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Big vote in the Senate ... Australian attack thwarted ... Thai apology

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 18, 2014 at 5:40 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is expected today to approve President Barack Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the militant group Islamic State. The House approved the measure yesterday.

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian Police have issued an arrest warrant for a man believed to be Australia's most senior member of the Islamic State militant group. This, after some 800 federal and state police conducted raids today on about a dozen locations in Sydney and took 15 people into custody. Officials say they thwarted a plot to behead random people in Sydney and videotape it.

LONDON (AP) — British Muslim leaders are pleading for the safety of a British hostage threatened with beheading by Islamic State extremists in Syria. The leaders say in a letter published today that hostage Alan Henning is a humanitarian aid worker who went to Syria to help victims of the civil war. The religious leaders and community organizers ask the Islamic State group to "show him some mercy." Henning was taken captive in December.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. official says North Korea has been unresponsive to U.S. offers for an envoy to negotiate the release of three detained Americans. This week, North Korea sentenced 24-year-old Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, California, to six years hard labor after being convicted of entering the country illegally to commit espionage. Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, says freeing the detainees could provide a diplomatic opening between the nations.

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's military ruler is apologizing for suggesting that foreigners visiting the country's world-famous beaches would be unsafe wearing bikinis after two British tourists were killed this week. The bodies of the man and woman were found bludgeoned on the scenic resort island of Koh Tao on Monday. Thailand's tourist industry has been struggling to recover since the army seized power in May.

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The Associated Press

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