Top general in Afghanistan: US strike on hospital a mistake WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. forces attacked a hospital in northern Afghanistan last weekend, killing at least 22 people, despite "rigorous" U.S. military procedures designed to avoid such mistakes, the top commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan said Tuesday. Gen. John F. Campbell told a Senate committee that Afghan forces requested air support Saturday while engaged in combat with Taliban fighters in the city of Kunduz, communicating with U.S. special operations troops at the scene. Those U.S. forces were in contact with the AC-130 gunship that fired on the hospital, Campbell said. "To be clear, the decision to provide (airstrikes) was a U.S.
Despite sunny forecast, South Carolina ordeal far from over COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina was expecting sunshine Tuesday after days of inundation, but it will still take weeks for the state to return to normal after being pummeled by a historic rainstorm. Even as the rain tapered off, officials warned of the likelihood of new evacuations - such as one ordered Monday afternoon in one of two towns east of downtown Columbia where two dams were breached. The governor warned communities downstream that a mass of water was working its way through waterways toward the low-lying coast - bringing the potential for more flooding and more displaced residents. "This is not over.
Sunken ship had enough lifeboats, but storm overpowered it JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - On a vessel taking on water and listing to one side, buffeted by 50-foot waves and winds estimated at up to 140 mph, life rafts can be torn apart and lifeboats become impossible to drop into the sea. For the crew of the El Faro cargo ship, who trained regularly in calm waters to handle the lifeboats, the situation would quickly have become desperate. "Sometimes circumstances overwhelm you. You can do all the planning you want," said Steven Werse, a ship captain and secretary-treasurer of the Master Mates and Pilots Union in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. The union is not affiliated with the El Faro's crew or owners.
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US government deports fewest immigrants in nearly a decade WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, according to government figures obtained by The Associated Press. Deportations of criminal immigrants have fallen to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, despite his pledge to focus on finding and deporting criminals living in the country illegally. The share of criminal immigrants deported in relation to overall immigrants deported rose slightly, from 56 percent to 59 percent. The overall total of 231,000 deportations generally does not include Mexicans who were caught at the border and quickly returned home by the U.S.
In writings, Oregon gunman ranted about others being crazy ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) - The gunman who killed nine people at an Oregon community college last week complained in writings he left behind that everyone else was crazy and ranted about not having a girlfriend, a law enforcement official said. The mother of shooter Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, has told investigators that he was struggling with some mental health issues, the official also said Monday. The official is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to speak publicly because it is ongoing. In the writings that spanned a couple of pages, Harper-Mercer seemed to feel like he was very rational while others around him were not, the official said.
NATO chief: Russian jets in Turkish airspace no accident BRUSSELS (AP) - NATO's secretary-general on Tuesday rejected Moscow's claim that its military incursion into alliance airspace over Turkey wasn't intentional or important, saying there were two separate incidents and "the violation lasted for a long time." Turkey's military, meanwhile, said more of its jets patrolling the border with Syria were placed in a radar lock by Russian planes and surface-to-air missile systems. In Syria, Russian warplanes reportedly continued pounding targets in the country, where the Kremlin has come to the aid of beleaguered ally President Bashar Assad. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference in Brussels that recent breaches of Turkish airspace by Russian warplanes were "very serious"- even dangerous.
Syria's skies crowded with multiple air forces WASHINGTON (AP) - The skies over Syria are increasingly crowded - and increasingly dangerous. The air forces of multiple countries are on the attack, often at cross purposes in Syria's civil war, sometimes without coordination. And now, it seems, they are at risk of unintended conflict. The latest entry in the air war is Russia. It says it is bombing the Islamic State in line with U.S. priorities, but the U.S. says Russia is mainly striking anti-government rebels in support of its ally, President Bashar Assad. The Russians, who are not coordinating with the Americans, reportedly also have hit at least one U.S.-supported rebel group.
Workers removing Ten Commandments from Oklahoma Capitol OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A granite monument of the Ten Commandments that has sparked controversy since its installation on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds was being removed late Monday and will be transported to a private conservative think tank for storage. A contractor the state hired began removing the monument shortly after 10:30 p.m. The works comes after the Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision in June that the display violates a state constitutional prohibition on the use of public property to support "any sect, church, denomination or system of religion." The state is paying the contractor about $4,700 to remove the monument and take it to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs' offices a few blocks away, Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus said.
Top EU court rules data sharing pact with US invalid LUXEMBOURG (AP) - Europe's top court ruled Tuesday that data stored on U.S. servers isn't safe because of government spying, a giant blow to companies such as Facebook that might need to change the way they handle private data from Europe. The court's decision declares invalid a pact allowing unfettered transfer of data from Europe to the U.S. by thousands of companies. The case was brought by an Austrian law student in the wake of revelations by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of the extent of the NSA's surveillance programs. Max Schrems complained that U.S. law doesn't offer sufficient protection against surveillance of data transferred by Facebook to servers in the United States.
Nobel Prize for missing piece in neutrino mass puzzle STOCKHOLM (AP) - Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for discovering that tiny particles called neutrinos change identities as they whiz through the universe, proving that they have mass. By uncovering the "chameleon-like" nature of neutrinos, the laureates had solved a long-standing puzzle in particle physics that could alter our grasp of the cosmos, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. "The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe," the academy said. Kajita, 56, is director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and professor at the University of Tokyo.