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General John F. Campbell, commander of international forces in Afghanistan, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Campbell said the Islamic State group is actively recruiting in Afghanistan but is not yet operational there. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

Afghan official: 19 police, 7 soldiers dead in ongoing siege

- Associated Press

Taliban gunmen have surrounded a police compound in the volatile southern province of Helmand after killing 19 policemen and seven soldiers in an ongoing siege, a senior police officer said on Monday from inside the compound.

Vice President Joe Biden talks with Iraq's Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi during a session of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee, Thursday, April 16, 2015, in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

Joe Biden tries to smooth over tensions with Baghdad

- The Washington Times

As tensions mount between the Obama administration and Baghdad over the quality of Iraqi security forces, Vice President Joseph R. Biden tried to reassure Iraq’s prime minister Monday that the U.S. stands behind the Iraqi government in its battle with the Islamic State.

In this April 18, 2011, file photo, Man Haron Monis speaks to the media as he leaves the Downing Centre in Sydney after a pre-trial hearing where he is accused of sending offending letters to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The man who took 18 people hostage at a Sydney cafe last year was educated and erratic, secretive about his own life, lawyers told an inquest Monday, May 25, 2015. (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP, File)

Sydney siege inquest: Gunman secretive, defiant narcissist

- Associated Press

The man who took 18 people hostage at a Sydney cafe last year was educated and erratic, secretive about his own life and public about his many grievances, and a self-obsessed fabulist whose life was spiraling downward in the lead-up to his deadly attack, lawyers told an inquest Monday.

In this Friday, March 27, 2015, file photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, commander of Iran's Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, sits in a religious ceremony at a mosque in the residence of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran, Iran. The chief of an elite unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guard has accused the U.S. of having "no will" to stop the Islamic State group after the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, an Iranian newspaper reported Monday, May 25, 2015. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

Iraq, Iran push back on U.S. defense chief over Ramadi loss

- Associated Press

Iraq and Iran pushed back Monday against U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s criticisms over the fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State group, with an Iranian general going as far as saying America had “no will” to fight the extremists.

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China's army plays down South China Sea island-building

- Associated Press

China's military on Tuesday compared its controversial island-building in the South China Sea to ordinary construction such as road-building going on elsewhere in the country, trying to deflect criticism over an issue seen as inflaming tensions in the region.

FILE - In this Friday, March 27, 2015 file photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, commander of Iran's Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, right, greets Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while attending a religious ceremony in a mosque at his residence in Tehran, Iran. The chief of an elite unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guard has accused the U.S. of having "no will" to stop the Islamic State group after the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, an Iranian newspaper reported Monday. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

Biden tries to smooth over anger sparked by Carter's comment

- Associated Press

Vice President Joe Biden is reassuring Iraq's government of U.S. support in the fight against the Islamic State group, telephoning Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi with thanks for "the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces" one day after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned the Iraqi military commitment.

UN officials didn't follow up on sex abuse claims for months

- Associated Press

For months, the U.N.'s top human rights officials knew about allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic, collected by their own staff. But they didn't follow up because they assumed French authorities were handling it, statements marked "strictly confidential" show, even as France pressed the U.N. for more information about the case.

In this Thursday, May 7, 2015 photo, Bob Gill, a volunteer driver with Meals on Wheels By ACC, delivers lunch to Thelma Pense at her home in Citrus Heights, Calif. Meals on Wheels by ACC provides free meals to senior citizens at a senior center and brings them meals at their homes. Meals on Wheels is among the programs that have received funds from the state Assembly's own administrative budget for programs that faced cuts in state and other funding. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

A look at where California Assembly speakers send money

Associated Press

Speakers of the California Assembly have discretion over how to spend the legislative body's roughly $150 million annual operating budget, including on services that have nothing to do with lawmaking. The spending is not subject to public hearings or vote.

After 6-year effort, Army veteran gets marked grave

- Associated Press

When Chuck Elmore heard that a black Army veteran had been buried in the 1970s in an unmarked grave at Spokane-Cheney Memorial Gardens, he thought resolving the issue might take a few weeks.

NY lawmaker backs state benefits for gay veterans

Associated Press

A New York lawmaker says the state should ensure that military veterans discharged for their sexual orientation under the U.S. military's old policies are eligible for the 53 state programs, benefits and tax breaks other vets can get.