists, waving signs that said "Shameful" and "Loss of faith."
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Iraqi forces break militant siege of Shiite town BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen on Sunday broke a six-week siege imposed by the Islamic State extremist group on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli, as a suicide bombing killed 14 people in Anbar western province, officials said. Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the operation started at dawn Sunday and the forces entered the town shortly after midday.
Obama seeks to do no harm to Democrats in midterms WASHINGTON (AP) - Hampered by low approval ratings and an unfriendly electoral map, President Barack Obama enters the fall campaign as a liability to some vulnerable Democrats and a target for Republicans trying to fire up conservatives and appeal to disillusioned independents. Mindful of his precarious political position, Obama is charting a midterm election strategy intended to help where he can and, perhaps most importantly, do no harm to Democrats.
Ukraine: rebels fire on border guard vessel KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Hours later, Ukraine said a border guard vessel operating in the Azov Sea was attacked by land-based forces. Pro-Russian rebels have recently opened a new offensive along the seacoast.
Revel starts shutdown Monday after just 2 years ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City's 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel. Its casino will close early Tuesday morning.
Stewart back on the track, but big issues remain HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - His racing suit unzipped down to his waist, Tony Stewart walked glumly out of Atlanta Motor Speedway with two issues still hanging over him. He doesn't know if he'll face criminal charges for his car striking and killing another driver.
It's not just Hello Kitty: Japan's character craze TOKYO (AP) - Hello Kitty, whom many learned last week is a girl and not a cat, may be the queen of Japan's cute characters, but she's hardly the only one. There are thousands, and they are ubiquitous: Long-time favorite Doraemon (who really is a cat) has a daily quiz in a national newspaper. Little monster Pikachu hosted a theme cafe in Tokyo this summer. Stress-relieving Rilakkuma ("relaxed bear") dangles from teenage girls' school bags.
AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from Asia In an oddball attempt at sports diplomacy with North Korea, a group of about 20 mixed martial artists from around the world, including former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp, traveled to Pyongyang last week to engage in arm-wrestling and tug-of-war competitions with local children. The trip, organized by pro-wrestler-turned-politician Kanji "Antonio" Inoki, was the first big sports event in North Korea featuring well-known foreigners since Dennis Rodman and a team of other former NBA players held a basketball game in January for leader Kim Jung Un's birthday.