BAGHDAD (AP) — Sunni militants who have seized much of Iraq's north may be getting some fresh opposition soon. Thousands of Shiite militiamen have paraded in Baghdad and several other cities in southern Iraq with heavy weaponry including artillery. It's seen as a signal of their readiness to take on the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has no captured a border crossing with Syria.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. says the humanitarian situation in Syria is going from bad to worse. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the number of people needing urgent help has reached 10.8 million — almost half of Syria's population of 22 million. And he says as many as 4.7 million of those people are in areas that are difficult or impossible for humanitarian workers to reach.
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has put his troops in central Russia on combat alert until a week from today. NATO said earlier this week that Russia has resumed a military build up on the border with Ukraine. Military officials say the combat alert does not include not western Russia. Some 65,000 troops will take part in military drills.
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand is expressing displeasure today with a decision by the United States to downgrade the Southeast Asian nation to the lowest rank when it comes to human trafficking. The U.S. cited trafficking in Thailand's sex, seafood and garment industries. Thailand argues that it has stepped up its efforts to combat the trade and hundreds of people had been prosecuted, including state officials.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says business has to learn to be family friendly. In his weekly media message, Obama says things like child care, family leave and workplace flexibility are basic needs. For the Republicans, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton says GOP lawmakers are working to make energy "affordable, reliable and beneficial". He says bills in the House would build pipelines and electrical transmission lines and offer more predictable regulations.
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