WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ International News International News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:09:56 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Exxon to wind down Russian drilling project http://www.wbrz.com/news/exxon-to-wind-down-russian-drilling-project/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/exxon-to-wind-down-russian-drilling-project/ International News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 9:37:30 AM Exxon to wind down Russian drilling project

IRVING, Texas - Exxon Mobil says it will stop drilling an exploratory well in Russia's Kara Sea in compliance with U.S. sanctions against Russia over Russia's involvement in the Ukraine.

Exxon planned to drill the well between August and October. The latest round of sanctions called for the removal of U.S. workers on projects in the Russian Arctic by Sept. 26.

Exxon says it has received a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to wind down operations, but it is unclear whether the license will allow Exxon to stop drilling on the schedule it had already laid out. Exxon could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Russian PM: Moscow ready to cooperate with West http://www.wbrz.com/news/russian-pm-moscow-ready-to-cooperate-with-west/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/russian-pm-moscow-ready-to-cooperate-with-west/ International News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 4:05:56 AM Associated Press Russian PM: Moscow ready to cooperate with West

MOSCOW - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Russia is ready to cooperate with the West despite efforts to isolate Moscow with economic sanctions.

The United States and the European Union last week imposed a new round of sanctions against Russia for its support for pro-Russian separatists fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine.

Russia in August introduced an import food ban against some foodstuffs from the EU and the U.S.

Speaking Friday at an investment conference in Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Games, Medvedev said the West behaves as if they do not acknowledge that Russia has national interests.

But he added that Russia is willing to resume cooperation "as long as they learn again to listen to our position."

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Scots reject independence in historic vote http://www.wbrz.com/news/scots-reject-independence-in-historic-vote/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/scots-reject-independence-in-historic-vote/ International News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 3:29:22 AM Associated Press Scots reject independence in historic vote

EDINBURGH, Scotland - Scottish voters have resoundingly rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core.

The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to Britain's economic and political establishment, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who faced calls for his resignation if Scotland had broken away.

The vote on Thursday - 55 percent against independence to 45 percent in favor - saw an unprecedented turnout of just under 85 percent.

"We have chosen unity over division," Alistair Darling, head of the No campaign, said early Friday in Glasgow. "Today is a momentous day for Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole."

Independence leader Alex Salmond's impassioned plea to launch a new nation fell short, with Scots choosing instead the security of remaining in union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Still, the result establishes a whole new political dynamic in the United Kingdom, with Cameron appearing outside No. 10 Downing Street to pledge more powers for regional governments.

Even in conceding, Salmond struck an upbeat tone.

"This has been a triumph for the democratic process and for participation in politics," he said to cheering supporters.

The pound hit a two-year high against the euro and a two-week high against the U.S. dollar as markets shrugged off recent anxiety about a possible vote for independence. In early Asian trading, the pound jumped nearly 0.8 percent to $1.6525 against the U.S. dollar before falling back slightly. Britain's main stock index opened higher.

A much-relieved Cameron promised to live up to earlier promises to give Scotland new powers on taxes, spending and welfare. He said the new plans will be agreed upon by November, with draft legislation by January.

But he also said change was coming to other parts of the country amid the watershed vote.

"Just as the people of Scotland will have more power over their affairs, so it follows that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over theirs," Cameron said. "The rights of these voters need to be respected, preserved and enhanced as well."

The No campaign won the capital city, Edinburgh, by a margin of 61 percent to 38 percent and triumphed by 59 percent to 41 percent in Aberdeen, the country's oil center. The Yes campaign won Glasgow, Scotland's biggest city, but it was not enough.

As dawn broke to lead-gray skies over Scotland's largest city, the dream of independence that had seemed so tantalizingly close evaporated in the soft drizzle.

George Square, the rallying point for thousands of Yes supporters in the final days of the campaign, was littered with placards and debris of a campaign in which many had invested more than two years of their lives.

"I had never voted before or got involved with politics in any way but this time I thought my vote would count for something," said truck driver Calum Noble, 25, as his voice cracked with emotion. "I wanted a better country but it's all been for nothing. I don't believe we will get any of the things the London politicians promised."

But popular opinion on a leafy residential street in Edinburgh's west end told a different tale. Young and old sat by their televisions waiting for news in a half dozen homes. Nearly all said they had voted No.

