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Syrian opposition figures and representatives of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began talks in Moscow Wednesday but there was little hope that they would make a breakthrough in ending the country's brutal war. The talks between opposition groups tolerated by Damascus and a Syrian delegation led by ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari came as Kurdish forces battled the Islamic State group around Kobane, after expelling them from the strategic town on the Turkish border. The rise of Islamic State -- which was threatening Wednesday to execute a Japanese hostage and a captured Jordanian airforce pilot -- has changed the West's approach to Syria and spurred hope that the warring sides might find common ground in the face of a mutual foe.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he is seriously considering running for president because he sees gaps in the field of likely Republican candidates, and that he doesn't have a problem with being branded as bland or uncharismatic.