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Islamic State holds up Iraqi army south of Mosul

QAYYARA/BAGHDAD, Iraq Islamic State fighters on Wednesday kept up their fierce defense of the southern approaches to Mosul which has held up Iraqi troops on the southern front and forced an elite army unit east of the city to put its more rapid advance on hold.

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Russian fleet withdraws refuel request to Spain after NATO outcry

MADRID Russia has withdrawn a request to refuel warships in Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta, Madrid said on Wednesday, after NATO allies said their carrier battle group could be used to target civilians in Syria.

Africa, Russia, Spain 10:37am EDT

Israel says ancient papyrus supports its claim to Jerusalem

JERUSALEM Israeli archaeologists have made public a fragment of an ancient text which they say is the earliest Hebrew reference to Jerusalem outside the Bible - a discovery the government swiftly enlisted as evidence of the Jewish connection to the holy city.

Arts, Israel 9:44am EDT

In Lebanon deal, Iran wins and Saudi retreats

BEIRUT A veteran Christian leader is set to fill Lebanon's long-vacant presidency in a deal that underlines the ascendancy of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement and the diminished role of Saudi Arabia in the country.

Lebanon, Saudi Arabia 11:29am EDT

No sleep for Ukraine officials as corruption reform deadline looms

KIEV As the deadline nears for some 50,000 Ukrainian officials to fill out wealth declaration forms, lawmakers and ministers have vented their frustration at the tedious procedure with a mix of wry jokes and angry outbursts.

11:25am EDT

British banker calmly details how he slit throats of two women in Hong Kong

HONG KONG British banker Rurik Jutting calmly detailed to police his cocaine-fueled descent into a torture and killing binge that ended in the deaths of two Indonesian women in his luxury Hong Kong apartment, according to videos shown in court on Wednesday.

Indonesia 9:03am EDT

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