"Just because I'm not out in the street in a kilt screaming how Scottish I am, that doesn't mean I'm not a proud Scot. I am. And a proud Brit. That's the point the Yes side doesn't respect," said Ger Robertson, 47, who chose instead to celebrate Scotland's verdict in his living room with a dram of his favorite single-malt whisky.

Salmond had argued that Scots could go it alone because of its extensive oil reserves and high levels of ingenuity and education. He said Scotland would flourish alone, free of interference from any London-based government.

Many saw it as a "heads versus hearts" campaign, with cautious older Scots concluding that independence would be too risky financially, while younger ones were enamored with the idea of building their own country.

The result saved Cameron from a historic defeat and also helped opposition chief Ed Miliband by keeping his many Labour Party lawmakers in Scotland in place. Labour would have found it much harder to win a national election in 2015 without that support from Scotland.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scot, returned to prominence with a dramatic barnstorming campaign in support of the union in the final days before the referendum vote. Brown argued passionately that Scots could be devoted to Scotland but still proud of their place in the U.K., rejecting the argument that independence was the patriotic choice.

"There is not a cemetery in Europe that does not have Scots, English, Welsh and Irish lined side by side," Brown said before the vote. "We not only won these wars together, we built the peace together. What we have built together by sacrificing and sharing, let no narrow nationalism split asunder."

For his part, Cameron - aware that his Conservative Party is widely loathed in Scotland - begged voters not to use a vote for independence as a way to bash the Tories.

The vote against independence keeps the United Kingdom from losing a substantial part of its territory and oil reserves and prevents it from having to find a new base for its nuclear arsenal, now housed in Scotland. It had also faced a possible loss of influence within international institutions including the 28-nation European Union, NATO and the United Nations.

The decision also means Britain can avoid a prolonged period of financial insecurity that had been predicted by some if Scotland broke away.

"This has been a long, hard fight and both sides have campaigned fiercely," said Norma Austin Hart, a Labour Party member of Edinburgh City Council. "This has not been like a normal election campaign. There have been debates in town halls and school halls and church halls.

"It's been so intense," she said. "But the people of Scotland have decided."

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Females now welcome http://www.wbrz.com/news/females-now-welcome/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/females-now-welcome/ International News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 5:59:09 PM Michael Marsh Females now welcome

SAINT ANDREWS, SCOTLAND- Women are now permitted as members for the first time at The Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews.

The club was founded 260 years ago and was exclusively for men but voted overwhelmingly to admit female members on Thursday.

The club has a worldwide membership of 2,500 and says 85 percent voted in favor of admitting female members.

A club spokesman says "the membership has also acted to fast-track a significant initial number of women to become members in the coming months."

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Ukraine's pleas for lethal aid from US go unmet http://www.wbrz.com/news/ukraine-s-pleas-for-lethal-aid-from-us-go-unmet/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ukraine-s-pleas-for-lethal-aid-from-us-go-unmet/ International News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:51:09 PM Julie Pace Ukraine's pleas for lethal aid from US go unmet

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says $46 million in new assistance that the U.S. will provide to Ukraine's military will help the country defend against Russian aggression.

Obama, however, stopped short of meeting an urgent request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal aid to help his country in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Obama met with Poroshenko on Thursday in the Oval Office.

Obama says Poroshenko's leadership has been "absolutely critical" at an important time in his country's history. Poroshenko is a billionaire businessman who Obama says is the right man for the job.

Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the "bipartisan support" he's received.

Obama also commended Poroshenko's work on a cease-fire that was reached earlier this month, and for his commitment to keeping Ukraine intact.

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UK nurse who survived Ebola flies to US to help http://www.wbrz.com/news/uk-nurse-who-survived-ebola-flies-to-us-to-help/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/uk-nurse-who-survived-ebola-flies-to-us-to-help/ International News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:55:29 AM Associated Press UK nurse who survived Ebola flies to US to help

LONDON - Britain's Foreign Office says a nurse who recovered from Ebola has traveled to the U.S. to donate blood to an American patient who is fighting the disease.

William Pooley caught Ebola while working in Sierra Leone and was flown back to London for treatment, where he recovered. The American patient who received Pooley's blood wasn't identified.

Scientists think antibodies in the blood of people who have survived Ebola might help others infected with the disease. The Foreign Office said it arranged for Pooley to get an emergency passport. His original passport had been burned.

