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AP Top News at 1:33 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) - Confronting insurmountable obstacles, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suddenly withdrew from the contest for speaker of the U.S. House on Thursday, shocking colleagues just before they were to vote and producing ever-deeper chaos for a divided Congress. "We need a new face," McCarthy declared after a closed-door meeting where House Republicans were prepared to nominate him as speaker but instead listened in disbelief as he took himself out of the running. "If we are going to be strong, we've got to be 100 percent united." Allies said that even though he would certainly have emerged the winner from Thursday's secret-ballot election of Republicans, McCarthy had concluded he did not have a path to getting the needed 218-vote majority in the full House later this month.
OSLO, Norway (AP) - Europe's record-breaking refugee crisis was a hot topic ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement on Friday, but a Saudi blogger, a pope who reveres the Earth and its poorest people and the key players in the Iranian nuclear deal were also generating buzz. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has given no clues but those bringing relief to the hundreds of thousands of desperate people arriving in Europe have attracted interest from gamblers and pundits. Here are some names being mentioned in the annual Peace Prize guessing game: --- ANGELA MERKEL The German chancellor became the face of European inclusiveness in September when she pledged to open the country's borders to refugees fleeing Syria and other war-torn areas.
ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) - When President Barack Obama arrives here Friday, he will find a timber town still in mourning over the shooting that killed eight community college students and a teacher. But he will also find another deeply held emotion - seething anger over his calls for new gun restrictions. Only a week after a gunman strode into a writing class and opened fire on classmates, many people in the region known as Oregon's Bible Belt are quick to reaffirm their opposition to stricter gun laws. At least one parent of a shooting survivor says his family will not meet with the president, although his daughter said she hopes to do so. And gun-rights supporters plan to protest during Obama's visit.
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