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    For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II American cemetery in Belgium where he was interred. On Tuesday, the soldier would have his identity recovered — and be reunited with his twin brother in Normandy, where the two Navy men died together when their ship shattered on an underwater mine while trying to reach the blood-soaked D-Day beaches. Julius Heinrich Otto 'Henry' Pieper and Ludwig Julius Wilhelm 'Louie' Pieper, two 19-year-olds from Esmond, South Dakota, will rest in peace side-by-side by day's end on Tuesday at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France, 74 years after their deaths on June 19, 1944. While Louie's body was soon found, identified and laid to rest, the remains of Julius were only recovered in 1961 by French salvage divers and not identified until 2017. They will be the 45th pair of brothers at the cemetery, three of them memorialized on the Walls of the Missing. But the Piepers will be the only set of twins among the more than 9,380 graves, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission. Julius, radioman second class like his brother, is being buried with full military honors at the cemetery, an immaculate field of crosses and stars of David. The site overlooks the English Channel and Omaha Beach, the bloodiest of the Normandy landing beaches of Operation Overlord, the first step in breaching Hitler's stranglehold on France and Europe. Family members will be in attendance. The story of how the twins died and were being reunited reflects the daily courage of troops on a mission to save the world from a Nazi conquest, and the tenacity of today's living to ensure that no soldier goes unaccounted for. The Pieper twins, callow fellows born of German immigrant parents, worked together for Burlington Railroad and enlisted together in the Navy. Both were radio operators and both were on the same unwieldy flat-bottom boat, Landing Ship Tank Number 523 (LST-523), making the Channel crossing from Falmouth, England to Utah Beach 13 days after the June 6 D-Day landings. The LST-523 mission was to deliver supplies at the Normandy beachhead and remove the wounded. It never got there. The vessel struck an underwater mine and sank off the coast. Of the 145 Navy crew members, 117 were found perished. Survivors' accounts evoke a major storm on the Channel with pitched waves that tossed the boat mercilessly before the explosion that shattered the vessel. Louie's body was laid to rest in what now is the Normandy American Cemetery. But the remains of Julius, nicknamed Henry, were only recovered in 1961 by French divers who found them in the vessel's radio room. He was interred as an 'Unknown' at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neuville, Belgium, also devoted to the fallen of World War II, in the region that saw the bloody Battle of the Bulge. Julius' remains might have stayed among those of 13 other troops from the doomed LST-523 still resting unidentified at the Ardennes cemetery. But in 2017, a U.S. agency that tracks missing combatants, establishing case files for each from witness accounts to DNA testing, identified him. The Pieper family asked that Louie's grave in Normandy be relocated to make room for his twin brother at his side. The last time the United States buried a soldier who fought in World War II was in 2005, at the Ardennes American Cemetery, according to the American Battle Monuments Commission.
  • A court in Istanbul has acquitted a rap musician of the charge of inciting drug use in his song lyrics and video clips. Sercan Ipekcioglu, better-known as rapper 'Ezhel,' was detained by narcotics police in Istanbul last month and later charged with encouraging drug use. The state-run Anadolu Agency said the court acquitted him on Tuesday in the first hearing of the case, ruling that Ipekcioglu had not 'acted with the intent of committing a crime.' Dozens of Ezhel fans waiting outside the courtroom cheered and celebrated his acquittal. His arrest had led to a social media campaign by supporters, with many users calling for his release using the hashtag 'FreeEzhel.
  • Time is running out for Lionel Messi to bring Argentina a World Cup, which would give him the one thing that's missing from a career that ranks among the greatest. He turns 31 on Sunday, which means this World Cup could be his last chance. It also means that Thursday's match against Croatia is momentous. He has delivered for his club Barcelona — four Champions League titles, and nine La Liga championships in Spain — but still no World Cup title for Argentina. Messi missed a penalty — it was saved — in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland in the opening group match. Argentina needs to beat Croatia to clear its path from the three-game group stage to the knock-out round of 16. 'We have to look at what we need to correct from the Iceland match, but we can't dwell on it,' Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado said. 'We have to look forward and win the next match against Croatia.' The Croatians opened with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, putting them in a better spot in Group D than Argentina when the teams meet on the banks of the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod. Jorge Sampaoli hasn't used the same lineup twice in the 12 games he's been in charge for Argentina. He's juggling again, this time likely to start 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick and can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Angel di Maria. As with all the Argentina coaches before him, Sampaoli has searched for the right partnership with Messi, who has often carried Argentina by himself and is always compared with Maradona, who brought Argentina its last World Cup title in 1986. 'I think that Jorge is looking at every position. We'll see what happens and what he decides on the day,' Pavon said. 'I feel confident and luckily things are going well for me, but I don't know yet if I'll be a starter.' 