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Syrians flee IS de facto capital...Doctors' group reiterates need for Ebola aid...Ukraine parliament ratifies EU pact

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 16, 2014 at 5:10 a.m.



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BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say thousands of residents in the Syrian northeastern city of Raqqa have fled to nearby villages in anticipation of possible U.S. airstrikes against militants in the group Islamic State. Raqqa is the group's de facto capital. The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, and last week President Barack Obama authorized strikes against the group in Syria as well.

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Doctors Without Borders says the international response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa is still dangerously behind and that time is running out to act. Recent weeks have seen a flurry of promises of significant aid, including today's expected announcement by President Barack Obama that some 3,000 U.S. troops will be heading to the afflicted area. But the medical charity says despite these promises "the window of opportunity to contain this outbreak is closing."

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's parliament has ratified an agreement to deepen economic and political ties with the European Union. The same deal sparked Ukraine's crisis last year when demonstrations broke out to protest then-President Viktor Yanukovych's (yah-noo-KOH'-vih-chez) shelving of the pact. Ukraine's parliament also has passed bills to grant greater autonomy to the rebellious regions in the east and to give amnesty to most of those involved in the fighting that's gripped the region since April.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Two people have been killed and an unknown number injured in a pileup of at least 150 cars and trucks on a highway in the Netherlands. Today's multi-vehicle crash happened during a thick mist in the southern province of Zeeland. The highway is closed in both directions while emergency crews remove vehicles from the scene.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amtrak service between Washington and Philadelphia has been temporarily suspended because of downed wires. Amtrak says its Acela Express and Northeast Regional Service are affected. MARC says commuters can use the Edgewood and Martins Airport stations, which are operating on a normal schedule.

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The Associated Press

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