Trump's day-after: I'll accept election results _ if I win DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) - Donald Trump kept floating the possibility Thursday that he'll challenge the results of the presidential election if there's a "questionable result," while teasingly promising to embrace the outcome "if I win." The Republican presidential nominee said he would accept "a clear election result" but was reserving his right to "contest or file a legal challenge" if he loses. It was his first attempt to explain his stunning warning a day earlier in the final debate that he might not accept the results. On Thursday, Trump brushed off the likelihood of that happening with a confident prediction that "we're not going to lose." "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election," Trump said.
AP FACT CHECK: Trump's willingness to dispute election WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump, who's railed for months about a "rigged" political system, used the final presidential debate to defiantly say he won't decide until the election ends whether he will accept its results. Pressed on that remarkable challenge to a keystone of the democratic process, his defenders have drawn a parallel to Democrat Al Gore's contest of the disputed 2000 presidential election. A comparison of what the Republican presidential candidate and his allies said to what happened 16 years ago: TRUMP: Asked last month during his first debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton whether he would accept the election outcome, Trump said, "The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her." Asked virtually the same question Wednesday by debate moderator Chris Wallace, Trump answered differently.
Iraqi special forces join Mosul offensive against IS BARTELLA, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle on Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. The addition of the elite troops, also known as counterterrorism forces, marked a significant intensification of the fight for Iraq's second-largest city. As they advanced, attack helicopters fired on the militants and heavy gunfire echoed across the plains. IS militants unleashed nine suicide car and truck bombs against the advancing troops, eight of which were destroyed before reaching their targets, while the ninth struck an armored Humvee, Lt.
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The Latest: US soldier dies of wounds from bombing in Iraq The U.S. military says an American soldier has died from wounds sustained in a bombing in northern Iraq. Central Command said the soldier died on Thursday, without providing further information. It did not say where the explosion took place, but said it was caused by an "improvised explosive device," or roadside bomb. A massive Iraqi operation was launched earlier this week to drive the Islamic State group from the northern city of Mosul. More than 100 U.S. soldiers are embedded with Iraqi forces, and hundreds more are playing a support role in staging bases. If the soldier died while taking part in the offensive it would mark the first known American casualty in the battle to take back Mosul.
Turkey ramps up fight against Kurdish fighters in Syria BEIRUT (AP) - Turkey escalated its offensive Thursday against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, pounding them with airstrikes and artillery, and complicating the battle against the Islamic State group by Ankara and Washington, both NATO allies. In the fight for Aleppo, meanwhile, the Syrian military used a lull in violence to urge residents and rebels to evacuate the besieged opposition-held part of the city. Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said as many as 200 members of the Kurdish-led forces were killed in Syria's Aleppo province by the Turkish bombing and shelling. A senior commander with the main Syria Kurdish militia confirmed the Turkish attack on his forces north of Aleppo but disputed the casualty toll, saying that no more than 10 fighters were killed.
APNewsBreak: Watchdog says EPA delayed Flint emergency order WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency had sufficient authority and information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 - seven months before it declared an emergency, the EPA's inspector general said Thursday. The Flint crisis should have generated "a greater sense of urgency" at the agency to "intervene when the safety of drinking water is compromised," Inspector General Arthur Elkins said in an interim report. Flint's drinking water became tainted when the city began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money. The impoverished city of 100,000 north of Detroit was under state control at the time.
DIVIDED AMERICA: Seeing options shrinking, white men ask why DALLAS (AP) - The voices cascade into the studio, denouncing political hypocrisy and media bias and disappearing values. Hillary Clinton is a liar and a crook, they say; Donald Trump is presidential and successful. By the time the 16th caller reaches the air, Rick Roberts' show has reached an impassioned crescendo of anger and lamentation. What has happened to this once-great land? What has happened to the better lives our children were promised? What has happened? Roberts, WBAP's bearded, rodeo-roping, husky-voiced host, has heard enough. "I want my country back," he begins. --- EDITOR'S NOTE - This is part of Divided America, AP's ongoing exploration of the economic, social and political divisions in American society.
No arrests, many questions 6 months after 8 killed in Ohio PIKETON, Ohio (AP) - Six months after someone shot eight members of an extended family to death in their homes, surviving relatives are still waiting - for an explanation, for an arrest, for a hint of closure. "I just want to know why?" said Tajianna Mead, of Waverly, whose 44-year-old father, Kenneth Rhoden, was among the victims. When the slayings were discovered the morning of April 22, rural Pike County in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio was coming to life with the colors of greening hardwoods and the white petals of dogwood trees. Half a year later, colors are changing again as leaves turn to burnt yellow and red across the thickly wooded hills.
Snoopy, Peanuts gang, cut loose by MetLife as it retools biz Snoopy has been handed the pink slip. After 31 years (217 dog years) as the face of insurance giant MetLife Inc., the company said Thursday that it is launching a new global branding effort, marking the end of a long relationship with Charlie Brown's beagle and the Peanuts crew. "We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant," said Esther Lee, MetLife's global chief marketing officer. "Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time." But MetLife is spinning off its domestic retail life insurance business to focus more on corporate clients.
Russian observatory once closed to public houses art exhibit NIZHNY ARKHYZ, Russia (AP) - A remote Russian observatory housing what was once the world's largest mirrored telescope has become the setting for an art installation that explores the near-infinite reaches of both outer space and the human imagination. The works on display at the Special Astrophysical Observatory by artists from Russia and Austria reflect their views of life, history and the cosmos. They also bring the observatory, where visitors once were prohibited, into the public eye. Operational since the 1970s, the observatory and the village that houses its staff offered some of the best conditions in the Soviet Union. In those days, the scientific elite were eager to live here, bringing their families to a purpose-built town with its own laboratories, schools, sports facilities and shops.