"This enabled him to fly out to the U.S. immediately and potentially assist with the treatment of an Ebola victim," the office said in a statement. Pooley's trip was paid for by the World Health Organization.

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Polls open in historic Scottish independence vote http://www.wbrz.com/news/polls-open-in-historic-scottish-independence-vote/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/polls-open-in-historic-scottish-independence-vote/ International News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:50:33 AM Associated Press Polls open in historic Scottish independence vote

EDINBURGH, Scotland - Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state.

More than 2,600 polling places will be open Thursday from 7 a.m. (0600GMT, 2 a.m. EDT) until 10 p.m. (2100GMT, 5 p.m. EDT).

Turnout is expected to be high, with more than 4.2 million people registered to vote - 97 percent of those eligible.

Polls suggest the result is too close to call, with the pro-independence Yes side gaining momentum in the final weeks of campaigning.

First Minister Alex Salmond is casting his vote near his home in northeast Scotland.

If the Yes side prevails he will realize a long-held dream of leading his country to independence after an alliance with England formed in 1707.

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Kate cancels Malta trip due to morning sickness http://www.wbrz.com/news/kate-cancels-malta-trip-due-to-morning-sickness/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/kate-cancels-malta-trip-due-to-morning-sickness/ International News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 3:44:04 AM Associated Press Kate cancels Malta trip due to morning sickness

LONDON - Prince William will replace his wife Kate on this weekend's official visit to Malta because the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge is still suffering from acute morning sickness.

Palace officials said Thursday the decision to cancel what would have been Kate's first official solo voyage overseas was made in consultation with her doctors.

The palace said William will instead represent his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Malta's independence.

The duchess is in the first 12 weeks of her second pregnancy. She has suffered acute morning sickness during the early phases of both pregnancies and has curtailed her royal engagements in the past two weeks.

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Woman survives 4 days after Nigeria building falls http://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-survives-4-days-after-nigeria-building-falls/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/woman-survives-4-days-after-nigeria-building-falls/ International News Tue, 16 Sep 2014 5:50:44 AM Associated Press Woman survives 4 days after Nigeria building falls

LAGOS, Nigeria - Rescue workers say they dug a woman out of the rubble of a building that collapsed four days ago and she walked away with only a slightly dislocated hand.

Spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency says the woman is "very, very lucky."

He says workers rescued 131 people and recovered 60 dead by Tuesday afternoon from a shopping mall and guesthouse of televangelist T.B. Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital.

It is not known how many foreigners are among victims. South Africa's government says its diplomats are at the scene, since five South African church tour groups were visiting at the time of Friday's collapse.

Joshua has tried to implicate Islamic terrorists but Farinloye said it appeared to be poor construction work.

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Diplomats pledge action against Islamic State http://www.wbrz.com/news/diplomats-pledge-action-against-islamic-state/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/diplomats-pledge-action-against-islamic-state/ International News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 8:37:42 AM Diplomats pledge action against Islamic State

PARIS - Diplomats from around the world are pledging to fight Islamic State militants "by any means necessary."

The declaration came from 24 nations taking part in a conference in Paris on how to deal with the extremists in Syria and Iraq.

Two foes of the Islamic State group -- Iran and the United States -- have ruled out coordinating their efforts. The U.S. is leaving open the possibility of new talks with Iran later this week, though it says there won't be any military cooperation.

Neither Iran nor Syria was invited to the conference.

The gathering got under way even as a pair of French reconnaissance jets took off over Iraqi skies.

Iraq's president told the diplomats that his government wants to see regular airstrikes against areas held by the militant group. He also said the financing of the Islamic State group needs to be cut off, and that fighters in neighboring countries who want to join the group must be stopped.

After the conference ended, Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Iraqi president at the Iraqi Embassy in Paris -- and told him that the drive for an inclusive Iraqi government had been key to today's pledges.

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Gaza children return to school after war http://www.wbrz.com/news/gaza-children-return-to-school-after-war/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/gaza-children-return-to-school-after-war/ International News Sun, 14 Sep 2014 8:11:44 AM Gaza children return to school after war

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Some half million Gaza children are making a delayed return to school after a devastating 50-day war with Israel that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and damaged hundreds of school buildings.

Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet says Sunday's opening - delayed two weeks - involves 230,000 1st to 12th graders attending public schools, 200,000 going to United Nations-run schools and tens of thousands enrolled in private institutions.

Thabet says that unlike in previous years the first week of instruction in government schools will be given over to providing psychological counseling and recreational activities to help the children transition to learning.

He says 26 Gaza schools were destroyed during the war, and another 232 sustained damage.

The war between Israel and the Hamas militant group ruling Gaza ended Aug. 26.

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US gov't warns citizens of terror plot in Uganda http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-gov-t-warns-citizens-of-terror-plot-in-uganda/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-gov-t-warns-citizens-of-terror-plot-in-uganda/ International News Sat, 13 Sep 2014 9:22:49 AM US gov't warns citizens of terror plot in Uganda

NAIROBI, Kenya - The U.S. embassy in Uganda has warned American citizens in the country to stay indoors overnight Saturday because Ugandan authorities have warned of a terrorist plot.

The embassy in a message Saturday on its website said it is trying to assess the scope of a possible plot by the Somali militants of al-Shabab and whether members of the cell plotting the attack are still at large. It did not give details of steps being taken by Ugandan authorities or when or how the attack was to take place. The statement urged U.S. citizens to stay indoors to give authorities time to establish heightened security measures.

Al-Shabab, an Islamic extremist group linked to Al-Qaida, has vowed to revenge the killing of its leader last week by a U.S. airstrike.

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Key Mideast allies commit to opposing ISIS http://www.wbrz.com/news/key-mideast-allies-commit-to-opposing-isis/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/key-mideast-allies-commit-to-opposing-isis/ International News Thu, 11 Sep 2014 4:26:26 PM Key Mideast allies commit to opposing ISIS

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Arab allies are promising to "do their share" to fight Islamic State militants.

Secretary of State John Kerry met in Saudi Arabia today with his counterparts from 10 Arab states. In a joint statement following the session, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon pledged to stand against terrorism. They promised steps including stopping the flow of fighters and funding, repudiating the Islamic State group's ideology, providing humanitarian aid and joining in a coordinated military campaign.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal says coalition members agreed to share responsibilities for fighting the Islamic State group, as well as to "be serious and continuous" in efforts to eliminate all such terrorist organizations.

Turkey also attended the meeting, but the NATO member refused to sign the final communique. Ankara has been reluctant to take a prominent role in the coalition, in part out of concern for the 49 Turkish citizens who were kidnapped from the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul when it was overrun by Islamic State fighters in June.

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Obama: US hopeful, skeptical on Ukraine cease-fire http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-us-hopeful-skeptical-on-ukraine-cease-fire/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-us-hopeful-skeptical-on-ukraine-cease-fire/ International News Fri, 5 Sep 2014 9:11:43 AM APNewsNow Obama: US hopeful, skeptical on Ukraine cease-fire

NEWPORT, Wales - President Barack Obama says he's skeptical that pro-Russian separatists and Russia's government will abide by a cease-fire reached Friday.

Obama says he's hopeful about the agreement between Ukraine's government and pro-Russian rebels. But he says that based on past experiences he's not sure separatists will follow through and that Russia will stop violating Ukraine's sovereignty.

Obama is also crediting economic sanctions levied by the U.S and the European Union with bringing Russia to the table.

Obama commented at the close of a two-day NATO summit in Wales. Earlier Friday, NATO leaders agreed to form a new rapid response force to counter the threat of Russian aggression.

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Pentagon confirms death of Somalia terror leader http://www.wbrz.com/news/pentagon-confirms-death-of-somalia-terror-leader/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pentagon-confirms-death-of-somalia-terror-leader/ International News Fri, 5 Sep 2014 8:53:47 AM APNewsNow Pentagon confirms death of Somalia terror leader

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says U.S. officials have confirmed the death of the leader of the al-Shabab terror group in a U.S. airstrike on Monday.

The Pentagon's press secretary confirmed the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane in a brief written statement Friday.

The statement calls the death a major symbolic and operational loss for al-Shabab.

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US and UK seek partners to go after Islamic State http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-and-uk-seek-partners-to-go-after-islamic-state/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-and-uk-seek-partners-to-go-after-islamic-state/ International News Fri, 5 Sep 2014 12:02:03 AM Julie Pace US and UK seek partners to go after Islamic State

NEWPORT, Wales - President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pressed fellow NATO leaders Thursday to confront the "brutal and poisonous" Islamic State militant group that is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria - and urged regional partners like Jordan and Turkey to join the effort as well.

