Top general in Afghanistan: US strike on hospital a mistake WASHINGTON (AP) - The deadly American attack on a hospital in northern Afghanistan occurred 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 also told a Senate committee that he thinks President Barack Obama should revise the current plan to reduce the U.S. force in Afghanistan at the end of 2016. The plan calls for cutting the force from 9,800 to about 1,000 embassy-based security. Campbell said he had provided his superiors with several options because conditions in Afghanistan have changed significantly since Obama approved that troop-cut plan in 2014.
South Carolina sees sun, but flooding ordeal far from over COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Carolinas saw sunshine Tuesday after days of inundation, but it could take weeks to recover from being pummeled by a historic rainstorm that caused widespread flooding and 16 deaths. Tuesday was the first completely dry day in Columbia since Sept. 24, but officials warned that new evacuations could be ordered as the huge mass of water flows toward the sea, threatening dams and displacing residents along the way. "God smiled on South Carolina because the sun is out. That is a good sign, but ... we still have to be cautious," Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday after taking an aerial tour.
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.
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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.
Guatemala declares mudslide-hit community uninhabitable SANTA CATARINA PINULA, Guatemala (AP) - Prosecutors in Guatemala said Tuesday they have opened an investigation into who allowed homes to be built in an unsafe area where a massive mudslide killed at least 161 people. Rotman Perez, secretary of criminal policy at the Public Ministry, said officials will seek to find out which officials gave authorization for the construction and determine their degree of responsibility. Meanwhile, officials were weighing what to do with the site of the acres-wide mudslide believed to hold hundreds of bodies, as well as a surrounding area of largely untouched homes declared uninhabitable. Simply too vast to excavate fully, there may come a point where officials simply end digging efforts at the site and declare the area a de-facto graveyard, the buried houses serving as final tombs for the dead.
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.
IMF downgrades forecast for world, emerging market economies LIMA, Peru (AP) - China's slowdown and tumbling commodity prices will push global economic growth this year to the lowest level since the recession year 2009, the International Monetary Fund predicted Tuesday. In a report Tuesday in advance of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings here this week, the fund says the world economy will grow 3.1 percent this year, down from a July forecast of 3.3 percent and from 3.4 percent growth last year. "The risks seem more tilted to the downside than they did just a few months ago," IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld, told reporters. Still, Obstfeld downplayed the risk of a global recession.
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.
Inmates help other prisoners face death in hospice program COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - As late-morning sun streams through narrow prison windows, convicted killer Scott Abram stands beside a fellow inmate, speaks quietly to him and starts singing "Amazing Grace." The prisoner appears to smile, but it's difficult to gauge his response. He is dying. He passes away two days later in early September. Abram is a counselor trained in a national ministry program who sees his volunteer work as part of his own growth. Behind bars since the early 1990s for murder, he has gotten used to spending time with male prison friends as they die in rooms 205 or 206 on the second floor of the state's prison for chronically ill inmates.
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.