Welcome to the NewsQ @ WTOP.com

This interactive section lists the most popular stories on WTOP.com. Popularity is determined by a combination of elements including how many times a story is viewed, Facebook "Likes" and user comments. You can also sort by section using the NewsQ Filter in the right column. Note: Stories won't necessarily be in chronological order and there may be older stories in the list.

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Kurdish fighters head to Syria to face militants

Sun Sep 21, 2014

Hundreds of Kurdish fighters raced from Turkey and Iraq into neighboring Syria on Saturday to defend a Kurdish area under attack by Islamic State militants. As the fighting raged, more than 60,000 mostly Kurdish refugees streamed across the dusty and barren border into Turkey, some hobbling on crutches as others lugged bulging sacks of belongings on their backs. Full Story

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Scientists' colossal squid exam a kraken good show

Sat Sep 20, 2014

It was a calm morning in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea, during the season when the sun never sets, when Capt. John Bennett and his crew hauled up a creature with tentacles like fire hoses and eyes like dinner plates from a mile below the surface. Full Story

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India, China quietly struggle in Indian Ocean

Sat Sep 20, 2014

At first glance, it looks like a diplomatic love-fest. There was Chinese President Xi Jinping, toasting the birthday of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a quiet dinner earlier this week in Modi's home state. There were the two leaders, deep in conversation as they walked along the Sabarmati River, Xi dressed in a Nehru jacket. Full Story

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Turkish hostages freed, but questions linger

Sun Sep 21, 2014

Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world's most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo. Full Story

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Alibaba mega IPO caps founder Jack Ma success tale

Sun Sep 21, 2014

When Jack Ma founded Alibaba 15 years ago he insisted the e-commerce venture should see itself as competing against Silicon Valley, not other Chinese companies. That bold ambition from a time when China was still a corporate backwater has been vindicated this week by Alibaba completing a mammoth sale of shares to investors in the U.S. and elsewhere. Full Story

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Kenya: 1 year after attack, guards still unarmed

Sat Sep 20, 2014

David Odhiambo was one of the blue-uniformed security guards tasked with protecting Nairobi's Westgate Mall one year ago when four heavily armed terrorists attacked. The work David was paid to do -- search purses and bags, mostly -- earned him two bullets in the head, injuries that cost him his job. Full Story

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Jihadi ideologue calls for freeing British hostage

Sat Sep 20, 2014

A renowned jihadi ideologue on Saturday urged the Islamic State group to release British aid worker Alan Henning, saying Islam forbids harming non-Muslims who work with relief agencies. Full Story

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Cambodian police bust Thais with $7M in fake bills

Sat Sep 20, 2014

Three Thai men arrested in Cambodia for allegedly carrying counterfeit U.S. $100 bills with a face value of more than $7 million planned to circulate the fakes in rural areas where they would be less likely to be detected, police said Saturday. Full Story

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Thai military ruler apologizes for bikini comment

Fri Sep 19, 2014

Thailand's military ruler apologized for suggesting that attractive foreign tourists might be unsafe on the country's world-famous beaches if they wear bikinis. Full Story

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Jailed Venezuelan police chief freed

Sun Sep 21, 2014

A former Caracas police chief whose decade-long imprisonment had rallied Venezuela's opposition has been released from jail on humanitarian grounds to continue serving a 30-year sentence at home. Full Story

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Investors breathe sigh of relief at Scottish vote

Sun Sep 21, 2014

Scotland's decision to reject independence from the United Kingdom gave British markets a short-term lift Friday but worries over future constitutional changes kept a lid on the relief rally. Full Story

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Kiribati leader visits Arctic on climate mission

Sun Sep 21, 2014

Fearing that his Pacific island nation could be swallowed by a rising ocean, the president of Kiribati says a visit to the melting Arctic has helped him appreciate the scale of the threat. Full Story

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Congress backs Obama on aid to Syrian rebels

Sat Sep 20, 2014

President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law legislation authorizing the military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants in the Middle East. Full Story

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AP Photos: Scenes from Iraq's Mosul then and now

Fri Sep 19, 2014

Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, is locked under the rule of extremists from the Islamic State group trying to purge it of everything they see as contradicting their stark vision of Islam. Full Story

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UK leader pledges to honor promises to Scotland

Fri Sep 19, 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to live up to commitments to Scotland made ahead of the independence vote, including plans for new powers on tax, spending and welfare. Full Story

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Militant gains illustrate plight of Syrian Kurds

Fri Sep 19, 2014

Islamic State militiamen backed by tanks defiantly advanced Thursday in Syria, capturing more than 20 Kurdish villages as the international community strains to assemble a coalition that might destroy them. Full Story

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Afghan presidential candidates sign unity deal

Sun Sep 21, 2014

Afghanistan's two presidential candidates signed a power-sharing deal on Sunday that makes one president and the other chief executive, ending months of political wrangling following a disputed runoff that threatened to plunge the country into turmoil and complicate the withdrawal of foreign troops. Full Story

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A guide to Scotland as it votes on independence

Thu Sep 18, 2014

The people of Scotland are deciding Thursday whether to end a partnership with the rest of the United Kingdom that has lasted more than 300 years. Here is a guide to Scotland as the historic vote nears. Full Story