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US signs pact with Afghanistan ... Lawmakers to question Secret Service head ... Hong Kong protesters demand meeting

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's new president says a pact between his country and the U.S. is "for Afghan security and stability." The agreement, signed a day after President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (ahsh-RAHF' gah-NEE' ah-mahd-ZEYE') was sworn in to office, allows about 10,000 U.S. troops to remain in the country past the end of the year, when the international combat mission ends.

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria have targeted the Islamic State group near a besieged Kurdish town along the border with Turkey. It's not clear if today's airstrikes have halted the militants' advance on the Koubani area, where activists say 57 Islamic militants and Kurdish defenders were killed yesterday. Koubani has been under attack by the Islamic State group since mid-September.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Secret Service will have to explain to members of Congress today how a man with a knife was able to jump a White House fence, sprint across the north lawn and dash deep into the executive mansion before finally being subdued. This morning's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing comes after Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah said accused intruder Omar Gonzalez got as far as the White House East Room.

HONG KONG (AP) — Pro-democracy protesters are demanding that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them today, after he said China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms. Thousands of people, mostly students, are protesting for a fifth day today, blocking city streets and forcing some schools and offices to close. A student organizer says protesters are considering widening demonstrations, pushing for a labor strike and possibly occupying a government building.

LONDON (AP) — Britain's interior minister is proposing new powers to bar people with extremist views from appearing on television or publishing on social media even if they're not breaking any laws. Home Secretary Theresa May told a conference of the governing Conservatives today that only a minority of extremists are violent, but she says there's "a thread that binds" nonviolent extremism to terrorism.

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