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Bombings kill 40 in Baghdad...Hostage's parents hope she's alive...Neighbors to join Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram

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BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 40 people have been killed as bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital today. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack, saying Shiites were the target. Twenty-two people were killed when a suicide bomber set off explosives on a street of hardware stores and a restaurant.

PRESCOTT, Arizona (AP) — The parents of Kayla Mueller (MYOO'-lur) say in a statement that they remain hopeful that the 26-year-old American aid worker is still alive. Her Islamic State captors are claiming that she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Syria. Jordan is dismissing the claim and the U.S. says it hasn't seen any evidence to support the claim. Sheriff's deputies have blocked off the road leading the family's home in Prescott, Arizona. They say the FBI is with the family.

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Nigeria and its four bordering countries have agreed to deploy an 8,750-strong force by next month to combat the growing regional threat posed by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram (BOH'-koh hah-RAHM'). The plans were announced today at the close of a three-day meeting in Cameroon. The militants have threatened to attack other countries who join Nigeria's military effort against the Boko Haram insurgency, which is blamed for 10,000 deaths over the past year.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama will become the 37th state where gays can legally wed unless the U.S. Supreme Court orders a last-minute stay of a federal judge's decision overturning the state's ban on gay marriage. Gay couples are expected to seek marriage licenses across the state Monday. Alabama's attorney general has asked the Supreme Court to extend the stay since justices will consider the issue of gay marriage later this year. But so far, the court hasn't responded to the state's request.

STANFORD, Ontario (AP) — A pair of Justin Bieber's Nike basketball shoes has fetched more than $62,000 in an eBay auction to benefit a food bank in the pop star's hometown of Stratford, Ontario. Bieber's Toronto Maple Leafs comforter sold for more than $6,000, his pillow case went for more than $3,000, and his ceiling light came in at just under $2,000. Bieber's grandparents donated some of his personal items to raise money for the Stratford House of Blessing food bank.

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