As leaders of the Western alliance gathered for a two-day summit, Obama and Cameron worked to begin forming a coalition of nations that could combat the extremists through military power, diplomatic pressure and economic penalties.

"Those who want to adopt an isolationist approach misunderstand the nature of security in the 21st century," they wrote in a joint editorial published as the meetings began. "Developments in other parts of the world, particularly in Iraq and Syria, threaten our security at home."

While some NATO leaders talked tough about the threat posed by the Islamic State group, the alliance made no specific pledges of action. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he believed the broader international community "has an obligation to stop the Islamic State from advancing further" and would seriously consider requests for assistance, particularly from the Iraqi government.

The Islamic State group moved up the list of international priorities as the militants pressed through Iraq with lighting speed earlier this year. The group, which seeks to create a caliphate, or Islamist nation-state, in the Mideast, is considered even more merciless toward its enemies than the al-Qaida terror network, and intelligence officials across the world warn that with hundreds of Westerners fighting for them, it may soon seek to seed its violence beyond its declared borders.

The U.S. began launching airstrikes against militant targets in Iraq last month, with Britain joining American forces in humanitarian airdrops to besieged minority populations. The militants' killing of two American journalists inside Syria has raised discussion of targeting the group there as well.

White House officials said they did not expect NATO to commit to a military mission against the group during the summit. Still, they raised the prospect that the end of NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan - an effort that has consumed the alliance for more than a decade - could allow member states to focus their attention elsewhere.

"What you see the alliance doing at this summit is looking at more than one direction at a time," said Douglas Lute, the U.S. ambassador to NATO.

Indeed, the threat posed by the Islamic State overshadowed some of the NATO summit's official agenda, which was intended to focus on celebrating the Afghan drawdown of troops and constructing a rapid response force on the alliance's eastern flank that could serve as a deterrent to Russian aggression. Obama and European leaders met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in a show of solidarity with his embattled nation.

Beyond direct military action, the White House said it was also seeking commitments from allies to send weapons, ammunition and other assistance to Western-backed Syrian rebels and to Iraqi forces.

Germany moved in that direction Thursday, with the government announcing that it had sent a first planeload of military equipment to the Kurds in Iraq's north, including helmets, protective vests, field glasses and mine-searching devices. The German government also said it had decided to send assault rifles, ammunition, anti-tank weapons and armored vehicles to the Kurdish forces, but it hadn't yet set a date for the arms deliveries.

In between summit sessions on Afghanistan and Ukraine, Obama and Cameron also sought support from non-NATO nations that partner with the alliance. The president and prime minister held separate meetings with Jordan's King Abdullah II Thursday, and both plan to meet Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Obama has said repeatedly that efforts against the Islamic State would be successful only if the U.S. had support from neighbors of Iraq and Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who are both with Obama in Wales, plan to travel to the Middle East next week to rally more support from regional partners.

The U.S. and Britain have been particularly concerned about the prospect that Westerners who have traveled to Syria to join the militants could return to their home countries and launch attacks. Cameron proposed new laws this week that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of fighting alongside the extremists.

A British citizen is believed to have carried out the beheadings of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Cameron on Thursday said he hadn't ruled out joining the U.S. in airstrikes, but he added that the priority was to support the forces already fighting the militants on the ground.

"We need to show real resolve and determination; we need to use every power and everything in our armory with our allies - with those on the ground - to make sure we do everything we can to squeeze this dreadful organization out of existence," Cameron told the British network ITV.

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Leaders: US, UK will 'not be cowed' by militants http://www.wbrz.com/news/leaders-us-uk-will-not-be-cowed-by-militants/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/leaders-us-uk-will-not-be-cowed-by-militants/ International News Thu, 4 Sep 2014 12:47:57 AM Julie Pace Leaders: US, UK will 'not be cowed' by militants

NEWPORT, Wales - Faced with a mounting militant threat in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron declared Thursday that their nations will "not be cowed" by extremists who have killed two American journalists.

"We will be more forthright in the defense of our values, not least because a world of greater freedom is a fundamental part of how we keep our people safe," the leaders wrote in a joint editorial in the Times of London.

