Obama seals Iran deal win as Senate Democrats find 34 votes WASHINGTON (AP) - Overcoming ferocious opposition, President Barack Obama secured a legacy-defining foreign policy victory Wednesday as Senate Democrats clinched the necessary votes to ensure the Iran nuclear agreement survives in Congress. The decisive 34th commitment came from Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski, who is retiring next year after three decades in the Senate. In a statement she said "no deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime." But she called the pact "the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb."
AP sources: GOP seeks pledge to avert Trump third-party run WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to avert a 2016 disaster, the Republican National Committee on Wednesday challenged every GOP presidential candidate to sign a pledge not to undertake a third-party bid under any circumstances. The challenge, confirmed by multiple campaigns, is aimed squarely at Donald Trump. And the timing of the pledge suggests an agreement has been reached.
China marks Japan WWII defeat, shows rising power in parade BEIJING (AP) - China's leader presided over a parade of tanks, missiles and troops that displayed growing military might Thursday as fighter jets roared overhead, but pledged a 300,000 reduction in troops in a bid to show his country poses no expansionist threat. The massive parade through the heart of Beijing commemorated Japan's World War defeat seven decades ago, with helicopters zooming across the sky in an array forming the number 70, but the event also underlined President Xi Jinping's determination to make China the pre-eminent Asian power.
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Migrants flood Budapest rail station; no trains to the West BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - Migrants have flooded into Budapest's Keleti train station as police leave, but the train operator says that there will be no trains going to Western Europe. The rail company says its stance was due to "railway transport" security reasons.
In Alaska, Obama becomes 1st president to enter the Arctic KOTZEBUE, Alaska (AP) - President Barack Obama crossed the Arctic Circle on Wednesday in a first by a sitting U.S. president, telling residents in a far-flung Alaska village that their plight should be the world's wake-up call on global warming. Obama's visit to Kotzebue, a town of some 3,000 people in the Alaska Arctic, was designed to snap the country to attention by illustrating the ways warmer temperatures have already threatened entire communities and ways of life in Alaska. He said, despite progress in reducing greenhouse gases, the planet is already warming and the U.S. isn't doing enough to stop it.
Guatemala president ordered detained in corruption probe GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - A Guatemalan judge has issued an unprecedented order to detain President Otto Perez Molina in a fraud scandal that has engulfed his government, dealing the most serious blow yet to entrenched political corruption in the Central American country. The order is not for arrest, but for Perez Molina to declare before Judge Miguel Angel Galvea, who granted the request Wednesday from Attorney General Thelma Aldana, she told Canal Antigua television.
Kentucky clerk gets help from GOP state Senate president FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Republican president of the Kentucky state Senate has asked a federal judge to withhold his ruling ordering a county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers says U.S. District Judge David Bunning needs to give the state legislature time to pass a law that would exempt Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis from having to issue marriage licenses. The state legislature is not in session and won't be until January. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has refused to call for a special session, arguing it would waste taxpayer money for an issue that only affects one clerk.
Big cities scramble to be prepared for an oil train disaster PHILADELPHIA (AP) - They rumble past schools, homes and businesses in dozens of cities around the country - 100-car trains loaded with crude oil from the Upper Midwest. While railroads have long carried hazardous materials through congested urban areas, cities are now scrambling to formulate emergency plans and to train firefighters amid the latest safety threat: a fiftyfold increase in crude shipments that critics say has put millions of people living or working near the tracks at heightened risk of derailment, fire and explosion.
Hunt for 3 suspects widens after Illinois officer's death FOX LAKE, Ill. (AP) - Authorities broadened the hunt Wednesday for three suspects wanted in the fatal shooting of a popular Illinois police officer, even as they acknowledged that they had no indication the men were still in the area where the slaying happened. After an intensive 14-hour "grid search" of homes, railroad tracks and marshland in the village of Fox Lake, the second-day manhunt turned to the painstaking detective work of chasing down tips, collecting and reviewing surveillance video and interviewing residents near the crime scene. Meanwhile, new search teams rippled out into subdivisions beyond the initial 2-square-mile perimeter established on Tuesday. At least 100 investigators were on the ground.
UNICEF: 40 percent school dropouts in Mideast conflict areas AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Forty percent of children from five conflict-scarred Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children said Thursday, warning that losing this generation will lead to more militancy, migration and a dim future for the region. An estimated 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school, out of a total of 34 million, UNICEF said.