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Obama: US ready to act in Iraq...No call for al-Maliki to leave...Republicans fill leadership posts

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 19, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. is prepared to take targeted military actions in Iraq if they would help fight a growing threat from extremist militants. He also says the U.S. is ready to send as many as 300 military advisers to Iraq. Obama is offering an update to U.S. operations in Iraq, where al-Qaida-inspired militants have sparked instability. He says the United States is forming joint operations centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it's going to be hard for the current Iraqi government to resolve the country's crisis unless the government is more inclusive. Obama stopped short of calling for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) to resign. He says it's not the United States' job to choose Iraq's leaders. But he says whoever is prime minister must make sure all sectarian groups feel they can advance their interest through the political process.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are filling some leadership posts this afternoon. There's little doubt that California's Kevin McCarthy will become majority leader. But the three-way race to succeed him as party whip is a competitive one. The elections were set in motion by the defeat of the current majority leader, Eric Cantor, in a primary last week in Virginia.

WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) — Officials in the South Dakota community of Wessington Springs say residents had enough warning to take shelter as a tornado approached last night. And as a result, just one or two people were injured as the tornado damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and businesses. The tornado narrowly missed a hospital, a nursing home and a school.

NEW YORK (AP) — Harrison Ford is recuperating after surgery to heal a broken leg suffered during production on the new "Star Wars" movie. The actor's publicist says Ford is doing well after surgery and will soon begin rehab. Ford was injured a week ago during filming of the much-anticipated sequel at Pinewood Studios outside of London. Disney has said that shooting is continuing while Ford recuperates. He's expected to be sidelined up to two months.

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The Associated Press

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