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U.S. Slams Gaza Strike, 'Crazy' Israeli Attacks on Kerry

Amid the escalating death toll in Gaza, U.S. officials finally sharpened their tone Wednesday condemning an attack on a U.N. school as patience with "crazy" Israeli criticism of would-be-peacemaker John Kerry snapped.

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N. Korea Threatens Nuclear Strike on White House

A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Obama Under Pressure to Respond to Iraq Crisis

President Barack Obama has not decided how to respond to rampant Sunni militants grabbing swathes of Iraq, but is looking at every option short of sending U.S. combat soldiers back to war.

Officials said Wednesday that Obama had not ruled out any possible courses of action, including air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters.

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Obama: About 275 U.S. Military Personnel to Iraq

About 275 U.S. military personnel are being deployed to Iraq to help American personnel and protect the embassy in Baghdad, President Barack Obama said Monday in a letter to Congressional leaders.

The force, which began deploying on Sunday, has been sent "for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat," Obama wrote.

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Afghan Vote 'Significant Step' for Democracy, Says the White House

The White House Saturday welcomed Afghanistan's presidential elections as a "significant step" for the country's democracy, but emphasized the need for electoral commissions to legitimize the vote.

"The work of the electoral commissions in the weeks ahead will be particularly important," the White House said in a statement, commending "the voters, electoral bodies, and security forces for their commitment to the democratic process."

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White House Adopts New Rules after CIA Station Chief Outed

The White House said Wednesday it had adopted new procedures on President Barack Obama's foreign trips to avoid a repeat of the "inadvertent" release of the name of the CIA's station chief in Kabul last month. 

The station chief was named, contrary to intelligence community practices, in a pool report distributed to thousands of reporters based on information provided by White House officials. 

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U.S. to Use Military Base to House 600 Migrant Kids

Some 600 children who crossed into the United States illegally and on their own from Mexico will be housed temporarily at a military base in Oklahoma, the Defense Department said Monday.

The children will probably start arriving at Ft. Sill this week, said a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steven Warren.

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Lawmakers Demand Answers over Obama POW-Taliban Trade

President Barack Obama's decision to swap five detained Taliban operatives for an American soldier captured in Afghanistan has baffled lawmakers, with many questioning the military and political merits of the controversial exchange.

Some warned that the president, already burdened by a series of crises, has sunk deeper into political quicksand by negotiating with terrorists, keeping Congress in the dark or manufacturing a military success story in order to mask other scandals.

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Snowden Says he Wants to Return to U.S.

Fugitive self-proclaimed spy Edward Snowden admitted Wednesday he wants to return home, as he defended his massive leak of intelligence secrets, saying the abuse of the U.S. Constitution left him no choice.

"If I could go any place in the world, that place would be home," Snowden said almost a year to the day since he revealed a stunning US surveillance dragnet mining data from phones and Internet companies around the world, including Europe.

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White House Probes CIA Station Chief 'Outing' Blunder

The White House has ordered an investigation into the blunder which saw the CIA's Afghanistan station chief accidentally identified, an official said Tuesday.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said White House Counsel Neil Eggleston has been asked to examine the circumstances surrounding the gaffe over the weekend.

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