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A protester holds up a placard which reads "Peace is our greatest weapon", outside the venue of the official flag-raising ceremony for celebrations of China's National Day, in Hong KongBy Donny Kwok and Irene Jay Liu HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands of pro-democracy protesters thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday, some of them jeering National Day celebrations, as demonstrations spread to a new area of the city, ratcheting up pressure on its pro-Beijing government. There was little sign of momentum flagging on the fifth day of the mass campaign, whose aim has been to occupy sections of the city and express fury at a Chinese decision to limit voters' choices in a 2017 leadership election. ...


A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern IraqSYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian aircraft will join the U.S.-led coalition in air strikes against Islamic State insurgents in Iraq in an initial support role, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday, ahead of a final decision to undertake bombing missions. The United States has been bombing Islamic State and other groups in Syria for a week with the help of Arab allies, and hitting targets in neighboring Iraq since August. European countries have joined the campaign in Iraq but not in Syria. ...


Afghan National Army soldiers (ANA) arrive at the site of a suicide bomb attack in KabulKABUL (Reuters) - Two Taliban suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on Afghan army vehicles in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 15, the government said, a day after Afghanistan signed security deals with NATO and the United States. The agreements will allow foreign troops to stay in the country after the end of the year, filling a campaign promise by new President Ashraf Ghani. ...


Israel's PM Netanyahu addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly in New YorkBy Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu meet for a new round in their often-tense relationship on Wednesday, facing differences over Iran diplomacy and Middle East peace efforts as well as complications from the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State militants. Hosting the Israeli prime minister in a brief visit to Washington, Obama is expected to try to find common ground with Israel, a traditionally close ally, on the most pressing issues but may have a difficult time narrowing the gap. ...


JSDF soldiers conduct rescue operations near the peak of Mt. Ontake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, central JapanTOKYO (Reuters) - The death toll from Japan's worst volcanic eruption in decades is likely to rise to around 46 after as more victims were discovered on the ash-covered summit, media said on Wednesday. Military searchers resumed a recovery operation with helicopters early on Wednesday after poisonous gas and fears of further eruptions on Mount Ontake led officials to cancel rescue efforts a day earlier. ...


Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New YorkCAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has offered to train pro-government forces battling rival armed groups in Libya, stepping up efforts to eradicate what it says is a threat to its own stability from the anarchy engulfing its neighbor. The offer was the latest sign of intervention by competing Arab powers in Libya - a haven for Islamist militants and close to becoming a failed state - while Western governments are preoccupied with Iraq and Syria. Egypt is trying to reassert its regional authority on its own terms while also winning back the U.S. ...


HONG KONG (AP) — Pro-democracy protesters kept behind police barricades heckled Hong Kong's under-fire leader on Wednesday when he attended a flag-raising ceremony on China's National Day. The protesters, upset that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to meet them, have threatened to expand their demonstrations unless he resigns and the Chinese leadership agrees to broader electoral reforms.
LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A train overshot a stop signal and plowed into another express passenger train in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, killing 12 people and injuring dozens, officials said Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet for the first time since a rash of civilian casualties during Israel's summer war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip heightened tensions between the two leaders who have long had a prickly relationship.

In this Sept. 11, 2014 photo, Kwon Oh-bok, a relative of the victims of the sunken ferry Sewol, speaks during an interview in front of portraits of his missing brother and nephew, at a gymnasium in Jindo, South Korea. Kwon lives in a tent in a dimly lit gym on Jindo island, the building where hundreds of families have received tragic news over the past six months. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)JINDO, South Korea (AP) — Kwon Oh-bok lives in a tent in a dimly lit gym on Jindo island, the building where hundreds of families have received tragic news over the past six months. And where a tormented few still wait for it.


