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BEIRUT (AP) — Syria says the recent Israeli airstrikes against its territory are a "flagrant violation of international law" and have made the Middle East "more dangerous."

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi read out a Cabinet statement to reporters Sunday in Damascus following an emergency government meeting.

Al-Zoubi says the Israeli attack is evidence of the Jewish state's links with Islamic extremist groups trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad's regime.

He adds that Syria has the right and the duty "to defend its people by all available means."

In a letter sent to the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council, Syria sats the attacks aim "to give direct military support to terrorist groups" fighting the government.

Syria's government refers to rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad's regime as "terrorists."

Read more...

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — As he wraps up a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, President Barack Obama is following up in his weekly media message, saying that deepening economic ties with the Americas means more jobs in the United States.

Boosted by reassuring jobs numbers, Obama is calling for greater trade and economic cooperation with the U.S.'s southern neighbors, arguing that economic prosperity is the best antidote to drug and gang violence and, by extension, to the illegal immigration that the U.S. is seeking to control.

For the Republicans North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says Washington needs to allow states more flexibility, independence and accountability and called on Obama to show more leadership.

He argued that Washington should learn from Republican governors on how to make government work efficiently.

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BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) - Kyrgyzstan's emergencies minister says the bodies of two American crew members have been found after a U.S. military refueling plane crashed in rugged mountains, while the search for the third crew member continues.

The minister told The Associated Press that Kyrgyz search teams found the two fragmented bodies this morning. They have not yet been identified.

The KC-135 crashed on yesterday about 100 miles west of the air base that the U.S. operates in the Central Asian nation to support military operations in Afghanistan.

Officials at the U.S. Transit Center at Manas have released no information yet on the cause of the crash.

Authorities say military officials from Manas were working with Kyrgyz rescuers to search for the third crewman and the flight recorders.

Read more...

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