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By Robin Emmott and Paul Taylor BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has emerged as clear favorite for the key post of president of the European Council when EU leaders meet for a special summit on Saturday, several sources familiar with the selection process said. If confirmed, his appointment to chair and steer policymaking meetings of EU leaders, would be a victory for the 10 ex-communist central and eastern European countries that joined the European Union a decade ago which have demanded that one of the top jobs go to a candidate from their region. It would also consecrate Poland's rise as a major player in the 28-nation bloc alongside EU founders France and Germany. Two Brussels sources said current council president Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs and prepares EU summits, will consult fellow leaders on a package deal in a round of telephone calls on Thursday and Friday.
BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group killed more than 150 troops captured in recent fighting for a string of military bases in northeastern Syria, shooting some and slashing others with knives in the past 24 hours in the latest mass killing attributed to the extremists, activists said Thursday.