News Briefs

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US begins armed drone flights from Turkey

A United States Navy plane approaches to land at the Incirlik Air Base, in Adana, in the outskirts of the city of Adana, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. After months of reluctance, Turkish warplanes started striking militant targets in Syria last week, and also allowed the U.S. to launch its own strikes from Turkey's strategically located Incirlik Air Base. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
A United States Navy plane approaches to land at the Incirlik Air Base, in Adana, in the outskirts of the city of Adana, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. After months of reluctance, Turkish warplanes started striking militant targets in Syria last week, and also allowed the U.S. to launch its own strikes from Turkey’s strategically located Incirlik Air Base. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The military for the first time conducted armed drone missions out of Turkey last weekend, and is planning to conduct manned aircraft flights from Incirlik Air Base.

Capt. Jeff Davis says so far none of the drones launched airstrikes. He says the U.S. also will likely fly search and rescue missions from the base.

The use of the Incirlik base comes as the U.S. expanded its combat in Syria, launching airstrikes Friday to defend rebels under attack by the Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s branch in Syria.

Hunters in Africa say they have a role in conservation

An international outcry erupted after an American dentist killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month in an allegedly illegal hunt. Wildlife authorities in Zimbabwe on Sunday reported another allegedly illegal lion kill involving a different American in the same area in April.

Many “Big Five” hunters believe that what they do is a legitimate sport, conserves wildlife by funneling funds back into game reserves and can be the ultimate personal challenge in a natural setting. Some 7,600 foreign hunters traveled to South Africa in 2013, more than half of them from America.

Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer lacked authorization to kill Cecil the lion, according to Zimbabwean authorities who say they will seek his extradition. The lion was lured out of Hwange National Park, wounded with a bow and then tracked down and shot, conservationists said.

Hunters can pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot a lion, making it an exclusive club.

New Mexico governor: Keep worshipping after church blasts

While waiting in a staging area, Holy Cross Catholic Church Pastor John Anderson tries to get in touch with other local churches to warn them of the two explosions that occurred and to be vigilant, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, in Las Cruces, N.M. Churchgoers were left shaken during Sunday morning services after authorities say explosions occurred less than 30 minutes apart outside two Las Cruces churches. (Robin Zielinski/The Las Cruces Sun-News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
While waiting in a staging area, Holy Cross Catholic Church Pastor John Anderson tries to get in touch with other local churches to warn them of the two explosions that occurred and to be vigilant, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, in Las Cruces, N.M. Churchgoers were left shaken during Sunday morning services after authorities say explosions occurred less than 30 minutes apart outside two Las Cruces churches. (Robin Zielinski/The Las Cruces Sun-News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The governor told southern New Mexico residents to keep attending houses of worship after small explosions outside two churches put parishioners on edge.

Authorities have declined to provide specifics on the explosives, but Las Cruces police spokesman Danny Trujillo said the blasts “had the potential to cause serious injuries if somebody had been nearby.”

The first explosive device went off around 8:20 a.m. Sunday near the administrative entrance to Calvary Baptist. Several worshippers were inside the church at the time, but services had not started, police said.

The next blast came from a trash can outside Holy Cross Catholic around 8:40 a.m. as Monsignor John Anderson was helping pass Communion.

Israel-British project makes Hebrew texts available online

A university assistant shows fragments of an old Quran at the University in Birmingham, in Birmingham central England Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The University of Birmingham said Wednesday that scientific tests prove a Quran manuscript in its collection is one of the oldest known and may have been written close to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Radiocarbon testing at Oxford University dated the parchment to the time of the prophet, who is generally believed to have lived between 570 and 632.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A university assistant shows fragments of an old Quran at the University in Birmingham, in Birmingham central England Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The University of Birmingham said Wednesday that scientific tests prove a Quran manuscript in its collection is one of the oldest known and may have been written close to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Radiocarbon testing at Oxford University dated the parchment to the time of the prophet, who is generally believed to have lived between 570 and 632.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of the oldest surviving Hebrew manuscripts, a bible dating back more than 1,000 years, will soon be available online in a joint project with The British Library in London, the National Library of Israel said Monday.

Aviad Stollman, the library’s chief of collections, said the Gaster Bible would go online as part of a project to digitize all of the 3,200 rare Hebrew manuscripts at The British Library.

The National Library of Israel has partnered with the British Library in London to digitize its entire Hebrew manuscript collection, considered one of the largest and most significant in the world.

Most of the manuscripts date back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance era and include rare texts of Hebrew literature, prayer books, bibles, Talmud or biblical commentary, as well as texts on the Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.

W.Va. Democrat says he’ll vote to end Planned Parenthood aid

A sign at a Planned Parenthood Clinic is pictured in Oklahoma City, Friday, July 24, 2015. U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., a Baptist minister and fierce abortion opponent, has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would end all federal funding for Planned Parenthood unless the organization stops performing abortions. Recently released videos that show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the distribution of fetal body parts are being used by anti-abortion advocates in Oklahoma to seek political contributions and bolster support for legislation to further restrict abortion. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A sign at a Planned Parenthood Clinic is pictured in Oklahoma City, Friday, July 24, 2015. U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., a Baptist minister and fierce abortion opponent, has introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would end all federal funding for Planned Parenthood unless the organization stops performing abortions. Recently released videos that show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the distribution of fetal body parts are being used by anti-abortion advocates in Oklahoma to seek political contributions and bolster support for legislation to further restrict abortion. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

WASHINGTON (AP) — West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he will back a Republican bill cutting off federal aid for Planned Parenthood.

Republicans introduced their bill after an anti-abortion group began releasing secretly recorded videos showing Planned Parenthood officials describing how they provide tissue from some aborted fetuses to researchers. The bill says it would transfer Planned Parenthood’s aid to other women’s health care providers.

Manchin said in a statement that until questions about Planned Parenthood are answered, the organization should not receive taxpayer funds.

Planned Parenthood provides contraception, sexual disease treatment, abortion and other services across the country.

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