25-YEAR TITLE DROUGH It's hard to believe, but Argentina has not won a major title since taking the Copa America — the South American championship — in 1993. That's 25 years ago; a quarter century of drought for a country that sees itself as soccer royalty. What two-time champion Argentina has felt recently is only bitter defeat: the losing finalist against Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and two more runner-up finishes in the 2015 and 2016 at the Copa America — both times against Chile. SENT PACKING Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic because he wouldn't come off the bench as a substitute against Nigeria. Kalinic, who plays for AC Milan, says he has a back injury although news reports in Croatia say he is unhappy being a substitute. Dalic said of Kalinic, 'I need players who are ready.' Croatia now has 22 players on the World Cup roster. OTHER ARGENTINA CHANGES Sampaoli experimented after the Iceland draw with using three defenders with Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico. Mercado would replace Marcos Rojo, who was sub-par against Iceland. Lucas Biglia is also likely to be dropped from midfield and replaced by Marcos Acuna. Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega and Enzo Perez are also possibilities. ___ More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup
  • Far from being discouraged about a heartbreaking opening loss to France, Australia is confident going into another tough World Cup match against Denmark. The plucky underdog label seems to inspire the Socceroos. Australia fell 2-1 to the French on Saturday in Kazan. But the scoreline didn't reflect the Australian team's gritty defensive performance against the 1998 World Cup champions and highest-ranked team in the group. Antoine Griezmann scored in the 58th minute following a contentious penalty — the first awarded at the World Cup under the video review system. The referee didn't pick up the initial foul, but awarded the penalty after watching a replay on a sideline TV monitor. Australia captain Mile Jedinak equalized from from the penalty spot before Paul Pogba's deflected shot hit the cross bar and crossed the line in the 81st to clinch the win for France. The goal was confirmed by goal-line technology, and FIFA later credited it as an own goal. While struggling to accept Griezmann's PK, Australia coach Bert van Marwijk remained positive overall heading into Thursday's match at Samara Stadium. 'When you see this game you must have confidence for the rest of the tournament,' van Marwijk said. But it's an admittedly difficult journey. France and Denmark lead Group C with wins, while Peru rounds out the group. Australia, the lowest-ranked team in the group at No. 36, is vying to advance out of the group stage for the first time since 2006. Denmark, returning to the World Cup after missing out on Brazil, is coming off a 1-0 victory over Peru on Saturday in Saransk. Yuffus Poulsen, who plays for German club RB Leipzig, scored the lone goal. The 12th-ranked Danes, who beat Mexico 2-0 in an exhibition before the start of the World Cup, reached the quarterfinals in 1998. The opening victory over Peru did have a cost: Starting midfielder William Kvist fractured two ribs and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament. Kvist was injured in a hard collision with Peru's Jefferson Farfan Australian defender Trent Sainsbury spoke to the media in Kazan before heading to Samara, reinforcing the team's confident outlook going into the team's second match. 'Coming away from the France game, it's refueled us and we can tango with the best,' Sainsbury said. 'I know the boys are running on a high at the moment, but I don't think that's going to change until after the last game against Peru and we'll see where we are then.' SIDE TRIP Danish defender Jonas Knudsen made an unexpected side trip home following the victory over Peru. That's because wife Trine gave birth to the couple's daughter — who wasn't due for a few more weeks. Knudsen's teammates funded the private plane to whisk him back to Denmark for a day to meet his child. He rejoined the team on Monday. KERR WEIGHS IN Australian women's national team forward Sam Kerr took a look at the Socceroos in a piece for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Grandstand. 'I really wasn't sure how we would do this tournament, I didn't know where our team was at and had no idea how the other teams would show,' she wrote. 'After watching our game and the Peru-Denmark game I am pretty confident we can advance from our group.' Kerr has seen her own World Cup success. The Matildas, as Australia's women's team is known, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2015 World Cup in Canada. YOUNGEST Australia midfielder Daniel Arzani is the youngest player at the World Cup, at 19 years and five months. He said the magnitude of the occasion hit him when the boisterous yellow-clad Australian fans all sang the nation's national anthem before the match against France. 'Your heart is pumping through your chest and you realized the gravity of the situation — you're here representing the whole nation on the biggest stage,' he said. 'It is emotional but I'm also very proud to be a part of it.' STREAK Denmark is unbeaten in its last 16 international matches. The last loss was in October 2016 against Montenegro (1-0 in Copenhagen).
  • Angela Merkel says Germany remains fully committed to the Paris climate accord, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the agreement. Germany's long-time chancellor said Tuesday that the U.S. move was 'very regrettable' at a time when the overwhelming majority of countries worldwide are trying to limit global warming. Merkel told a climate meeting with over 30 governments in Berlin that 'climate change isn't a matter of faith ... it's a fact,' citing new temperature records and the increase in extreme weather events around the world. She said efforts to curb global warming would help limit economic damage and boost innovation. Last year, at a global climate summit in Poland, Merkel urged delegates to hammer out a binding set of rules to govern the 2015 Paris agreement.