Their comments come as world leaders gather at a golf resort in Wales for a high-stakes NATO summit. While the official agenda will focus on the crisis in Ukraine and the drawdown of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan, the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria will dominate discussions on the sidelines of the summit.

The militants have claimed responsibility for murdering two American journalists, releasing gruesome videos of their beheadings. Both the U.S. and Britain are deeply concerned about the potential threat to their homelands that could come from the foreign fighters who have joined the violent Islamic State group.

Cameron on Monday proposed new laws that would give police the power to seize the passports of Britons suspected of having traveled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.

Obama and Cameron appear to suggest that NATO should play a role in containing the militants, but were not specific in what action they would seek from the alliance.

The two leaders were to visit with students at a local school Thursday morning before joining their counterparts from France, Germany and Italy to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. New Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was also to join the discussion in a show of Western solidarity with his embattled nation.

Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a standoff for months, with pro-Moscow forces stirring instability in eastern Ukrainian cities. On the eve of the NATO summit, Russia and Ukraine said they were working on a deal to halt the fighting, but Western leaders expressed skepticism - noting it wasn't the first attempt to end the deadly conflict.

NATO leaders are expected to agree this week on the creation of a rapid response force that would set up in nations in the alliance's eastern flank to serve as a deterrent to Russia. Baltic nations and others in the region fear Moscow could set its sights on their borders next.

"We must use our military to ensure a persistent presence in Eastern Europe, making clear to Russia that we will always uphold our Article 5 commitments to collective self-defense," Obama and Cameron wrote.

Under Article 5 of the NATO charter, an attack on one member state is viewed on an attack on the whole alliance. Obama reiterated his support for that principle Wednesday during a visit to Estonia, one of the newer NATO members set on edge by Russia's provocations.

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Tech insider: Firms halting spread of grisly video http://www.wbrz.com/news/tech-insider-firms-halting-spread-of-grisly-video/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/tech-insider-firms-halting-spread-of-grisly-video/ International News Wed, 3 Sep 2014 10:18:30 AM APNewsNow Tech insider: Firms halting spread of grisly video

PARIS - A Silicon Valley insider says tech companies drafted plans to scrub the web after a grisly video showing the beheading of an American journalist by Islamic State militants - and implemented them this week after a second killing.

Video showing the death of James Foley last month ricocheted through social networks in what many feared was a propaganda coup for the extremists. The tech official said Wednesday that a YouTube video showing a second beheading, of American journalist Steven Sotloff, was deleted as accounts and Tweets linking to it were suppressed.

The official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because companies are grappling with increasing pressure to impose more censorship on the web, did not say whether the developments came at the request of governments or ordinary users.

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Obama: Too early to gauge Ukraine cease-fire http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-too-early-to-gauge-ukraine-cease-fire/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/obama-too-early-to-gauge-ukraine-cease-fire/ International News Wed, 3 Sep 2014 1:41:16 AM Hunter Robinson Obama: Too early to gauge Ukraine cease-fire

TALLINN, Estonia - President Barack Obama says "it's too early to tell" how serious reports are of a cease-fire between Russia and eastern Ukraine.

Obama says the U.S. has consistently supported efforts by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to achieve a meaningful cease-fire that could lead to a political settlement after months of conflict between the countries.

Poroshenko's office said Wednesday that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reached agreement on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have spent months battling the government in Kiev. Wednesday's statement says mutual understanding was reached. It provided no details.

Obama says no realistic settlement can be achieved if Russia continues to send tanks and troops into Ukraine under the guise of separatists.

Obama commented at a news conference in Estonia.

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Tropical Storm Dolly moves ashore in Mexico http://www.wbrz.com/news/tropical-storm-dolly-moves-ashore-in-mexico/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/tropical-storm-dolly-moves-ashore-in-mexico/ International News Tue, 2 Sep 2014 11:43:17 PM Hunter Robinson Tropical Storm Dolly moves ashore in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Mexico - Tropical Storm Dolly is moving ashore, soaking Mexico's Gulf coast, where authorities had suspended school classes and readied shelters.

The U.S. Hurricane Center says Dolly is located about 25 miles south-southeast of Tampico late Tuesday. The storm's maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph. and it is moving to the west at 9 mph.

The storm is expected to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain to states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, along the Gulf coast and inland. Life-threatening flash floods and mud slides are possible in mountainous areas.

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