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Senate to vote on arming Syrian rebels...Syrian government troops attack militants...Funeral today for slain PA trooper

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's request for congressional backing to train and arm rebels battling Islamic State militants in Syria is halfway home after easy approval by the GOP-controlled House Wednesday. The measure goes to the Senate today, where leaders in both parties say its passage is ensured.

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian government helicopter gunships have attacked a northern town held by Muslim militants, killing at least a dozen people and wounding dozens more. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the death toll is expected to rise, being that many of the wounded are in critical condition. The town Al-Bab is controlled by the Islamic State group that now controls swaths of territory stretching from northern Syria across much of northern and western Iraq.

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian authorities are accusing 15 people in custody of planning a gruesome terror attack — to select someone at random in Sydney and publicly behead that person. Officials say raids were carried out today on a dozen locations across Sydney after intelligence indicated that the Islamic State group in the Middle East called on Australian supporters to kill. Authorities also have issued an arrest warrant for a former Sydney nightclub bouncer who's suspected of being Australia's most senior member of Islamic State.

UNDATED (AP) — A Pennsylvania State trooper gunned down last Friday in the Pocono Mountains will be laid to rest today. Authorities are still looking for the killer of Cpl. Bryon Dickson, who was caught in an ambush that left another state trooper wounded. Authorities describe 31-year-old suspect Eric Frein (freen) as an anti-law enforcement survivalist. Today's funeral for Cpl. Dickson will be at St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton.

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Jury deliberations continue today in the federal trial of a former Georgia peanut plant owner and two co-defendants blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak five years ago. Prosecutors say former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter and faked lab tests for salmonella. More than 700 people got sick, but federal officials hedged on tying nine deaths to the outbreak.

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