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Senate next after House backs Obama on rebel aid

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s request for congressional backing to train and arm Syrian rebels battling Islamic State group militants is halfway home, after approval by the GOP-controlled House sent the issue to the Senate, where leaders in both parties say it’s expected to pass handily.

Wary lawmakers ready to OK arms for Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON — Wary House lawmakers are on track to give President Barack Obama authority to order U.S. military training and arms for moderate rebels confronting the growing danger of Islamic State militants.

Burned lumber town takes stock

WEED, Calif. — They had prepared for wildfires and knew of the drought-parched forests, but the inferno that swirled through the California lumber town of Weed moved so quickly all people could do was flee.

King fire threatens 1,632 homes in Northern California

The fast-growing King fire in Eldorado National Forest now threatens nearly 2,500 structures, more than half of them homes, as thousands of firefighters try to get a handle on the out-of-control blaze.

Police still hunting trooper ambush suspect

BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. — Authorities hunting for a suspect in last week’s fatal ambush outside a rural state police barracks chased down several mistaken sightings today as schools closed and the public remained on edge.

Food stamp cuts to hit four states

Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states — Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire — far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, The Associated Press has found.

U.S. to assign 3,000 from military to fight Ebola

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.

Painkiller fatality rate slows

Fatal overdoses involving prescription painkillers have increased every year for more than a decade, but a government study has found for the first time that the rate is slowing.

Georgia man gets 20 years for gun battle at school

DECATUR, Ga. — A gunman who was persuaded by a bookkeeper to surrender during a 2013 gun battle with police at a school near Atlanta pleaded guilty to multiple charges today and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Official: Suspect identified in police ambush

SCRANTON, Penn. — A law enforcement official says Pennsylvania State Police have identified a suspect in the killing of a trooper and the critical wounding of another outside a barracks.

Taliban suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops in strike

KABUL, Afghanistan — A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy today, killing three troops from the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians, officials said.

Hagel, Dempsey defend Obama military strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s top military leader says strikes against Islamic extremists in Syria will be persistent and sustainable as President Barack Obama expands the military campaign to combat the terrorist threat.

Feds chase treasure hunter turned fugitive

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the last times anyone ever saw Tommy Thompson, he was walking on the pool deck of a Florida mansion wearing nothing but eye glasses, leather shoes, socks and underwear, his brown hair growing wild.

U.S. extremism fight could take cue from Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — When young men from Minneapolis began traveling to Somalia seven years ago to join a terror group in the midst of a civil war, investigators trying to stop the recruiting went straight to the city’s large Somali community to build trust and gain understanding.

Hamas likely used residential areas as cover for launches

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, there is growing evidence that Hamas militants used residential areas as cover for launching rockets at Israel, at least at times. Hamas now admits “mistakes” were made.

Obama issues disaster declaration for quake

President Barack Obama declared California a major disaster site Thursday, unlocking federal funds for recovery efforts in the areas affected by the 6.0-magnitude earthquake near Napa last month.

U.S. strikes are a first step of long campaign

WASHINGTON — By expanding his military campaign against the Islamic State group, President Barack Obama hopes to reverse the militants’ momentum in Iraq, squeeze their sanctuary in Syria and erode their recruiting appeal across the greater Mideast. Those are key steps toward Obama’s stated goal of eventually destroying the extremist group.
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Sept. 11 remembered amid renewed threat

NEW YORK — With the solemn toll of a bell and a moment of silence, the nation paused today to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at the hallowed site just hours after President Obama promised to root out and destroy a new group of terrorists threatening the U.S.

Health officials go to court to stop man with HIV

SEATTLE — In a very unusual step, King County public health officials have gone to court to try to stop a man with HIV who has infected eight partners in the past four years from infecting others.