Yemen

Fighting escalates in bid for airport

In a major escalation of Yemen's civil conflict, rival factions fought for control of the international airport in the southern city of Aden, leaving at least three people dead and forcing the airport to shut down, witnesses and security officials said. Explosions could be heard around the airport, and army units could be seen heading to the battle, witnesses said, as fears of a widening conflict grew. Tensions have been building for months, reflecting the growing crisis that began when the Houthi rebel militia took control of the capital, Sana, last year.

Afghanistan

Powerful leader killed in suicide blast

Matiullah Khan, whose rise from local militia commander to powerful regional police chief left him one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in southern Afghanistan, was killed in a targeted suicide bombing in Kabul, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, a seeming insurgent success after trying to kill Khan at least six other times. Still, while the attack bore all the hallmarks of an insurgent hit job, some warned that Khan had rivals within the government. For years, Khan enjoyed unparalleled influence in the region, where he gained a reputation as a fierce enemy of the Taliban.

California

$1B in drought relief spending is proposed

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders proposed legislation to accelerate more than $1 billion in drought-relief spending for California as it copes with a fourth dry year and Brown urges residents to reduce water use. The package of two bills includes $128 million to ease immediate impacts of the drought such as dry wells, job losses at farms and wildfires. It also accelerates nearly $1 billion in bond funding for water projects.

Virginia

Students protest injury during arrest

Students at the University of Virginia are demanding justice for a student who was injured during an arrest and appears in a photo with a bloody face as he is being held down by an officer. About 1,000 students showed up — more than expected, so the rally for Martese Johnson was moved several times, finally ending up at an outdoor amphitheater. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called for an investigation. Johnson's lawyer said he needed 10 stitches in his head.

Washington

Poll: Gap over health care law narrows

The gap between Americans who view the Affordable Care Act favorably and those who do not is smaller now than at any time since the fall of 2012, a year before the law's disastrous rollout, said a monthly poll that has tracked attitudes about the polarizing law since President Obama signed it five years ago. The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, a nonpartisan health policy research group, found that 43 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of the law, while 41 percent viewed it favorably. The margin has narrowed even since July, when 53 percent viewed it unfavorably and 37 percent viewed it favorably.

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