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BAGHDAD (AP) — The United States has killed Iran's top general in an airstrike at Baghdad's international airport, an attack that threatens to dramatically ratchet up tensions in the region. The targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict. The Defense Department says it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." An adviser to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is warning U.S. President Donald Trump of retaliation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he knew he “had no chance at trial" when he pleaded guilty last year in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. That's according to a summary of an interview with investigators that was made public Thursday. Hundreds of pages from the investigation were released as part of public records lawsuits from CNN and BuzzFeed News. It was the third such disclosure of documents from the case. Other records that were released included FBI interviews of Trump aides and associates like Sarah Sanders and Stephen Miller.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A man who was killed when a gunman opened fire at a Texas church was remembered at a funeral Thursday. Gov. Greg Abbott was among those in attendance for the private funeral of 67-year-old Richard White, who was one of two congregants killed Sunday inside West Freeway Church of Christ in the Fort Worth-area town of White Settlement. Jack Wilson, who like White was a member of the church’s armed volunteer security team, fatally shot the attacker, Keith Thomas Kinnunen. Wilson has said White was reaching for his gun when he was killed.
SYDNEY (AP) — Navy ships plucked hundreds of people from beaches and tens of thousands were urged to flee before hot weather and strong winds in the forecast worsen Australia's already-devastating wildfires. More than 200 fires were burning in Australia's two most-populous states, and warnings of extreme danger to come set in motion one of the largest evacuations in Australia's history. Thousands have already fled at-risk coastal areas, creating traffic gridlock in places, and firefighters escorted convoys of evacuees as fires threatened to close roads. Fire officials say the hot, windy conditions to come are concerning because so many fires are still burning or smoldering.
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are mixed and oil prices surged after U.S. forces in Iraq killed an Iranian general. Benchmarks in Shanghai and Hong Kong declined while Australia and some Southeast Asian markets advanced. Tokyo was closed. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow rose to new records, helped by technology stocks. Oil prices jumped after the Pentagon said U.S. forces killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, prompting expectations of Iranian retaliation against American and Israeli targets. Investors were encouraged by expectations of stronger global economic growth in 2020 and the planned signing of an interim U.S.-Chinese trade agreement.
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