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Hajj and some black American experiences

- Associated Press

As Shahidah Sharif, an African-American Muslim, joined millions of fellow pilgrims from around the world on the hajj this year, she felt a renewed connection. To her own “blackness,” she says, but also to humanity as a whole.

Without clearer American leadership and backing, said Awan Riak, a top adviser to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the cycle of violence that has gripped the country since it achieved independence will only continue.

U.S. has obligation to support struggling South Sudan, top diplomat says

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The struggling government of South Sudan says the U.S. must do more to support the democracy it helped create in the nation four years ago, asserting that the Obama administration and the international community are unfairly blaming the leadership in Juba for dragging its feet on a peace deal with rebels in the country’s civil war.

Afghan National Army soldiers arrive to start an operation soon, outside of Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 30. The U.S. military says it has conducted two more airstrikes overnight on Taliban positions around a northern Afghan city seized by the insurgents this week. (Najim Rahim via AP) ** FILE **

6 U.S. airmen among at least 11 dead in Afghan plane crash

- Associated Press

A U.S. Air Force C-130J military transport plane crashed overnight at an air base in eastern Afghanistan, killing six American airmen and five civilians on the aircraft, the U.S. military said Friday.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, said the "doc fix" would cost taxpayers a net $141 billion over the next decade, and would bring Congress disrepute. (Associated Press)

Obama administration vows no ‘shortcuts’ for Syrian refugees

- The Washington Times

Obama administration officials vowed there will be no “shortcuts” in admitting tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, though they admitted to Congress Thursday they won’t be able to do the kinds of thorough checks like accessing local databases or visiting neighborhoods to verify applicants are who they say they are.

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Afghan security forces take a wounded civilian man to the hospital after Taliban fighter's attack, in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Three staff from Doctors Without Borders were killed and 30 were missing after an explosion near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike. (AP Photo/Dehsabzi)

Doctors Without Borders: 19 dead in Afghan clinic airstrike

- Associated Press

Confusion reigned in the wake of the deadly bombing Saturday of a hospital compound in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz that killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens more. It remains unclear exactly who bombed the hospital run by Doctors Without Borders and the international medical charity has demanded an investigation into the incident.

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 file photo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at United Nations headquarters. Three days after world leaders adopted a sweeping set of global development goals, Ban said, "We must do everything we can to close the gap between the world as it is, and the world as it should be." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Pope's blessing, Netanyahu's silence: Key UN summit moments

Associated Press

Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama and even celebrities like Daniel Craig and Shakira dropped by a whirlwind U.N. summit that drew more than 150 world leaders, a record, and ended Saturday afternoon. Here are some notable moments:

This image made from footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, shows another attack made from a fighter jet in Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry says its aircraft have carried out 18 sorties in Syria in the past 24 hours, including 10 overnight in which seven sites were bombed. The annotations on the image were made by the source and indicate the center of the target, and its direction, yellow. (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Russia launches new wave of air raids in Syria

- Associated Press

Russian warplanes have attacked the Islamic State group and other insurgents in central and northern Syria with a wave of new airstrikes, Syrian and Russian military officials said Saturday as an activist group said Russia's air raids have killed 39 civilians over the three past days.

This image taken in Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 posted on the Twitter account of Syria Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, a volunteer search and rescue group, shows the aftermath of an airstrike in Talbiseh, Syria. Russia on Wednesday carried out its first airstrikes in Syria in what President Vladimir Putin called a pre-emptive strike against the militants. Khaled Khoja, head of the Syrian National Council opposition group, said at the U.N. that Russian airstrikes in four areas, including Talbiseh, killed dozens of civilians, with children among the dead. (Syria Civil Defence via AP)

France tells Putin to confine airstrikes to Islamic State

- Associated Press

With Russian warplanes bombing Syria for a third day, French President Francois Hollande told President Vladimir Putin on Friday that Moscow's airstrikes must be confined to attacking Islamic State militants, not other rebels opposing the Damascus government.

Somalia wants to liberate territory held by al-Shabab soon

- Associated Press

Somalia's prime minister said Friday the government wants to liberate all remaining territory held by the Islamic militant group al-Shabab in the coming year and have its own forces take over the country's security from an African Union force in the next two to three years.

AP Interview: Uribe challenges Colombia's peace breakthrough

- Associated Press

Former President Alvaro Uribe harshly criticized the international community for applauding a recent breakthrough in his successor's peace talks with leftist rebels, saying the deal undermines the rule of law in Colombia.

Syrian rebels attend a training session in Maaret Ikhwan near Idlib, Syria, on Dec. 17, 2012. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Senators tell Obama to halt Syrian rebel training

- The Washington Times

President Obama's program to train Syrian rebels is a total failure and needs to be scrapped, a bipartisan group of senators said in a letter to the administration Friday, saying it's time the national security team acknowledge the disaster and come up with a new strategy.

Ambassador talks to refugee camp via video link at UN

- Associated Press

The muscular young man on one side of the video link spoke of his flight from Syria and his life since 2012 at the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, where he teaches wrestling to boys.

In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, a bomb explosion is seen in Syria. Reacting to criticism that it is targeting opponents of the Syrian government, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted on Thursday that Russia's airstrikes in Syria are targeting not only Islamic State militants but also other groups. (AP Photo/ Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

US urges Russians to focus airstrikes on Islamic State

- Associated Press

Pentagon officials urged the Russian military on Thursday to focus its airstrikes in Syria on Islamic State fighters rather than opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, U.S. administration officials said.