Russia-Ukraine tensions...Vatican-Religious Freedom...FBI-Domestic Security

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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 01:15:09 EST

LUHANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated sharply on Friday as Moscow sent more than 130 trucks rolling across the border in what it said was a mission to deliver humanitarian aid. Ukraine called it a "direct invasion," and the U.S. and NATO condemned it as well. In another ominous turn in the crisis, NATO said it has mounting evidence that Russian troops are operating inside Ukraine and launching artillery attacks from Ukrainian soil — significantly deeper involvement in the fighting than the West has previously alleged.

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say the presence of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, the buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border and Russian shelling into Ukraine represent dangerous escalations of tensions by Moscow. The White House says the two leaders agree that a Russian convoy that entered Ukraine without approval is yet another provocation by Moscow that violates Ukraine's sovereignty.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's envoy to Iraq says religious minorities being attacked by Islamic militants must be defended now and given international protection so they can return home. It reinforces the Roman Catholic church's position that military force is justified in this case. Asked about the U.S. airstrikes on the Islamic State, Pope Francis said this week it was "licit" to stop an unjust aggression, but that the international community — and not just a single country — must decide how.

WASHINGTON (AP) —It isn't quite the all-clear signal. But on Friday, the FBI and the Homeland Security Department did say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the U.S. homeland from the Islamic State militant group. An intelligence bulletin, issued to state and local law enforcement, says while there's no credible threat to the U.S. as a result of recent American airstrikes in Iraq, officials remain concerned that Islamic State supporters could attack overseas targets with little warning.

BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) are asking a judge to dismiss indictments and put proceedings in the case on hold over concerns about the jury selection process in federal court. His attorneys say their three-year review of procedures used to select both grand juries and trial juries in the District of Massachusetts turned up substantial violations of the jury selection law and a constitutional requirement that juries represent a fair cross-section of the population.

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