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Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
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AP Top News at 4:48 p.m. EDT

Published:   |   Updated: September 2, 2014 at 08:48 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) Confronted by a Kremlin-backed military offensive in Ukraine, President Barack Obama and Western allies will approve plans this week to position at least 4,000 troops and military equipment in Eastern Europe, bolstering NATO's security commitments to nervous member states near the Russian border. Ahead of a high-stakes NATO summit that begins Thursday, Obama will also make a symbolic show of solidarity with Eastern Europe when he visits Estonia for meetings with Baltic leaders. He was due to arrive in the Estonian capital of Tallinn Wednesday morning.MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) U.S. airstrikes in Somalia may have killed the leader of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, with a militant commander saying Tuesday that he was in a car that was struck and that six people died. The leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has no heir apparent. If he has been killed, it would be a "significant blow" to al-Shabab's organization and abilities, said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, who confirmed the strikes targeting Godane.NEW YORK (AP) Squeezed into tighter and tighter spaces, airline passengers appear to be rebelling, taking their frustrations out on other fliers. Three U.S. flights made unscheduled landings in the past eight days after passengers got into fights over the ability to recline their seats. Disputes over a tiny bit of personal space might seem petty, but for passengers whose knees are already banging into tray tables, every inch counts.DETROIT (AP) Opening statements in Detroit's historic bankruptcy trial began Tuesday afternoon in federal court, where lawyers for the city will attempt to convince a judge that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved. Attorney Bruce Bennett, who is representing the city, went first during opening statements in U.S. District Court, saying though progress has been made, "the city is still in distress." He also said the plan gives creditors all of value that the city can provide.DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) The Islamic State militant group that has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq and declared a self-styled caliphate poses one of the most significant threats to stability in the Middle East in years. But what danger does it immediately pose? Here are some questions and answers about the Islamic State group:BAGHDAD (AP) An international rights group accused the extremist Islamic State group on Tuesday of systematic "ethnic cleansing" in northern Iraq targeting indigenous religious minorities, as well as conducting mass killings of men and abducting women. In a new report, Amnesty International said militants abducted "hundreds, if not thousands" of women and girls of the Yazidi faith. The extremists also killed "hundreds" of Yazidi men and boys, Amnesty said. In at least one incident, the report said militants rounded up on trucks, took them to the edge of their village and shot them.SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Apple is acknowledging that computer hackers broke into the accounts of several celebrities to steal personal photos that have been posted online, a security breakdown that the iPhone maker blamed on the intruders' ability to figure out passwords and bypass other safeguards. The preliminary conclusions emerged Tuesday after Apple's engineers spent more than 40 hours investigating a high-tech break-in that has exposed weaknesses in online security at a time more people are storing photos and other sensitive information on other computers hosed in massive data centers.NEW YORK (AP) Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement Tuesday that her mother is on life support "at this time." Melissa said the family is extremely grateful for the public support.

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