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AP Top News at 7:26 a.m. EDT

Congress scrutinizes Obama military strategy
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria is being scrutinized in Congress, where the expanded military campaign has broad support but faces skepticism rooted in more than a decade of war. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the first in a series of high-profile Capitol Hill hearings that will measure the president's ability to rally congressional support.


US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. President Barack Obama planned to announce the stepped-up effort Tuesday during a visit to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and that the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.


10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. HOW U.S. RAMPS UP RESPONSE TO EBOLA


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Northern California wildfire devastates town
WEED, Calif. (AP) - Dan Linville and his son were sitting in their living room when they smelled smoke. When they looked outside, they saw a black cloud coming over the hills. Ten minutes later, a fire driven by fierce winds raced through their neighborhood, missing them by three houses and torching a roof across the street.


Scotland took long road to independence vote
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - On Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh, stands Scotland's National Monument. A colonnade of classical stone pillars modeled on the Parthenon in Athens, it's grand, inspiring - and unfinished, ever since the money to build it ran out two centuries ago. It's a fitting image for the country as seen by independence campaigners, who hope voters will finish Scotland's incomplete journey to statehood by backing separation from Britain in a referendum on Thursday.


Street gangs tone down use of colors, tattoos
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Nearly gone are the gang days of the 1980s and '90s, when the Bloods wore head-to-toe red, the Crips wore blue and Latin Kings wore black and gold. Gangs from coast to coast have toned down their use of colors and are even removing or altering tattoos to avoid being easily identified by police and witnesses, law enforcement officials say.


Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, killing three troops from the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians, officials said. Security forces in full battle gear administered CPR to wounded comrades shortly after the 8:10 a.m. blast, which rattled nearby neighborhoods and sent a plume of smoke high into the sky. The attack happened only a couple hundred yards from the U.S. Embassy, on a main Kabul road that leads to the airport.


Researchers explore shipwrecks near San Francisco
GULF OF THE FARALLONES NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY (AP) - Federal researchers are exploring several underwater sites where ships sank while navigating in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. Over the past week, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a remote controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with sonar and video cameras, to examine and record the historic shipwrecks.


Trump Plaza shuts down; 4th AC casino to close
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino closed its doors early Tuesday, the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly-up so far this year. When it opened on May 14, 1984, Donald Trump called it the finest building in Atlantic City, and possibly the nation.


Ukraine parliament ratifies EU pact
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's parliament ratified an agreement to deepen economic and political ties with the European Union on Tuesday, and passed legislation to grant autonomy to the rebellious east as part of a peace deal. The ratification vote draws a line under the issue that last year sparked Ukraine's crisis, which resulted in the ousting of the president, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and a war with the Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 2,600 people.


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