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Obama's war plan rattles Dem, GOP Senate nominees

- Associated Press

In a nation weary of war, yet alarmed by the prospect of an emerging threat, President Barack Obama's plan to strike Islamic State militants is ruffling the usual left-right politics in several races that will decide control of the Senate.

China: Fighters back from Iraq, Syria are threat

- Associated Press

China and its Central Asian neighbors face increased terrorism threats as their citizens return home after fighting in Iraq and Syria, the head of a regional anti-terrorism organization said Thursday.

NC Senate candidates largely back more airstrikes

- Associated Press

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger Thom Tillis largely support the plan President Barack Obama outlined to expand military airstrikes and help forces fight the Islamic State militant group.

Bishop Duane Pederson of Rice Lake, Wisc. joins more than 1,000 other voting members in a song during the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America assembly on Wednesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Survey: Congregations more accepting of gays

- Associated Press

Overall acceptance of gays and lesbians in American religious congregations rose significantly between 2006 and 2012, but it declined in Catholic congregations, according to a new survey.

Alaska's senators cool to Obama's Mideast plan

Associated Press

Alaska's two U.S. senators reacted warily to President Barack Obama's plan for a new military front in the Middle East, with Democratic Sen. Mark Begich saying he opposes calls by Obama to arm rebels in Syria.

FILE - In this Friday, April 12, 2013 file photo, Oklahoma state Rep. John Bennett, R-Salisaw, the chairman of the counter terrorism caucus, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City. On the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, a Muslim civil rights group and Bennett sparred over a comment the lawmaker posted to his Facebook page urging people to "be wary" of Muslim-Americans. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Okla. lawmaker, GOP chair affirm anti-Muslim post

- Associated Press

A GOP state legislator and the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party are standing behind anti-Muslim remarks the lawmaker posted to his Facebook page, and both said Thursday they have no plans to apologize.

FILE - In this  Sept. 11, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stand for a moment of silence on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, as they mark the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. Five times, Obama has come before the American people to reckon with the legacy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the anniversary of that awful day. Each time, he has tailored his message to the moment, at different points stressing themes of service, resilience, tolerance, reconciliation.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Across the years, Obama's 9/11 message varies

- Associated Press

Six times, President Barack Obama has come before the American people to reckon with the legacy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the anniversary of that awful day. Each time, he has tailored his message to the moment, at different points stressing themes of service, resilience, tolerance, reconciliation.

12 rebels, soldiers killed in clash in Philippines

Associated Press

Two Philippine soldiers and 10 members of a Muslim rebel group opposed to a government peace accord died in a clash Thursday, a day after the president submitted legislation to Congress to create a new Muslim autonomous region, a military commander said.

Pope Francis kisses a baby at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis: Love doesn't care if you're ugly or beautiful

- Catholic News Agency

In his homily at Tuesday's Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the love of Christ for his Church, noting how in the Gospel he prayed for his disciples, chose them personally, and remained close to each.