WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Wednesday warned of possible attacks by supporters of the Islamic State (IS), the extremist group, in the United States over the federal holiday of Independence Day which coincides on Saturday. Islamic State
“In the era of social media, a phenomenon like ISIL, unlike al- Qaida of the old days, there doesn’t have to be and won’t necessarily be a command-and-control relationship between somebody who instigates an incident and ISIL as an organization,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said at a news briefing, referring to the extremist group’s other acronym. (US-IS-Attacks)
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BRUSSELS — The European Union (EU) on Wednesday held a first discussion on a report to complete the bloc’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
EU’s executive body, the European Commission, held a first debate on a report titled “Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union”, which was prepared at the request of presidents of the European Commission (EC), the Euro Summit, the Eurogroup, the European Central Bank and the European Parliament (EP). (EU-EMU)
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LONDON — Britain on Wednesday condemned the attacks in north Sinai of Egypt, which killed at least 50 soldiers.
“I condemn the deplorable terrorist attacks in North Sinai today that have resulted in the deaths of so many Egyptian soldiers,” British Minister for Middle East and North Africa Tobias Ellwood said in a statement. (Britain-Egypt-Attacks)
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VIENNA — Iran and world powers are making progress in the most recent round of talks over Iran’s long-disputed nuclear program, said top diplomats of U.S. and Iran here on Wednesday, one day after the self-imposed June 30 deadline.
“We have some very difficult issues, but we believe we are making progress and we are going to continue to work because of that,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna. (Austria-Iran-Nuclear talks)
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The United States and Cuba have agreed to formally reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies, U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
“This is a historic step in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people, and begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the Americas,” Obama said at the White House.
He said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Havana later this summer to raise the American flag over the U.S. embassy. (U.S.-Cuba-Ties) Enditem

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