1. National

US journalist released from Syria 'overwhelmed with emotion'

A US journalist released earlier this week after almost two years of imprisonment in Syria said he was "overwhelmed with emotion" because of the attention he has received upon returning home.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, was captured in 2012 by Nusra Front and was only released on Sunday.

He said: "I suddenly remember how good the American people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts."

Meanwhile, Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, who is suspected of fighting with Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, has been killed in the Middle East, a US security official has said.

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  1. Robert Moore

Iraq mountain refugee crisis puts pressure on Obama

The equation has changed for US foreign policy in Iraq because of the gravity of the humanitarian situation unfolding at Mount Sinjar.

President Obama, we all know, is a reluctant interventionist but with up to 40,000 internally displaced people huddled on a mountain top and surrounded by Isis militants threatening to slaughter them, obviously the moral pressure to act is immense.

The White House has refused to confirm reports Barack Obama is considering taking military action to combat Islamist militants in Iraq. Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

One option is simply to drop food and supplies to them but it raises the question 'Is that sufficient?' given what might become of them. So then do ground troops become deployed in order to create some sort of humanitarian corridor? Does America decide to strike these militants to try to protect these tens of thousands of refugees?

You can see how very quickly America could get dragged back into the Iraq War, which of course it is deeply reluctant to do. But, on the other hand, doing nothing and being a spectator might simply not be tenable.

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