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AP Top News at 3:49 a.m. EST

AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, U.S. officials said late Friday. The president's decisions also allow the military to conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed. Obama issued the guidelines in recent weeks, as the American combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, thousands of troops return home, and the military prepares for narrower counterterrorism and training mission for the next two years.


Police: Al-Shabab militants kill 28 in Kenya bus
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Al-Shabab militants from Somalia hijacked a bus in Kenya's north and killed 28 non-Muslims on board after they had been singled out from the rest of the passengers, police officials said Saturday. Two police officers said that the bus traveling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the town Mandera near Kenya's border with Somalia. The officers insisted on anonymity out of fear of reprisals because of an order from Kenya's police chief that officers should not speak to the media.


Stymied? Republicans seek immigration response
WASHINGTON (AP) - United against President Barack Obama but uncertain how to stop him, outraged Republicans struggled for a response on immigration Friday that would check the president without veering into talk of impeachment or a government shutdown. Their remedy was far from clear. Republicans weighed filing a lawsuit. Or trying to block funding for Obama's move. Or advancing immigration measures of their own. But the party was divided, and Obama's veto pen seemed to give him the upper hand.


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For 1 night on stage, embattled Cosby his old self
MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - The protesters didn't show, the would-be hecklers didn't take the bait, the weeks of headlines about sexual assaults disappeared and Bill Cosby, for 90 minutes at least, regained the revered status he long enjoyed. The show Friday night in Melbourne, Florida, might have seemed destined for disaster for the comedian, enveloped in growing accusations of rape and sexual assault that have derailed his career comeback and crumbled his tour schedule. What he got, though, was an adoring audience that laughed so hard they slapped their knees, shouted love at the stage and rose to their feet as he came and went.


Flooding becomes new threat in snowy Buffalo
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - After a three-day onslaught that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo area and killed at least 12 people, the sun came out, but so did predictions of flooding caused by rain and temperatures of up to 60 degrees. Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock said there might be trouble with drainage as snow and the uncollected autumn leaves underneath blocked catch basins.


Official: Ferguson grand jury still meeting
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Activists, authorities and the family of Michael Brown called for calm as a grand jury drew closer to an announcement in the Ferguson police shooting. But it was unclear whether the panel was still at work or when it would render a decision. Earlier Friday, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch told reporters that jurors were reviewing evidence as they weigh whether to indict officer Darren Wilson.


Bahrain holds its first major vote since unrest
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests erupted four years ago, but a boycott called by the country's opposition threatens to overshadow the poll. A collection of opposition groups including al-Wefaq, the country's most organized and popular Shiite group, is urging supporters to stay away from the polls. Al-Wefaq accuses the government of not taking seriously enough reform efforts and improving reconciliation between supporters of Bahrain's Sunni monarchy and an opposition movement dominated by the country's Shiite majority.


Analysis: Obama holds upper hand on immigration
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment. With the public favoring changes in the current immigration system, the Republicans' best short-term response appears to be purely rhetorical: that the president is granting amnesty to millions, and exceeding his constitutional authority in the process. Beyond that, their hopes of reversing his policies appear to be either a years-long lawsuit or the 2016 presidential election.


Report questions role of wealth in Lanza's care
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A new report asks whether the race and affluence of Adam Lanza's family influenced decisions about how to care for his mental health problems in the years before he committed the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Among the findings in the report, which was released Friday by the state office of Child Advocate, is that Lanza's his parents and educators contributed to his social isolation by accommodating - and not confronting - his difficulties engaging with the world.


House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories
WASHINGTON (AP) - A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees. Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.