AP News Briefs
Candidates seek foreign policy edge in 3rd debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — Still neck-and-neck after all these months, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney head into their third and final debate with each man eager to project an aura of personal strength and leadership while raising doubts about the steadiness and foreign policy credentials of the other guy. Each is aiming for a commanding performance Monday to settle the seesaw dynamics of the first two debates: Romney gave Obama an old-fashioned shellacking in the first round, and the chastened president rebounded in their second encounter.
Analysis: Debating world policy amid tumult abroad
WASHINGTON (AP) — For months the one reliable constant for Barack Obama was the public’s approval of his handling of foreign policy and terrorism. Al-Qaida was on the run, he would say. The war in Iraq was over. Bin Laden was dead. Crowds cheered and national polls showed a majority in the country stood with him. But with 15 days left before Election Day, the landscape has changed, and as Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney take their seats at their third, final and foreign-policy focused debate Monday evening in Boca Raton, Fla., the president will be facing headwinds from abroad instead of the breezes that once had been at his back.
UCI agrees to strip Armstrong of his 7 Tour titles
GENEVA (AP) — Lance Armstrong’s name is coming out of cycling’s record books. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling’s governing body Monday following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.
Suspect in Wis. Spa attack had history of abuse
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin woman whose husband is suspected in a fatal spa shooting says he threatened to throw acid in her face and burn her with gas. Authorities say Radcliffe Franklin Haughton shot and killed three women, injured four more then turned the gun on himself Sunday at a suburban Milwaukee spa where his wife worked. Police haven’t said if Zina Haughton was among those killed or wounded.
Weakened, al-Qaida in Afghanistan tries comeback
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A diminished but resilient al-Qaida, whose 9/11 attacks drew America into its longest war, is attempting a comeback in Afghanistan’s mountainous east even as U.S. and allied forces wind down their combat mission and concede a small but steady toehold to the terrorist group. That concerns U.S. commanders, who have intensified strikes against al-Qaida cells in recent months. It also undercuts an Obama administration narrative portraying al-Qaida as battered to the point of being a nonissue in Afghanistan as Western troops start leaving.
Lebanon launches major security operation
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese troops launched a major security operation on Monday to open all roads and force gunmen off the streets, trying to contain an outburst of violence set off by the assassination of a top intelligence official who was a powerful opponent of Syria. Sectarian clashes killed at least five people. Opponents of Syria have blamed the regime in Damascus for the killing of Lebanese Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan in a Beirut car bomb on Friday. With Lebanon already tense and deeply divided over the civil war next door, the assassination has threatened to drag the country back into the kind of sectarian strife that plagued it for decades — much of it linked to Syria.
Castro publishes article criticizing health rumors
HAVANA (AP) — Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said he doesn’t even suffer from a headache in an article he published in state-media Monday criticizing those who spread rumors he was on his death bed. The article is accompanied by photos taken by son Alex Castro that show the 86-year-old revolutionary icon standing outside near some trees wearing a checked shirt and cowboy hat, including one in which he is seen reading Friday’s copy of the Communist Party newspaper Granma.
11-year-old accused in Maine baby death arraigned
SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) — The youngest person to be charged with homicide in Maine in at least 30 years bit her nails and looked down during her first court appearance Monday. The girl was charged at age 10 with juvenile manslaughter over the summer in the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, who was staying overnight in the girl’s home in Fairfield in the care of the girl’s mother.
Cheerleading needs sports safety rules, docs say
CHICAGO (AP) — Cheerleading isn’t just jumping and waving pompoms — it has become as athletic and potentially as dangerous as a sport and should be designated one to improve safety, the nation’s leading group of pediatricians says. The number of cheerleaders injured each year has climbed dramatically in the last two decades. Common stunts that pose risks include tossing and flipping cheerleaders in the air and creating human pyramids that reach 15 feet high or more.
World’s oldest survivor of Auschwitz dies at 108
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An official says the oldest known former prisoner of the Auschwitz death camp has died in Poland at the age of 108. Jaroslaw Mensfelt, a spokesman at the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum, says Antoni Dobrowolski died Sunday in the northwestern town of Debno.