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A high-profile Muslim Uighur scholar and government critic denied that he had encouraged separatism as he entered the second and likely final day of hearings Thursday in China's far western region of Xinjiang, where authorities say terrorists are seeking an independent state.
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Top Saudi clerics issue edict against terrorism

Abdullah Al-Shihri, Aya Batrawy, Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 8:10am
Saudi Arabia's highest body of religious scholars issued a stern ruling on Wednesday calling terrorism a "heinous crime" and saying perpetrators including Islamic State militants deserve punishment in line with Islamic law.
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Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as US partners

Robert Burns, Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 7:30am
About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment, the top U.S. military officer said Wednesday.
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North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

Foster Klug, Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 6:50am
One shouted about God's love as he crossed a frozen river, clutching a Bible. Another swam, drunk and naked. Several U.S. soldiers dashed around land mines.
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Faith motivates many Ebola doctors

The Associated Press  |  posted 46 minutes ago
Why would an American doctor risk his life to treat Ebola patients in Africa?
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House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels

David Espo, Donna Cassata, Associated Press  |  posted 46 minutes ago
The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly Wednesday to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels as President Barack Obama emphasized anew that American forces "do not and will not have a combat mission" in the struggle against Islamic State militants in either Iraq or Syria.
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Obama praises House vote on arming Syrian rebels

Josh Lederman, Darlene Superville, Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 5:50pm
President Barack Obama praised a House vote Wednesday granting him authority for the U.S. military to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, calling it an important step toward confronting the Islamic State group.
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Jimmy Carter defends recent speech to Islamic group

The Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 3:41pm
Former President Jimmy Carter says he didn't hesitate to address a Muslim convention last month in Detroit.
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Prayer notes removed from Jerusalem's Wailing Wall

The Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 3:41pm
Thousands of prayer notes, some simply addressed to God, have been removed from the stones of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem ahead of next week's observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
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Herbert: Religion not a factor for high court pick

Michelle L. Price, Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 3:21pm
The only non-Mormon justice on the Utah Supreme Court is retiring, but Gov. Gary Herbert said Wednesday that religion is not something he's going to consider when choosing a replacement.
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Pope OKs canonization for Sri Lanka's 1st saint

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  posted Sep 17th - 5:30am
Pope Francis signed off Wednesday on Sri Lanka's first saint, bending the Vatican's rules once again to bypass the usual requirement that a second miracle be confirmed.
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Chinese minority scholar on trial for separatism

The Associated Press  |  posted Sep 16th - 11:10pm
A scholar from China's Muslim Uighur minority community who often criticized the country's ethnic policies was set to go on trial Wednesday on separatism charges in the far western region of Xinjiang.
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