FILE - This Thursday, April 17, 2014, file photo shows President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, centre, in a wheelchair, waving as he leaves after voting in the presidential elections in Algiers. The absence of ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the aftermath of the kidnap and murder of a French hiker has re-ignited the debate over his fitness to rule this oil-rich North African nation that is a key ally in the fight against terror. Despite suffering from a stroke last year and being largely absent from the election campaign, Bouteflika still won a fourth term in April but has been barely seen since. . (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub, File)ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The silence of Algeria's ailing president since the kidnapping and beheading of a French hiker by Islamic State-inspired militants has ignited new concerns over his health and whether he's fit to rule the oil-rich North African nation — or indeed whether he's still doing so.


By Peter Apps and Aija Krutaine WASHINGTON/RIGA (Reuters) - U.S. troops and tanks will deploy across the three Baltic states and Poland in the next two weeks on a mission designed to deliver an unmistakeable message of NATO resolve to Moscow. The "Ironhorse" armored cavalry unit, with around 700 soldiers, some 20 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks with Bradley and Stryker armored fighting vehicles, is one of the most formidable U.S. military forces to be sent onto former Soviet soil. Several of the bases and training areas it will operate from were built for the old Soviet Red Army. ...
HONG KONG (AP) — Pro-democracy protesters kept behind police barricades heckled Hong Kong's under-fire leader on Wednesday when he attended a flag-raising ceremony on China's National Day.
By Fatos Bytyci KACANIK Kosovo (Reuters) - Born in Germany, Blerim Heta moved to his parents' native Kosovo as a 10-year-old boy in the wake of a NATO air war in 1999 to save the territory's ethnic Albanians from Serbian repression. They settled in Urosevac, where U.S. soldiers – greeted as heroes for leading the intervention – were building a military base, a guarantor of protection for the aspiring statelet and a source of jobs for Albanians trying to rebuild their lives. ...

Jakarta governor and president-elect Widodo smiles as he arrives for work at city hall in JakartaBy Kanupriya Kapoor JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia inaugurated a new, opposition-dominated parliament on Wednesday, one that is expected to obstruct incoming president Joko Widodo's ambitious reforms for Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Widodo, the popular former governor of the capital, Jakarta, narrowly won an election in July, becoming the first businessman to become president of the world's third-largest democracy, a post previously held by members of the military or political elite. ...


Students protest against the deaths of six people, including students of Ayotzinapa and football players of the team 'Los Avispones', in Iguala, Guerrero state, Mexico, on September 29, 2014Iguala de la Independencia (Mexico) (AFP) - Fourteen of 57 students who vanished after deadly shootings in southern Mexico have turned up alive but relatives feared for those still missing as authorities search for them.


JERUSALEM (AP) — Former Tel Aviv mayor Shlomo Lahat has died at the age of 87.
INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — These two Indian wrestlers are informally following the age-old Hindu tradition of teacher and disciple even as they contribute to India's growing stature in the sport.

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, file photo, Gambia's President Al Hadji Yahya Jammeh addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters. Gambia accused European countries of "racist and inhuman behavior" for deliberately causing boats carrying black African migrants to sink. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Honduras, terrorized by drug gangs, railed against the world for ignoring the violence and lack of jobs that sends thousands of young Central Americans fleeing north to the United States.


Some Londoners are delighted at their city's "Manhattanisation" but others warn it risks losing its soulLondon (AFP) - Skyscrapers are shooting up all over London, transforming a skyline once dominated by Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral.


INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — The fourth and fifth doping cases of the Asian Games were confirmed Wednesday, with an Iraqi weightlifter and a Syrian karate athlete disqualified banned and kicked out of the event.

A police car drives past the entrance to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. A patient in the hospital is showing signs of the Ebola virus and is being kept in strict isolation with test results pending, hospital officials said Monday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)DALLAS (AP) — The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. has been confirmed in a man who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas, sending chills through the area's West African community whose leaders urged caution to prevent spreading the virus.


FILE - In this July 3, 2014 file photo, state authorities use crime scene tape to seal off an unfinished warehouse that was the site of a shootout between Mexican soldiers and alleged criminals on the outskirts of the village of San Pedro Limon in Mexico state, Mexico. Three soldiers have been charged with homicide in the June killings of 22 suspected gang members in southern Mexico, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam announced on Tuesday Sept. 30 2014. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)MEXICO CITY (AP) — Months after the Mexican army said it had killed 22 suspected gang members in a fierce shootout, three soldiers are being charged with homicide.


