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Iraq prepares to stem militant onslaught...Afghans vote... US presses Moscow to stop aiding Ukraine separatists

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 14, 2014 at 5:51 p.m.

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, are continuing to march southward. They've captured large areas of territory north of Baghdad and are now threatening Samarra and other cities with revered religious shrines. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling on all Iraqis to join together and protect the country and its shrines from the militants.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials in Afghanistan are estimating the turnout in a presidential runoff was about 60 percent. Official preliminary results are expected to be announced July 2. The runoff is between a former foreign minister and an ex-World Bank official and former finance minister. Both candidates promise to improve ties with the West and fight corruption.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is pressing Russia's foreign minister to make clear Moscow's commitment to end the flow of weapons and other support to separatists in Ukraine. The State Department says Kerry called Sergey Lavrov today after pro-Russia separatists downed a Ukrainian military transport plane, killing all 49 troops and crew members aboard.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama is intervening to help resolve Philadelphia's commuter rail strike. He has granted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's request to create a presidential emergency board to mediate the contract dispute. The governor says Obama's action will force engineers and electricians to return to work immediately and negotiate with the rail operator..

NEW YORK (AP) — Dozens of New Yorkers are finding $50 bills hidden by California real estate investor Jason Buzi who announces his cash drops on Twitter. The account Hidden Cash said money would be left in Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park on Saturday. Hidden Cash tweeted that the next giveaway is Sunday in Chicago.

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