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IS group seize Kurdish villages in Syria...New security aid for Ukraine...Americans' net worth rises

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BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Islamic State fighters have captured 21 Kurdish villages in northern Syria over the past 24 hours. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Islamic State militants appeared to gain the upper hand on yesterday in a fight that's gone on for more than a year. It says both sides suffered casualties in the battles, but Kurdish civilians have begun to flee their villages for fear that the Islamic State group "will commit massacres."

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group has released a video showing a British captive. The man identifies himself as John Cantlie, a photojournalist who worked for publications including The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph. He says he was captured by the Islamic State group after coming to Syria in November 2012. The group has beheaded two U.S. journalists and a British aid worker, and threatened to kill another British hostage.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will provide $46 million in new security assistance to the Ukraine's military, but it's stopping short of the lethal aid that President Petro Poroshenko is requesting to help his country fight Russian-backed separatists. Poroshenko pleaded his case to a joint meeting of Congress today. He thanked the U.S. for the nonlethal equipment it is providing, but told lawmakers more is needed to stop the provocations near the Russian border.

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A slain Pennsylvania state trooper is being remembered as an impeccable officer who always put his family first. At a funeral Mass in Scranton today, Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Bryon Dickson was universally admired by colleagues and counted on for advice and support. The 38-year-old was gunned down late Friday outside a rural barracks in the Pocono Mountains. Another trooper was wounded in the ambush. Police are still searching dense forests in the area for the suspected shooter, Eric Frein (freen).

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stock market gains and higher home prices have boosted Americans' net worth to a record high. The Federal Reserve says household wealth rose 1.7 percent in the second quarter to $81.5 trillion. At the same time, U.S. households also took on the most new debt in five years, driven mostly by student and auto loans. Stocks are up again, with the Dow ahead about 95 points at midday. It closed at a record high yesterday.

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