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Obama Weeps as He Pleads for 'Urgency' of Gun Control

U.S. President Barack Obama wept openly Tuesday as he urged America to wake up to the need to tackle the gun violence that claims tens of thousands of lives in the country each year.

Tears streamed down Obama's cheeks as he summoned the memory of the 20 elementary school children slaughtered three years ago in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Obama, Netanyahu Eye Arms Deal to Mend Ties

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a post-row summit Monday, hoping a massive 10 year defense deal will help them move beyond a bitter public fight that shook a decades-old alliance.

After acerbic clashes over the U.S.-backed nuclear deal with Iran, the two leaders will discuss a deal expected to be worth more than $30 billion which will include a string of advanced weaponry systems, officials said.

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'Hopeful' Kerry Meets Abbas on Palestinian-Israeli Unrest

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday as part of an international diplomatic push to quell a wave of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The talks came as a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli security guard in the West Bank and was killed, according to police, in the latest in a string of such attacks.

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Obama Abandons Pledge to Pull Troops from Afghanistan

President Barack Obama on Thursday announced thousands of U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan past 2016, retreating from a major campaign pledge as he admitted Afghan forces are not ready to stand alone.

Calling his decision to keep a 9,800-strong U.S. force in Afghanistan through much of next year "the right thing to do," the president acknowledged "Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be."

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U.S. Says Iran Missile Test May Have Broken U.N. Rules

The White House said Tuesday that Iran likely breached a U.N. Security Council resolution when it tested a long-range ballistic missile, raising the prospect of recriminations.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there were "strong indications" that Tehran "did violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that pertain to Iran's ballistic missile activities."

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Putin Slams U.S. on Syria, Says Partners Have 'Mush for Brains'

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday slammed Washington for refusing to share intelligence with Russia on Syria, accusing it of muddled thinking.

"I believe some of our partners simply have mush for brains," Putin said, expressing some of his strongest criticism yet of Washington's handling of the Syrian crisis.

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U.S. Fed Vice Chair Says Rate Hike 'Expectation, Not Commitment'

The U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates by the end of the year is not guaranteed, although it remains the expected course of action, the central bank's vice chairman said Sunday.

Last month, the Fed said it plans to raise rates later in 2015, assuming further improvement in the U.S. labor market and continued economic growth.

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Russian-U.S. Military Talks on Syria to Start Thursday

The Pentagon will launch talks with the Russian military Thursday to discuss ways to avoid mishaps between planes from the U.S.-led coalition and Moscow, a defense official said.

The United States has repeatedly stressed the urgent need for Russia to communicate with it about when and where it plans to fly its fighter jets and bombers.

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Kerry: U.S. to Take in 85,000 Refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017

The United States will take in more refugees worldwide over the next two years, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged Sunday, including 10,000 Syrian asylum-seekers in 2016.

"We will now go up to 85,000 with at least 10,000 over the next year in Syria specifically. And in the next fiscal year we will target 100,000," he said.

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Floods Kill at Least 16 in U.S. Polygamous Town, National Park

Rescuers trudged through muddy streambeds Tuesday in a small polygamous town on the Utah-Arizona border and found the bodies of several children who died when their two vehicles were swept away in a torrent of floodwaters that killed at least 12 people. The same flash floods claimed at least four lives in nearby Zion National Park.

The van and SUV were filled with three women and 13 children when a wall of brown water overtook them Monday evening, carrying the vehicles several hundred yards (meters) downstream and sending them plunging down a flooded-out embankment with terrifying force. The SUV was smashed beyond recognition. Three people survived, all of them children, in the secluded community that is the home base of Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect.

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