US, Russian defense officials meeting ... Pakistan attack kills 15 ... Usher back in court

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Associated Press

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 9 at 9:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Russian defense chiefs are meeting in Washington today, and the meeting is likely to be awkward. It comes two days after the White House abruptly canceled President Barack Obama's September summit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia's decision last week to grant temporary asylum to American espionage suspect Edward Snowden put a damper on U.S.-Russia relations, which were already on a decline.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The State Department is pulling its nonessential government personnel out of Pakistan. U.S. officials say the presence of domestic and foreign terror groups creates a threat to Americans. American civilians also are being told not to travel to Pakistan.

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen in southwest Pakistan opened fire outside a mosque, killing six people and wounding 15 in an attack on a former provincial minister. Today's attack in Quetta (KWEH'-tuh) comes a day after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 30 people at a funeral in the city. The former government official was unharmed in today's attack.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to sign today a bill to restore lower interest rates on Stafford student loans. They had doubled on July 1. Under the bill, the average undergrad will save $1500 in interest on student loans taken out this year.

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge in Atlanta will hear arguments today in the continuing custody battle between R&B singer Usher and his ex-wife Tameka Foster Raymond. Raymond asked for the hearing earlier this week after their 5-year-old son got caught in a pool drain and almost died while in the care of Usher's aunt. Usher has had primary custody of the 5-year-old and another son since last year. Now Raymond wants temporary primary custody of the boys.

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