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Addressing crises both domestic and foreign, President Obama appealed for calm Thursday amid violent protests in a St. Louis suburb, and said a rescue operation for religious minorities in Iraq will not be necessary. Obama, speaking from his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., called the weekend death of 18-year-old Michael Brown a tragedy, and urged police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., to “take a step back” and consider how to best move forward. The president called on local police to be “open and transparent” about their investigation of Brown’s death. In particular, Obama criticized police for detaining two journalists during protests Wednesday, and for threatening others.

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