Islamic State executes soldiers, takes hostages at Syria base: social media

BEIRUT - Islamic State militants have executed Syrian army soldiers and are holding a group hostage after capturing an air base in northeast Syria at the weekend, pictures posted on social media by supporters showed on Wednesday.

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Russian courts close three McDonald's branches in Moscow: agencies

MOSCOW - usnewsRussian courts on Wednesday ordered the temporary closure of three McDonald's restaurants in Moscow over breaches of sanitary rules, news agencies reported, amid a standoff with the West over Ukraine.

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Thai premier tells foreign investors: 'We are not dictators'

BANGKOK - Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha told European investors on Wednesday that he was not a dictator and that his government was seeking to create a Thailand that would be more attractive for their long-term investments.

World, Thailand 7:31am EDT

Deadline passed, no sign of breakthrough in Iran nuclear probe

VIENNA - Iran may have failed to meet a deadline for addressing U.N. concerns about suspected nuclear bomb research, but it could still act to influence a key report due next week, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

Davos, World 8:02am EDT

Pakistan's prime minister resolved to ride out protests crisis

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told parliament on Wednesday he would not be cowed by thousands of demonstrators camped outside the assembly demanding his resignation.

7:20am EDT

Afghan election audit disrupted as candidate threatens to walk out

KABUL - Afghanistan's deadlocked presidential election veered further off course on Wednesday after both candidates withdrew their observers from a U.N.-supervised audit of votes that was meant to resolve the crisis.