AP-GfK Poll: Clinton appears on cusp of commanding victory NEW YORK (AP) - Hillary Clinton appears on the cusp of a potentially commanding victory over Donald Trump, fueled by solid Democratic turnout in early voting, massive operational advantages and increasing enthusiasm among her supporters. A new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday finds that Clinton has grabbed significant advantages over her Republican rival with just 12 days left before Election Day. Among them: consolidating the support of her party and even winning some Republicans. "I'm going to pick Hillary at the top and pick Republican straight down the line," said poll respondent William Goldstein, a 71-year-old from Long Island, New York, who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Trump: I'll run America like my business. Clinton: Let's not WASHINGTON (AP) - His presidential dreams increasingly in question, Donald Trump pushed his business empire to the center of his political campaign Wednesday. Taking a break from battleground states, he made the case at his newest hotel that all Americans should look to his corporate record for evidence of how well he'd run the country. Hillary Clinton agreed, but not the way he meant it. She used campaign events in Florida to attack the GOP nominee for having "stiffed American workers," saying he built his empire with Chinese-manufactured steel, overseas products and labor from immigrants in the country illegally. "Donald Trump is the poster boy for everything wrong with our economy," she told several thousand supporters in Tampa, Florida.
IS driving hundreds into Mosul, using them as human shields QAYARA, Iraq (AP) - Islamic State militants have been going door to door in villages south of Mosul, ordering people at gunpoint on a mileslong trek into the city and using them as human shields as the extremists prepare to defend it from Iraqi forces, according to residents swept up in the forced evacuations. Witnesses described scenes of chaos over the past week as hundreds of people were ordered out of their homes without having time to pack and driven north across the Ninevah plains toward the heavily-fortified city, where IS has been preparing for a climactic showdown. "IS took all of us from our homes at gunpoint and told us they were taking us with them to Mosul," Ahmed Bilal Harish told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
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French authorities declare the Calais migrant camp empty CALAIS, France (AP) - The grim camp known as "the jungle," a symbol of Europe's failure to come to grips with its crisis over asylum seekers, is no more. French authorities declared Wednesday they had cleared out the camp after most of its thousands of residents were driven away on buses - an evacuation accelerated because some of the frustrated, departing migrants set fire to parts of the burgeoning slum. Smoke hung in the air as dusk fell, its stench a reminder of how one of the world's wealthiest nations was unable to create order at the camp, where those fleeing war and poverty have lived in squalor for months or longer.
Pentagon suspends California National Guard bonus repayments WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon worked Wednesday to stave off a public relations nightmare, suspending efforts to force California National Guard troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to repay their enlistment bonuses that may have been improperly awarded. Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the suspension in the wake of angry reaction from congressional Republicans and Democrats. They demanded he relieve the burden on Guard members following news reports that soldiers were asked to repay bonuses that in some cases totaled more than $25,000. The announcement does not end the reimbursement process, but postpones collection efforts while the Pentagon and Congress look for a long-term solution.
Hackers: emails show ties between Kremlin, Ukraine rebels MOSCOW (AP) - A group of Ukrainian hackers has released thousands of emails from an account used by a senior Kremlin official that appear to show close financial and political ties between Moscow and separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine. The cache published by the Ukrainian group CyberHunta reveals contacts between President Vladimir Putin's adviser Vladislav Surkov and the pro-Russia rebels fighting Ukrainian forces. Ukraine's National Security Service said Wednesday the emails were real, although they added the files may have been tampered with. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the published emails as a sham, saying Wednesday that Surkov doesn't use email.
The Latest: Russian envoy attacks UN official over Aleppo The U.N. humanitarian chief is accusing Russia and Syria of using bombing and starvation tactics in eastern Aleppo to push people to surrender or to death, triggering an unusual attack on a U.N. official from the Russian ambassador. The verbal fireworks exploded after Undersecretary-General Stephen O'Brien briefed the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday on what he called "the apocalyptic horror" in rebel-held eastern Aleppo. He blamed Syria for besieging the city and at the same time bombing it with its Russian allies in a deliberate campaign to "make life intolerable, make death likely." Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was "outrageous" that O'Brien spoke as if the bombings in eastern Aleppo are going on now when they have stopped for seven days - and for creating "the impression that chemical weapons have been used" in the rebel-held part of the city.
Tense standoff at Dakota Access protest encampment CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) - The prospect of a police raid on an encampment protesting the Dakota Access pipeline faded as night fell Wednesday, with law enforcement making no immediate move after protesters rejected their request to withdraw from private land. Unmarked aircraft that had been monitoring protesters were withdrawn late in the day, and some activists who had been on hand for a possible confrontation headed back to a larger protest camp on federal land. Law enforcement officials said they were ready to remove about 200 protesters who this weekend set up teepees and tents on land owned by the pipeline company.
2 quakes rattle Italy, crumbling buildings and causing panic ROME (AP) - A pair of strong aftershocks shook central Italy late Wednesday, crumbling churches and buildings, knocking out power and sending panicked residents into the rain-drenched streets just two months after a powerful earthquake killed nearly 300 people. But hours after the temblors hit, there were no reports of serious injuries or death and no signs of people trapped in rubble, though a handful of people were treated for slight injuries or anxiety at area hospitals in the most affected regions of Umbria and Le Marche, said the head of Italy's civil protection agency, Fabrizio Curcio. The quakes were actually aftershocks to the Aug.
Mass protest in Venezuela demanding end of 'dictatorship' CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Anti-government protesters jammed the streets of Venezuela's capital on Wednesday on the heels of a decision by congress to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro, whose allies have blocked moves for a recall election. Tens of thousands of demonstrators shut down Caracas' main highway, and schools and shops were closed as protesters occupied other key points around the city to demand the ouster of Maduro, who many Venezuelans blame for triple-digit inflation and shortages of food, medicines and other basic goods. In other major cities protesters clashed with police in what opposition leaders were calling "the takeover of Venezuela." "Maduro has shown how scared he is that the people will express themselves," opposition leader Henrique Capriles said.