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IS massacre...Church vandalized...Iran nuclear deal and prisoner swap

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 17, 2016 at 2:00 a.m.



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BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's government is reporting what it calls an "appalling massacre" by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria. The state-run SANA news agency says extremists killed 300 people yesterday during day-long attacks on Deir el-Zour. Most of the victims were elderly people, women and children. Opposition activists also confirmed the killings. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 135 people were killed, many of whom were shot or beheaded.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say they suspect Jewish extremists for the latest vandalism that left hateful Hebrew graffiti on the walls of a noted Jerusalem church. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says anti-Christian slogans were found on the outer walls of the Dormition Abbey in the Old City. The church itself says the writing included threats of violence. The extremists have, for years, vandalized Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches, the offices of dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases.

VIENNA (AP) — The nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in now in force. The U.N. nuclear agency has certified Iran's compliance with certain requirements, which triggered the lifting of sanctions on Tehran. In a separate matter, four Americans and seven Iranians got tickets to freedom in a prisoner swap. A fifth American was released separately.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Tsai Ying-wen faces a tricky road ahead as Taiwan's new president even though her independence-friendly party enjoys a broad mandate from a commanding victory. Managing relations with China is a delicate matter with Beijing already warning that it will not budge on its bottom line that Taiwan's leader must agree that the communist mainland and self-governing island democracy are part of a single Chinese nation. China considers Taiwan a rogue state.

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — Huge waves scattered debris and hampered rescuers' efforts to find 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu during a night exercise. The search has been expanded to include waters off Oahu's west coast. A high surf warning remains in effect through this morning.

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The Associated Press

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