US special ops tried but failed to find hostages WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say. The rescue mission was authorized after intelligence agencies believed they had identified the location inside Syria where the hostages were being held, administration officials said Wednesday. But the several dozen special operations forces dropped by aircraft into Syria did not find them at that location and engaged in a firefight with Islamic State militants before departing, killing several militants. No Americans died but one sustained a minor injury when an aircraft was hit.
Foley's death isn't changing views in Congress WASHINGTON (AP) - For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists. It's equally unclear whether the Obama administration will be asking them to back a new U.S. approach. President Barack Obama said the United States wouldn't scale back its military posture in Iraq in response to James Foley's killing. But he offered no specifics Wednesday about what new steps he might take to protect additional captives and other Americans, and ward off what he described as the al-Qaida offshoot's genocidal ambitions.
Israeli airstrike kills 3 senior Hamas leaders GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three senior commanders of the Hamas military wing Thursday, delivering a likely blow to the organization's morale and highlighting the long reach of Israel's intelligence services. The pre-dawn strike leveled a four-story house in a densely populated neighborhood of the southern town of Rafah, killing six people, including the three senior Hamas commanders.
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Holder offers reassurance to people of Ferguson ST. LOUIS (AP) - To reassure the people of Ferguson, Attorney General Eric Holder reached into his own past, recalling the times he had been stopped by police officers who seemed to target him because of his race. On a visit to the St. Louis suburb that has endured more than a week of unrest, Holder sought to build confidence in the investigation into the death of the black 18-year-old who was shot by a white officer. The trip also underscored the priority to the Obama administration of civil rights in general and the Michael Brown case in particular.
Many police killings, but only Ferguson explodes There was little violence after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer last July. Peace prevailed when at least four other unarmed black males were killed by police in recent months, from New York to Los Angeles. Then Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri. And waves of rioting have convulsed the St. Louis suburb for more than 10 days.
As US airstrikes in Iraq grow, details stay thin WASHINGTON (AP) - America has returned to war, of a sort, in Iraq with airstrikes that have intensified in recent days against Islamic State militants. But details about the execution of this limited campaign, which so far includes no reported U.S. ground combat, are thin. Some questions and answers about the mission, which began Aug. 8:
Ukraine: Some Russian aid trucks clearing customs KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Some Russian trucks in a massive aid convoy have begun to clear customs at a rebel-held border crossing in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian border guard service said Thursday. Russia has been trying to send in over 200 trucks carrying what it says is humanitarian aid to help civilians in the hard-hit city of Luhansk, but Ukraine fears the move is a ploy to aid the pro-Russian separatists who have been fighting government troops. The convoy has been held up at the border for a week in a dispute over the conditions under which Ukraine will let in the Russian trucks.
Noodles: Friend or foe? S. Koreans defend diet SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Kim Min-koo has an easy reply to new American research that hits South Korea where it hurts - in the noodles. Drunk and hungry just after dawn, he rips the lid off a bowl of his beloved fast food, wobbling on his feet but still defiant over a report that links instant noodles to health hazards. "There's no way any study is going to stop me from eating this," says Kim, his red face beaded with sweat as he adds hot water to his noodles in a Seoul convenience store. His mouth waters, wooden chopsticks poised above the softening strands, his glasses fogged by steam. At last, he spears a slippery heap, lets forth a mighty, noodle-cooling blast of air and starts slurping.
Aid group: US doctor who had Ebola has recovered ATLANTA (AP) - At least one of the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa has recovered and was to be discharged Thursday from an Atlanta hospital, a spokeswoman for the aid group he was working for said. Alison Geist, a spokeswoman for Samaritan's Purse, told The Associated Press she did not know the exact time Dr. Kent Brantly would be released but confirmed it would happen Thursday.
Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies LOS ANGELES (AP) - If it walks like a drama and talks like a drama and yet calls itself a comedy, that's just fine with the Emmy Awards. But the audience for Monday's ceremony (8 p.m. EDT, NBC) may suffer momentary confusion when, say, the Netflix women's prison saga "Orange Is the New Black" pops up as a nominee for best comedy series.