  • French prosecutors say that a suspect in the November 2015 extremist attacks in Paris has been released and placed under judicial supervision in Belgium. The Paris prosecutors' office said Tuesday that Ali Oulkadi, a French national living in Belgium who allegedly drove the sole survivor of the group of assailants, Salah Abdeslam, in Brussels the day after the attacks, was released Monday. Oulkadi must stay in Belgium, be home at certain hours and regularly report to local police. He is banned from going to certain places, establishing contact with a list of individuals and possessing a weapon. Abdeslam had agreed to answer questions about Oulkadi at a joint hearing in March. The Paris attacks on Nov. 13, 2015, killed 130 people.
  • The Latest on Tuesday at the World Cup (all times local): 11:45 a.m. Officials say an engine of a Russian plane carrying the Saudi Arabia team to a World Cup host city caught fire during landing. Russia's federal agency for air traffic says in a statement that the Airbus airplane flying from St. Petersburg to the southern city of Rostov-on-Don landed safely Monday night and did not require any emergency procedures. Tuesday's statement says the passenger plane landed with both of its engines working and the passengers disembarked normally. An investigation into the incident has begun. The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted pictures of the players exiting the plan on Monday night and a statement on Twitter saying it 'would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they're heading to their residence safely.' The Saudis were beaten 5-0 by Russia in the World Cup opener in Moscow last week and play Uruguay in Rostov-on-Don on Wednesday. ___ 11:30 a.m. Brazil's jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has made his debut as a football pundit. Behind bars, he wrote a column for Worker's Party TV on Monday criticizing Brazil's performance in the 1-1 draw against Switzerland at the World Cup 'Qualifying is one thing. The World Cup is different,' da Silva wrote. 'Switzerland was strong in defense, playing rough, and didn't allow Brazil to perform. They also stopped Neymar by fouling him again and again.' Da Silva, who started serving a 12-year sentence for corruption in April, can still appeal his conviction, which he calls politically fabricated. Da Silva also said 'the first week of the World Cup proves Germany is not unbeatable and, among the top players, only Cristiano Ronaldo proved his value.' ___ 10:40 a.m. Senegal President Macky Sall is in Russia and will attend his country's World Cup game against Poland in Moscow. Senegal is returning to the World Cup for the first time since a thrilling run to the quarterfinals on its tournament debut in Japan and South Korea in 2002. The president's office says Sall will watch Senegal play Poland at Spartak Stadium on Tuesday during a three-day visit to Russia . He'll also hold meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sall was invited to the World Cup by FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, who is from Senegal. Senegal is Africa's last chance of getting a win in the first volley of games at the World Cup. Egypt (1-0 to Uruguay), Morocco (1-0 to Iran), Nigeria (2-0 to Croatia) and Tunsia (2-1 to England) all lost their group openers.
  • Saudi King Salman has sacked the head of the country's entertainment authority after religiously conservative citizens took to social media to denounce a Russian circus show that showed female performers in tightly-fitted attire. The king sacked Ahmed al-Khatib as head of the General Entertainment Authority late Monday. Semi-official newspaper Sabq reported Tuesday he was fired because of public backlash over the Russian circus, which was performed in the capital, Riyadh. Earlier this year, Saudi sports officials apologized after images of scantily clad women appeared on big screens during a WWE wrestling event, which hosted women and children in the audience for the first time. The incidents reflect some of the challenges the Saudi leadership faces as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pushes reforms to increase spending and curtail conservative influence.
  • The U.N. refugee agency reported Tuesday that nearly 69 million people who have fled war, violence and persecution were forcibly displaced last year, a record for the fifth straight year. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said the continued crises in places like South Sudan and Congo, as well as the exodus of Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar that started last year, raised the overall figure of forced displacements in 2017 to 68.5 million. Of that total, 16.2 million were newly displaced last year — an average of more than 44,000 people per day. Most have been displaced for longer than that, some forced to flee multiple times. 'The global figure has gone up again by a couple of million,' said the High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi. 'This is because of protracted conflicts and lack of solutions for those conflicts that continue, continuous pressure on civilians in countries of conflict that pushed them to leave their homes and new or aggravating crises, like the Rohingya crisis.' The UNHCR said the figures debunk the flawed perception among some that a refugee crisis has affected more developed countries in the 'Global North.' It said 85 percent of refugees are in developing countries, many of them 'desperately poor.' 'It should be an element dispelling the perception, the notion that is so prevailing in many countries: That the refugee crisis — singular — is a crisis of the rich world,' High Commissioner Filippo Grandi said. 'It is not. It continues to be a crisis mostly of the poor world.' The data release comes ahead of World Refugee Day on Wednesday.
  • Former British Foreign Minister William Hague is calling for the government to take steps toward legalizing marijuana. He wrote in Tuesday's edition of The Daily Telegraph that the battle against cannabis use has been lost and that it is 'deluded' to pretend otherwise. Hague has changed his public stance on cannabis policy days after the government relented and allowed a 12-year-old epileptic boy to receive cannabis oil treatment that his mother said was needed to prevent life-threatening seizures. The medicinal use of marijuana is barred in Britain but an exception was made for the boy after he was hospitalized with seizures. Hague called for the legalization of recreational use. He wrote that requiring police to prevent marijuana use is as relevant as ordering the army to re-establish the British Empire.