Analysis: Veto gives Obama edge on immigration WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment. With the public favoring changes in the current immigration system, the Republicans' best short-term response appears to be purely rhetorical: that the president is granting amnesty to millions, and exceeding his constitutional authority in the process. Beyond that, their hopes of reversing his policies appear to be either a years-long lawsuit or the 2016 presidential election.
Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips WASHINGTON (AP) - The admiral fired last year as No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces may have made his own counterfeit $500 poker chips with paint and stickers to feed a gambling habit that eventually saw him banned from an entire network of casinos, according to a criminal investigative report obtained by The Associated Press. Although Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina's removal as deputy head of U.S. Strategic Command was announced last year, evidence of his possible role in manufacturing the counterfeit chips has not previously been revealed. Investigators said they found his DNA on the underside of an adhesive sticker used to alter genuine $1 poker chips to make them look like $500 chips.
AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, U.S. officials said late Friday. The president's decisions also allow the military to conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed. Obama issued the guidelines in recent weeks, as the American combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, thousands of troops return home, and the military prepares for narrower counterterrorism and training mission for the next two years.
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Somalia's al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, Al-Shabab, attacked a bus in northern Kenya at dawn Saturday, singling out and killing 28 passengers who could not recite an Islamic creed and were assumed to be non-Muslims, Kenyan police said. Those who could not say the Shahada, a tenet of the Muslim faith, were shot at close range, a survivor told The Associated Press.
Ferguson experiences 3rd straight night of unrest FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Authorities arrested three protesters during a third straight night of unrest in Ferguson as tensions mount amid speculation that a grand jury could decide soon whether to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown. St. Louis County police said large groups of protesters blocked traffic three times in the St. Louis suburb Friday night. That happened twice near the police station and once on West Florissant Avenue, the site of violent protests soon after Brown's death. A motorist lost control and crashed into a light pole during the unrest on West Florissant. Protesters converged on the car, but no one was hurt.
Iraqi forces, Islamic State group battle in Ramadi BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi soldiers backed by Sunni fighters launched a major operation Saturday to retake a section of the city of Ramadi seized by Islamic State group militants, an official and residents said. The fighting focused on Ramadi's eastern Sijariya neighborhood, which the extremist group said it captured Friday. An official with the Anbar provincial council described intense fighting there Saturday morning that included both sides firing mortars. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.
Flooding becomes new threat in snowy Buffalo BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - After a three-day onslaught that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo area and killed at least 12 people, the sun came out, but so did predictions of flooding caused by rain and temperatures of up to 60 degrees. Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock said there might be trouble with drainage as snow and the uncollected autumn leaves underneath blocked catch basins.
For 1 night on stage, embattled Cosby his old self MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - The protesters didn't show, the would-be hecklers didn't take the bait, the weeks of headlines about sexual assaults disappeared and Bill Cosby, for 90 minutes at least, regained the revered status he long enjoyed. The show Friday night in Melbourne, Florida, might have seemed destined for disaster for the comedian, enveloped in growing accusations of rape and sexual assault that have derailed his career comeback and crumbled his tour schedule. What he got, though, was an adoring audience that laughed so hard they slapped their knees, shouted love at the stage and rose to their feet as he came and went.
Bahrain holds its first major vote since unrest MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests nearly four years ago, but a boycott by the country's opposition overshadowed the vote and highlighted the sectarian-charged divisions gripping this strategic U.S. ally. The country's most organized Shiite group, al-Wefaq, and other opposition organizations urged supporters to stay away from the polls. They accuse the government of failing to enact political reforms and address other grievances that were at the heart of the February 2011 uprising that pitted an opposition movement dominated by the country's Shiite majority against supporters of the Sunni monarchy.
Report questions role of wealth in Lanza's care HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A new report asks whether the race and affluence of Adam Lanza's family influenced decisions about how to care for his mental health problems in the years before he committed the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Among the findings in the report, which was released Friday by the state office of Child Advocate, is that Lanza's his parents and educators contributed to his social isolation by accommodating - and not confronting - his difficulties engaging with the world.