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia was sending two unarmed air force planes to support U.S.-led coalition combat operations against the Islamic State movement in Iraq, but would not yet launch its own airstrikes, the prime minister said Wednesday.

Afghan security forces guard the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Two suicide bombers in the Afghan capital targeted two buses carrying Afghan army troops on Wednesday, killing several people and wounding over a dozen others, police said. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two suicide bombers in the Afghan capital targeted two buses carrying Afghan army troops on Wednesday, killing seven and wounding 21 people, police said.


Ugandan activists take part on August 9, 2014 in the first gay-pride march in Entebbe since an anti-gay law was overturnedKampala (AFP) - Uganda is probably the last place a gay holidaymaker would want to visit, but tourism bosses in the east African nation are nevertheless trying to achieve the seemingly impossible.


By Jonny Hogg and Nick Tattersall ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Frustrated by Western failure to heed his advice in Syria and Iraq and still smarting over the collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu makes no apology for a foreign policy that has left his country isolated. His dream of a Middle East with political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey at its heart seems to be fading as chaos in Syria and Iraq threatens its borders and diplomatic ties with Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, remain broken. ...

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, file photo, Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, speaks about the operations in Syria during a news conference at the Pentagon. According to current and former U.S. officials, the Pentagon is grappling with significant intelligence gaps as it bombs Iraq and Syria, and it is operating under less restrictive targeting rules than those President Barack Obama imposed on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is grappling with significant intelligence gaps as it bombs Iraq and Syria, and it is operating under less restrictive targeting rules than those President Barack Obama imposed on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen, according to current and former U.S. officials.


ALGIERS (Reuters) - Egyptian security officials have offered military training to pro-government forces in Libya, citing what they said was a growing regional threat from Islamist militants. North Africa is one of the main sources of jihadi fighters traveling to Syria and Iraq. Several splinter groups have declared their alliance with Islamic State, while the main group, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has urged jihadists to put aside their differences and call a halt to infighting in Iraq and Syria. Here are the main Islamist militant organizations operating in North Africa and the Sahel. ...

A Chinese marine surveillance ship (L) alongside a Japanese Coast Guard ship near the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea on February 4, 2013Japanese coast guard rescuers were searching Wednesday for nine people believed missing after a Chinese ship sank off Japan's western coast.


BEIJING (AP) — The 10,000 pigeons released in a ceremony Wednesday for China's National Day underwent unusual scrutiny, each having its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials, state-run media reports said, reflecting government jitters over possible attacks.

Rescue workers board a defense force helicopter heading for Mount Ontake during a search operation on October 1, 2014 following a volcanic eruption near Otaki village in Nagano prefectureTokyo (AFP) - Seven more bodies have been found by rescuers combing the peak of a Japanese volcano that erupted at the weekend, officials said Wednesday, taking the death toll to at least 43.


A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine with her cheeks pierced by metal rods dances amid exploding fire-crackers during a street procession during the annual Vegetarian Festival in the southern Thai town of Phuket on September 30, 2014Phuket (Thailand) (AFP) - There is no pain once the gods enter your body, said Jampen Deebuk, after puncturing the cheeks of a young devotee with metal skewers at Thailand's bloody vegetarian festival.


In this Sept.25, 2014 photo, Pastor Silas Malafaia gestures as he preaches during a service at the Assemblies of God church, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Malafaia backs top opposition candidate Marina Silva, who could become the first Pentecostal leader in the nation with more Catholics than any other, should she eventually defeat incumbent Dilma Rousseff, who now has a slight lead in polls looking at a likely runoff vote on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's rapid religious transformation is reverberating through the country's tight presidential race, where abortion and gay marriage have emerged as hot-button issues and Pentecostal televangelists are political power brokers.


Serena Williams of the United States return a shots to Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain during the first round of China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)PERTH, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams will combine with Wimbledon doubles champion Jack Sock in the United States team which will compete in a star-studded Hopman Cup tournament in January.


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