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Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 12:40 a.m. EDT

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 10:41pm

Tensions are flaring in the Persian Gulf. President Donald Trump says the U.S. is "locked and loaded" to respond to a weekend drone assault on Saudi Arabia's energy infrastructure that his aides are blaming on Iran. The attack cut in half the kingdom's oil production and sent crude prices spiking. It also led Trump to authorize the release of U.S. strategic reserves should they be necessary to stabilize markets.

Mexico celebrates its independence with iconic dish

MarÍa Teresa HernÁndez, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 10:04pm

The first bite of chiles en nogada, a traditional Mexican dish eaten around the country's independence celebrations, sends a shiver.

Hong Kong govt: Violence is harmful, won't solve divisions

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 8:08pm

Hong Kong's government reiterated that violence is not the solution after an unapproved march descended into chaos with police firing tear gas and water cannons after demonstrators lobbed Molotov cocktails at government buildings, blocked traffic and set fires.

Algeria announces Dec. 12 for presidential election

Aomar Ouali, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 1:47pm

Algeria's interim leader has announced Dec. 12 as the date for the presidential election, in line with the army chief's demand to fill the vacancy left when longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika was pushed from office more than five months ago.

Algeria's interim leader sets Dec. 12 date for presidential election, following army chief's demand

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 1:35pm

Algeria's interim leader sets Dec. 12 date for presidential election, following army chief's demand.

Polling firm: Outsider ahead in Tunisia presidential vote

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 1:30pm

A polling firm has projected an independent outsider, Kais Saied, as the winner in the first round of Tunisia's presidential election, with jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui in second place.

Courts free more suspects in case of disappeared students

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 1:27pm

Courts have exonerated another 24 people implicated in one of the country's most notorious crimes, the disappearance of 43 students, a federal official said Sunday.

Polling firm projects outsider candidate Kais Saied as ranked 1st in Tunisia presidential vote, ahead of jailed magnate

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 1:16pm

Polling firm projects outsider candidate Kais Saied as ranked 1st in Tunisia presidential vote, ahead of jailed magnate.

Algeria protesters jailed before speech by interim president

Aomar Ouali, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 10:52am

An Algerian court has jailed 22 citizens detained during a protest march two days ago in a new sign that authorities may be trying to put the brakes on a pro-democracy movement demonstrating weekly for nearly seven months.

Egypt says no 'breakthrough' with Ethiopia over Nile dam

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 10:15am

Egypt on Sunday said negotiations over an upstream Nile dam being built by Ethiopia have not led to any "breakthrough."

Ethiopia releases Lebanese businessman held since last week

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 9:05am

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Ethiopia has released a Lebanese businessman who had been detained in the African nation since last week.

Syrian president issues new amnesty, reduces sentences

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 8:00am

Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree Sunday granting amnesty and reducing sentences for all crimes committed before Sept. 14, state news agency SANA said.

12 dead, 25 missing in boat accident on southern India river

Omer Farooq, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 5:52am

A sightseeing boat capsized on a swollen river in southern India on Sunday, killing 12 people and leaving 25 others missing, an official said.

Boris Johnson likens himself to the Hulk in Brexit fight

Gregory Katz, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 5:49am

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to the Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.

AP NewsAlert

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 5:26am

Official says 12 dead, 35 missing in boat accident on southern India river.

Afghan officials: Thousands of troops ready for polling day

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 5:12am

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country's security forces are ready for polling day. The presidential election is scheduled for Sept 28.

Italian hard-liner Salvini vows to return League to power

Colleen Barry, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 4:24am

Down but not out, Matteo Salvini pledged Sunday to tens of thousands of die-hard backers of his populist League that he will return to power stronger than before, as he seeks to rebound from a grave political miscalculation that pushed his party from government.

Iraqi prime minister's office denies the country's territory was used to launch the drones that attacked Saudi oil sites

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 3:14am

Iraqi prime minister's office denies the country's territory was used to launch the drones that attacked Saudi oil sites.

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet in West Bank ahead of election

Aron Heller, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 15th - 2:16am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his final pre-election Cabinet meeting on Sunday in a part of the West Bank he has vowed to annex if re-elected and laid out a plan to build a new settlement there, amid a last-ditch drive to galvanize his nationalistic base.