Analysis: Obama holds upper hand on immigration WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment. With the public favoring changes in the current immigration system, the Republicans' best short-term response appears to be purely rhetorical: that the president is granting amnesty to millions, and exceeding his constitutional authority in the process. Beyond that, their hopes of reversing his policies appear to be either a years-long lawsuit or the 2016 presidential election.
AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, U.S. officials said late Friday. The president's decisions also allow the military to conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed. Obama issued the guidelines in recent weeks, as the American combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, thousands of troops return home, and the military prepares for narrower counterterrorism and training mission for the next two years.
Iraqi forces, Islamic State group battle in Ramadi BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi soldiers backed by Sunni fighters launched a major operation Saturday to retake a section of the city of Ramadi seized by Islamic State group militants, an official and residents said. The fighting focused on Ramadi's eastern Sijariya neighborhood, which the extremist group said it captured Friday. An official with the Anbar provincial council described intense fighting there Saturday morning that included both sides firing mortars. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.
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For 1 night on stage, embattled Cosby his old self MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - The protesters didn't show, the would-be hecklers didn't take the bait, the weeks of headlines about sexual assaults disappeared and Bill Cosby, for 90 minutes at least, regained the revered status he long enjoyed. The show Friday night in Melbourne, Florida, might have seemed destined for disaster for the comedian, enveloped in growing accusations of rape and sexual assault that have derailed his career comeback and crumbled his tour schedule. What he got, though, was an adoring audience that laughed so hard they slapped their knees, shouted love at the stage and rose to their feet as he came and went.
Somalia's Al-Shabab says it killed 28 in Kenya NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, Al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the Saturday dawn attack on a bus in which 28 non-Muslims were singled out and killed. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack through its radio station in Somalia saying it was in retaliation for raids by Kenyan security forces carried out earlier this week on four mosques at the Kenyan coast.
Clock ticks down on Iran nuke talks' deadline VIENNA (AP) - Three days ahead of deadline, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is consulting with allies on how to overcome deep obstacles to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. The State Department says Kerry will meet German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when Steinmeier arrives in Vienna later Saturday. He also plans to talk to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who already is in the Austrian capital, as well as others by telephone.
Flooding becomes new threat in snowy Buffalo BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - After a three-day onslaught that dumped a historic 7 feet of snow on the Buffalo area and killed at least 12 people, the sun came out, but so did predictions of flooding caused by rain and temperatures of up to 60 degrees. Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock said there might be trouble with drainage as snow and the uncollected autumn leaves underneath blocked catch basins.
Calm urged as Ferguson grand jury nears decision FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Activists, authorities and the family of Michael Brown called for calm as a grand jury drew closer to an announcement in the Ferguson police shooting. But it was unclear whether the panel was still at work or when it would render a decision. Earlier Friday, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch told reporters that jurors were reviewing evidence as they weigh whether to indict officer Darren Wilson.
Bahrain holds its first major vote since unrest MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Voters in Bahrain cast ballots Saturday in the island kingdom's first full parliamentary election since Arab Spring-inspired protests erupted four years ago, but a boycott called by the country's opposition threatens to overshadow the poll. A collection of opposition groups including al-Wefaq, the country's most organized and popular Shiite group, is urging supporters to stay away from the polls. Al-Wefaq accuses the government of not taking seriously enough reform efforts and improving reconciliation between supporters of Bahrain's Sunni monarchy and an opposition movement dominated by the country's Shiite majority.
Report questions role of wealth in Lanza's care HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A new report asks whether the race and affluence of Adam Lanza's family influenced decisions about how to care for his mental health problems in the years before he committed the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Among the findings in the report, which was released Friday by the state office of Child Advocate, is that Lanza's his parents and educators contributed to his social isolation by accommodating - and not confronting - his difficulties engaging with the world.