Afghan troops backed by US air support launched a counter-offensive Tuesday to retake Kunduz, a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city in their biggest victory since being ousted from power in 2001. Gun battles erupted and Humvees rolled through the city as Afghan security forces, who had retreated to the outlying airport after the fall, began a counter-strike backed by reinforcements. The Taliban had captured government buildings and freed hundreds of prisoners on Monday, raising their trademark white flag throughout the city.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban gunmen fanned out in full force Tuesday across a key Afghan city they captured the day before, as the U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Kunduz and President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take the northern city back from the insurgents, urging his nation to trust Afghan troops to do the job.
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams will hold an afternoon scheduling hearing with prosecutors and defense lawyers in the case arising from the death of Freddie Gray in April. Gray, 25, died from a spinal injury suffered in the back of a police van, leading to the demonstrations and looting in the largely black city later that month. It also fueled a U.S. debate on police treatment of minorities.
President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia had not ruled out air strikes in support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces in their battle against jihadist rebels. As for ground forces, Putin said they would not be used. "We are thinking about how to additionally help the Syrian army," he said, after meeting US President Barack Obama.
A Washington state commission suspended an amphibious tour service operator in Seattle on Monday while it investigates last week's crash with a charter bus carrying international students in which five people died, an official said. Thursday's crash between the Ride the Ducks truck and the bus on Seattle's Aurora Bridge also sent about 50 people to hospitals. Washington state's Utilities and Transportation Commission suspended all Ride the Ducks operations in the state, said spokeswoman Amanda Maxwell.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Legislation to avoid a U.S. government shutdown and provide temporary funds for federal agencies in the fiscal year beginning on Thursday cleared an important procedural hurdle in the Senate on Monday. With the 60 votes needed, the Senate limited debate on the stopgap funding bill that would extend current agency spending until Dec. 11. The Senate is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday or Wednesday, sending it to the House for passage before a midnight Wednesday deadline. (Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Georgia's only female death row inmate won a last-minute clemency hearing on Monday, a day before she is due to be executed by lethal injection, the state parole board said. The Board of Pardons and Paroles will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday morning to consider "supplemental information" in the case of Kelly Gissendaner, 47, opening the possibility for her sentence being commuted to life, with or without parole, it said. Supporters urged government and court officials on Monday to spare Gissendaner's life, arguing she has been a model prisoner and questioning the lethal injection method that will be used to execute her.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday denied a request to halt the execution planned for later this week of Richard Glossip, whose lawyers said they had uncovered new evidence that points to his innocence. On Sept. 16, it issued a two-week stay hours before his scheduled execution and set the new date of Sept. 30 for the lethal injection. Glossip, 52, was found guilty of arranging the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, the owner of an Oklahoma City motel that Glossip was managing.
By Scott Malone PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Pope Francis waited until his historic U.S. visit was over to make his most direct comments on the nation's debate over gay marriage, saying government officials should have the right to refrain from actions that violate their religious beliefs. "Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right," Francis told reporters, speaking in Italian. "If someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right." Francis alluded to the Roman Catholic Church's objections to gay marriage during some of his U.S. talks, citing concerns about "juridical" changes to the definition of the family.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday promised to simplify the U.S. tax code and eliminate deductions and loopholes for special interest groups if he becomes president at the November, 2016 election. Real estate mogul Trump said he would end deferred taxes on corporate income earned abroad, and eliminate the so-called death tax and marriage tax penalty. In a news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, he vowed to reduce the number of tax brackets for individuals to four from seven.