Russia halts student exchange program with US
MOSCOW (AP) -- The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has voiced regret about Russia's decision to cancel its participation in a major high school student exchange program....
Iraqi Kurds fight Islamic State with aged weapons
MAHMOUDIYAH, Iraq (AP) -- The exhausted Kurdish fighters leaned against a pair of antiquated green cannons on a hill overlooking this northern Iraqi village, the ground around them littered with shrapnel from fierce battles with Islamic State militants....
Hong Kong protesters try to win over tourists
HONG KONG (AP) -- The luxury boutiques of Hong Kong's Tsim Shai Tsui district are so mobbed with vacationing Chinese customers that store owners have put up red velvet ropes to control the crowds. Pro-democracy protesters saw it as a perfect spot to spread the word to their mainland brethren....
Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings
HONG KONG (AP) -- Raising the stakes in their standoff with the authorities, Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters threatened to occupy key government buildings unless the territory's top official resigns by the end of the day Thursday....
Mexico: Alleged drug boss Beltran believed caught
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Alleged cartel capo Hector Beltran Leyva is believed to have been captured, two Mexican federal officials said Wednesday, which would be the latest in a string of high-profile drug arrests in the country....
More bodies found on Japanese volcano; toll now 47
OTAKI, Japan (AP) -- One body recovered near the volcano's peak was in a squatting position and had to be dug out of a thick layer of ash. Another was caught between boulders bigger than large refrigerators. Police who recovered the bodies Wednesday portrayed a painful scene of death around the summit where hikers enjoying an autumn weekend hike were caught by the mountain's surprise eruption....
Ebola-infected passenger was sent home from ER
DALLAS (AP) -- The airline passenger who brought Ebola into the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital said Wednesday in a disclosure that showed how easily an infection could be missed....
Mexico's probe of army slayings raises doubts
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- For more than two months, Mexico did little to explain how a Mexican army patrol escaped practically unharmed from a gunfight that left 22 suspected criminals dead in a grain warehouse. This week, officials changed their story to say soldiers may have committed murder, but questions about the lop-sided confrontation remain....
Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The Palestinians are asking the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for an Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including East Jerusalem in a new push to achieve independence....
Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam's holiest city Mecca
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- As a child, Osama al-Bar would walk from his home past Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba, to the market of spice and fabric merchants where his father owned a store. At that time, Mecca was so small, pilgrims could sit at the cube-shaped Kaaba and look out at the serene desert mountains where the Prophet Muhammad once walked....
President Obama has faced criticism for deflecting blame for Syria and Iraq onto U.S. intelligence officials for underestimating the threat of ISSL. Many Republicans believe that the rapid rise of Islamic State resulted from a political or policy failure. U.S. intelligence officials had warned publicly of the threat early this year, citing the testimony in February of Gen. Mike Flynn, who until last month was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Under the circumstances do you think this was the best possible settlement?