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Diplomatic push on Iraq...Obama calls for paid maternity leave...Tsunami advisories end

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 23, 2014 at 8:01 p.m.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is engaging in telephone diplomacy. The White House says Biden spoke with the leaders of Turkey and Bahrain concerning sectarian violence in Iraq. Both leaders are said to have deplored the actions of the al-Qaida offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Baghdad, where he was warned sectarian differences must be set aside.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A 55,000-square foot warehouse in South Texas is going to be converted into a processing facility for unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally. The Associated Press has obtained construction permits through a public records request. The warehouse, in McAllen, could eventually accommodate about 1,000 children. More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been arrested since October.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling for paid leave for mothers of newborns. The president made the call today at the White House Summit on Working Families. While some companies offer paid family leave to attract workers, the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act only requires that employers provide unpaid leave for medical and family reasons.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Tea party leaders in Mississippi hoping to unseat six-term Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran say they'll send monitors to mostly black polling places tomorrow. Cochran is facing a strong runoff challenge from tea party-backed favorite Chris McDaniel and is hoping for Democratic support. Six other states are holding primaries tomorrow.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaskans who headed for higher ground and watched for signs of a tsunami have been given the all clear. The advisories followed a magnitude-7.9 earthquake in the Aleutian Islands. The quake struck during the afternoon and was widely felt in sparsely populated villages in an area about 1,400 miles southwest of Anchorage. The quake was initially measured at magnitude 8.0 but was downgraded.

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The Associated Press


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