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Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

McCain: U.S. must reassess Afghanistan troop withdrawal

Associated Press

The ongoing Taliban offensive in Afghanistan demands a reassessment of the Obama administration’s current plan to drawdown U.S. forces, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Saturday during a visit to the country’s capital.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif laughs during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP) ** FILE **

Iran to U.S.: Nuclear deal could result in joint cooperation

- Associated Press

In a message to Washington, Iran’s foreign minister on Friday called for an end to “coercion and pressure” at the nuclear talks, suggesting a deal acceptable to his country will open the door to cooperation on fighting the upsurge of Middle East extremism threatening both nations’ interests.

James Soong displayed his ability to jolt the political landscape by announcing that he just might jump into Taiwan's crucial 2016 presidential race. (Associated Press)

James Soong: Taiwan’s kingmaker in action again

He is the most enigmatic figure in Taiwanese politics. Admired by many, loathed by some but courted by most, he has commanded attention in all of the island’s key elections and helped decide the outcome in the most crucial ones since Taiwan embraced full-blown democracy in the 1990s.

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A young girl waves a flag during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

America celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, parades

- Associated Press

Americans celebrated 239 years as an independent nation on Saturday with extravagant fireworks displays, rock and classical concerts and parades both big and small. Here were some highlights of Independence Day festivities around the nation:

North Dakota couples fixtures of Frontier Military Days

- Associated Press

Larry and Linda Hippen, of Mandan, and Dale and Ann Marks, of Ypsilanti, re-enact early day life when they take part in Frontier Military Days at Fort Stevenson State Park, south of Garrison. The two couples have been attending the annual event for about two decades.

Syrian troops and Hezbollah besiege border mountain resort

- Associated Press

Syrian elite forces backed by Hezbollah fighters besieged a rebel-held mountain resort near the border with Lebanon on Saturday under the cover of intense airstrikes by Syria's air forces, activists and official media outlets reported.

Egypt marks 2nd anniversary of Islamist ouster with mourning

- Associated Press

Two years to the day after the army overthrew Egypt's Islamist president, the sounds coming from the mosque at Cairo's Tahrir Square were sadly telling. At the focal point of Egypt's upheavals, where authorities had hoped to stage celebrations, there was instead a prayer for the week's dead, including soldiers cut down by militants in Sinai and the country's chief prosecutor, assassinated by car bomb in the capital.

Turkey reappoints former defense minister to post

Associated Press

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reappointed a 75-year-old former defense minister to the same post, to replace Ismet Yilmaz who was elected Turkey's new parliament speaker this week.