AP Interview: Iraq premier says no foreign troops BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's prime minister strongly rejected the idea of the U.S. or other nations sending ground forces to his country to help fight the Islamic State group, saying Wednesday that foreign troops are "out of the question." In his first interview with foreign media since taking office on Sept. 8, Haider al-Abadi told The Associated Press that the U.S. aerial campaign currently targeting the militants who have overrun much of northern and western Iraq has helped efforts to roll back the Sunni extremists. He also urged the international community to go after the group in neighboring Syria, saying the battle will prove endless unless the militants are wiped out there as well.
Wary lawmakers ready to OK arms for Syrian rebels WASHINGTON (AP) - Wary House lawmakers prepared to give President Barack Obama authority to arm and train Syrian rebels in the fight against Islamic State militants Wednesday as Iraq's new prime minister dismissed the notion that the struggle could lead to U.S. forces again fighting on the ground in his country. "Not only is it not necessary, we don't want them. We won't allow them," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Obama reaffirms opposition to US combat in Iraq TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - President Barack Obama reaffirmed Wednesday that he does not intend to send U.S. troops into combat against the Islamic State group, despite doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels to carry out the ground fight on their own. "The American forces do not and will not have a combat mission," Obama told troops at MacDill Air Force Base.
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Emotions mount on final day of Scottish campaign EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - Will the ayes have it, or will Scotland say naw thanks? No one is certain. Excitement and anxiety mounted across the country Wednesday, the final day of campaigning before Thursday's referendum on independence.
Police run down tips about trooper ambush suspect BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities hunting for a suspect in last week's fatal ambush outside a rural state police barracks chased down several mistaken sightings Wednesday as schools closed down and the public remained on edge. Law enforcement massed in a forested area to check out one of the latest tips, from workers who said they saw an armed person wearing camouflage, according to Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman. Police have been "getting sightings all over the place," but none have panned out so far, he said.
Social media sleuths aid gay couple beating probe PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Police searching for a group of suspects in the beating of a gay couple say they got an assist from social media users, and a defense lawyer said Wednesday that some of them were turning themselves in for questioning. A security video of the group strolling downtown was posted by police Tuesday and set the online community to work. Within hours, a Twitter user posted a photo of the well-dressed men and women gathered at a restaurant. Another got help figuring out which restaurant, used Facebook to find people who had "checked in" there and started matching faces to names.
Red tide off northwest Florida could hit economy CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - It's like Florida's version of The Blob. Slow moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region's economy. Known as "red tide," this particular strain called Karenia brevis is present nearly every year off Florida, but large blooms can be particularly devastating. Right now, the algae is collecting in an area about 60 miles wide and 100 miles long, about 5 to 15 miles off St. Petersburg in the south and stretching north to Florida's Big Bend, where the peninsula ends and the Panhandle begins.
Polish fears of Russia run high on war anniversary WARSAW, Poland (AP) - It was an unexpected question from a woman hoping to sell me her Warsaw apartment: "Are you sure you want to buy now, when war could be coming?" Though she was half joking, her comment revealed an anxiety Poles express frequently these days - that Russian aggression in Ukraine could spread, upending this NATO and European Union member's most peaceful and prosperous era in centuries.
Q&A: Barbra Streisand, the feminist, sings on NEW YORK (AP) - Barbra Streisand's new album of duets only includes male singers, but it wasn't a conscious effort to exclude females. "Everyone we asked was ... busy," Streisand said. The performer almost scored one major diva: Beyonce.
After making 'mistake,' Vikings bench RB Peterson MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hours after reversing course and benching Adrian Peterson indefinitely, Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said Wednesday that the team "made a mistake" in bringing back its superstar following his indictment on a felony child-abuse charge in Texas. "We made a mistake and we need to get this right," he said at a crowded news conference. "It is important to always listen to our fans and the community and our sponsors. Our goal is always to make the decision we feel is right for the Minnesota Vikings ... We want to be sure we get this right."