The enormous cache of secret war logs disclosed by the WikiLeaks website paints a picture of an Iraq burdened by persistent sectarian tension and meddling neighbors, suggesting that the country could drift into chaos once U.S. forces leave. The reports, covering early 2004 to Jan. 1, 2010, help explain why Iraq's struggle to create a unified, independent state continues, despite a dramatic reduction in violence. They appear to support arguments by some experts that the U.S. should keep thousands of troops there beyond their scheduled departure in 2011, to buy more time for Iraq to become stable.
BLUE BELL, Pa. (AP) — To understand Republicans' nagging fear that the Nov. 2 elections might not be quite the massive triumph that many have predicted, check out Pennsylvania's perplexing Senate race. Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has trailed Republican Pat Toomey for months, and a GOP victory always has seemed likely, given that it's a Republican-trending year in this perpetually contested state. Yet recent polls suggest Sestak has closed the gap, and Republican leaders are imploring supporters not to panic even as they ask themselves: What's going on?
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A spreading cholera outbreak in rural Haiti threatened to outpace aid groups as they stepped up efforts Saturday hoping to keep the disease from reaching the squalid camps of earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince. Health officials said at least 208 people had died and 2,394 others were infected in an outbreak mostly centered in the Artibonite region north of the capital.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the most favorable political environment for Republicans in decades, GOP chairman Michael Steele ordinarily might be lavished with praise for leading his party to the brink of a historic triumph. Instead, he heads an organization that trails Democrats by $15 million in fundraising, is in debt and largely has been overshadowed by third-party groups that, in a few months, have raised almost as much as Republican National Committee has since January 2009.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Gunmen stormed two neighboring homes and massacred 13 young people at a birthday party in the latest large-scale attack in this violent border city, even as a new government strategy seeks to restore order with social programs and massive police deployments. Attackers in two vehicles pulled up to the houses in a lower-middle-class Ciudad Juarez neighborhood late Friday and opened fire on about four dozen partygoers gathered for a 15-year-old boy's birthday party.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Change at the top? Not necessarily. Whichever party controls the House and Senate after the Nov. 2 election probably will install the same leaders whose policymaking helped bring about the sour economy, nearly double-digit unemployment and deficit spending that has led voters to call for fresh faces. Different lineups could mean different fates for health care, taxation, government spending and regulation, energy and foreign policy, and President Barack Obama's bid for a second term.
CAIRO (AP) — A U.S.-born spokesman for al-Qaida on Saturday urged Muslims living in the United States and Europe to carry out attacks there, calling it a duty and an obligation. In a 48-minute video posted on militant websites, Adam Gadahn directed his appeal to Muslim immigrants in what he called the "miserable suburbs" of Paris, London and Detroit, as well as those traveling to the West to study or work. "It is the duty of everyone who is sincere in his desire to defend Islam and Muslims today, to take the initiative to perform the individual obligation of jihad ... by striking the Zio-Crusader interests," he said, referring to Western and Jewish interests.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The momentum of the midterm elections is with the GOP, but now is not the time for supporters to let up, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a jubilant crowd of Florida Republicans on Saturday. "Now is the time to dig deep," Palin said with 10 days to go until the elections. Hundreds of Republicans with "Fire Pelosi" and "Listen to Me!" signs clapped, hooted and waved American flags in the ballroom of an Orlando hotel near Walt Disney World. The gathering was cast as a fundraising rally but had the feel of a county fair.
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — In her quest to become Oklahoma's first female governor, Democrat Jari Askins has amassed an assortment of professional qualifications: she's been a judge, a legislator, the head of a state agency, and a corporate attorney. But what she hasn't been is a wife. The 57-year-old career woman, who now serves as the state's lieutenant governor, has never been married or had children. And as this historic race between two women candidates for the state's top office nears its conclusion, that gap in her biography is attracting increasing attention.
HYDRO, Okla. (AP) — An elderly Hydro man landed in jail after springing his prized pooch from the town kennel. Instead of paying a $100 fine for not having his poodle on a leash, 73-year-old Edwin Fry decided to bust Buddy Tough out, driving his lawnmower to the city pound Oct. 13 and breaking into the cage with bolt cutters. As the pair escaped, police officer Chris Chancellor intercepted them.