AP Top News at 12:09 a.m. EDT

Airstrikes alone may not defeat Sunni militants
BAGHDAD (AP) - In their Syrian strongholds, extremists from the Islamic State group had been moving into civilian apartment buildings for cover days before the U.S. and its allies began pounding them before dawn Tuesday, activists say. It's just one sign of the difficulties in trying to destroy the group by relying mainly on airstrikes. Breaking the militants' hold over the cities they have captured in both Iraq and Syria will be complicated because the group can easily melt into the population. In the Iraqi city of Mosul, the extremists have enough support among the mainly Sunni Muslim population that they have reduced the presence of their fighters in the streets without apparent worry about their grip on power.


Obama opens a new front against al-Qaida
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. decision to strike the Khorasan Group to stop a possible terror attack represents a significant expansion of the largely secret war against core al-Qaida, a group President Barack Obama has proclaimed was "a shadow of its former self." Administration officials said Tuesday they have been watching the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaida cell in Syria, for years. But Obama had resisted taking military action in Syria to avoid inadvertently helping President Bashar Assad, a leader the U.S. would like to see gone. That changed, officials said, because intelligence showed that the Khorasan Group was in the final stages of plotting attacks against the U.S. and Europe, most likely an attempt to blow up an airplane in flight.


India successfully puts spacecraft in Mars' orbit
NEW DELHI (AP) - India triumphed in its first interplanetary mission, placing a satellite into orbit around Mars on Wednesday morning and catapulting the country into an elite club of deep-space explorers. Scientists broke into wild cheers as the orbiter's engines completed 24 minutes of burn time to maneuver the spacecraft into its designated place around the red planet.


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Obama urges world to follow US lead on climate
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - In the first international test for his climate-change strategy, President Barack Obama pressed world leaders Tuesday to follow the United States' lead on the issue, even as a United Nations summit revealed the many obstacles that still stand in the way of wider agreements to reduce heat-trapping pollution. "The United States has made ambitious investments in clean energy and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions," Obama said. "Today I call on all countries to join us, not next year or the year after that, but right now. Because no nation can meet this global threat alone."


US warns that Ebola could infect 1.4 million
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. health officials Tuesday laid out worst-case and best-case scenarios for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, warning that the number of infected people could explode to at least 1.4 million by mid-January - or peak well below that, if efforts to control the outbreak are ramped up. The widely varying projections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were based on conditions in late August and do not take into account a recent international surge in medical aid for the stricken region. That burst has given health authorities reason for some optimism.


Poor supports Brazil's president in re-election
SAO PAULO (AP) - Life may still be tough for millions of poor Brazilians - but it's also never been better. And that's the key for President Dilma Rousseff's re-election bid.


Suspect charged in case of missing UVa student
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The man authorities believe was the last person seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared has been charged with abduction, police said Tuesday night. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said at a news conference that officers are looking for Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., 32, after obtaining a felony arrest warrant from a magistrate on a charge of abduction with intent to defile. They also continue to search for 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who went missing early the morning of Sept. 13.


Fire destroys Michael Brown memorial in Ferguson
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Anger spilled over Tuesday after fire destroyed one of two memorials on the street where Michael Brown was killed, a site that has become sacred to many in Ferguson and others nationwide focused on interactions between minorities and police. How the fire happened wasn't immediately clear, but it stoked fresh resentment among those who question whether the shooting of the unarmed, black 18-year-old by a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9 is being adequately investigated.


Palestinians seek $3.8B in aid for Gaza
NEW YORK (AP) - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Tuesday he has asked for $3.8 billion in urgent aid to help rebuild Gaza following its devastating 50-day war with Israel this summer. Hamdallah told The Associated Press that Saudi Arabia has pledged $500 million and other nations have indicated they would join in. He spoke at the end of a donor meeting lead by Norway on the sidelines of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.


Pastor: UPS gunman was 'troubled' over work
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The man who killed two former co-workers and then himself at a UPS shipping center Tuesday had told some people that he was having problems at work but never suggested the situation might turn violent, his pastor said. Birmingham police late Tuesday identified the shooter as 45-year-old Kerry Joe Tesney of suburban Trussville. They did not release the slain people's names but said they were part of management. They are investigating as a double homicide and suicide.