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AP Top News at 5:14 a.m. EDT

A look at the Islamic State militants in Syria
BEIRUT (AP) - As the U.S. strikes Islamic State targets in Iraq, extremists belonging to the same militant group across the border in Syria are capturing new territory and becoming bolder by the day. There, in its power base, the Islamic State group controls thousands of square kilometers (miles) of territory, including most of Syria's oil-producing region. In the areas under its control, it has established an elaborate governing system that oversees every aspect of people's lives.


On Syria, Obama faces questions on Congress' role
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision? Obama was barreling toward strikes last summer when he abruptly announced that he first wanted approval from congressional lawmakers. But Congress balked at Obama's request for a vote and the operation was eventually scrapped.


Nigeria Ebola patient hid from government
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu says two more Ebola cases exist in the country, raising the number of confirmed cases to 15. One is a worker at the Economic Community Of West African States, who was a primary contact of Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into Lagos last month and died of Ebola. Chukwu says the person was under surveillance and fled to another city, Port Harcourt, and returned to Lagos amid a manhunt.


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Gun tourism grows in popularity in recent years
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi displayed a tragic side of what has become a hot industry in the U.S.: gun tourism. With gun laws keeping high-powered weapons out of reach for most people - especially those outside the U.S. - indoor shooting ranges with high-powered weapons have become a popular attraction.


Strategic Ukraine town under rebel control
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) - The strategically positioned southeastern Ukraine town of Novoazovsk appears firmly under the control of Russia-backed separatists as concerns grow about the opening of a new front in the Ukraine conflict. On Thursday morning, an Associated Press journalist saw rebel checkpoints at the outskirts and was told he could not enter. One of the rebels said there was no fighting in the town.


Israelis skeptical of PM's Gaza victory claim
JERUSALEM (AP) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that Israel achieved a "great military and political" victory over Hamas in the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip has met with skepticism from many Israelis, according to a poll published Thursday. The poll, published in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, shows that 54 percent of those surveyed believe there was no clear winner in the 50 days of war. The fighting killed 2,143 Palestinians, most of them civilians, according to Palestinian health officials and U.N. officials. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers, five civilians and a Thai worker were killed.


Tim Hortons a big part of Canadian identity
TORONTO (AP) - Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits - or doughnut holes to Americans. So news this week that Burger King will buy Tim Hortons served as a bittersweet reminder of how beloved the homegrown chain is in Canada, where 75 percent of the all the coffee sold at fast food restaurants comes from "Timmy's," as it is affectionately known. Tim Hortons is found in just about every small town and large city across Canada, and hockey-mad Canadians often head to their local Timmy's before or after their kids' games.


White House preps legal case for immigration steps
WASHINGTON (AP) - With impeachment threats and potential lawsuits looming, President Barack Obama knows whatever executive actions he takes on immigration will face intense opposition. So as a self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act approaches, Obama's lawyers are carefully crafting a legal rationale they believe will withstand scrutiny and survive any court challenges, administration officials say. The argument goes something like this: Beyond failing to fix broken immigration laws, Congress hasn't even provided the government with enough resources to fully enforce the laws already on the books. With roughly 11.5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally - far more than the government could reasonably deport - the White House believes it has wide latitude to prioritize which of those individuals should be sent home.


A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat. In her twenties, Oh traveled around South Korea to learn dog meat recipes from each region. During a period of South Korean reconciliation with North Korea early last decade, she went to Pyongyang as part of a business delegation and tasted a dozen different dog dishes, from dog stew to dog taffy, all served lavishly at the Koryo, one of the North's best hotels.


Poll: Parents uncomfortable with youth football
Parents are worried about their children playing football, but most haven't decided to keep their kids from putting on a helmet and stepping onto the field. According to an Associated Press-GfK poll, nearly half of parents said they're not comfortable letting their child play football amid growing uncertainty about the long-term impact of concussions.