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Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG) — The New York Yankees are still holding out hope that starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka can return this season.

Tanaka was on the mound for the first time in five weeks as he threw his first bullpen session since July 9. He was placed on the DL with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.

It was feared that Tanaka might need Tommy John Surgery at one point, but his recent progress shows he could at least avoid surgery.

“I felt very good,” said Tanaka. “I’m not going to go 100 percent on the first day of bullpens,” he said. “But I felt that I was able to throw the way I wanted to. Just the fact that I was able to get through it without any pain.”

If Tanaka is able to return to the mound, it would likely wouldn’t be for another month. The Yankees must weigh if it is worth pushing him to return.

In his rookie season, Tanaka has gone 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts.

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governor.mo.gov(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Saturday that he was declaring a state of emergency and a curfew in Ferguson, where peaceful demonstrations about the police shooting of an unarmed man have been marred by nights of looting.

The governor said the curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m.

“This is a test, the eyes of the world are watching,” Nixon said. “This is a test to see if this community can break the cycle of violence and replace it with peace.”

The announcement comes after looters broke into a number of stores overnight, and threw rocks and other objects at police.

On Friday, police had released the name of the officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, and also alleged that Brown robbed a store before he died.

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governor.state.tx.us(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry forcefully defended himself Saturday, calling the grand jury indictment against him “an abuse of power.”

Perry says he’ll fight charges that he abused his power last year when he vetoed $7.5 million in state funding for the public corruption unit of a district attorney he was trying to pressure to step down. DA Rosemary Lehmberg had been arrested on drunken-driving charges and refused to resign.

“We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country,” Perry said to reporters at a Saturday news conference in Austin. “It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s constitution.”

Perry says the grand jury indictment was purely political.

“I’m confident that we will ultimately prevail,” Perry added. “That this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The United States has launched airstrikes around the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq in support of a ground operation by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the strategic dam which was seized by ISIS fighters earlier this month.

The status of the dam has been a concern for Iraq and the U.S. because a breach could release a torrent of water that could flood Mosul and possibly reach as far down as Baghdad.

U.S. officials confirm that fighter planes and drones launched airstrikes near the Mosul Dam. Earlier Saturday, Kurdish local media cited eyewitness reports that airstrikes had taken place by the dam on Friday night.

At the time it was unclear if the airstrikes had been launched by U.S. or Iraqi aircraft.

According to one official “the strikes are in support of ground operations” by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the dam. The official labeled the strikes as significant.

The size of the Iraqi and Kurdish ground operation is unclear, but it would have to be sizable to counter the large number of ISIS fighters located at or near the dam. One U.S. official said it is believed that there are a few hundred ISIS fighters in the vicinity of the dam.

The official said the strikes are allowed by the presidential authorization “to protect US personnel and support humanitarian efforts” that was issued last week. The airstrikes helped slow an ISIS advance on the Kurdish capital of Erbil and helped alleviate the humanitarian crisis of Yazidis trapped atop Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq.

On Thursday the Pentagon said that airstrikes could still take place and were authorized for anywhere in Iraq. The Mosul Dam is located 90 miles west of Erbil and 60 miles east of Mt. Sinjar.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said at a news conference “the airstrikes that we have been conducting and authorized to do so are predominantly to protect U.S. personnel and facilities in and around Erbil, although the president was very clear that we have the authority to conduct airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel and facilities anywhere in Iraq, including down in Baghdad.”

Kirby also reiterated that President Obama had said the U.S would help the Iraqi government but “we’re not going to become the Iraqi air force. This is their fight to fight. We’re willing to help to the degree we can.”

While the U.S. has both military and civilian personnel in Erbil, there is not a U.S. presence in Mosul, which is south of the dam. There has been concern that a dam breach could lead to a torrent of water reaching as far south as Baghdad, where the large U.S. embassy is located on the banks of the Tigris River.

Predators conducted airstrikes Friday on ISIS vehicles near the village of Kawju, which had been attacked by ISIS fighters. A defense official said that is the same village where reports emerged Friday that ISIS fighters had killed 80 Yazidi civilians.

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Franco Origlia/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — Crowds holding yellow and white flags stood cheering in the sunshine as Pope Francis conducted mass in Seoul, where he beatified 124 South Koreans.

Francis spoke of the great sacrifices of the men and women who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, were killed for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith.

Beatification is the first step toward sainthood and ceremonies like this one have taken place with increasing frequency in the last number of decades– a surefire way of drawing media attention to the Catholic church as its church attendance numbers dwindle in the West.

