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AP Top News at 9:41 a.m. EDT

Foreigners who joined IS faced almost certain death in Raqqa
PARIS (AP) - The forces fighting the remnants of the Islamic State group in Syria have tacit instructions on dealing with the foreigners who joined the extremist group by the thousands: Kill them on the battlefield. As they made their last stand in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, an estimated 300 extremists holed up in and around a sports stadium and a hospital argued among themselves about whether to surrender, according to Kurdish commanders leading the forces that closed in. The final days were brutal - 75 coalition airstrikes in 48 hours and a flurry of desperate IS car bombs that were easily spotted in the sliver of devastated landscape still under militant control.


Bannon faults George W. Bush for 'destructive' presidency
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Former White House adviser Steve Bannon depicted former President George W. Bush as bumbling and inept, faulting him for presiding over a "destructive" presidency during his time in the White House. Bannon's scathing remarks on Friday night amounted to a retort to a Bush speech in New York earlier this week, in which the 43rd president denounced bigotry in Trump-era American politics and warned that the rise of "nativism," isolationism and conspiracy theories have clouded the nation's true identity. But Bannon, speaking to a capacity crowd at a California Republican Party convention, said Bush had embarrassed himself and didn't know what he was talking about.


Trump jabs back at 'wacky' congresswoman as spat rolls on
WASHINGTON (AP) - Unwilling to put the tussling behind, President Donald Trump on Saturday jabbed back at the Democratic lawmaker who has slammed him for his words of condolence to a military widow, calling Rep. Frederica Wilson "wacky" and contending she is "killing" her party. Trump's broadside came a day after the White House defended chief of staff John Kelly after he mischaracterized Wilson's remarks and called her an "empty barrel" making noise. A Trump spokeswoman said it was "inappropriate" to question Kelly in light of his stature as a retired four-star general. The fight between Trump and the Miami-area Democrat began Tuesday said Trump told the pregnant widow of a service member killed in the African nation of Niger that her 25-year-old husband "knew what he signed up for." Wilson was riding with the family of family of Sgt.


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Egyptian officials say 54 police killed in Egypt attack
CAIRO (AP) - At least 54 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed when a raid on a militant hideout outside of Cairo escalated into an all-out firefight, authorities said Saturday. It was one of the largest losses of life for Egyptian security forces since militants began targeting government forces after the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, whose one-year rule proved divisive. The officials said the exchange of fire began late Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza governorate, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) from the capital after security services moved in. The officials say the death toll could increase.


Court, for now, blocks immigrant teen's access to abortion
WASHINGTON (AP) - An appeals court is blocking, for now, an abortion sought by a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant being held in a Texas facility, ruling that the government should have time to try to release her so she can obtain the abortion outside of federal custody. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its ruling Friday hours after arguments from lawyers for the Trump administration and the teenager. The court ruled 2-1 that the government should have until Oct. 31 to release the girl into the custody of a sponsor, such as an adult relative in the United States.


Judge tosses $417M award against Johnson & Johnson
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge on Friday tossed out a $417 million jury award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using Johnson & Johnson talc-based baby powder for feminine hygiene. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson granted the company's request for a new trial, saying there were errors and jury misconduct in the previous trial that ended with the award two months ago. Nelson also ruled that there wasn't convincing evidence that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive. The decision will be appealed even though Eva Echeverria has died, said her attorney, Mark Robinson Jr.


Funeral set for soldier at center of Trump fight
COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) - Mourners are expected to pack a church Saturday to honor a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman. Family, friends and neighbors of Sgt. La David T. Johnson will attend his funeral service at a suburban Fort Lauderdale church and others are expected to line the streets outside to salute him. Johnson, 25, was one of four U.S. Special Forces troops killed Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger in an attack by militants linked to the Islamic State group. Four soldiers from Niger also died.


Killer of Navajo Nation girl gets life prison sentence
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl on the largest American Indian reservation was sentenced Friday to life in prison in a case that drew national attention over abducted Native American children. Tom Begaye was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the May 2016 killing of Ashlynne Mike on the Navajo Nation. Her abduction and killing prompted calls to expand the Amber Alert missing child notification system and the death penalty to U.S. tribal communities. The alert system has not been fully adopted.


Spanish PM seeks Senate backing to take over Catalonia govt
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - The Spanish government moved decisively Saturday to use a previously untapped constitutional power so it can take control of Catalonia and derail the independence movement led by separatist politicians in the prosperous industrial region. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said after a special Cabinet session that he wants the Senate to allow central ministers to take over functions from all the regional Cabinet members and give him the power to call regional elections - something that only Catalonia's top leader can do now. Rajoy said he is using Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in order to "restore normalcy" in the country, which faces its most grave institutional crisis in decades with Catalonia's independence movement.


This week in odd news: Bathtub gator; Too fat for prison?
BROKE? NOPE. MAN SAYS HE'S PENNILESS, BUT DEPUTIES FIND $4K ON HIM COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio defendant who vowed he was penniless and couldn't pay a fine now faces a big one after deputies escorting him from court found he had over $4,000 in his clothes. The Columbus Dispatch reports that 36-year-old Lawrence Knox swore he was indigent during an Oct. 5 hearing after pleading guilty to a drug charge in Franklin County court. Deputies taking him to be processed for his six-year prison sentence then found he had $4,060 on him. When the judge learned that, he gave Knox the maximum fine of $20,000, plus court costs.