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US-backed Syrian fighters now control almost half of IS city

Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 8:11am

U.S.-backed Syrian fighters have captured almost half of the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa, but the push into the city in northern Syria has slowed due to stiff resistance and large amounts of explosives planted by the extremists, a spokeswoman for the fighters and monitors said Thursday.

Poacher in DiCaprio documentary acquitted of several charges

Sylivester Domasa, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 8:01am

A Tanzanian poacher who was a subject of a documentary co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio has been acquitted of several wildlife trafficking charges, though he is in prison for a related crime.

Q&A: A look at why the Taliban seem to be unstoppable

Kathy Gannon, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 7:57am

In the last week, the Taliban have overrun two districts in the north and west of the capital Kabul, temporarily cut a key highway linking the city to the north and staged a suicide bombing targeting government workers — many of whom represented the new, educated generation on whom the hopes for Afghanistan's future are pinned.

Reports: Kashmir militant to head al-Qaida-linked group

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 7:57am

An al-Qaida-linked propaganda network says a militant leader in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir has been appointed to head a new militant group to fight against Indian rule in the disputed region.

Pakistan arrests head of village council over girl's rape

Shazia Bhatti and Iram Asim, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 7:50am

Police on Thursday arrested the head of a village council in central Pakistan for allegedly sanctioning the rape of a teenage girl, a police spokeswoman said.

Report: Iran successfully launches satellite-carrying rocket

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 7:40am

Iran successfully launched a satellite-carrying rocket into space on Thursday, the country's state media reported without elaborating.

Indonesian expert tapped as new head of UN Myanmar team

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 7:16am

A prominent Indonesian human rights expert has been appointed the new chairman of a U.N. fact-finding mission to Myanmar, which the government has said it will bar from entering.

Italy ponders Libyan request for help in fight trafficking

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:55am

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni says sending Italian naval units to help Libya's coast guard could be a "turning point" in combating migrant trafficking.

Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m. EDT

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:49am

Senate Republicans are lowering their expectations on repealing and replacing "Obamacare." They're making plans to try to pass a narrowly focused bill undoing just a few of the most unpopular elements of Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law. After successive failed votes on other plans, Republicans are coming to believe that what's being called a "skinny repeal" may be the only thing that can pass and keep the process moving. And it's not even clear if that will pass.

Iranian semi-official media say that Iran has successfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:49am

Iranian semi-official media say that Iran has successfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space.

Putin in Finland on centenary of independence from Russia

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:36am

Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting Finland as the small nation celebrates 100 years of independence from its huge eastern neighbor.

Hurricane Hilary loses strength in Pacific west of Mexico

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:36am

Forecasters have downgraded Hurricane Hilary to a Category 1 storm as it loses strength and heads through the Pacific Ocean away from the west coast of Mexico.

French crews tame dramatic wildfire on Mediterranean coast

Thomas Adamson and Nadine Achoui-Lesage, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:32am

French firefighters have tamed one of the fiercest blazes to break out during four days of wildfires in the country's southeast Mediterranean coast that led to the evacuation of more than 12,000 people.

Japanese, Sri Lankan among 2017 winners of Magsaysay awards

Teresa Cerojano, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 6:00am

A Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples and a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares are among the six winners of this year's Ramon Magsaysay Awards, regarded as Asia's version of the Nobel Prize.

Japan opposition head quits as PM Abe suffers scandal

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 5:41am

The leader of Japan's main opposition party said Thursday she is stepping down, citing her failure to regain voter support despite a series of scandals buffeting the ruling party.

Egypt's el-Sissi announces terror-fighting council

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 5:20am

Egypt's president has announced the formation of a new body to confront terrorism and extremism that includes the country's top officials.

EU announces new emergency support for Greek refugee crisis

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 4:50am

The European Commission announced a new emergency support package for Greece Thursday to help it deal with the refugee crisis that has seen tens of thousands of migrants and refugees stuck in the country.

2 ministers leave Swedish Cabinet in wake of security breach

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 4:30am

In a bid to avert a government crisis, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on Thursday reshuffled his minority Cabinet, replacing two members, after opposition parties demanded the ouster of three government ministers over one of the largest security breaches in the country's history.

AP Interview: UN faces war, rains in Yemen cholera spread

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 27th - 3:04am

The head of the U.N. child agency says trying to slow the spread of cholera in war-ravaged Yemen is "a race between us, and the rains and the continuing destruction and the fighting."