Rick Callahan, The Associated Press

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McDonald optimistic Congress will plug VA's budget gap
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said Thursday he's confident that Congress will act soon to address a looming budget crisis that could force his agency to shut down some VA hospitals, freeze hiring and take other belt-tightening steps.
Islamic State beheading of American draws condemnation
Peter Kassig first experienced the Middle East as a soldier, then returned as a student and, finally, as a humanitarian intent on helping those whose lives were upended by the brutal civil war in Syria, whatever their allegiance.
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