Pentagon chief suspends National Guard bonus repayments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a public outcry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday ordered the Pentagon to suspend its effort to seek repayments of enlistment bonuses given to thousands of California National Guard members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Written by LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press

Independent groups pump money into many state-level races

The doctored photo on the mailer showed a Republican state Senate candidate arm-in-arm with conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, who are unpopular in the suburban legislative district east of Seattle.

  • Written by GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press

Displaced Iraqis watch Mosul offensive with longing and fear

BAHARKA CAMP, Iraq (AP) — Reports about the battle for Mosul play on the TV set in the makeshift barber shop where Faris Khatham cuts hair, but sometimes the news is so overwhelming that he has to change the channel to a sports program.

  • Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Police say they are poised to clear oil pipeline protesters

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — Law enforcement officials said on Wednesday they are poised to remove about 200 protesters trying to halt the completion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota after the demonstrators refused to leave private land owned by the pipeline company.

  • Written by JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press BLAKE NICHOLSON, Associated Press

Oregon weighs whether all kids should get outdoor education

MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, Ore. (AP) — Each year, thousands of Oregon parents hug their kids goodbye and send them tramping into the wilderness for up to a week to learn about their state's natural wonders.

  • Written by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press