Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Maher Chmaytelli BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric urged government and allied Shi'ite militia forces fighting to retake Falluja from Islamic State militants to spare trapped civilians amid reports of a budding humanitarian crisis in the city. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's appeal reflected concerns that a large civilian death toll in the battle for the mainly Sunni Muslim city could kindle increased sectarian strife in Iraq. The Baghdad government has been led by Shi'ites since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein, a member of the Sunni minority.
SHIMA, Japan (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he plans to use his historic visit to Hiroshima with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reflect on the suffering of war and the need to take steps to prevent it. Abe said he had no plans to reciprocate Obama's gesture by paying his own visit to Pearl Harbor.