Government confirms first case of Ebola in US DALLAS (AP) - Federal health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., a patient who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas and a sign of the far-reaching impact of the out-of-control epidemic in West Africa. The unidentified patient was critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday, officials said.
Afghan pact signed amid questions on Iraq pullout WASHINGTON (AP) - After lengthy delays, U.S. and Afghan officials signed a security pact Tuesday to keep American troops in Afghanistan beyond year's end, aiming to prevent the country from descending into the kind of chaos that has plagued Iraq following the Pentagon's withdrawal. While President Barack Obama has touted the Afghan accord as crucial to protecting progress in the fight against al-Qaida, he's also insisted that had he reached a similar pact with Iraq, it would have done little to stop the rise of the Islamic State militants now wreaking havoc there and in neighboring Syria.
Forensic link at center of missing student case CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Virginia police aren't saying much at all about their evidence against a suspect in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student, but they seem to be working systematically to link his DNA to an expanding circle of attacks on women, a criminal defense expert suggested Tuesday. Between searches of Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr.'s car and apartment and his arrest on a charge of abducting Hannah Graham last week, police had ample opportunity to obtain genetic evidence connecting him to multiple attacks, said Steve Benjamin, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
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Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach WASHINGTON (AP) - Under withering criticism from Congress, the director of the Secret Service on Tuesday admitted failures in her agency's critical mission of protecting the president but repeatedly sidestepped key questions about how a knife-carrying intruder penetrated ring after ring of security before finally being tackled deep inside the White House. Despite the extraordinary lapses in the Sept. 19 incident, Julia Pierson asserted: "The president is safe today."
No images of Hong Kong protests in China's media BEIJING (AP) - China's government has cut off news about Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests to the rest of the country, a clampdown so thorough that no image of the rallies has appeared in state-controlled media, and at least one man has been detained for reposting accounts of the events. By contrast, media in semiautonomous Hong Kong have been broadcasting nonstop about the crowds, showing unarmed students fending off tear gas and pepper spray with umbrellas as they call for more representative democracy in the former British colony.
Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong's leader refused to meet with pro-democracy demonstrators by their midnight deadline Tuesday, despite their threats to expand the street protests that have posed the stiffest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. With tens of thousands of people clogging the streets of the Asian financial center, protesters counted down to midnight and cheered as the deadline passed.
Kurds claim advances in Iraq as Britain joins fray SALHIYAH, Iraq (AP) - Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq captured a border crossing with Syria on Tuesday, expelling Islamic State militants in heavy fighting that ground down to vicious house-to-house combat and close quarters sniping. In neighboring Syria, Kurdish militiamen were on the defensive as the extremists pressed ahead with a relentless assault on a town near the Turkish border. The attack on Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, has driven more than 160,000 people across the frontier in the past few days.
Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma man apparently uttered Arabic words during an attack in which he allegedly severed a co-worker's head, and had "some sort of infatuation with beheadings," but the killing appeared to have more to do with the man's suspension from his job than his recent conversion to Islam, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Alton Nolen, 30, could face the death penalty after being charged with first-degree murder in the attack Thursday that authorities say appears to have been an act of revenge for a co-worker's complaint that got him suspended.
Realtor's body found; suspect pleads not guilty LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A parolee accused of abducting and killing a top-selling Arkansas real estate agent had contacted her to set up an appointment to view a vacant house, authorities said Tuesday, hours after discovering the woman's body in a shallow grave at a concrete company. Police found Beverly Carter's body early Tuesday, five days after she went to show the house in a rural area near Little Rock and never returned. Authorities arrested Arron Michael Lewis, 33, on Monday on suspicion of kidnapping, and preliminary charges of capital murder and robbery were added after Carter's body was found buried at a business where Lewis previously worked.
Court mulls legality of firing for pot use off job DENVER (AP) - Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it. Now, the state's highest court is considering whether workers' off-duty use of medical marijuana is protected under state law.