Vatican City

Pope distanced from county clerk’s cause

The Vatican distanced Pope Francis from Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’ claims that he endorsed her stand on same-sex marriage and said the only “real audience” Francis had in Washington was with a small group that included a gay couple. Davis and her lawyers had insisted that the Sept. 24 meeting amounted to an affirmation of her cause.

 

Afghanistan

U.S. steps up strikes against Taliban

In a sign of concern over the Taliban’s momentum, the U.S. military conducted two airstrikes on Taliban positions as Taliban fighters, driving captured Rangers and Humvees, took over a pair of district centers. The Taliban this week captured Kunduz, a city of 300,000 people, in its largest victory in more than a decade.

 

France

Summit focuses on Ukrainian peace

A Paris summit reviving a European push to bring peace to eastern Ukraine ended with calls for the delay of rebel plans to hold local elections this month and for both sides to begin withdrawing smaller-caliber weapons. The meeting was the first since a peace deal was worked out in February.

 

Washington, D.C.

Obama presses Congress on funding

President Obama said that he won’t sign another stopgap funding bill to keep the government running, and instead called on Congress to join him in forging a longer-term deal. “This is not the way the United States should be operating,” he said at a news conference. This week he signed a resolution that will fund the government through Dec. 11.

 

Oklahoma

Executions put on hold indefinitely

An appellate court agreed with state officials to postpone indefinitely the executions of three inmates in October and November after an execution was stopped on Wednesday because of a problem with one of the lethal-injection drugs.

 

Florida

Judge allows bear hunt to proceed

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds III ruled that the state can proceed with its first bear hunt since 1994, rejecting a bid by opponents for a temporary injunction halting the one-week season before its Oct. 24 start.

 

Alaska

Santa Claus runs for North Pole office

A man whose legal name is Santa Claus launched a write-in campaign for a City Council seat in the tiny town of North Pole. Claus, whose driver’s license bears his legal name of Santa Claus, is president of the North Pole Chamber of Commerce. Two seats on the City Council are up for election.

News services