Jobless claims fall to near a 42-year low

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell more than expected to near a 42-year low last week, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market despite the recent slowdown in hiring.

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Volkswagen's U.S. boss blames 'individuals' for cheating

BERLIN/WASHINGTON - Volkswagen's rigging of diesel emissions tests was not a company decision but the result of actions by a small number of engineers, its top U.S. executive said on Thursday. | Video

U.S. asks NATO allies for flexibility in Afghan drawdown plans

BRUSSELS - The United States asked NATO allies on Thursday for flexibility as the alliance reviews its plans to rapidly withdraw troops from Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday after talks in Brussels.

World, Afghanistan 10:49am EDT

FBI says it 'disrupted' dozens of potential militants

WASHINGTON - FBI counterterrorism investigators followed "dozens and dozens" of potential militants around the United States full time during the summer and "disrupted" many of them, FBI Director James Comey told a congressional committee on Thursday.

World, U.S. 11:36am EDT

Syria extends major offensive to retake territory in west

BEIRUT - Syrian troops and allied militia backed by a fresh wave of Russian air strikes and cruise missiles fired from warships attacked rebel forces on Thursday as the government extended a major offensive to recapture territory in the west of the country.

World, Russia, Syria 1:53pm EDT

Belarussian writer wins Nobel prize, denounces Russia over Ukraine

STOCKHOLM/MINSK - Belarussian author Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday for her portrayal of the harshness of life in the Soviet Union and in her first public response denounced Russia's intervention in Ukraine as an "invasion". | Video

Russia, World, Arts 1:43pm EDT

Man hailed as hero in Oregon college shooting leaves hospital

- Chris Mintz, the man credited with likely saving lives during the mass shooting at a college in southern Oregon last week, has been released from the hospital after treatment for multiple bullet wounds, the hospital said on Thursday.


Turkey urges NATO to keep up its Patriot defenses

BRUSSELS - Turkey urged its NATO allies on Thursday to keep up missile defenses along its Syrian border, after Germany and the United States said they would press on with plans to withdraw Patriot batteries despite worries about Russian actions in the area.