Iraqi special forces join Mosul offensive against IS

BARTELLA, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city.

  • Written by QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press SUSANNAH GEORGE, Associated Press

WHY IT MATTERS: IRS

WASHINGTON (AP) — THE ISSUE: The Internal Revenue Service touches everyone, not just taxpayers but anyone who receives a government check, drives on roads made possible by tax revenue or sends a child to a school helped by Washington. It's a touch that can come with a heavy hand, in the eyes of critics who believe the agency's far-reaching powers are abused and need to be tamed.

  • Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

DIVIDED AMERICA: Seeing options shrinking, white men ask why

DALLAS (AP) — The voices cascade into the studio, denouncing political hypocrisy and media bias and disappearing values. Hillary Clinton is a liar and a crook, they say; Donald Trump is presidential and successful. By the time the 16th caller reaches the air, Rick Roberts' show has reached an impassioned crescendo of anger and lamentation.

  • Written by MATT SEDENSKY, AP National Writer

Winter outlook: Warm south; cooler north; murky in middle

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal forecasters predict this winter may paint the U.S. in stripes of different weather: Warmer and drier than normal in the south, and colder and wetter than usual in the far north.

  • Written by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer