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Obama: Iraq needs help...Sunnis militants seize ground in Iraq...Disappearing flight data probed

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 12, 2014 at 10:51 a.m.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Iraq is going to need additional assistance from the United States to push back an Islamic insurgency. Speaking after an Oval Office meeting with Australia's prime minister, Obama did not specify what type of assistance he's willing to provide, but he says he's not ruled anything out at this point. Earlier, House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) accused the president of "taking a nap" as militants captured two key Iraqi cities.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Analysts say the al-Qaida-inspired group that has captured two major Iraqi cities is being helped by sympathetic Sunnis, including former army officers and other members of Saddam Hussein's regime. The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant is vowing to march on to Baghdad, but analysts say the capital would be a march more difficult target because of its large Shiite population. The militant group aims to create an Islamic emirate spanning the Iraq-Syria border. It's vowed to implement a strict version of Shariah (shah-REE'-yuh) law.

VIENNA (AP) — European air safety officials are investigating recent incidents in which flight data disappeared from the radar screens of air traffic controllers. An official with Austria's flight safety organization says on two occasions in the past week, the height, location and other information on 13 aircraft flying over Austria vanished for about 25 minutes. The official says neighboring countries had similar incidents. He says air controllers immediately took emergency measures, including establishing voice contact with the pilots and widening flight corridors.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to make permanent a generous tax break that allows small businesses to more quickly write off investments in new equipment and property improvements. The tax break expired at the beginning of the year, along with more than 50 other temporary tax breaks Congress routinely extends. Democratic leaders say it would add $73 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade. The White House has threatened a veto, but the Senate is unlikely to take up the bill.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri company is recalling possibly tainted beef products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Fruitland American Meat is recalling about 4,000 pounds of beef because it could contain parts of the nervous system that can carry properties related to mad cow disease. The meat was distributed to a restaurant in New York City, another in Kansas City, Missouri, and a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut.

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