The importance of the ceremony is especially strong in Asia, where the Vatican has its sights set on growth. In the past 50 years, the South Korean Catholics have gone from comprising 1% of the population to 10%.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ali Najera is turning 10 next month and it’s a birthday that calls for a big celebration. Diagnosed at age 8 with a rare neurological disorder, making it to 10 years old is a gift in itself for this Texas girl, and Ali wants one thing to mark the occasion.

“She want cards from all over the world,” Tianna Morgan, Ali’s mother, told ABC News.

Ali, one of five children, was diagnosed with neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) two weeks after her 8th birthday. The disorder is progressive and causes movement and communication difficulties.

“She has iron accumulating in her brain, and it’s actually destroying a part of her brain,” Morgan said. “As it accumulates, it affects her nervous system and her muscle tone, and eventually it will take away her ability to control any of her muscles.”

Though Ali has had the diagnosis for two years, her mother said, it has rapidly progressed within the last year. At the end of July, Ali found out she was going to have to stay in a wheelchair, but she continues to stay positive.

“Even through all this, she always has a smile on her face,” said Morgan.

On Sept. 9, Ali will turn 10, and it’s an important milestone to reach.

“It’s a double digit birthday,” Morgan said. “We don’t know how many birthdays she has left.”

Ali’s mother has worked to get out the word of Ali’s wish for birthday cards from all over the world to as many people as possible.

“That’s a wish we hope we can grant,” Morgan said.

Early birthday cards sent to Ali have instantly brightened her day, Morgan said. Though Ali stays in her room a lot because of how difficult it is for her to get around, when cards are delivered she always comes out to read them.

“She loves all of her birthday cards,” Morgan said. “Every single one is special to her.”

“It’s been very inspirational and touching to see how much love is being shown towards Ali,” Morgan said.

You can participate by sending a birthday card marked with “Ali’s Birthday” to P.O. Box 2586, Jasper, TX 75951.

Need some card-related inspiration? Ali loves princesses, music, coloring, reading and anything that falls under the category of “artsy stuff.”

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Apple press(VANCOUVER) — A former Apple retail employee is using his coincidental name, Sam Sung, to raise thousands for charity.

Sung, a former “specialist” at the Pacific Centre Apple store in Vancouver, British Columbia, auctioned off a framed employee T-shirt, lanyard name tag and business card Friday. The proceeds will benefit a chapter of the Canadian Charity Children’s Wish in Vancouver, which grants wishes to ailing children.

Sung managed to raise $2,653 for charity, a decent sum but far lower than some of the highest bids he received. After starting the auction last week with a starting price of just 99 cents, the bids topped out around $80,000.

However, Sung stopped excepting the excessive bids because he did not believe they were real.

“There have been a number of fake bids and I’m trying to protect buyers with positive feedback and eliminate fake bids,” wrote Sung on eBay.

Sung took to twitter after the auction closed and said he’s still happy with the final sum.

Sung’s identity went viral in 2012 when an intrigued customer tweeted a photo of Sung’s business card, as Apple and Korean electronics giant Samsung were entrenched in an intellectual property legal battle.

Sung, 25, said the idea for the auction was inspired when one of his old business cards fell out of a book, he wrote on his eBay page.

“I had a great time working for Apple and would recommend it to anyone,” he wrote. “I hope my old business card will go to another fellow Apple enthusiast with a sense of humour [sic] and the desire to help raise some money for a good cause.”

He worked at Apple for three years before joining recruitment firm Holloway Schulz in July 2013.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — More than 50 human remains were found during an investigation into a now shuttered funeral home.

Officials first discovered six decomposed bodies inside the Pennine Funeral home in Providence, Rhode Island in July, the same month the funeral home owner Alfred Pennine committed suicide.

This week three other bodies, including an infant, were found in a storage unit owned by Pennine.

And now it’s been revealed Pennine also kept 45 cremated remains, some of which date back to 2001.

Officials are working to identify the bodies and notify next of kin.

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iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Several businesses were targeted by looters Friday night and early Saturday morning in Ferguson, Missouri.

Mike Jacobs, the owner of Sam’s Meat Market, was awakened by a phone call from a customer saying that the store had been broken into and set on fire.

The fire damage was minimal, but the cash register was broken and merchandise was stolen.

Tanya Littleton manages a beauty supply store that was also struck by looters.

Another targeted business was the liquor store that 18-year-old Michael Brown is thought to have robbed, just before he was shot and killed last Saturday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — More than 50 human remains were found during an investigation into a now shuttered funeral home.

Officials first discovered six decomposed bodies inside the Pennine Funeral home in Providence, Rhode Island in July, the same month the funeral home owner Alfred Pennine committed suicide.

This week three other bodies, including an infant, were found in a storage unit owned by Pennine.

And now it’s been revealed Pennine also kept 45 cremated remains, some of which date back to 2001.

Officials are working to identify the bodies and notify next of kin.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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