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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Report: High court rules in favour of Iraqi PM Al-Maliki

Iraq's highest court has ruled that Prime Minister Nour Al-Maliki could retain his position because his bloc is the biggest in the country's parliament, state television reported.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Credit: Press Association

Al-Maliki has faced calls to step down amid the Islamic State insurgency in the north of the country, but according to the country's constitution, the president, must now ask him to form a new government.

Maliki, serving in a caretaker capacity since an inconclusive election in April.

The decision was described as "very problematic" by senior Iraqi official who asked not to be named.

"This will make the situation very, very complex," they told Reuters.

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