BEIRUT - Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday and overran Iraqi government defenses east of Ramadi, the provincial capital that they seized five days earlier. | Video
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SANTA BARBARA - The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near Santa Barbara said on Thursday it may take months to restore the area to its natural condition. | Video
RIGA - British Prime Minister David Cameron predicted "ups and downs" on Friday in European Union reform negotiations but said he was determined to give Britons a proper choice on a reformed EU in a referendum he has promised before the end of 2017.
SEOUL - It's much more dangerous, and twice as expensive, to defect from North Korea since Kim Jong Un took power in Pyongyang three and a half years ago, refugees and experts say, and far fewer people are escaping from the repressive and impoverished country.
- A grand jury has brought charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of a black man who suffered fatal neck injuries while in police custody, a case that touched off angry protests and a day of looting and arson in the Maryland city.
RIGA - European Union leaders met six ex-Soviet neighbors on Thursday in Riga, rejecting Russian "bullying" in the 18 months since their last summit in a once Kremlin-ruled EU capital sparked conflict in Ukraine.
- The FBI has arrested two men in southern California, one at Los Angeles International Airport, suspected of attempting to travel abroad to join Islamic State, NBC News reported on Thursday.
KIEV - Ukraine's largest steel company, Metinvest, said on Friday one worker had been killed and two wounded after its Avdiyivka coke plant in east Ukraine was hit by heavy shelling, damaging the factory's equipment and transport infrastructure.