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Iraq unraveling?...Taken out by drones...Divisions growing

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 12, 2014 at 7:01 a.m.



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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi troops are abandoning their posts in the wake of a surge by al-Qaida inspired insurgents rolling through northern Iraq. The militants took control of Tikrit (tih-KREET'), the hometown of Saddam Hussein, after earlier capturing Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. A spokesman for the group has warned that it will march into Baghdad. Iraq's prime minister has asked that a state of emergency be declared.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani intelligence officials say U.S. drone strikes in northwest Pakistan have killed 13 suspected militants in a pair of attacks. One happened today, the other yesterday, both in North Waziristan (vah-ZEER'-ih-stahn). The strikes were the first since late December. The strikes are extremely controversial in Pakistan where many people consider them a violation of the country's sovereignty.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Two human rights groups say preliminary autopsy findings show that a Palestinian teen killed May 15 during a confrontation between troops and stone throwers was killed by live ammunition. The Israeli military has denied use of live ammunition in the incident.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was up last week, but claims for jobless aid remain near pre-recession levels. The Labor Department says weekly applications for benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department says retail sales rose for a fourth straight month in May, up 0.3 percent. A surge in car buying helped boost sales.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nasty partisanship that is common in the nation's capital is becoming more prevalent on Main Street. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds the share of Americans who hold across-the-board conservative or liberal views has doubled in the last decade, from 10 percent in 2004 to 21 percent today. The shift toward ideological purity has been more visible among Republicans due to the popularity of the tea party.

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The Associated Press

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