Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 3:49 am
As President Obama prepares to address the nation to outline his plan for combating the spread of the Islamic State militant group, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Iraq for talks on the crisis with the newly installed government in Baghdad.
The president will deliver his televised speech at 9 p.m. ET. (Check back later for details on NPR's coverage of the speech.)
Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 11:21 pm
In less than two weeks, voters in Scotland will decide whether to pursue their independence from the United Kingdom — and for the first time, a poll shows the push to break away now has the edge over the "unity" vote.
The Scottish National Party has been urging people to vote "Yes" in the Sept. 18 vote on splitting with the U.K. The group recently published a video touting Scotland's economic strength and its energy assets. The video closes by urging voters to "put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands."
"The new group 'is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the mujahedeen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity,' al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri said in the video, which was seen online by the SITE monitoring group.
The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in agreement on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, but the statement was ambiguous and there was no immediate indication that the fighting would stop.
Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 5:07 pm
Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to give U.K. police the power to seize the passports of Islamist fighters bound for Iraq and Syria.
"We will introduce specific and targeted legislation ... providing the police with a temporary power to seize a passport at the border during which time they will be able to investigate the individual concerned," Cameron told British Parliament today.
Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 4:45 pm
Update at 3:21 p.m. ET
Pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine are no longer demanding full independence, telling negotiators in Belarus that they will respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy.
The Associated Press adds:
"It's a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new round of peace talks — possibly avoiding tougher Western sanctions. The talks follow last week's meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Similar talks earlier this summer produced no visible results."