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AP Top News at 5:48 p.m. EDT

Officials confirm first Ebola case diagnosed in US
DALLAS (AP) - A patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case of the disease to be diagnosed in the United States, federal health officials announced Tuesday. Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital say the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation and that the hospital is following Centers for Disease Control recommendations to keep doctors, staff and patients safe.


Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach
WASHINGTON (AP) - Under withering criticism from Congress, the director of the Secret Service on Tuesday admitted failures in her agency's critical mission of protecting the president but repeatedly sidestepped key questions about how a knife-carrying intruder penetrated ring after ring of security before finally being tackled deep inside the White House. Despite the extraordinary lapses in the Sept. 19 incident, Julia Pierson asserted: "The president is safe today."


No images of Hong Kong protests in China's media
BEIJING (AP) - China's government has cut off news about Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests to the rest of the country, a clampdown so thorough that no image of the rallies has appeared in state-controlled media, and at least one man has been detained for reposting accounts of the events. By contrast, media in semiautonomous Hong Kong have been broadcasting nonstop about the crowds, showing unarmed students fending off tear gas and pepper spray with umbrellas as they call for more representative democracy in the former British colony.


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Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters
HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong's leader refused to meet with pro-democracy demonstrators by their midnight deadline Tuesday, despite their threats to expand the street protests that have posed the stiffest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. With tens of thousands of people clogging the streets of the Asian financial center, protesters counted down to midnight and cheered as the deadline passed.


Kurds claim advances in Iraq as Britain joins fray
SALHIYAH, Iraq (AP) - Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq captured a border crossing with Syria on Tuesday, expelling Islamic State militants in heavy fighting that ground down to vicious house-to-house combat and close quarters sniping. In neighboring Syria, Kurdish militiamen were on the defensive as the extremists pressed ahead with a relentless assault on a town near the Turkish border. The attack on Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, has driven more than 160,000 people across the frontier in the past few days.


Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma man apparently uttered Arabic words during an attack in which he allegedly severed a co-worker's head, and had "some sort of infatuation with beheadings," but the killing appeared to have more to do with the man's suspension from his job than his recent conversion to Islam, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Alton Nolen, 30, could face the death penalty after being charged with first-degree murder in the attack Thursday that authorities say appears to have been an act of revenge for a co-worker's complaint that got him suspended.


Realtor's body found; suspect pleads not guilty
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A parolee accused of abducting and killing a top-selling Arkansas real estate agent had contacted her to set up an appointment to view a vacant house, authorities said Tuesday, hours after discovering the woman's body in a shallow grave at a concrete company. Police found Beverly Carter's body early Tuesday, five days after she went to show the house in a rural area near Little Rock and never returned. Authorities arrested Arron Michael Lewis, 33, on Monday on suspicion of kidnapping, and preliminary charges of capital murder and robbery were added after Carter's body was found buried at a business where Lewis previously worked.


Court mulls legality of firing for pot use off job
DENVER (AP) - Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it. Now, the state's highest court is considering whether workers' off-duty use of medical marijuana is protected under state law.


California becomes first state to ban plastic bags
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015.


What's PayPal's first solo move?
NEW YORK (AP) - PayPal's impending split from long-time partner eBay Inc. will ratchet up its appeal to online retail competitors such as Amazon.com and give it the freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challenger Apple Pay. For eBay, the challenge will be how to drive revenue without its fastest-growing division. The move marks a 180-degree turn for eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe, who had been adamant in spurning activist investor Carl Icahn's call months ago to spin off PayPal. Donahoe, who will step down after the split is finalized in the second half of next year, said he now agrees that it's the right path for both companies. With the launch of Apple Pay next month expected to reshape the mobile payments industry, Icahn said he's "happy" eBay came around, "perhaps a little later than they should have, but earlier than we expected."