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No political sparring...House to vote on Obama plan...China blamed in hacking

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WASHINGTON (AP) — It could have produced some political fireworks -- but instead, today's opening hearing by a special House panel on Benghazi has taken place in a subdued and bipartisan atmosphere. The hearing comes after two years of political battles over the attack two years ago on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. The Republican who chairs the panel, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, is vowing to pursue the facts, wherever they lead.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first vote in Congress on President Barack Obama's plan to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria is coming up today in the House. Lawmakers appear likely to give Obama the authority he wants to arm and train Syrian rebels -- but they're still sharply divided over whether the U.S. should be doing more or less. Some Republicans say the militants can't be defeated without U.S. ground troops backing up airstrikes in Iraq. But Iraq's new prime minister today ruled out the possibility of foreign troops playing a role on the ground.

WASHINGTON (AP) — According to Senate investigators, China's military has hacked at least nine times into computer networks of civilian transportation companies hired by the Pentagon. They say the Chinese hackers uploaded malicious software onto an airline's computers. In all, the year-long investigation identified at least 20 break-ins or other cyber events targeting companies. And it blames China's government for the most sophisticated of the intrusions.

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Despite a nearly two-week-old cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, the number of civilian casualties from fighting in the region is increasing. Authorities in the city of Donetsk say shelling in the city held by rebels killed two people today and wounded three others. Fighting around the government-controlled airport has caught many residential neighborhoods in the crossfire.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for a 38-year-old Texas woman are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block her scheduled execution for the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago. Lisa Coleman is set for lethal injection this evening in Huntsville. She'd be the ninth convicted killer and second woman to be executed in Texas this year. Nationally, she'd be only the 15th woman executed since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the death penalty to resume. During that same time, nearly 1,400 men have been executed.

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