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Iraqi Kurds take over two oil fields

BAGHDAD — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said, the latest move in a deepening a dispute with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad denounced the takeover of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields as “a violation to the constitution” and warned that it poses “a threat to national unity.” He said Kurdish troops moved in and expelled local workers from the two sites. The seizure of the fields could accelerate the unraveling of already worsening relations between the Kurdish autonomy zone in the north and Iraq’s central government. The spat is one of the ripple effects of the Sunni militant offensive that overran much of northern and western Iraq last month, plunging the country into its worst crisis since the last U.S. troops left in 2011.

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House chairman: $3.7 billion request 'too much'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency request for the border crisis is too big and the House won't approve it, the chairman of the House committee that controls spending said Friday. "It's too much money. We don't need it," Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., told reporters.

US given heads up about newspaper data destruction

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper's hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show.

19 Ukraine servicemen killed in rocket attack

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russia rebels fired missiles Friday at government troops near the Russian border, killing at least 19 servicemen, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said, adding that four troops were killed in other clashes. President Petro Poroshenko summoned security officials in Kiev to discuss Friday's pre-dawn attack at a forward base in eastern Ukraine and declared that the perpetrators would be punished.

Chinese hackers hit U.S. personnel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, according to The New York Times.

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Benghazi: Two days, two distinct attacks on Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Well-trained attackers executed the deadly dawn assault on a CIA complex in Benghazi, Libya, suggesting different perpetrators from those who penetrated the U.S. diplomatic mission the previous night, according to newly revealed testimony from top military commanders.

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Israel escalates Gaza offensive, casualties mount

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault targeting hundreds of Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip Thursday as Palestinians reported the strikes also hit a home and a beachside cafe, raising the total number of people killed in this week's offensive to at least 85. Israel's missile defense system also once again intercepted rockets fired by militants at the country's two largest cities, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Boehner visits gorge

Greg Walden serves as tour guide for top GOP leader

One of the best kept secrets in the gorge was Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner’s visit July 2 to several locations.

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking more than 100 sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel.

Election results under dispute

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah defiantly told thousands of supporters Monday that he will declare victory as he claimed massive fraud was responsible for preliminary results putting his rival in the lead. The United States, meanwhile, warned both camps against trying to seize power, saying international financial and security support was at stake.

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UN pushes for migrant rights

Asks they be considered refugees

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — United Nations officials are pushing for many of the Central Americans fleeing to the U.S. to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict, a designation meant to increase pressure on the United States and Mexico to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum.

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Bigfoot hair? Not true, say scientists

LONDON — DNA testing is taking a bite out of the Bigfoot legend. After scientists analyzed more than 30 hair samples reportedly left behind by Bigfoot and similar mythical beasts like the Himalayan Yeti, they found all of them came from more mundane creatures like bears, wolves, cows and raccoons.

Scientists pull stem cell claims

Japan research center accused of falsifying data

U.S. seeks to arm Syrian rebels

President seeks $500 million

Egypt refuses pardon for journalists

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Tuesday rejected calls from the United States and other Western governments that he pardon or commute the sentences of three Al-Jazeera journalists who were handed heavy prison terms a day earlier in a court ruling that raised international outrage.

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