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Iraq premier nixes US ground troops

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s new prime minister ruled out stationing U.S. ground troops in his country, chiding the international community Wednesday for inaction in Syria and lamenting the “puzzling” exclusion of neighboring Iran from the coalition being assembled to fight the Islamic State group.

House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly Wednesday to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels as President Barack Obama emphasized anew that American forces “do not and will not have a combat mission” in the struggle against Islamic State militants in either Iraq or Syria.

Study: Americans endure unwanted care near death

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Americans suffer needless discomfort and undergo unwanted and costly care as they die, in part because of a medical system ruled by “perverse incentives” for aggressive care and not enough conversation about what people want, according to a report released Wednesday.

Obama sending 3K troops to aid in Ebola fight

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Tuesday the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world, and he ordered 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region in emergency aid muscle for a crisis spiraling out of control.

Fla.’s ‘Gray Belt’ a glimpse at nation’s future

INVERNESS, Fla. — A billboard at the county line advertises home health care services. Local churches try to create a feeling of belonging for elderly members who may be disconnected from family up north. Lawyers and accountants make house calls like doctors. Elderly residents get ferried to stores by a fleet of county minivans.

Gazans rush to enjoy life after ruinous war

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — After a ruinous war, Gaza is rushing back to a veneer of normalcy at astonishing speed. Street cafes and beaches are packed with people until late at night. Families crowd the few public parks. Wedding halls are booked solid.

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Obama: US to expand airstrikes on Islamic State

WASHINGTON — In a major reversal, President Barack Obama moved Wednesday night to deepen the U.S. military role in the volatile Middle East, vowing to wage an unrelenting counterterror effort using airstrikes to target Islamic State fighters in both Iraq and Syria.

Raging floods kill more than 440 in Pakistan, India

JHANG, Pakistan — Raging monsoon floods sweeping across India and Pakistan have killed more than 440 people, authorities said Tuesday, warning hundreds of thousands more to be prepared to flee their homes as helicopters and boats raced to save marooned victims.