Officials: Before Russian bombs, CIA rebels had Syrian gains WASHINGTON (AP) - CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on President Bashar Assad's forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say. Over the past week, Russia has directed parts of its air campaign against U.S.-funded groups and other moderate opposition in a concerted effort to weaken them, the officials say. The Obama administration has few options to defend those it had secretly armed and trained. The Russians "know their targets, and they have a sophisticated capacity to understand the battlefield situation," said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who serves on the House Intelligence Committee and was careful not to confirm a classified program.
30 killed, 126 injured in Ankara bomb blasts ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Two bomb explosions on Saturday targeting a peace rally by leftist and Kurdish activists in Turkey's capital Ankara killed at least 30 people and injured 126 others, Turkey's Interior Ministry said. The explosions occurred minutes apart outside Ankara's main train station as hundreds of people were gathering for the rally, organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union and other civic society groups. The rally aimed to call for increased democracy and an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces. Authorities said they were investigating whether the attacks - which hit some 50 meters (yards) apart from each other - were suicide bombings.
Portraits of some of the victims in Kunduz hospital bombing KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - On Oct. 3, a U.S. AC-130 gunship - at the request of Afghan ground forces fighting the Taliban, according to the American commander in Afghanistan Gen. John F. Campbell - mistakenly bombed a trauma hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, killing at least 10 patients and a dozen Afghan staffers. Many more were wounded, and many remain missing in the wreckage of the now-abandoned hospital. The aid group's international staff members have been accounted for. President Barack Obama apologized and the U.S. military is investigating. Family and friends of some of the victims spoke with The Associated Press. Here are their stories:
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Palestinian attacker stabs 2 in Jerusalem in latest violence JERUSALEM (AP) - A Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis in Jerusalem Saturday before being shot dead by police forces, the latest in a series of stabbing attacks against civilians and soldiers that have spread across Israel and the West Bank in the past week. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the two Israelis were walking from the Old City of Jerusalem toward the city center when they were stabbed by a 16-year-old Arab. Police forces on site noticed the men bleeding from stab wounds in their upper body and then the knife-wielding Palestinian running in their direction and opened fire, he said, killing the attacker. The two victims were lightly wounded and evacuated to the hospital.
John Boehner's here to stay, for now, with nothing to lose WASHINGTON (AP) - Speaker John Boehner wants out. He really does. But the Ohio House Republican is staying put, for now - and that could improve the chances for a debt limit increase by early next month to avoid a market-shattering government default. His continued presence also might help lawmakers reach a bipartisan budget deal to head off a government shutdown in December. The tea party forces that pushed Boehner to plan his exit after nearly five years in the top job now have less leverage against a man with nothing to lose. Conservative hard-liners have caused further chaos by blocking the ascension of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Kim declares N. Korea ready to stand up to any US threat PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared Saturday that his country was ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he spoke at a lavish military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the North's ruling party and trumpet his third-generation leadership. The parade, which featured thousands of goose-stepping soldiers and military hardware including missiles and drones mounted on trucks, kicked off what is expected to be one of the North's biggest celebrations ever - an attention-getting event that is the government's way of showing the world and its own people that the Kim dynasty is firmly in control and its military a power to be reckoned with.
House Republicans asks: Can anyone lead us? WASHINGTON (AP) - The job of leading House Republicans may have gone from difficult to impossible. After two tumultuous weeks that saw the current speaker announce his resignation and his heir apparent abruptly pull out of the running, House Republicans are in disarray as they confront a leadership vacuum. And the only person widely deemed fit to fill it is a lawmaker who says he doesn't want to, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee. Even as they plead with Ryan to reconsider, Republicans are left asking themselves whether anyone can lead them.
Black men gathering for Million Man March 20th anniversary WASHINGTON (AP) - Black men from around the nation are gathering on the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and call for policing reforms and changes in black communities. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who spearheaded the original march, will lead an anniversary gathering Saturday at the Capitol called the "Justice or Else" march. "I plan to deliver an uncompromising message and call for the government of the United States to respond to our legitimate grievances," Farrakhan said in a statement. Attention has been focused on the deaths of unarmed black men since the shootings of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Florida and 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
Donald Trump, brash New Yorker, picks up Southern campaign ATLANTA (AP) - Donald Trump is a brash New Yorker who knows the path to the Republican presidential nomination runs through a swath of Southern states where residents pride themselves on graciousness and gentility. He leads many state polls in the region just as he does nationally. In the last few weeks he's hired staff members in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia to go along with staff in South Carolina, which hosts the South's first primary. "It's almost like we're running a campaign for president of the United States," quipped Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski when asked about the expansion.
Belarus' Lukashenko set for re-election MINSK, Belarus (AP) - In the 21 years under Alexander Lukashenko's rule, Belarus in many ways has seemed little different than the Soviet republic it once was. Dissent is stifled, sometimes harshly. The economy remains largely state-controlled. Even the flag is nearly identical to the Soviet-era emblem. For all of that, he's nonetheless sure to win a new term in Sunday's presidential election. A poll by the state sociology institute in September tallied his support at 76 percent. Lukashenko came to power in 1994 as a fierce anti-corruption campaigner with a vague political program. The former director of a collective farm appealed to voters who were tired of bureaucrats pilfering the country.