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AP Top International News At 9:26 p.m. EST

INSIDE KOBANI: Devastation mixed with optimism
KOBANI, Syria (AP) -- Blocks of low-rise buildings with hollow facades, shattered concrete, streets strewn with rubble and overturned, crumpled remains of cars and trucks. Such is the landscape in Kobani, where the sounds of rifle and mortar fire resonate all day long in fighting between Islamic State extremists and the Syrian town's Kurdish defenders....

Rebels push forward in southern Syria
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet south of the capital Damascus, capturing a string of towns from government forces and aiming to carve out a swath of territory leading to the doorstep of President Bashar Assad's seat of power....

Pope urges more Muslim opposition to IS in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbaric violence" being committed in Islam's name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as he arrived in neighboring Turkey Friday for a delicate visit aimed at improving interfaith ties....

Oil plunge is threat and boon to global economies
A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. Yet it is also a bonus for consumers as prices fall at the pump, giving individuals more spending money and lowering costs for many businesses....

French president cheered in Ebola-stricken Guinea
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) -- French President Francois Hollande brought a message of hope to Guinea on Friday, where thousands of residents lined the roads while clapping, drumming and dancing to catch a glimpse of the first Western leader to visit a country hard hit by Ebola....

Police: Blasts at mosque in Nigeria kill 35 people
KANO, Nigeria (AP) -- Multiple explosions tore through the central mosque in Nigeria's second-largest city on Friday, killing 35 people, police said....

Russian doctor rebellion causes headache for Putin
MOSCOW (AP) -- Dr. Semyon Galperin spent a decade in medical research in Russia and as much time in the United States, working at top hospitals and research companies. Despite his expertise, Galperin was recently given a stark ultimatum from the Moscow hospital where he works: Leave or stay on as a lowly hospital attendant....

Sarkozy's back _ but can he regain the presidency?
PARIS (AP) -- Nicolas Sarkozy tried to quit politics after losing the French presidency, and instead followed his wife's international singing tours and traveled the speakers' circuit....

AP PHOTOS: Brazil housing shortage a daily drama
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- When it rains, the dirt floor of the home where Taina Ferreira lives with her three small children turns to mud, and the contents of the open sewer that cuts in front of her front door sweep into the house....

Venezuelan classical music system under fire
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- It has been praised the world over as a model for uplifting disadvantaged youth by connecting them with classical music....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Jake Simkin
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Up to the Minute
Africa
Police: Blasts at mosque in Nigeria kill 35 people

Asia
Taiwan local elections test pro-China ruling party

Europe
Russian Navy successfully tests new missile

Latin America/Caribbean
Argentina IDs accounts in alleged tax evasion

Middle East
Officials: Israel's Eisenkot named military chief