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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.

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.

Malaysian National Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar speaks at press conference in Wang Kelian, Malaysia on Monday, May 25, 2015. Malaysian authorities said Monday they have discovered 139 suspected graves in a series of abandoned camps used by human traffickers on the border with Thailand where Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar were believed to have been held. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

Malaysia: Human traffickers’ camps had 139 suspected graves

- Associated Press

Malaysian authorities said Monday that abandoned jungle camps used by human traffickers contained 139 suspected graves as well as pens likely used as cages for migrants, shedding more light on a regional trade that preyed on some of Southeast Asia’s most desperate people.

Residents clear away debris from their home after a powerful tornado swept past in Ciudad Acuna, northern Mexico, Monday, May 25, 2015. A tornado raged through the city on the U.S.-Mexico border Monday, destroying homes and flinging cars like matchsticks. At least 13 people were killed, authorities said. The twister hit a seven-block area, which Victor Zamora, interior secretary of the northern state of Coahuila, described as "devastated." (AP Photo)

Tornado kills 13 in Mexico border city; 12 missing in Texas

- Associated Press

A tornado raged through a city on the U.S.-Mexico border Monday, destroying homes, flinging cars like matchsticks and ripping an infant from its mother’s arms. At least 13 people were killed, authorities said.

A rubbish dump ready for burning blots the vista of mine workings and mountains in the suburbs of Kiruna, Sweden. To feed China's growing appetite for raw materials, this venerable mining town prepares to demolish most of its buildings, all part of an ambitious $375 million project to make way for the expansion of a giant iron mine.

Sweden to relocate entire city to meet China’s energy needs

To feed China’s growing appetite for raw materials, this venerable mining town 90 miles north of the Arctic Circle is poised to become a cutting-edge Tomorrowland as it prepares to move buildings, residents and even a century-old wooden church to a new location a few miles away.

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.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the media after hearing the verdict in his trial, in Jerusalem's District Court in this July 10, 2012, file photo. Olmert has been sentenced to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter. The Monday, May 25, 2015, verdict in Jerusalem District Court caps a dramatic downfall of a man who only years earlier led the country and hoped to bring about a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

Ehud Olmert, former Israeli prime minister, sentenced to 8 months in prison

- Associated Press

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter, capping the dramatic downfall of a man who only years earlier led the country and hoped to bring about a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Shoppers queue outside of a supermarket in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, in this Jan. 8, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)

Businesses quietly switch to dollar in socialist Venezuela

- Associated Press

It’s still possible to buy a gleaming Ford truck in Venezuela, rent a chic apartment in Caracas and snag an American Airlines flight to Miami. Just not in the country’s official currency.

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In this Sunday, May 24, 2015 photo, tourists enjoy cigars, mojitos and live music at the Bodeguita del Medio Bar, frequented by the late American novelist Ernest Hemingway in Old Havana, Cuba. The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba has led to a dramatic 36 percent increase in visits by Americans to Cuba since January compared to the same period last year, along with a 14 percent rise in arrivals from around the world. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

Stunning 36 percent rise in US visits to Cuba since January

- Associated Press

The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba has led to a stunning 36 percent increase in visits by Americans to the island, including thousands who are flying into Cuba from third countries like Mexico in order to sidestep U.S. restrictions on tourism.

This April 1, 2015 photo shows a Charter Communications van in St. Louis. Charter Communications is close to buying Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, two people familiar with the negotiations said Monday, May 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Charter nears deal for Time Warner Cable

- Associated Press

Charter Communications Inc. is close to buying Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

Official: Israel thanked US for blocking nuclear document

- Associated Press

A senior Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked the U.S. for blocking a global document at the United Nations aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, a rare bright spot amid strained relations between the two countries.

Editorials from around New England

- Associated Press

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from New England newspapers: