Saturday, July 26 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-26 10:44:31 GMT
The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
Having forced out a beloved football coach and watched its president retire after a series of verbal gaffes, Ohio State University again finds itself grabbing headlines with the firing of a celebrated marching band...More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-26 10:44:13 GMT
A federal judge has dismissed a Wyoming man's lawsuit claiming a group secretly found the missing airplane of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in the South Pacific but kept it quiet so it could continue to raise...More >>
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a Wyoming man's claims that an aircraft recovery group secretly found wreckage of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart's missing airplane in the South Pacific but kept it quiet so it...More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:02 AM EDT2014-07-26 06:02:47 GMT
Police are searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit at a Philadelphia street corner, killing three kids and seriously injuring two women.More >>
Police were searching for two men who carjacked an SUV and plowed into a group of children and adults selling fruit to raise money for their church, killing three kids and critically injuring their mother and the...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:56:40 GMT
Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.More >>
A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:33:36 GMT
U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent - and unusual - request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't...More >>
U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:35:42 GMT
A large family that lives at the shore and suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy will share a $20 million lottery jackpot that one of the 17 siblings said will be "a great pick-me-up."More >>
A lottery-playing tradition started by the matriarch of a large New Jersey shore family paid off for her 17 children this week when the group won a $20 million jackpot that will partly be used to help family members...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:32:57 GMT
An 80-year-old man who came home to find two burglars said he shot and killed one of them despite her pleas that she was pregnant, but it's the woman's alleged accomplice who has been arrested on suspicion...More >>
Prosecutors Friday were waiting for the results of a police investigation into the killing of a burglar by an 80-year-old California homeowner who says he shot the woman in the back as she fled his home and ran down an...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:15:50 GMT
A federal appeals court is upholding a Florida law that restricts what doctors can discuss about guns with their patients.More >>
A Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership was deemed to be constitutional Friday by a federal appeals court, which said it legitimately regulates professional conduct and doesn't...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:05:50 GMT
It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures.More >>
It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures. They're grocery store owners.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:44:45 GMT
Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said. Two...More >>
Two men carjacked a woman at gunpoint but soon sped out of control, killing three children Friday as they plowed into a group selling fruit to raise money for their church, Philadelphia police said.More >>
Unaccompanied minors enroll in US schools, presenting opportunities and extra costsMore >>
Unaccompanied minors enroll in US schools, presenting opportunities and extra costsMore >>
By BARBARA SURK Associated Press
BEIRUT (AP) - A Sunni extremist group in Syria took over opposition-held areas of a provincial capital near the border with Iraq on Monday after expelling rival fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group, activists said.
The march by militants of the Islamic State group on the city of Deir el-Zour brings them closer to a showdown with President Bashar Assad's forces. They recently captured cities and towns in northern Iraq and merged them with much of the territory under its control in eastern Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights said militants from IS took over the area from fighters of the rival al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front group, who withdrew after clashes.
The new developments effectively expand and consolidate areas held by fighters from the Islamic State group in territory straddling the border between the two conflict-ridden countries of Syria and Iraq.
The group, which now controls large parts of northern Syria, is almost in full control of oil-rich Deir el-Zour province in the east, stretching from the Syrian border town of Boukamal to the provincial capital to the northwest. Assad's forces still control half of Deir el-Zour city, and no fighting between his troops and the extremist group was reported there.
Led by an ambitious Iraqi militant known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State group unilaterally declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the lands it has seized in Syria and Iraq. It proclaimed al-Baghdadi the head of its new self-styled state and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.
Most significant Syrian rebel groups that have been fighting to overthrow Assad have rejected al-Baghdadi's declaration. The rebel groups, including the Nusra Front, have fought the extremist group since the beginning of the year. Nearly 7,000 people, mostly fighters, have died in the infighting, and tens of thousands of civilians have been forced from their homes.
However, Nusra Front appears to be losing the war within a war in Syria as fighters allied with powerful tribes in the country's east defect to al-Baghdadi's group.
The Syrian conflict began in March 2011 as largely peaceful protests against Assad's rule, but turned into an armed revolt after some opposition supporters took up weapons to fight a brutal government crackdown on dissent. It deteriorated into civil war in which Islamic extremists, including foreign fighters and Syrian rebels, who have adopted hard-line al-Qaida-style ideologies, have played an increasingly prominent role among the fighters, dampening the West's support for the rebellion.
Also Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing cross-border delivery of desperately needed food and aid to Syrians in rebel-held areas, without government approval.
The resolution expressed "grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria" and deplored the fact that its previous demands for humanitarian access "have not been heeded" by the Syrian government and opposition fighters.
The council adopted a resolution in February demanding that all sides in the conflict allow immediate access for aid, lift the sieges of populated areas, stop depriving civilians of food and halt attacks against civilians. But monthly reports to the council since then by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on its implementation have described an increasingly dire situation.
Just hours before the resolution was adopted, some 13 Syrian Red Crescent trucks loaded with 1,000 food parcels crossed into the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh, which has been besieged by government troops for more than two years, causing widespread hunger-related illness and death among its residents.
In Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus that has been under government siege for over a year, U.N. aid workers were not allowed to distribute aid on Monday, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement, adding that 18,000 civilians remain trapped there in desperate need of food and medicine.
The interruption follows a week of sustained food distribution in Yarmouk during which the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees in the Middle East distributed food parcels to 3,316 families, Gunness said.
Associated Press writer Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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