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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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Iraq president asks Haider Al-Abadi to form government

Haider Al-Abadi has previously served as communication minister in the Iraqi government. Credit: Reuters

Iraq's president has refused to nominate the country's two time prime minister Nour Al-Maliki for a third term in office.

Instead President Fouad Massoum has nominated Haider Al-Abadi to form a new government.

Al-Maliki has resisted calls to drop his bid to lead the country and he gave a tough speech on television indicating he would not cave in to pressure.

Iraq's highest court has also ruled that he could retain his position because his bloc is the biggest in the country's parliament, according to state television.

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