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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Fri June 27, 2014

U.S. Says It Won't Make More Anti-Personnel Land Mines

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 1:26 pm

Saying it wants to join an international treaty banning anti-personnel land mines, the U.S. announced today that it will no longer make "or otherwise acquire" them. The new policy was announced at a conference on the Ottawa Convention, a 1999 treaty that outlaws the mines.

The country's stronger stance on mines is part of a push "to end the use of all nondetectable mines and all persistent mines, which can remain active for years after the end of a conflict," according to a White House news release issued this morning.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Top Shiite Cleric Calls For Deal On Next Iraqi Leader Amid Crisis

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle in Mosul, Iraq, on June 23. Human Rights Watch says the group executed at least 160 unarmed Iraqis after it took control of the city of Tikrit.
AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:33 am

Iraq's most-revered Shiite cleric called on the country's political blocs to agree on a prime minister in the next four days, putting pressure on a government that is struggling to address the growing security crisis.

The call Friday by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as Human Rights Watch said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremist group that now controls large parts of Iraq, likely executed at least 160 unarmed men when it took the city of Tikrit.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Suarez Ban Is 'Excessive,' Bite Victim Says

Giorgio Chiellini of Italy pulls down his shirt to show a wound after clashing with Luis Suarez of Uruguay (not pictured). After Suarez was suspended for four months over his biting of Chiellini, the Italian said the punishment was too harsh.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:03 am

Giorgio Chiellini, the Italian defender whose shoulder bore teeth marks after a clash with Uruguay's Luis Suarez during a World Cup match Tuesday, says FIFA's four-month ban of Suarez is too harsh. Chiellini released a statement on his website saying his thoughts are with the star striker and his family.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Ukraine Signs Trade Deal With EU, Risking Russia's Ire

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who signed a new economic deal with the EU at the organization's summit meetings Friday.
Olivier Hoslet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 8:41 am

A free-trade zone between Ukraine and the European Union takes another step toward reality today, as the nation that's under pressure from pro-Russian separatists signs an economic agreement with the EU. The deal also includes two other former Soviet states, Moldova and Georgia.

The trade pact comes as a tense cease-fire is set to expire Friday in Ukraine, where government forces and militants have been locked in a confrontation for weeks. It also promises to push Ukraine firmly toward Europe, and away from Russia's influence.

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Parallels
3:36 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos

A member of the Kurdish security forces stand guard atop a armored vehicle at Taza district, south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday, June 20, 2014.
Emad Matti AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 7:59 am

Iraq is in chaos, but the country's ethnic Kurds might come out ahead.

They rule a semi-autonomous area in the north that is fairly prosperous and safe, and as the Iraqi army crumbled before militants this month, Kurdish forces moved in to take long-sought areas that had been under the central government in Baghdad.

The Kurds are now talking about their generations-old dream of independence, but they still face many dangers.

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