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Obama Says Delegates from Ebola-hit Regions to be Screened for Africa Summit

The United States will screen delegates from Ebola-hit countries coming to Washington for an unprecedented U.S.-Africa summit, President Barack Obama said Friday, voicing confidence appropriate measures have been taken.

"Folks that are coming from these countries that have even a marginal risk, or an infinitesimal risk of having been exposed in some fashion, we're making sure we're doing screening on that end as they leave the country," Obama told reporters, adding there would be "additional screening" when they were in the U.S.

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Obama: After 9/11 'We Tortured Some Folks'

President Barack Obama admitted Friday that U.S. officials had "tortured some folks" in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but urged they not be judged too harshly.

The U.S. administration is expected to release a declassified Senate report in the next few days that will detail alleged abuses by intelligence agents targeting extremist groups in the wake of the attacks.

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Obama Urges 'Unconditional' Release of Israeli Soldier Held in Gaza

U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday that an Israeli soldier apparently captured in Gaza must be “unconditionally released,” while stressing that “more" must be done to protect civilians in the Palestinian enclave.

"I think it's going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment," he told reporters.

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Israeli Soldier's Capture: Echoes of Gilad Shalit

Friday's disappearance of an Israeli soldier, apparently captured in Gaza, has echoes of the June 2006 seizure of conscript Gilad Shalit who was held by Palestinian militants for five years.

On June 25, 2006, the then 19-year-old Shalit was captured after militants tunneled under Gaza's border and attacked an army post, killing two soldiers and seriously wounding a third.

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Ukraine President Promises Early Parliament Elections

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Friday pledged the strife-torn nation would have a new parliament in place in the next few months, confirming that he intends to call long-awaited legislative polls.

"In autumn there will be a new parliament that will start on reforms," Poroshenko said in a televised interview.

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Islamic State Withdraws from Deir Ezzor Villages

The jihadist Islamic State has withdrawn from several villages dominated by a Sunni tribe in eastern Deir Ezzor province after clashes, a monitoring group said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremist group had withdrawn from Abu Hamam, Kashkiyeh and Ghranij, three villages dominated by the Sunni Shaitat tribe in oil-rich Deir Ezzor.

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North Korea Turns to U.N. over U.S.-SKorea War Games

North Korea is asking the U.N Security Council to hold an urgent session to discuss upcoming U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises that Pyongyang described on Friday as a threat to peace.

Deputy representative Ri Tong Il told reporters that the top world body had not responded to the request contained in a July 21 letter, and vowed North Korea will keep up missile launches in response to the planned war games. 

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Sri Lanka Apologizes to Indian PM over Caricature

Sri Lanka extended an "unqualified apology" to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday over an article and uncomplimentary illustration of the leader and a regional Tamil politician published on a government website.

The Sri Lankan defense ministry said it had taken down the offending caricature of Modi and the chief minister of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, following complaints to Colombo.

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Putin and Obama Agree Standoff in No One's Interest

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama agreed during a phone call on Friday the current standoff in Ukraine was not in the interest of their countries, the Kremlin said.

"The presidents agreed that the current situation is not in the interests of either country," said a Kremlin statement.

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Erdogan Mocks Rival for 'Not Knowing National Anthem'

A bitter row erupted Friday between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main rival in the presidential election after the premier accused his opponent of not recognizing the Turkish national anthem.

Erdogan mercilessly mocked Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for not knowing the Istiklal Marsi (Independence March) anthem, a huge insult in a country which sets great store by patriotism.

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