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AP Top News at 5:43 p.m. EDT

Senate candidates face dilemma on arming Syrians
WASHINGTON (AP) - One of the most endangered Senate Democrats broke with President Barack Obama on Thursday over his request to train and arm Syrian rebels battling brutal Islamic State militants, while his Republican opponent backed the Democratic president. The unusual stances taken by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and his GOP challenger, Dan Sullivan, emerged as the legislation on Syrian rebels created a knotty dilemma for those in tough races in November.


Vote counting begins in Scotland on independence
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - Excitement vied with apprehension as Scottish voters went to the polls Thursday in a referendum on independence, deciding whether to dissolve a 307-year union with England that brought prosperity but has increasingly felt stifling to many Scots. As the polls closed and the vote counting began, there was a quiet thrill of history in the making on the fog-shrouded streets of Scotland's capital, Edinburgh. Many Scots were staying up all night in homes and bars to watch the results roll in.


Senate ready to support Obama on rebel aid
WASHINGTON (AP) - Eager to adjourn for midterm elections, the Senate steamed toward final congressional approval Thursday of President Barack Obama's request to train Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic state militants in the Middle East. The legislation also provides funding for the government after the end of the budget year on Sept. 30, eliminating any threat of a shutdown in the run-up to November elections for a new House and control of the Senate. The House approved the bill on Wednesday.


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10 Things to See: A week of top AP photos
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see. This week's collection includes a motorcycle crash in Italy; piglets being carried over floodwater in the Philippines; geologists surveying lava from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii; the flames from a raging wildfire reflecting off the still water of a lake in California.


Ukraine's pleas for lethal aid from US go unmet
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, President Barack Obama welcomed the new leader of the embattled former Soviet republic to the White House Thursday, but he stopped short of fulfilling his visitor's urgent request for lethal aid to fight Russian-backed separatists. Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko renewed his call for American weaponry during an emotional address to a joint meeting of Congress, where his remarks were repeatedly interrupted by applause from lawmakers in both parties. While he expressed appreciation for the non-lethal assistance from the U.S., Poroshenko said it was not enough to quell the violence that has dogged eastern Ukraine.


Kansas court: Remove Democrat from Senate ballot
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered the state to remove U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Chad Taylor's name from the ballot, in a ruling that could influence the national fight for control of the Senate. The court's decision Thursday leaves Democrats without a nominee, potentially making it easier for independent candidate Greg Orman to defeat three-term Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. The GOP has counted on Roberts winning re-election on Nov. 4 as they seek to recapture a Senate majority.


Militant gains illustrate plight of Syrian Kurds
BEIRUT (AP) - Islamic State militiamen backed by tanks defiantly advanced Thursday in Syria, capturing more than 20 Kurdish villages as the international community strains to assemble a coalition that might destroy them. The gains highlighted the plight of Syria's Kurds, who have been some of the most successful against the Islamic extremists. But unlike U.S.-backed Iraqi Kurds, they seem largely on their own in a devastated country where the enemy's enemy is not necessarily a friend.


Witness: 21 killed by Mexico army had surrendered
ARCELIA, Mexico (AP) - A woman says she saw Mexican soldiers shoot and kill her 15-year-old daughter after a confrontation with a suspected drug gang even though the teenager was lying wounded on the ground. Twenty others also were shot and killed in rural southern Mexico after they surrendered and were disarmed, the mother told The Associated Press. The Mexican government has maintained that all died during a fierce shootout when soldiers were fired on in the early morning of June 30. That version came into question because government troops suffered only one wounded, and physical evidence at the scene pointed toward more selective killings.


Border Patrol to test wearing cameras
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Border Patrol will begin testing body-worn cameras on agents next month, the head of its parent agency said Thursday, a step toward seeing if the technology should be used in the field as the government seeks to blunt criticism about agents' use of force. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Customs and Border Protection commissioner since March, said a variety of cameras will be tested beginning Oct. 1 at the Border Patrol's training academy in Artesia, New Mexico.


CDC tells healthy adults not to forget flu vaccine
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's time for flu vaccine again and while it's important for the whole family, this year health officials have some different advice for different ages: Certain kids should opt for the ouchless nasal spray. Seniors, expect to get a new kind of pneumonia shot along with that flu jab. And too many young and middle-age adults are skipping the vaccine altogether, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - even though there are more options than ever.