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Kerry in Baghdad...Brothers face sentencing in marathon bombing scam...Insane Clown Posse fights FBI report

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 23, 2014 at 6:50 a.m.

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting in Baghdad today with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) and other Iraqi leaders. Kerry will personally urge the Shiite-led government to give more power to political opponents before a Sunni insurgency seizes more control of the country. Just yesterday, Sunni militants captured two key border posts, one along the frontier with Jordan and the other with Syria, making Iraq's neighboring countries nervous.

UNDATED (AP) — The European Union has placed sanctions on 12 ministers of the Syrian government, saying they're responsible "for serious human rights violations." The 12 will be banned from traveling to the 28-nation bloc and their EU assets will be frozen. Meanwhile, a report by Human Rights Watch says Syrian rebel factions are recruiting teens as young as 15 to fight the country's civil war.

BOSTON (AP) — Two brothers convicted of filing a false $2 million claim to the Boston Marathon victims' compensation fund face sentencing today in court. Branden Mattier and Domunique Grice were convicted earlier this month of conspiracy to commit larceny and attempt to commit larceny. Mattier also was convicted of identity fraud. Prosecutors say the brothers claimed that an aunt lost her legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. The aunt had long been dead.

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is asking a federal judge in Detroit to toss out a lawsuit filed by the rap-metal duo Insane Clown Posse. The group objects to a 2011 FBI report that describes its fans as a dangerous gang. The government says the group and its fans have no standing to sue. Insane Clown Posse says the gang designation violates rights of free speech and due process, and that it's been losing fans since the FBI report.

MANSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Some Amtrak service to and from Boston is canceled this morning after a train struck a vehicle on the tracks late last night. No train passengers or crew were hurt when the train heading from Washington, D.C. to Boston hit a vehicle near Mansfield, 20 miles southwest of Boston. Two people in the vehicle were killed.

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