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Sixteen people were killed after militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, officials said Thursday, in a nearly 10-hour raid that prompted anguished pleas for help from trapped students. Explosions and gunfire rocked the campus after the attack began Wednesday evening, just weeks after two university professors -- an American and an Australian -- were kidnapped at gunpoint near the school. The presidential office said the attack was "orchestrated" from Pakistan, Afghanistan's longtime regional nemesis often accused of harbouring the Taliban.
The Crystal Serenity, which set off from Seward, Alaska on August 16 with nearly 1,000 passengers, is scheduled to dock in New York on September 17. The ship made its last Alaska port call on Sunday, stopping in the remote town of Nome before heading farther north, accompanied by the RRS Ernest Shackleton, a British supply and icebreaking vessel. The voyage marks the first time a passenger ship this size sails the storied Northwest Passage where warmer temperatures and melting ice are opening the Arctic -- one of the most pristine places on Earth -- for business.