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Militants try to tighten grip in Syria



Published: Thu, July 3, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Militants try to tighten grip in Syria

BAGHDAD

Fresh from success in Iraq, a Sunni extremist group tried to tighten its hold Wednesday on territory in Syria and crush pockets of resistance on land straddling the border where it has declared the foundation of an Islamic state.

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that the entire region is endangered by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, whose gunmen have rampaged across his country in recent weeks. Facing pressure to step aside, al-Maliki said the focus must be on countering the threat — not wholesale leadership changes.

The militant group has fed off the chaos and supercharged sectarian atmosphere of Syria’s civil war to seize control of a large chunk of territory there. With its recent blitz across Iraq, it has expanded its gains while also effectively erasing the border between the two countries and laying the groundwork of its proto-state.

Doctors: Stabbing suspect incompetent

WAUKESHA, Wis.

Doctors believe that one of the two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fictional character is not mentally competent to stand trial, attorneys said Wednesday.

The prosecution immediately requested a hearing to discuss the conclusions, which assess whether the girl is capable of assisting in her own defense. One of the psychologists was hired by the defense, and the other is a state-appointed doctor.

Prosecutors also asked that the girl be given a separate evaluation to determine whether she had mental disease at the moment the crime was committed. The move suggests they’re preparing for a possible insanity plea.

US documents to be shown in UK

LONDON

Two of the most-famous documents in American history — the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence — are going on display in Britain for the first time next year.

The British Library said Thursday the documents, on loan from the U.S., will be featured as part of an exhibition marking the 800th anniversary of the founding document of Britain’s political system, the Magna Carta.

Victim of shooting in New Orleans dies

NEW ORLEANS

One of the 10 victims of a weekend shooting on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street died Wednesday.

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson asked for a moment of silence after announcing the death of the 21-year-old woman from Hammond. A spokesman for the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office later Wednesday confirmed the woman had died but did not release her name.

No arrests have been made.

Leaders seek action on gay marriage

DENVER

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican Attorney General John Suthers asked a federal court Wednesday to issue an injunction declaring Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

But they want the court to delay implementation of the ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue.

The filing highlights what has been tumultuous and fast-moving legal wrangling in the state since last week, when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in a Utah case that same-sex couples have the right to marry. The ruling was put on hold pending appeal.

Associated Press


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