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AP Top News at 11:23 a.m. EDT

AP Interview: Iraq premier says no foreign troops
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's new prime minister said Wednesday that foreign ground troops are neither necessary nor wanted in his country's fight against the Islamic State group, flatly rejecting the idea a day after the top U.S. general recommended that American forces may be needed if current efforts to combat the extremists fail. In his first interview with foreign media since taking office on Sept. 8, Haider al-Abadi told The Associated Press that U.S. airstrikes have been helpful in the country's efforts to roll back the Sunni militant group, but stressed that putting foreign boots on the ground "is out of the question."


Wary lawmakers ready to OK arms for Syrian rebels
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wary House lawmakers prepared to give President Barack Obama authority to arm and train Syrian rebels in the fight against Islamic State militants Wednesday as Iraq's new prime minister dismissed the notion that the struggle could lead to U.S. forces again fighting on the ground in his country. "Not only is it not necessary, we don't want them. We won't allow them," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview with The Associated Press.


North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - One shouted about God's love as he crossed a frozen river, clutching a Bible. Another swam, drunk and naked. Several U.S. soldiers dashed around land mines. Time and again, Americans over the years have slipped illegally into poor, deeply suspicious, fervently anti-American North Korea, even as it has become increasingly easy to enter legally as a tourist. It's incomprehensible to many, especially since tens of thousands of desperate North Koreans have crossed in the opposite direction, at great risk.


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Gaza widow offers insight into world of spies
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - The 48-year-old Palestinian woman's husband was shot to death in 2012 by militants in the Gaza Strip for spying for Israel. A mother of seven, she herself was jailed by Gaza's Hamas rulers for aiding and abetting a spy - her husband. The widow's account to The Associated Press gave a rare look into the secret espionage side of the war between Israel and the Hamas militant group.


Obama: Ebola one day, extremist threat the next
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Underscoring the multiple challenges facing his administration, President Barack Obama consulted with military officials Wednesday about the U.S. counterterrorism campaign against Islamic State militants, just a day after boosting the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Obama met with top officers at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, which oversees U.S. military efforts in the Middle East. Accompanying him were his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Obama was to address Central Command troops, providing him another opportunity to make a case for the air strike campaign he wants to carry out against Islamic State.


Big break in ambush probe: suspect's abandoned SUV
BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a heavily armed survivalist with a vendetta against law enforcement is the suspect in an ambush that killed one Pennsylvania State Police trooper and wounded another in a heavily forested region of northeastern Pennsylvania. State police have warned the public that 31-year-old Eric Frein of Canadensis is dangerous, saying he's talked about committing mass murder. Two local school districts closed Wednesday because of safety concerns for students and staff.


Emotions mount on final day of Scottish campaign
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - Will the ayes have it, or will Scotland say naw thanks? No one is certain. Excitement and anxiety mounted across the country Wednesday, the final day of campaigning before Thursday's referendum on independence.


Red tide off northwest Florida could hit economy
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - It's like Florida's version of The Blob. Slow moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region's economy. Known as "red tide," this particular strain called Karenia brevis is present nearly every year off Florida, but large blooms can be particularly devastating. Right now, the algae is collecting in an area about 60 miles wide and 100 miles long, about 5 to 15 miles off St. Petersburg in the south and stretching north to Florida's Big Bend, where the peninsula ends and the Panhandle begins.


APNewsBreak: 'Easy Rider' bike going to auction
NEW YORK (AP) - The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in "Easy Rider" has come to symbolize the counterculture of the 1960s. Now it's for sale. The auction house Profiles in History told The Associated Press that it estimates the Harley-Davidson will bring $1 million to $1.2 million at its Oct. 18 sale being held online and at its galleries in Calabasas, California.


Vikings bar Peterson from team activities
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings changed course early Wednesday and decided in the middle of the night to put star running back Adrian Peterson on hiatus while he deals with a felony child-abuse charge in Texas. Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf said they made they move after "further reflection" and concluded it was best for the Vikings and for Peterson, their All-Pro workhorse who has played his entire NFL career with Minnesota and is accused of injuring his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a wooden switch earlier this year.

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