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A convoy of Shi'ite Muslim militia and Iraqi army forces set out from a base near Ramadi on Saturday toward areas held by Islamic State insurgents, an eyewitness and a local official said. Pro-government forces are seeking to retake the capital of the sprawling western province of Anbar after the ultra-radical Islamic State overran it last weekend in a significant defeat for the Baghdad government. The fall of Ramadi is the most serious setback for Iraqi forces in almost a year and has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the U.S. strategy of air strikes to help Baghdad roll back Islamic State, which controls about a third of Iraq.
Only one federal police officer was killed in the operation, which authorities launched after learning that "armed criminals" were occupying the ranch in Tanhuato, Michoacan state, near the neighboring state of Jalisco, officials said. "Up to now, we have counted 42 suspected criminals killed and three more detained," said National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido. While he did not name the gang by name, Rubido said it was based in Jalisco, home of the New Generation drug cartel, a powerful heavily armed group that has become the top target of President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration.
A small army of clean-up workers toiled Friday to scoop up crude oil deposits from a picturesque California beach, three days after a pipeline rupture unleashed thousands of gallons into the ocean. The scenic Refugio State Beach and its neighbor El Capitan would usually be swarming with tourists over America's Memorial Day weekend, but were closed until further notice following Tuesday's spill. "The beaches are starting to look a lot better than they did a couple of days ago, but still it will be a long process," said David Mosley, a Coastguard spokesman.