AP Top News at 12:31 p.m. EDT

Hong Kong leader offers talks with protesters
HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong's embattled leader offered Thursday to hold talks between his government and pro-democracy protesters, but said he will not accept their demand that he resign. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told reporters that he has asked the territory's top civil servant to arrange talks with the protesters, who have been demanding electoral reforms. The massive street demonstrations are the biggest challenge to Beijing's authority in Hong Kong since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.

Officials ask about 80 to watch for Ebola symptoms
DALLAS (AP) - Health officials in Texas have reached out to about 80 people who may have had direct or indirect contact with the man infected with Ebola or someone close to him, a Dallas County Health and Human Services spokeswoman said Thursday. No one is showing symptoms, agency spokeswoman Erikka Neroes said.

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.

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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.

Ukraine wary of fragile peace as patriotism surges
BOYARKA, Ukraine (AP) - Since Ukraine's conflict with Russia erupted, Oleksandr Federenko has gone from village kid to army cadet, trading computer games for knife-throwing classes and morning marches. He is only 13. Federenko's shy laugh and wisp of upper lip hair seem at odds with his bulky camouflage uniform as he explains his decision to sign up for the military academy. "This year I had this feeling of patriotism," he says, "and I wanted to defend my country."

UK royals issue warning over Prince George pics
LONDON (AP) - Prince William and his wife Kate have threatened to take legal action against a photographer they say has been monitoring their toddler son Prince George. The couple's Kensington Palace office said Thursday the royals had "taken legal steps to ask that an individual ceases harassing and following both Prince George and his nanny as they go about their ordinary daily lives."

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?

Netflix signs Adam Sandler to four-film deal
NEW YORK (AP) - Adam Sandler has signed a deal with Netflix to star in and produce four films for the streaming service. Netflix announced early Thursday that it has landed one of Hollywood's biggest comedic stars in its growing push into original movies. The films will premiere exclusively on Netflix.

NFL aware of Spillman's role in sex assault probe
IRVING, Texas (AP) - The NFL has been aware of Dallas Cowboys player C.J. Spillman's involvement in a reported sexual assault and has offered to interview the alleged victim "on a confidential and appropriate basis to obtain more information." Spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday the league has been "looking into the matter and will continue to do so."