Iraq's al-Maliki steps up struggle to keep his job, deploys special forces in Baghdad
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is taking his struggle to keep his job to the courts after announcing he will file a legal complaint on Monday against the country's newly elected president.
The deadlock over a new government has plunged Iraq into a political crisis at a time it is fighting a land grab by militants from the Islamic State in the country's north and west. Al-Maliki has resisted calls for his resignation and the political infighting could hamper efforts to stem advances by the Sunni militants.
Senior U.S. officials said Monday that the Obama administration, which launched airdrops and airstrikes last week to support Kurdish and Iraqi forces battling the militants, has begun directly providing weapons to the Kurdish peshmerga forces who have started to make gains against the al-Qaida breakaway group.
In a televised speech after midnight Sunday, al-Maliki declared he will file a legal complaint against the new president, Fouad Massoum, for committing "a clear constitutional violation."
Egyptian-brokered cease-fire holds as Israeli, Palestinian negotiators gather
CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire halting the Gaza war held into Monday morning, allowing Palestinians to leave homes and shelters as negotiators agreed to resume talks in Cairo.
The truce took effect just after midnight (2101 GMT), preceded by heavy rocket fire toward Israel. In Cairo, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the cease-fire would allow humanitarian aid into battered Gaza neighborhoods and the reopening of indirect talks on a more lasting and comprehensive deal.
On Monday morning, high school students in Gaza filed the streets as they headed off to pick up their graduation certificates after the Education Ministry said they'd be ready. People waited to buy fuel for generators as power and communication workers struggled to fix cables damaged in the fighting. Long lines formed at ATMs.
The monthlong war, pitting the Israeli military against rocket-firing Hamas militants, has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority civilians, Palestinian and U.N. officials say. In Israel, 67 people have been killed, all but three of them soldiers, officials there say.
Stores looted, windows smashed after vigil for Missouri man shot and killed by police
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- A day of anger over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in suburban St. Louis turned to mayhem as people looted businesses, vandalized vehicles and confronted police who sought to block off access to several areas of the city.
The tensions erupted after a candlelight vigil Sunday night for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times the previous afternoon after a scuffle involving the officer, Brown and another person in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb of the city.
Afterward, a convenience store was looted. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store. People also took items from a sporting goods store and a cellphone retailer, and carted rims away from a tire store.
TV footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing atop police cars or taunting officers who stood stoic, often in riot gear. Video posted online by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch showed a convenience store on fire.
Other witnesses reported seeing people vandalize police cars and kick in windows. Television footage showed windows busted out of a TV station van.