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Associated Press

Pentagon says US troops' role in Iraq could expand

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon warned Congress on Thursday that the long, drawn-out military campaign against Islamic State militants is just beginning and could expand to include modest numbers of U.S. forces fighting alongside Iraqi troops.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered a cautious assessment of the progress in the three-month-old war against Islamic extremists who brutally rule large sections of Iraq and Syria.



America marks Veterans Day with parades, freebies for Vets

NEW YORK (AP) -- Americans marked Veterans Day on Tuesday with parades, speeches and military discounts, while in Europe the holiday known as Armistice Day held special meaning in the centennial year of the start of World War I.

American Samoa joined the rest of the nation to observe Veterans Day with a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Center in Tafuna where U.S. Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Esther Kia’aina, delivered remarks. Details in tomorrow's issue.



Lava oozing for months quickly ignites Hawaii home

HONOLULU (AP) -- Lava has been slowly snaking its way toward rural Hawaii communities for months, but it took an oozing stream of molten rock just 45 minutes to burn down an empty house.

Firefighters standing by to tackle any spreading wildfires let the flames consume the 1,100-square-foot structure Monday afternoon as a relative of the homeowner watched and recorded video of the destruction with an iPhone.



Breakaway lava close to hitting empty Hawaii house

HONOLULU (AP) -- A small stream of lava was getting close Monday to hitting the first house in a rural Hawaii town that has been watching the slow-moving flow for months.

A breakout flow was about 5 yards from the home's garage in Pahoa on the Big Island, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said. They are bracing for the lava to burn the house, whose occupants have already left.

The leading edge of the molten rock has stalled, but lava is breaking away at several spots upslope.



2 Americans held in North Korea whisked back home

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two Americans held by North Korea were on their way home Saturday after their release was secured through a secret mission by the top U.S. intelligence official to the reclusive Communist country.

Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, California, and Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, were flying back to the West Coast with James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, according to U.S. officials. Clapper was the highest-ranking American to visit Pyongyang in more than a decade.



Immigration dispute erupts at White House lunch

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A White House lunch aiming for cooperation boiled into a fresh dispute with newly empowered Republicans over immigration reform Friday, with GOP leaders warning President Barack Obama to his face not to take unilateral action. The president stood unflinchingly by his plan to act.



Analysis: Wins give GOP wider Washington influence

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With sweeping victories that exceeded their own sky-high expectations, the GOP has dealt President Barack Obama and Democrats the most devastating electoral defeat of his presidency. Their prize is full control of Congress, and with it, the power to shape the direction of America's government in the next two years.



What places that legalized pot need to know

DENVER (AP) -- Oregon and Washington, D.C., voted to legalize recreational marijuana Tuesday, and Alaska looks poised to do the same.

The drug is already legal for people 21 and older in Colorado and Washington, thanks to ballot measures voted on in 2012.

It was a whole new frontier for those states, so here are some hints from the legal weed states on what the new places can expect:

UNCLE SAM IS (MOSTLY) LOOKING THE OTHER WAY



AP EXCLUSIVE: Military sex survey draws complaints

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shocked and offended by explicit questions, some U.S. servicemen and women are complaining about a new sexual-assault survey that hundreds of thousands have been asked to complete.

The survey is conducted every two years. But this year's version, developed by the Rand Corp., is unusually detailed, including graphically personal questions on sexual acts.



AP IMPACT: US health care unprepared for Ebola

(AP) — The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network.



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