Rebels in Syria seek U.S. help against ISIS
Syria's Western-backed opposition on Saturday called for U.S. airstrikes against fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as the jihadists captured three northern villages, putting them within striking distance of a mainstream rebel stronghold. ISIS fighters have overran nearly a dozen towns and villages in Aleppo province last week, crushing what little resistance they have encountered. With the mainstream rebels' foothold in the city of Aleppo becoming increasingly precarious, the Syrian National Coalition said in a statement, "We call on the international community to use the American Air Force, or those of any other country to support the Free Syrian Army." The rebels are also under assault by President Bashar Assad's forces.
Democrats pick Senate candidate
Montana's Democrats, scrambling to salvage their political fortunes after plagiarism charges forced Sen. John Walsh to end his election bid, chose a high school math teacher and one-term state legislator on Saturday as their nominee for the Senate seat. Amanda Curtis, 34, will face Republican opponent Rep. Steve Daines, 51, a first-term congressman.
To offset China, U.S. courts old foe
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, courted Vietnam over the past several days, the first chairman in more than 40 years to visit the old enemy, now envisioned as a new partner that will acquire American weapons and help offset the power of China. A long-standing embargo on lethal weapons sales by the United States was likely to be eased, Dempsey said. "We do think we should have a steady improvement in our relationship with the Vietnamese military," he told a group of reporters Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City.
San Antonio, Texas
More time for Bergdahl inquiry
A general investigating the disappearance of a U.S. Army sergeant in Afghanistan is getting several more weeks to complete his inquiry. Army spokesman Wayne Hall said Saturday that the final draft of the report on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will take three more weeks to complete. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl had 60 days from his June 16 appointment to finish his work. That deadline was Friday. Bergdahl was held as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan for five years. His exchange for five Taliban leaders has generated criticism due to allegations Bergdahl was a deserter.
Russia: Hundreds of trucks in a Russian aid convoy waited Saturday near the Ukrainian border as procedures dragged on for allowing them into eastern Ukraine to help civilians suffering amid fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatists.
Mali: The United Nations said Saturday that two peacekeepers were killed and seven wounded in a suicide attack in Mali.