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Islamic State standoff involves prisoner, pilot, journalist

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- A young Jordanian fighter pilot, a female al-Qaida recruit who tried to blow up a hotel ballroom in Amman and a veteran Japanese war correspondent are at the center of a life-and-death standoff with the Islamic State group....

Rights group blasts IS for atrocities, Iraq, Syria policies

BEIRUT (AP) -- Human Rights Watch on Thursday blasted Islamic State militants over their atrocities, but also criticized the Syrian and Iraqi governments over what the New York-based group described as "sectarian and abusive" policies that fuel extremism....

UN chief: Boko Haram to top discussions at Africa Union meet

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- A spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he will be attending the African Union heads of state summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and that the threat posed by Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group in Nigeria, will be a focus....

News Guide: A look at the Islamic State hostage crisis

A new message purportedly from Islamic State group militants holding a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian air force pilot sets yet another deadline to meet their demands. Here's a look at the latest twists and turns in this crisis....

Police question child who backed Charlie Hebdo attackers

PARIS (AP) -- An 8-year-old boy from the south of France who claimed to support the men who attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was detained and questioned by police for defending terrorism....

As Iraqi Kurds gain ground from IS, local Sunnis are wary

ESKI MOSUL, Iraq (AP) -- An unarmed Sunni Arab man walked along a road in a patch of northern Iraq newly liberated from Islamic State extremists, holding a white surrender flag - a signal to Kurdish fighters that he is not a militant. Cars drove by, a similar white banner flying from their windows....

Israeli center-left alliance looks to unseat Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AP) -- When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved his unwieldy coalition and called new elections last month, he appeared almost certain to be returned once more to office. But a new center-left alliance has surged past his Likud party in the polls, turning the March 17 contest into a toss-up....

AP PHOTOS: Chilean kids cool off during summer heat wave

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- When the news spreads through the neighborhood that a small aquatic park is being installed in the local plaza, the children are the first to show up and excitedly watch a water truck fill up inflatable swimming pools....

Inquest: Sydney café hostage killed by police bullet

SYDNEY (AP) -- A hostage who died during a siege in a downtown Sydney cafe was killed when she was struck by fragments of a bullet fired from a police officer's gun as authorities stormed in to end the 16-hour standoff, a lawyer told an inquest on Thursday....

North Korea may be restarting nuke plant: US institute

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea may be attempting to restart its main nuclear bomb fuel reactor after a five-month shutdown, a U.S. research institute said Thursday....