AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear smugglers sought terrorist buyers CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) - Over the pulsating beat at an exclusive nightclub, the arms smuggler made his pitch to a client: 2.5 million euros for enough radioactive cesium to contaminate several city blocks. It was earlier this year, and the two men were plotting their deal at an unlikely spot: the terrace of Cocos Prive, a dance club and sushi bar in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. "You can make a dirty bomb, which would be perfect for the Islamic State," the smuggler said. "If you have a connection with them, the business will go smoothly." But the smuggler, Valentin Grossu, wasn't sure the client was for real - and he was right to worry.
South Carolina cleans up, but worries remain amid floods COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The family of Miss South Carolina 1954 found her flood-soaked pageant scrapbook on a dining room floor littered with dead fish on Tuesday, as the first sunny day in nearly two weeks provided a chance to clean up from historic floods. "I would hate for her to see it like this. She would be crushed," said Polly Sim, who moved her 80-year-old mother into a nursing home just before the rainstorm turned much of the state into a disaster area. Owners of inundated homes were keeping close watch on swollen waterways as they pried open swollen doors and tore out soaked carpets.
10 Things to Know for Wednesday Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday: 1. FBI FIGHTS ATTEMPTS TO SMUGGLE NUCLEAR MATERIAL TO TERRORISTS The successful busts, however, were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling. 2. SOUTH CAROLINA GETS A RESPITE FROM RAINSTORMS Tuesday was the first dry day since Sept. 24 in the state capital, but officials warned that new evacuations could come as the huge mass of water flows toward the sea. 3. WHY THE TOP U.S. COMMANDER IN AFGHANISTAN RECOMMENDS KEEPING MORE TROOPS THERE Gen.
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Top general recommends keeping more US troops in Afghanistan WASHINGTON (AP) - The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan recommended on Tuesday that President Barack Obama revise his plan and keep more than 1,000 U.S. troops in the country beyond 2016, just days after a deadly U.S. airstrike "mistakenly struck" a hospital during fierce fighting in the north. Gen. John F. Campbell told Congress that conditions on the ground have changed since Obama announced his plan in 2014 to cut the current U.S. force of 9,800 to an embassy-based security contingent of about 1,000 in Kabul post-2016. Obama has vowed to a war-weary nation to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan and get American troops out by the time he leaves office in January 2017.
Oregon shooter's mother wrote about guns in online forum PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The mother of a gunman who killed nine people and himself at an Oregon community college allowed her troubled son to have guns and acknowledged in online posts that he struggled with autism, but she didn't seem to know he was potentially violent. The online writings by Laurel Harper date from a year ago to nine years ago and offer fresh insight into the gunman, 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer, and his relationship with his mother. The Associated Press didn't speak with Harper about the online postings; a knock on her door went unanswered Tuesday, and her phone's voicemail box was full.
Search for answers begins in sinking of US cargo ship JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - On board the 790-foot El Faro when it set out on its doomed voyage into the path of Hurricane Joaquin were five Polish workers whose job was to prepare the engine room for a retrofitting. Could that work have caused the loss of power that led to the U.S. container ship's sinking? The vessel's owners say they don't believe so, but the question - along with the captain's decision to plot a course near the storm - will almost certainly be part of an investigation launched Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board into the disaster near the Bahamas that may have claimed 33 lives.
New generation of disillusioned Palestinians drives unrest SURDA, West Bank (AP) - A new generation of angry, disillusioned Palestinians is driving the current wave of clashes with Israeli forces: Too young to remember the hardships of life during Israel's clampdown on the last major uprising, they have lost faith in statehood through negotiations, distrust their political leaders and believe Israel only understands force. The recent re-election of hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu to a fourth term as prime minster has only deepened the sense of paralysis. Some young Palestinians say they want to emulate those killed or wounded in confrontations or attacks on Israelis - like Mohannad Halabi, the 19-year-old law student from the West Bank who stabbed to death two Israelis in a bloody rampage in Jerusalem's Old City over the weekend before being shot dead by police.
Transplanting ovarian tissue helps some women have babies LONDON (AP) - The biggest study ever of women who had ovarian tissue removed, frozen and transplanted suggests the experimental technique is safe and can help about one third of them to have babies. The procedure is intended for women with cancer who wish to preserve their fertility, since cancer treatments can harm the ovaries. Scientists typically remove one ovary and cut it into strips before freezing them. Years later after the woman has recovered from cancer, doctors typically graft some of the thawed-out tissue onto the remaining ovary. Researchers followed 41 women in Denmark who underwent the procedure from 2003 to 2014.
Guatemala to investigate for those responsible for mudslide SANTA CATARINA PINULA, Guatemala (AP) - The warning signs were everywhere in the canyon neighborhood of Cambray on the outskirts of Guatemala City, where a mudslide buried hundreds of people last week. Residents lived with regular falling rocks and flooding from the adjacent Pinula River. Evelyn de Cifuentes said her mother-in-law was killed in a smaller slide in 2010 next to her own house. A November report by Guatemala's National Disaster Reduction Commission said there were "fractures in blocks of material that can indicate future slides," and people should be moved out. But the area wasn't declared uninhabitable until Monday, four days after hundreds of people almost certainly perished when a hillside buried acres of the neighborhood.
Syrian rebels face a new reality amid Russian air campaign BEIRUT (AP) - The U.S.-backed rebel group Tajammu Alezzah has been fighting the Syrian military outside the city of Hama for months, but a new player has joined the fray: Russian warplanes, which have repeatedly hit their front-line positions, followed by airstrikes from government planes. Russia's bombing campaign, now a week old, has created a new reality for Syria's opposition. The rebels say the airstrikes are meant to weaken the rebellion against President Bashar Assad, not just crush the Islamic State and other militants as Moscow contends. The Russian airstrikes, more powerful than those by the Syrian military, have hit along several key fronts, even attacking rebel bases along the border with Turkey.