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Diplomacy

Diplomatic push grows against Islamic State group

Global drive grows against Islamic State, with promises of airstrikes but no ground troops
Lori Hinnant, The Associated Press

PARIS - Newly outraged by the beheading of yet another Western hostage, diplomats from around the world are in Paris pressing for a coherent global strategy to combat extremists from the Islamic State group — minus two of the main players and without any ground troops — in a conflict that threatens to spill beyond the Mideast.

US man in North Korea given 6 years of hard labour

North Korea sentences 24-year-old American man to 6 years of hard labour for espionage
The Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea's Supreme Court on Sunday convicted a 24-year-old American man of entering the country illegally to commit espionage and sentenced him to six years of hard labour.

Kerry seeks Egypt aid in battle against extremists

Kerry seeks Egypt's support for coalition against Islamic State group
Lara Jakes And Mariam Rizk, The Associated Press

CAIRO - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday hailed Egypt as an "important partner" in the emerging coalition aimed at beating back the extremist Islamic State group, while stressing that the need for Cairo's support would not lead Washington to ignore human rights concerns.

Protestant firebrand Ian Paisley dies at 88

Rev. Ian Paisley, Protestant firebrand-turned-peacemaker in Northern Ireland, dies at age 88
Shawn Pogatchnik, The Associated Press

DUBLIN - The Rev. Ian Paisley, the Protestant firebrand who devoted his life to thwarting compromise with Catholics in Northern Ireland only to become a pivotal peacemaker in his twilight years, died Friday in Belfast. He was 88.

Paisley's blistering oratory in sermons and street protests was blamed for fueling four decades of bloodshed that claimed 3,700 lives.

UN: 45 Fijian peacekeepers freed in Syria

UN says 45 Fijian peacekeepers released by militants in Syrian Golan Heights
Edith M. Lederer And Ryan Lucas, The Associated Press

BEIRUT - Al-Qaida-linked militants released 45 Fijian peacekeepers captured two week ago in Syria, ending the U.N.'s fourth crisis over abducted soldiers in the Golan Heights since March 2013 amid questions about the future of its 40-year-old monitoring mission there.

Syria's Assad makes rare appearance at rally

Syria's president makes rare public appearance at rally of his supporters
Albert Aji,Elizabeth A. Kennedy, The Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad joined thousands of his supporters Wednesday in an extremely rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.

Dressed more casually than usual in a jacket but no tie, the president told the cheering crowd that he wanted to draw strength from them. Security guards surrounded him as supporters waved his portrait and raised Syrian flags.

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