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By Lesley Wroughton and Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, including recruiting partners for potential joint military action, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday. Britain and Australia are potential candidates, U.S. Germany said on Wednesday it was in talks with the United States and other international partners about possible military action against Islamic State but made clear it would not participate.
- The National Football League has slapped Josh Gordon with a one-year ban for substance abuse after the Cleveland Browns player's appeal was denied. The league said in its statement that the 23-year-old Gordon's "eligibility for reinstatement will be determined following the 2014 season". Gordon argued the failed test was the result of second-hand marijuana smoke. "I would like to apologise to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organisation and our fans," he said.
A 31-year-old man on Wednesday withdrew a high-profile lawsuit accusing "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was an aspiring teen actor. Michael Egan filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of the civil lawsuit brought against Singer in April, according to court documents filed in Hawaii. Egan had also filed three other lawsuits claiming he was sexually abused as a teen by entertainment firm executive Gary Goddard and TV executives David Neuman and Garth Ancier, all of which have been dismissed.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger backed Alexis Sanchez to prove an able deputy for the injured Olivier Giroud after the Chilean forward fired his new club into the Champions League. Sanchez scored the only goal of the game against Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to earn Arsenal a 1-0 win that propelled them into the Champions League group phase for the 17th season in succession. With Wenger revealing afterwards that Giroud could be out for up to four months after undergoing surgery on a broken tibia, it was the ideal moment for Sanchez to showcase his ability to lead the line. Asked if Sanchez could play at centre-forward during the period of Giroud's absence, Wenger replied: "For three or four months?
A federal US judge dismissed Wednesday a child sex assault lawsuit brought against Bryan Singer, the director of the blockbuster "X-Men" films. Aspiring actor Michael Egan III had claimed that Singer forced him to have sex at parties in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s, when Egan was 17 years old. Egan filed a lawsuit in April in Hawaii, weeks before the release of the latest "X-Men" film, "X-Men: Days of Future Past." He had denied that the timing was aimed at maximizing the pressure on Singer, saying it was instead due to a legal "window" in Hawaii that meant he had to file then or drop the case.
By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks crept up early on Thursday following another steady performance by Wall Street shares which hovered near record highs, while the euro clung to modest gains after rebounding from 13-month lows. The euro received some reprieve after three sessions of losses as feverish speculation of an imminent round of easing by the European Central Bank was tempered for now. Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that the ECB is unlikely to take new policy action next week unless inflation figures on Friday show the euro zone sinking significantly towards deflation. "If the German CPI underlines strengthening deflation, it will fuel caution towards the euro zone consumer data due tomorrow and add selling pressure on the euro," said Junichi Ishikawa, a market strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.
French Open champion Maria Sharapova produced a gritty, three-set victory over Alexandra Dulgheru on Wednesday to reach the third round of the US Open. The fifth-seeded Russian, one of the day's headliners along with Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka and five-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, kept the star-quotient up on a day that saw two-time defending women's champion Serena Williams along with top men Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray all having a day off. Venus Williams was to open the night session, taking on Timea Bacsinszky for a place in the third round.
(Reuters) - Cristobal, the third hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season, is expected to become a powerful extratropical cyclone over the north Atlantic Friday night, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its advisory on Wednesday evening. The hurricane, located about 350 miles (560 km) west-northwest of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kmph), was currently passing between Bermuda and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. "The center of Cristobal will pass well to the northwest of Bermuda on Thursday, the NHC said.
The lineup is nearly complete for the next iTunes Festival, which is set to take place in London throughout the month of September. Ed Sheeran, Mary J. Blige, Placebo and Tony Bennett have been added to the program, joining previously announced acts including Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Kylie Minogue, Maroon 5, Beck, Blondie, Jungle and David Guetta.