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AP Top News at 1:17 p.m. EDT

Hong Kong leader rejects protesters' demands
HONG KONG (AP) - Pro-democracy protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them, threatening wider actions if he did not, after he said Tuesday that China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has taken a hard line against any perceived threat to the Communist Party's hold on power, meanwhile vowed in a National Day speech to "steadfastly safeguard" Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. He said Beijing believes Hong Kong will "create an even better future in the big family of the motherland."


Secret Service head takes heat for WH breach
WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing blistering criticism from Congress, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson acknowledged on Tuesday that her agency failed in executing its plan to protect the White House when a man with a knife entered the mansion and ran through half the ground floor before being subdued. "It's unacceptable," Pierson told lawmakers. But her promised review of how the storied but blemished agency carries out its mission of protecting the president - and how it failed to intercept the intruder much earlier - left lawmakers from both parties cold.


US-led airstrikes hit Islamic State near Turkey
BEIRUT (AP) - U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted fighters, vehicles and artillery pieces of the Islamic State group on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border Tuesday, including around a beleaguered Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish that is under assault by the militants, activists said. The aerial campaign, which began last week in Syria and last month in Iraq, aims to destroy the extremist faction known as the Islamic State that has seized control of a huge chunk of territory stretching from northern Syria to the western outskirts of the Iraqi capital.


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Iraqi Arabs claim persecution by Kurds
KIRKUK, Iraq (AP) - When Sunni militants captured Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June, Abu Sara and his family feared their town of Taza, located some 50 kilometers southeast of the city, would inevitably be next. Government soldiers had dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts - forcing residents to fend for themselves. It wasn't before long before the gas was cut, then the water, ahead of the imminent onslaught. The family was left with little choice but to flee to the closest city that could offer them safe haven - Kurdish-dominated Kirkuk.


Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma man who had been suspended from his job was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the gruesome beheading of a co-worker, who was attacked from behind as the man sought revenge, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Alton Nolen, 30, could face the death penalty for Thursday's deadly attack on Colleen Hufford, 54, at the Vaughan Foods plant in Moore. He also faces two assault charges.


California becomes first state to ban plastic bags
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, driven to action by a buildup of litter and damage to aquatic ecosystems. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015.


Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers
TOKYO (AP) - Huge boulders falling from the sky. Billowing gray smoke that cast total darkness over the mountain. Volcanic ash piling on the ground and fumes filling the air. Some survivors of the eruption of Mount Ontake made a split-second decision to hide behind big rocks or escaped into lodges that dot the mountain's slopes. Outdoors, other hikers fell, hit by rocks or possibly suffocated by gases, and quickly buried in ash. At least 36 people were killed in Saturday's surprise eruption.


EBay to split off lucrative PayPal business
NEW YORK (AP) - EBay is splitting off its fastest growing segment, payment service PayPal, the e-commerce company said Tuesday. Investors applauded the news, sending eBay's shares up nearly 7 percent in morning trading.


Olympian Michael Phelps arrested on DUI charge
BALTIMORE (AP) - Police arrested Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps on a DUI charge early Tuesday, and officials say he was speeding and failed field sobriety tests when officers pulled him over. Phelps, 29, was charged with driving under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.


NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The NFL said Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception. The league's rule book prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground, but spokesman Michael Signora wrote in an email Tuesday that the "officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play."