HK police warn protesters not to charge buildings HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong police warned of serious consequences if pro-democracy protesters try to occupy government buildings, as they have threatened to do if the territory's leader didn't resign by Thursday. Tensions mounted ahead of the deadline set by students for the city's Beijing-backed Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down - part of broader demonstrations pushing for electoral reforms for the Asian financial center.
Faceoff in Hong Kong: 3 sides, all with options HONG KONG (AP) - Tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong and crowds of students blocked the entrances to government headquarters Thursday as midnight approached - the deadline protest leaders had set for the resignation of the city's chief executive. Tensions could escalate early Friday if the demand goes unmet, as expected. But many experts and politically involved people in Hong Kong say all players in the confrontation - the pro-democracy protesters, the Hong Kong government and the Communist Party leadership in Beijing - have opportunities to defuse the situation and allow Hong Kong to get back to normal.
Texas Ebola monitoring now beyond initial contacts DALLAS (AP) - About 80 people are now being monitored for symptoms of Ebola in Texas, a Dallas County Health and Human Services spokeswoman said Thursday. The people being monitored are the 12 to 18 people who first came into contact with the infected man - which federal health officials have said include three members of the ambulance crew that took him to the hospital, plus a handful of schoolchildren - as well as others those initial people had contact with, spokeswoman Erikka Neroes said.
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Many sick in US Ebola patient's Liberia hometown MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - Thomas Eric Duncan rushed to help his 19-year-old neighbor when she began convulsing days after first complaining of stomach pain. Everyone assumed her health problems were related to her being 7 months pregnant. Still, no ambulance came as Ebola decimates Liberia's capital. Soon Duncan, Marthalene Williams' parents and several others tried to hoist her into a taxi cab bound for a hospital downtown. Within weeks, everyone who helped Williams that day was either sick or dead. The virus is spread through direct contact with saliva, sweat and blood, and all had touched the sick woman's body.
Pierson's undoing was quick as support vanished WASHINGTON (AP) - One lesson from Julia Pierson's short tenure as director of the agency that protects the first family: The Secret Service can't keep secrets from the president. Pierson's undoing was not telling the president about a Sept. 16 incident in Atlanta in which President Barack Obama rode an elevator with an armed security contractor during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two White House officials said. The armed contractor's proximity to Obama violated the agency's security protocols.
Obama steps away from global crises to talk jobs CHICAGO (AP) - While Washington's attention was focused on a Secret Service scandal, President Barack Obama slipped away for an overnight trip to his family home in Chicago and a speech Thursday to assure voters he is still focused on the economy. Obama is delivering his afternoon economic address at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, just a short hop from Chicago by helicopter. The White House has long planned the speech as a way to frame the closing arguments of a midterm campaign with control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance.
Turkey ponders new powers to fight IS militants ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's parliament was debating a motion Thursday to give the government new powers to launch military incursions into Syria and Iraq and to allow foreign forces to use its territory for possible operations against the Islamic State group. As lawmakers debate in Ankara, the militants pressed their offensive against a beleaguered Kurdish town along the Syria-Turkey border. The assault, which has forced about 160,000 people to flee across the frontier in recent days, left Kurdish militiamen scrambling Thursday to repel Islamic State extremists pushing into the outskirts of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab.
History fight coming to a head in suburban Denver DENVER (AP) - A fight in Colorado over how United States history is taught is coming to a head in suburban Denver on Thursday, with students and teachers expected to pack a school board meeting where the controversial changes could face a vote. Turnout is expected to be so high that the teachers union plans to stream video from the meeting room - which holds a couple hundred people - on a big screen in the parking lot outside. Students are making plans to start their protests early in the day.
Oops! UK council destroys Banksy immigration mural LONDON (AP) - Authorities in southern England were embarrassed but defensive Thursday after telling workers to destroy a mural they later realized was created by the internationally famous graffiti artist Banksy. Banksy's often satirical works have fetched up to $1.8 million at auction and his images have been controversially stripped from walls and sold for high prices.
AP PHOTOS: Lines linger for famed Chicago hot dogs CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago's hippest hot dog stand helped elevate the lowly sausage into a culinary superstar by stuffing it with exotic ingredients including escargot, foie gras and rattlesnake. When the owner announced the gourmet shop was closing, everyone expected encased-meat aficionados to line up for one last taste. But this?