House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday as President Barack Obama emphasized anew that American forces "do not and will not have a combat mission" in the struggle against Islamic State militants in either Iraq or Syria. The 273-156 vote crossed party lines to an unusual degree in a Congress marked by near ceaseless partisanship. Top Republican and Democratic leaders backed Obama's plan seven weeks before midterm elections, while dozens of rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties opposed it.
AP Interview: Iraq premier nixes US ground troops BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's new prime minister ruled out stationing U.S. ground troops in his country, chiding the international community Wednesday for inaction in Syria and lamenting the "puzzling" exclusion of neighboring Iran from the coalition being assembled to fight the Islamic State group. Haider al-Abadi has been embraced by the West as a more inclusive leader who might heal the internal rifts that have dismembered Iraq. But his forthrightness in an interview with The Associated Press - his first with international media - suggested a man capable of parting ways on vision and holding his ground.
Emotions mount on final day of Scottish campaign EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - For Scots, Wednesday was a day of excitement, apprehension, and a flood of final appeals before a big decision. In a matter of hours, they will determine whether Scotland leaves the United Kingdom and becomes an independent state. A full 97 percent of those eligible have registered to vote - including, for the first time, 16- and 17-year-olds - in a referendum that polls suggest is too close to call.
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Desperate Gazans flee to Europe in risky sea trips ABASSAN, Gaza Strip (AP) - The university student was desperate to flee Gaza after suffering through years of border closures and three wars. In early September, a week after the latest war between Gaza's ruling Hamas and Israel, 22-year-old Mohammed Abu Toaimeh crossed into neighboring Egypt. He handed $2,000 to traffickers and boarded a ship that was to smuggle him to Europe.
Police: Ambush suspect was military re-enactor Schools closed, kids stayed inside and authorities chased down several false sightings Wednesday in their hunt for the suspect in a fatal ambush outside a rural Pennsylvania State Police barracks. Police released new details about the background of Eric Frein, a 31-year-old self-taught survivalist who authorities said recently shaved his head in a wide Mohawk, evidently as "part of the mental preparation to commit this cowardly act," Lt. Col. George Bivens said Wednesday afternoon.
Doctor says Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cancer TORONTO (AP) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has a rare and difficult cancer that will require aggressive chemotherapy, his doctor said Wednesday. Dr. Zane Cohen, a colorectal surgeon at Mount Sinai hospital, said Ford has a malignant liposarcoma. Ford has been hospitalized for a week with a tumor in his abdomen.
Muted expectations for Obama, Rouhani meeting WASHINGTON (AP) - One year ago, President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came close to ending the decades-long freeze on face-to-face meetings between their countries' leaders. Next week both men are scheduled to again be in New York for United Nations meetings but expectations for even a handshake are more muted than they were last fall. While lower level officials from both countries are now in regular contact, deadlocked nuclear talks - as well as the complexities of the fight against militants in the Middle East - are clouding the prospects for an elusive leaders' meeting.
Study: Americans endure unwanted care near death WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Americans suffer needless discomfort and undergo unwanted and costly care as they die, in part because of a medical system ruled by "perverse incentives" for aggressive care and not enough conversation about what people want, according to a report released Wednesday. Though people repeatedly stress a desire to die at home, free from pain, the opposite often happens, the Institute of Medicine found in its "Dying in America" report. Most people do not document their wishes on end-of-life care and even those who do face a medical system poorly suited to give them the death they want, the authors found.
Dow ends at record after Fed maintains low rates NEW YORK (AP) - The Dow Jones industrial average is closing at a record high after the Federal Reserve maintained its stance on record-low interest rates. The Dow rose 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 17,156 Wednesday, surpassing its previous high from July by 18 points. The blue-chip average rose as much as 89 points after the Fed kept the phrase "considerable time," in referring to how long it would wait before raising interest rates.
To 'get it right,' Vikings put Peterson on leave EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was declared out, back in, then out again as he faces a felony child-abuse charge in Texas. This time, he could be gone for the season.