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US welcomes Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism

The White House said that President Obama welcomed improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. US officials also expressed an appreciation for Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorism.

Candlelit vigil held for three Muslim shooting victims

Students with lit candles attend a vigil on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Credit: Reuters

Students at the University of North Carolina held a candlelight vigil for the three Muslim students shot and killed, while Muslim activists and family members continued to demand that US state and federal authorities investigate the suspect for possible hate crimes.

Namee Barakat, father of shooting victim Deah Shaddy Barakat, cries as a video is played during a vigil. Credit: Reuters
Students gather during a vigil on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Credit: Reuters

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US journalist Bob Simon dies in New York car crash

Bob Simon. Credit: Steven Bergman/AFF/EMPICS Entertainment

US veteran CBS News correspondent, Bob Simon, a longtime member of the "60 Minutes" team of journalists, was killed in a car accident in New York the network said. He was 73.

His career spanned five decades, from covering the Vietnam War to a piece on "60 Minutes" last weekend about the Oscar-nominated civil rights drama "Selma."

Family claim killings were hate crimes not parking dispute

Family of the victims killed in a shooting in America deny the deaths were sparked by a parking dispute as police claim and say that the crime was religiously motivated.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were shot dead. Credit: Facebook

Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with killing 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. Relatives claim the three were killed for being Muslim.

The father of two of the victims says that one of his daughters had previously told her family about Hicks having a problem with the way she looked.

Mohammad Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist told local paper the News and Observer:

It was execution style, a bullet in every head.

This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.

Obama: US will not get dragged into 'another ground war'

President Obama says he will not allow the US to get "dragged back into another ground war" after formally asking Congress to approve military force against Islamic State.

President Obama speaking tonight. Credit: APTN

The US has been carrying out air strikes against Islamic State since last year.

"The United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East - that's not necessary to defeat ISIL," Mr Obama said, citing recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Our coalition is on the offensive, ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose."

He was speaking a day after the death of aid worker Kayla Mueller was confirmed, the fourth American citizen to die in Islamic State captivity.

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'Parking dispute' led to shooting of three students

Three members of the same family, who were shot dead in North Carolina, were victims of a "neighbour dispute over parking" according to local police.

Chapel Hill police said preliminary investigations had shown the fight which sparked the shooting was over parking.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were shot dead Credit: Facebook

Forty-six-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged with three counts of murder following the deaths of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

US news anchor suspended for six months over Iraq 'mistake'

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended without pay for six months after admitting last week that a story he told about coming under fire while on a helicopter during the Iraq war was not true.

Brian Williams will be suspended for six months. Credit: Reuters

"By his actions, Brian has jeopardised the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News," NBC Universal Chief Executive Steve Burke said in a network statement. "His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate."

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