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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Released U.S. hostage says overwhelmed by welcome home

WASHINGTON - An American writer released this week after nearly two years of captivity in Syria said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of attention he received after returning home, he told reporters on Wednesday.

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Germany to decide on military aid for Iraq on Sunday: minister

PRAGUE - The German government will decide on Sunday what specific military aid it will send to Kurdish forces in Iraq to help them fight Islamic State militants in the north of the country, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said 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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Brazil's Rousseff holding lead against Silva surge in election poll

BRASILIA - Environmentalist Marina Silva has narrowed President Dilma Rousseff's lead down to six percentage points in Brazil's presidential election race and would defeat her in a likely second-round runoff, a new opinion poll showed on Wednesday.

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