US family grieving over new beheading video WASHINGTON (AP) - A family spokesman says relatives of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff are aware of a new video purporting to show his beheading by Islamic State militants. In a two-sentence statement Tuesday, family spokesman Barak Barfi said Sotloff's family, quote, "knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately."
Video purports to show beheading of US journalist BEIRUT (AP) - Islamic State extremists released a video posted Tuesday showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, "our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people." The footage - depicting what the U.S. called a sickening act of brutality - was posted two weeks after the release of video showing the killing of James Foley and days after Sotloff's mother pleaded for his life.
A look at dangers posed by the Islamic State group DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The Islamic State militant group that has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq and declared a self-styled caliphate poses one of the most significant threats to stability in the Middle East in years. But what danger does it immediately pose? Here are some questions and answers about the Islamic State group:
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AP Analysis: Putin digs in for long Ukraine fight MOSCOW (AP) - Riding a wave of military gains by Russia-backed rebels, President Vladimir Putin has made it exceedingly clear that he wants a peace deal for Ukraine on his terms and will not be stopped by economic costs. The four-month conflict has now reached a breaking point, where Russia and Ukraine could either negotiate a political settlement or plunge deeper into hostilities.
Ukraine military routed as Russia talks tough NOVOKATERYNIVKA, Ukraine (AP) - The Ukrainian solders were an easy target as they launched a desperate run to safety. Pounded by a gauntlet of rocket shells, blown up in their vehicles, they died by the dozens. In fields around the eastern Ukrainian village of Novokaterynivka, more than thirty army vehicles lay charred and pulverized into twisted piles of metal Tuesday - the result of a devastating weekend ambush by separatist forces.
6 militants killed in US Somalia strike MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - A U.S. airstrike in Somalia killed at least six members of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, possibly including its leader who was in a car that was hit. The leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has no heir apparent and if he has been killed, al-Shabab could ditch its association with al-Qaida and align itself with the Islamic State group, analysts say.
Report accuses Islamic State group of war crimes BAGHDAD (AP) - An international rights group accused the extremist Islamic State group on Tuesday of systematic "ethnic cleansing" in northern Iraq targeting indigenous religious minorities, as well as conducting mass killings of men and abducting women. In a new report, Amnesty International said militants abducted "hundreds, if not thousands" of women and girls of the Yazidi faith. The extremists also killed "hundreds" of Yazidi men and boys, Amnesty said. In at least one incident, the report said militants rounded up on trucks, took them to the edge of their village and shot them.
AP Interview: Iran says it disrupts nuclear plots TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has disrupted plots by foreign spies to recruit its nuclear experts and stopped sabotage attempts through faulty foreign equipment supplied for its facilities, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's nuclear department told The Associated Press. The comments by Asghar Zarean, who is in charge of security for Iran's nuclear program, came during a visit by an AP team to Iran's Atomic Energy Organization in Tehran organized by state officials. It also comes as Iran continues negotiations with world powers over its contested nuclear program and after authorities said they shot down a purported Israeli drone near one of its atomic facilities.
Pakistan lawmakers back premier amid mass protests ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan's lawmakers rallied behind the country's embattled prime minister Tuesday in an emergency session, even as thousands of protesters remained camped outside of parliament demanding his ouster. Speaking for the government in the joint session of Pakistan's National Assembly and the Senate, the country's interior minister slammed the protesters demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation, describing them as "terrorists."
School starts in Chicago with more safety guards CHICAGO (AP) - School opened in Chicago on Tuesday, with children and parents making their way past security guards whose bright neon vests served as a reminder of the city's efforts to protect students from the violence that plagues its streets. A year after hundreds more "Safe Passage" workers were hired to keep children from harm, an infusion of city money has allowed Chicago to increase the number of workers from 1,200 to 1,300. Another $10 million from the state will mean 600 more workers will be lining the streets within the next several weeks.