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Iran executes scientist for helping US...Big unity rally planned in Turkey...Florida bracing for heavy rain



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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has executed a nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. in 2009 and later returned to the Islamic Republic under mysterious circumstances. An Iranian judiciary spokesman says Shahram Amiri "provided the enemy with vital information." Amiri claimed he was kidnapped and held against his will by Saudi and American spies, while U.S. officials said he was to receive millions of dollars for his help in understanding Iran's nuclear program.

ISTANBUL (AP) — A massive unity rally is planned in Turkey to mark the end of nightly democracy demonstrations following the July 15 coup attempt that left more than 270 dead. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) is urging attendees to bring only the Turkish flag instead of party banners. Nearly 15,000 police will be providing security at the event, which could be attended by millions.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is blaming the powerful for the plight of civilian victims of Syria's civil war. The pope, speaking today after the traditional Angelus prayer, said that "it's unacceptable that so many helpless — including many children — must pay the price of the conflict, the price of closed hearts and the lack of desire for peace by the powerful." He cited in particular the suffering around Aleppo.

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities still haven't released any information about the machete-wielding man who attacked two policewomen, leaving one officer with deep facial wounds. The man was shot and killed by police. Belgium's prime minister is meeting with the country's security services today.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters say Florida's Big Bend and Panhandle regions could be inundated over the next few days. Ten to 15 inches of rain could fall and the Florida Division of Emergency Management is urging residents and businesses from Tampa to Pensacola to prepare for heavy rain and the potential for flooding.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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