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AP Top International News At 8:18 a.m. EDT

Exclusive election body at heart of HK protests
HONG KONG (AP) -- It's among the most powerful clubs in this city of enormous wealth and influence. Only 1,200 people are allowed in, and they decide who leads Hong Kong every five years....

AP Exclusive: Driving up revered N. Korea mountain
LAKE CHON, North Korea (AP) -- When North Korea opens its doors, it does so for a reason. So it was when the authoritarian government granted permission for a road trip so extensive that few North Koreans - let alone a pair of American journalists - could imagine taking it....

Threat to break isolation in Liberia over food
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- Dozens of people quarantined for Ebola monitoring in western Liberia are threatening to break out of isolation because they have no food, the West African nation's state radio reported Thursday....

China opposes sending North Korea to int'l court
BEIJING (AP) -- China said Thursday it was against referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court, dimming chances that its longtime ally will face additional scrutiny over its dismal and well-documented system of sprawling political prison camps, starvation and mass executions....

NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The United States government must make a formal apology to secure the freedom of two Americans who remain imprisoned in North Korea after the release this week of Jeffrey Fowle, North Korean legal experts said Thursday....

Canada attack stirs terror fears
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- Canadian police now concede there was only a single gunman in a terror attack that killed a soldier standing guard at Ottawa's war memorial and then stormed Parliament in a hail of gunfire....

Police: Gunmen kill 8 Shiite Muslims in Pakistan
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) -- Four gunmen attacked a minibus carrying Shiite Muslims in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing eight of them, police said....

Activists: Syria airstrikes toll over 500
BEIRUT (AP) -- U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on Syria have killed more than 500 people, mainly Islamic militants, since they began last month, activists said Thursday, as fighting flared in the northern Syrian border town of Kobani....

Botswana's ruling party favored in elections
GABORONE, Botswana (AP) -- The ruling party in Botswana, which has dominated politics since independence in 1966, is again the front-runner ahead of elections Friday in the southern African nation....

European authorities aim to purge weak banks
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Europe's biggest banks are facing a day of judgment as the European Central Bank prepares to unveil the results of a yearlong search through the dark corners of their finances....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Vincent Yu
World Video
Up to the Minute
Africa
Botswana's ruling party favored in elections

Asia
North Korea steps up effort to prevent Ebola entry

Europe
Cyprus: crews locate small plane wreckage, bodies

Latin America/Caribbean
Brazil race hinges on appeal to lower middle class

Middle East
Activists: Syria airstrikes toll over 500