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Congress votes to train Syrian rebels...Islamic extremists advance in Syria... Brits wait for Scottish vote tally

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is clearing the way for the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels in their war against Islamic State militants. The Senate voted 78-22 to ratify a new strategy that President Barack Obama outlined scarcely a week ago. The House approved the bill on Wednesday. Obama says he's pleased that a bipartisan majority supported the legislation.

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militiamen backed by tanks are advancing in Syria and have captured more than 20 Kurdish villages. Syria's Kurds, unlike U.S.-backed Iraqi Kurds, are largely on their own in their fight against the extremists. They're viewed with suspicion by mainstream Syrian rebels and their Western backers because of perceived links to President Bashar Assad's regime.

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — The people of the United Kingdom are anxiously awaiting the results of an historic vote. Scots turned out in unprecedented numbers Thursday for an independence referendum that could end Scotland's 307-year union with England. Now that the polls have closed, many Scots are planning to stay up all night if necessary to learn the results.

BELL, Fla. (AP) — A sheriff is expressing his dismay over a multiple shooting at a home in a tiny northern Florida town. Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz says a 51-year-old man killed six of his young grandchildren, his adult daughter and himself. Schultz tells the Gainesville Sun -- quote --"There are certain things you cannot explain. This is something I cannot explain."

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania State Police are reopening roads in rural northeastern Pennsylvania after swarming the area today in a search for the man charged with killing a trooper and wounding another in an ambush last week. Police are looking for 31-year-old Eric Frein (freen). Authorities searched an area around Frein's parents' home in Barrett Township.

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