Russia backs Syrian forces in major assault on insurgents

BEIRUT - Syrian troops and militia backed by Russian warplanes mounted what appeared to be their first major coordinated assault on Syrian insurgents on Wednesday and Moscow said its warships fired a barrage of missiles at them from the Caspian Sea, a sign of its new military reach. | Video

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Volkswagen plays down hopes of quick answers over emissions cheating

WOLFSBURG, Germany - Volkswagen said on Wednesday it would take time to get to the bottom of its rigging of diesel emissions tests, hours before the carmaker is due to give updates on its findings to German regulators and U.S. lawmakers. | Video

McCarthy seen short of full majority in House speaker race

WASHINGTON - U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to have locked up enough support among his fellow Republicans to be nominated for speaker, but has not nailed down the 218 votes needed to be elected by the full chamber, Republican lawmakers said on Wednesday.

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SABMiller rejects AB InBev's $104 billion takeover approach

BRUSSELS/LONDON - SABMiller , the world's second largest brewer, has promptly rejected an improved takeover proposal from Anheuser-Busch InBev , saying its 68 billion-pound ($104 billion) valuation was "very substantially" under par. | Video

2:46pm EDT

Republicans defend House Benghazi panel; Democrat seeks review

WASHINGTON - U.S. House Republicans on Wednesday defended the special committee investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, while one Democrat filed a complaint seeking an internal review of potential ethics violations. | Video

Politics, Libya 4:50pm EDT

At least 17 dead as flooding threat persists in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Flooding from historic rainfall in South Carolina claimed two more lives on Wednesday, and the threat of further inundation from swollen rivers and vulnerable dams put already ravaged communities on edge. | Video

U.S., Environment 4:22pm EDT

Netanyahu cancels German visit as violence spreads across Israel

JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister canceled a visit to Germany on Wednesday after a spate of attacks that included the stabbing of an Israeli soldier by a suspected Palestinian militant who police said was then shot dead by special forces. | Video