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Associated Press

Obama: US sending military advisers to Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — Edging back into a military role in Iraq, President Barack Obama on Thursday said he was dispatching up to 300 military advisers to help quell the rising insurgency in the crumbling nation. He called on Iraqi leaders to govern with a more "inclusive agenda" to ensure the country does not descend into civil war.



Obama: 275 US forces deploying to Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is notifying Congress that about 275 U.S. military personnel could deploy to Iraq.

Obama says the forces are going to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. He says the forces are equipped for combat and will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed.

About 160 troops are already in Iraq, including 50 Marines and more than 100 Army soldiers. Some of those soldiers have only recently arrived.



AP Analysis: Turmoil blurring Mideast borders

CAIRO (AP) -- Working in secret, European diplomats drew up the borders that have defined the Middle East's nations for nearly a century - but now civil war, sectarian bloodshed and leadership failures threaten to rip that map apart.



Vets watch as insurgents undo sacrifices in Iraq

(AP) — For an entire night, Marine Sgt. Colin Archipley crouched low atop a roof as U.S. artillery slammed insurgent hideouts in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

At dawn, when orders came to destroy a suspected enemy weapons cache, Archipley discovered his unit was on top of the same building, and insurgents were holed up floors below. American forces blasted the structure, scattering the fighters.

The savage combat inflicted heavy casualties on Lima Company, and dozens of American soldiers were killed before the house-by-house battles ended in late 2004.



Mormon women's group founder faces excommunication

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two months after Mormon Kate Kelly led hundreds in a demonstration to shed light on gender inequality in the religion — defying church orders to stay off Temple Square — the founder of a prominent Mormon women's group is facing excommunication.



What is going on in Iraq and why?

An al-Qaida breakaway group, apparently backed by other Sunni groups and fighters, has seized a large section of northern Iraq after previously taking much of northeastern Syria with an eye toward establishing an Islamic state straddling the two countries. The situation on the ground is changing rapidly, but some patterns and explanations are now emerging:

Q: WHY IS THIS HAPPENING NOW?



Too little info about youth concussions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama called Thursday for more robust research into youth concussions, saying there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people.

"We want our kids participating in sports," Obama said as he opened a daylong summit on concussions at the White House. "As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information."



How VA clinics falsified appointment records

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fake appointments, unofficial logs kept on the sly and appointments made without telling the patient are among tricks used to disguise delays in seeing and treating veterans at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics.

They're not a new phenomenon. VA officials, veteran service organizations and members of Congress have known about them for years.

The "gaming strategies" were used to make it appear veterans were getting appointments within target times set by the department, according to a 2010 department memo to VA facility managers aimed at fighting the practices.



Kiwi DNA link spurs rethink of flightless birds

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Research linking New Zealand's diminutive kiwi with a giant extinct bird from Africa is prompting scientists to rethink how flightless birds evolved.

A report published Friday in the journal Science says DNA testing indicates the chicken-size kiwi's closest relative is the elephant bird from Madagascar, which grew up to 3 meters (10 feet) high and weighed up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) before becoming extinct about 1,000 years ago.



How canoers will use ancient navigation in ocean

HONOLULU (AP) -- When a Polynesian voyaging canoe called the Hokulea embarked on its first trips in Hawaii in the mid-1970s, its crew was trying to prove in part that travel without modern instruments or techniques was possible.

That early crew set out for Tahiti, an island 28 miles wide from more than 2,700 miles away, on a trip that's roughly like leaving Maine and hitting a bull's-eye the size of San Diego, without any roads or landmarks to show the way.

In an era of global positioning satellites, this can seem a relatively mundane feat.



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