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Libyan militant pleads not guilty...Battle reports from Iraq...European observers released

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Libyan militant charged in the Benghazi attacks has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy. Ahmed Abu Khattala (hah-TAH'-lah) made his initial appearance in federal court in Washington, D.C., this afternoon. A grand jury indictment says Abu Khattala took part in a conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists in the 2012 attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

BAGHDAD (AP) — There are conflicting reports about how much progress the Iraqi military is making after launching an effort today to recapture territory lost to Sunni militants. Soldiers backed by tanks and helicopter gunships have been fighting to take back the northern city of Tikrit. Residents say militants were still in control of the city by nightfall, while Iraqi officials say the troops had reached the outskirts and even entered Tikrit itself.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe says pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine have released a second team of observers who had been held captive since the end of May. An OSCE spokesman says the four observers are in good health and good spirits. The release follows a European Union summit yesterday, at which leaders decided not to immediately impose new sanctions on Russia for destabilizing eastern Ukraine.

MIAMI (AP) — After four years and two championships together, the Miami Heat's big three could all be playing somewhere else next season. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have told the team that, like LeBron James, they are opting out of the final two years on their contracts. That means they are free to talk to any team starting Tuesday. Wade, Bosh and James met earlier this week to discuss their futures. Their moves provide the Heat financial flexibility to sign additional players while quite possibly convincing all three to stay in Miami.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The celebrations underway in Brazil right now began with a collective sigh of relief. The national soccer team's victory in the elimination round of the World Cup came on penalty kicks. Neymar scored the winner to give Brazil a 3-2 shootout win over Chile. One fan watching on a giant screen in Rio's Maracana soccer stadium summed it up this way: "Winning by penalties isn't what we Brazilians want to see."

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