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Alarmed by Iraq, Iran open to shared role with U.S. - Iran official

Iran open to Iraq role with USShi'te Muslim Iran is so alarmed by Sunni insurgent gains in Iraq that it may be willing to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back, a senior Iranian official told Reuters.

The idea is being discussed internally among the Islamic Republic's leadership, the senior Iranian official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official had no word on whether the idea had been raised with any other party.

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UK to step up collaboration with US over nuclear warheads

UK and US nuclear dealBritain is stepping up its cooperation with the US over the design of nuclear warheads, raising new questions about the independence of the UK deterrent, according to documents disclosed after a freedom of information request.

Increased cooperation on warhead design and the exchange of material crucial in the manufacture and stockpiling of nuclear weapons will be sealed in a pact being drawn up by senior officials from the two countries.

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Police use tear gas to block World Cup protesters from stadium

World Cup protestsBrazilian police and protesters clashed on Thursday just hours before the opening game of the World Cup, injuring at least five people, although excitement began to build elsewhere as cheering, flag-waving fans converged on the stadium.

The tournament has been largely overshadowed so far by construction delays and months of political unrest with many Brazilians furious over $11 billion being spent to host the Cup in a country where hospitals and schools are often poor.

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Kurds take oil-rich Kirkuk amid advance of ISIL insurgency in Iraq

Kurds take KirkukIraqi Kurds seized control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday as Sunni insurgents threatened to advance on Baghdad — two developments that further indicate that that central government has now lost large swathes of a country spiraling deeper into chaos and internecine violence.

Kurds have long dreamed of taking Kirkuk, a city with huge oil reserves just outside their autonomous region, which they regard as their historical capital. The swift move by their highly organized security forces demonstrates how this week's sudden advance by armed group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has redrawn Iraq's map.

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Turkey calls for emergency NATO meeting on security situation in Iraq

Turkey calls for NATO meetingNATO ambassadors held an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening at Turkey's request to discuss the situation in Iraq, where militants took 80 Turkish citizens hostage,a NATO official said.

"Turkey briefed the other allies on the situation in (the Iraqi city of) Mosul and the hostage-taking of Turkish citizens, including the consul general,'' the official said.

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Islamist Insurgents Close In On Iraq's Biggest Oil Refinery Day After Assault On Mosul

Baiji oil refinerySunni insurgents from an al Qaeda splinter group extended their control from the northern city of Mosul on Wednesday to an area further south that includes Iraq's biggest oil refinery in a devastating show of strength against the Shi'ite-led government.

Security sources said militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - Sunni militants waging sectarian war on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian frontier - drove into the town of Baiji late on Tuesday in armed vehicles, torching the court house and police station after freeing prisoners.

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Israel hands presidency from peacemaker to opponent of Palestinian state

Reuven RivlinWith today's presidential vote, Israel is poised to pass the largely ceremonial position from the hands of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and champion of a Palestinian state to those of a politician who supports annexing the West Bank.

Israel’s parliament elected Reuven Rivlin, a legislator from the ruling Likud party, to replace Shimon Peres, who has been a staple on the Israeli political scene since its founding and shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.

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