AAA  Aug. 21, 2014 11:34 PM ET
AP Top News at 11:34 p.m. EDT
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Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Speaking alongside Hagel at a Pentagon news conference, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said that although the Islamic State group can be contained it cannot be defeated without attacking it in Syria.

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

WASHINGTON (AP) — The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime U.S. and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf's increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens. The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings. By paying ransoms, governments in the Mideast and Europe have become some of the biggest financiers of terror groups. By refusing to do likewise, the U.S. and Britain are in the thankless position of putting their own citizens at a disadvantage.

10 Things to Know for Friday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. HAGEL: US AIRSTRIKES CURBING ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS

American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

ATLANTA (AP) — Calling it a "miraculous day," an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit and warmly hugged his doctors and nurses on Thursday, showing the world that he poses no public health threat one month after getting sick with the virus. Dr. Kent Brantly and his fellow medical missionary, Nancy Writebol, who was quietly discharged two days earlier, are still weak but should recover completely, and no one need fear being in contact with them, said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who runs the infectious disease unit at Emory University Hospital.

Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel stepped up its campaign against Gaza's ruling Hamas on Thursday, killing three of the group's senior military commanders in an airstrike that pulverized a four-story home, the second such attack targeting top leaders in two days. The pinpoint pre-dawn attack on Hamas' inner sanctum was launched minutes after the men emerged from tunnel hideouts, a security official said — displaying the long reach of Israel's intelligence services.

Russian aid convoy advances toward Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Fierce fighting raged in eastern Ukraine on Thursday in what appeared to be a last-gasp attempt by government troops to snatch back territory from pro-Russian separatists before the arrival of a Russian aid convoy overseen by the Red Cross. Trucks loaded with water, generators and sleeping bags for desperate civilians in the besieged city of Luhansk began moving through Ukrainian customs after being held up at the border for a week, in part because of safety concerns and Ukrainian fears that the convoy's arrival could halt the military's advance.

Malaysia receives bodies from Flight 17 crash

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The bodies and ashes of 20 Malaysians killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine in July arrived home on Friday, the first day of national mourning in the country's history. It was the first repatriation of victims from the flight to the country, which is still coming to terms with the disappearance of Flight 370 and its 239 passengers and crew earlier this year.

Gov. Nixon taking National Guard out of Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old nearly two weeks ago. Since the guard's arrival Monday, flare-ups in the small section of town that had been the center of unrest have begun to subside. The quietest night was overnight Wednesday into Thursday, when police arrested only a handful of people in the protest zone.

Questions, answers about use of force by police

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer has opened a debate over what level of force is appropriate when law enforcement confronts a citizen perceived to be a threat. Here is a look at some of the issues involved when officers must decide whether to use force, deadly or otherwise:

Irish peacemaker, ex-premier Reynolds dies at 81

DUBLIN (AP) — Albert Reynolds, the risk-taking Irish prime minister who played a key role in delivering peace to Northern Ireland but struggled to keep his own governments intact, died Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 81. His eldest son, Philip, said he died around 3 a.m. at his Dublin home, where in recent years he required 24-hour care. The government ordered flags to fly at half-mast until Reynolds' state funeral Monday.

Associated Press
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