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Four perish in plane at Kansas airport

WICHITA, Kan. — A small plane lost engine power after takeoff and crashed into a flight-training building at a Kansas airport Thursday, killing four people, injuring five others and igniting a fire that sent up towering plumes of black smoke that could be seen for miles.

Apple CEO publicly acknowledges that he’s gay

NEW YORK — Apple CEO Tim Cook’s declaration that he’s “proud to be gay” wasn’t exactly news in Silicon Valley, where his sexual orientation was no secret. But advocates say that given Apple’s immense reach and visibility, his coming-out could help change attitudes in workplaces across America.

Maine in standoff with nurse over Ebola safeguards

FORT KENT, Maine — Insisting she is perfectly healthy, nurse Kaci Hickox again defied the state’s Ebola quarantine Thursday by taking a bike ride with her boyfriend, and Maine health authorities struggled to reach a compromise that would limit her contact with others.

Solid US growth reflects help from Fed

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy powered its way to a solid annual growth rate of 3.5 percent from July through September, outpacing most of the developed world and appearing on track to extend its momentum through this year and beyond.

Pentagon orders 21-day Ebola quarantine for troops

WASHINGTON — Ordering firm restrictions for U.S. troops returning from West Africa, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that the military men and women helping fight Ebola must undergo 21-day quarantines — longer than required for many civilian health care workers.

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U.S. official urges allies to combat IS ideology

KUWAIT CITY — The United States is pressing Arab nations and other allies to do more to counter the Islamic State group’s slick propaganda campaign, with a top American envoy on Monday describing efforts to combat the extremist messages as a vital pillar in the fight to defeat the group.

Syria activists say Kobani death toll passes 800

MURSITPINAR, Turkey — A Syrian activist group said Sunday that the death toll in 40 days of fighting in and around the northern Syrian border town of Kobani has reached 815, as Kurdish fighters battled Muslim militants for a hill west of the town.