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Senate to vote on arming Syrian rebels ... Counterterror raids in Sydney ... Scotland votes on independence

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is expected Thursday to approve President Barack Obama's plan to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels in an effort to destroy the militant group Islamic State. The Republican-controlled House gave its approval Wednesday in a 273-156 vote. The provision was added to spending legislation that will ensure the federal government operates normally after the Sept. 30 end of the budget year.

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian officials say they're holding 15 people following counterterrorism raids in Sydney on Thursday. Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the operation was prompted by information that a leader with the Islamic State movement in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to carry out a random, violent attack in Australia as a demonstration of the group's reach.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (AP) — Police in the Mexican resort town of Los Cabos are stepping up patrols as residents and tourists face a fourth day without water or power following Hurricane Odile (oh-DEEL'). Officials have not declared a curfew, but they're telling local radio that they'll stop and question anyone on the streets after nightfall. Some residents say now that supermarkets have been looted, their homes could be next.

WEED, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials say a wildfire in the small Northern California town of Weed has destroyed at least 110 homes and damaged another 90. And another blaze east of Sacramento is threatening more than 2,000 homes and 1,500 smaller structures as it burns out of control. That fire has blackened nearly 44 square miles of trees and brush and is just 5 percent contained.

LONDON (AP) — Voters in Scotland head to the polls Thursday to decide whether they want independence from the United Kingdom. A Yes vote would trigger 18 months of negotiations between Scottish leaders and London-based politicians on how the two countries would separate their institutions ahead of Scotland's planned Independence Day of March 24, 2016.

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