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AP Top News at 11:53 a.m. EDT

Peshmerga troops start entering Syrian border town
SURUC, Turkey (AP) - Ten Iraqi peshmerga fighters entered the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani via Turkey on Thursday, the first from among a group of 150 Kurdish troops headed there, activists said. The development followed heavy overnight clashes as Islamic State fighters unsuccessfully tried to capture the border crossing point, the only gateway in and out of the strategic Kurdish town besieged by the militants.


Maine nurse defies Ebola quarantine with bike ride
FORT KENT, Maine (AP) - A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend stepped out of their home Thursday morning and rode away on mountain bikes, followed by a state police cruiser.


Fearing Ebola? Doctors say get a flu shot
CHICAGO (AP) - Fever? Headache? Muscle aches? Forget about Ebola - chances are astronomically higher that you have the flu or some other common bug. That message still hasn't reached many Americans, judging from stories ER doctors and nurses swapped this week at a Chicago medical conference. Misinformed patients with Ebola-like symptoms can take up time and resources in busy emergency rooms, and doctors fear the problem may worsen when flu season ramps up.


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Menino, Boston's longest-serving mayor, dies at 71
BOSTON (AP) - Thomas Menino, whose folksy manner and verbal gaffes belied his shrewd political tactics to govern as Boston's longest-serving mayor and one of its most beloved, died Thursday. He was 71. Spokeswoman Dot Joyce said in a statement that Menino died in the company of his family and friends. He was diagnosed with advanced cancer in February 2014, shortly after leaving office, and announced Oct. 23 he was suspending treatment and a book tour so he could spend more time with family and friends.


Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'
NEW YORK (AP) - Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's proud to be gay. The public declaration, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, makes Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out as gay.


Sweden recognizes Palestinian state; Israel upset
STOCKHOLM (AP) - Sweden's new left-leaning government on Thursday recognized a Palestinian state - a move that comes during increased tensions between Arabs and Jews over Israel's plans to build about 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem. The European Union member became the third Western European nation, after Malta and Cyprus, to do so, reflecting growing international impatience with Israel's nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.


10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see. This week's collection includes Indian passengers on a crowded train in New Dehli; a model preparing to walk in a prison fashion show in Ramle, Israel; a man jumping over a burning couch in San Francisco to celebrate the Giants' World Series championship; and soldier-builders working on a new tarmac at an airport in Pyongyang, North Korea.


Sri Lanka says no hope finding mudslide survivors
KOSLANDA, Sri Lanka (AP) - Hundreds of desperate Sri Lankan villagers dug with bare hands through the broken red earth of a deadly landslide Thursday, defying police orders after a top disaster official said there was no chance of finding more survivors at the high-elevation tea plantation. There were conflicting reports of how many people were missing in the slide, which struck Wednesday morning in the island nation's central hills after heavy monsoon rains.


Brutal winter set to hit war-torn eastern Ukraine
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Dark tunnels in the basement of a bombed-out hospital in the eastern city of Donetsk lead to a makeshift shelter. Opening the door hardly alleviates the gloom, for the only lighting inside is the flicker of handmade oil lamps. The inhabitants move around like shadows, eyes dull and faces weary with hardship, dressed in several layers of worn-out sweatshirts, vests and jackets. The tiny rooms are lit with sunflower oil poured into saucers and set aflame.


Viral video documents New York street harassment
NEW YORK (AP) - A video recording the comments a woman hears as she walks around the nation's biggest city is a testament to the pervasiveness of street harassment women face, its creators said. The comments come continuously as the woman walks through the streets of Manhattan - "What's up, Beautiful?" and "Smile!" - and there's even a stretch when a man just silently walks right next to her for several minutes.