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Iraq's fractious parliament is expected to meet Sunday under heavy pressure to set differences aside and make progress on forming a new government to help counter a raging jihadist-led offensive. The process could be eased somewhat by agreement among Sunni Arab lawmakers late Saturday on a candidate for speaker of parliament, a role traditionally awarded to the minority group. "Elections were held in which doctor Salim al-Juburi won the confidence of the lawmakers present, and he was confirmed as the Sunni bloc's candidate for speaker of parliament," a statement from parliament's United for Change Sunni grouping said. Such a condition could be a stumbling block in forming a new government, given Maliki's vow earlier this month to never give up on his candidacy for another turn as Iraqi leader.
By Andrea Shalal RAF FAIRFORD England (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy maintained a grounding order for F-35 B-model and C-model fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, saying it was still not clear what caused a massive engine failure on an Air Force F-35 jet last month. The fleetwide grounding order kept three Marine Corps F-35 B-model jets and one British F-35B from traveling to Britain for widely publicized appearances at two air shows. "At this time, I do not have sufficient information to return the F-35B and F-35C fleet to flight," Vice Admiral David Dunaway, who heads the Navy's Air Systems Command, said in an update to a grounding order issued by U.S. officials on July 3. In the incident on June 23 at a Florida air base, the Pratt & Whitney engine on an Air Force F-35 A-model jet broke apart, pushing through the top of the airplane and catching fire while a pilot was preparing to take off.