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AP Top International News at 5:39 a.m. EDT

Carter in Irbil to get closer assessment of Mosul fight
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived Sunday in Irbil to get a closer look at the fight against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq and likely expand his discussions about the role of Turkish troops in the region....

Iraqi forces launch new advance northeast of Mosul
KHAZER, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi and Kurdish forces have launched a new offensive on a town near Mosul as part of a massive operation aimed at retaking the country's second largest city from the Islamic State group....

In Aleppo, jewel of Syrian rebellion faces possible collapse
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Aleppo that Ibrahim al-Haj's son Laith was born into 10 months ago is now being destroyed....

Kremlin: demands for Assad's departure "thoughtless"
MOSCOW (AP) -- The entire territory of Syria must be "liberated," Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said in remarks televised Saturday, dismissing demands for Syrian President Bashar Assad's departure as "thoughtless."...

Somali pirate says 26 Asian sailors freed after 4 years
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A Somali pirate said Saturday that 26 Asian sailors held hostage for more than four years have been released after a ransom was paid, and international mediators said it "represents the end of captivity for the last remaining seafarers taken hostage during the height of Somali piracy."...

1 dead after 2 explosions hit Japanese city; cause unclear
TOKYO (AP) -- Two apparent explosions hit the Japanese city of Utsunomiya back-to-back Sunday, killing one person and injuring three others....

Saudi-led coalition stages airstrikes after Yemen truce ends
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- A Saudi-led coalition launched a series of airstrikes around the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday, just hours after a 72-hour cease-fire expired, according to security officials....

Iran's president criticizes US presidential candidates
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has criticized the U.S. presidential candidates' behavior during their debates....

Mosul Today: Iraqi army advances after IS assault on Kirkuk
BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Iraqi army pushed into a town near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul on Saturday, a day after dozens of IS militants stormed into the northern city of Kirkuk, setting off two days of clashes and killing at least 80 people, mostly security forces....

Iraqi parliament passes bill banning alcohol
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's parliament has passed a law forbidding the import, production or selling of alcoholic beverages....

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AP Photo/Lolita Baldor
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Latin America/Caribbean
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Middle East
Little known group says it's behind Egypt officer's killing