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    Iraqi forces break militant siege of Shiite town

    Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen celebrate after breaking the siege on 15,000 Shiite Turkmens stranded in the farming community town of Amirli, north of Baghdad, Sunday. The Islamic State extremist group has seized cities, towns and vast tracts of land in northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq. It views Shiites as apostates and has carried out a number of massacres and beheadings — often posting grisly videos and photos of the atrocities online.

    Aug 31, 2014 3:56 PM

    Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen on Sunday broke a six-week siege imposed by the Islamic State extremist group on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli, as a suicide bombing killed 14 people in Anbar western province, officials said. Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the operation started at dawn Sunday and the forces entered the town shortly after midday.


    Philippine troops pull ‘greatest escape’ in Golan

    Philippine military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang answers questions from reporters about the situation of Filipino peacekeepers in Golan Heights, during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, Philippines on Sunday Aug. 31, 2014.Catapang said more than 70 Filipino peacekeepers have escaped from two areas in the Golan Heights that came under attack by Syrian rebels.

    Aug 31, 2014 8:09 AM

    Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and under fire for seven hours by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, Philippine officials said Sunday, leaving 44 Fijian troops still in the hands of the al-Qaida-linked insurgents. “We may call it the greatest escape,” Philippine military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said.


    Ukraine: rebels fire on border guard vessel

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, seen here in an appearance Friday, is calling on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, including discussing statehood.

    Aug 31, 2014 5:35 PM

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Hours later, Ukraine said a border guard vessel operating in the Azov Sea was attacked by land-based forces. Pro-Russian rebels have recently opened a new offensive along the seacoast.


    Lava eruption prompts Iceland aviation alert

    The Tungurahua volcano throws ash and stones during an eruption seen from Banos, Ecuador, Sunday. The volcano entered an eruptive phase in 1999 that continues to this day.

    Aug 31, 2014 7:29 PM

    Lava fountains danced along a lengthy volcanic fissure near Iceland’s subglacial Bardarbunga volcano Sunday, prompting authorities to raise the aviation warning code to the highest level and close the surrounding airspace. The red warning code — the highest in the country’s alert system — was raised early Sunday after the eruption in the Holuhraun lava field. The warning was lowered 12 hours later as visibility improved.


    Islamist militia now guards U.S. Embassy in Libya

    Damage is seen in the front yard of a building at the U.S. Embassy compound in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, following weeks of violence between rival militias over control of the capital.

    Aug 31, 2014 5:56 PM

    An Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya’s capital now guards the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said Sunday, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago.


    Chefs, breeders pair up to produce tastier veggies

    A visitor to the University of Wisconsin research farm samples tomatoes in Verona, Wis. University plant breeders are working with chefs and farmers to develop better-tasting vegetables.

    Aug 31, 2014 5:50 PM

    There’s a good chance that many of the suddenly trendy vegetables that foodies latch on to in the next decade will benefit from research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While plant breeders at many public universities focus on improving field corn, soybeans and other crops used in food manufacturing or livestock feed, those in Madison want to produce better-tasting vegetables.

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