Taliban abducts police force; villagers glad
The few hundred people of Kala Khel, a village in southern Afghanistan, on Thursday got some of the best news they've heard all year: The entire Afghan Local Police unit posted to the hamlet disappeared the night before, apparently betrayed by two of their own and abducted by the Taliban. The police, villagers said, had been beating people and stealing from them nearly every day since they arrived five months ago, and few seemed sorry to see them gone. "People are happy they have been kidnapped," said Mahmadullah, who uses a single name. Some say the Afghan Local Police militias are made up of common criminals, village toughs — and sometimes Taliban sympathizers. Villagers said two policemen spiked their 12 colleagues' food with crushed sleeping pills. The Taliban then came and took away the near-comatose men along with two police pickup trucks and all the weapons in the post.
Weiner tallies online dalliances
Anthony Weiner said Thursday he traded racy messages with as many as three women since similar sexting forced him out of Congress in 2011. But as he tried to tamp down questions about his behavior, a poll suggested the new disclosures were taking a toll on his mayoral prospects. Facing a third day of renewed queries and criticism of his conduct as he continued campaigning, the married Democrat also said he had sexually charged exchanges with six to 10 women; he previously capped that number at six.
Tropical storm stays strong
Tropical Storm Dorian is maintaining its strength as it moves across the open Atlantic, far from land. The storm's maximum sustained winds were 50 mph late Thursday. Dorian is centered about 1,550 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands, off the coast of west Africa, and is moving west-northwest at 20 mph. Little change in strength is expected through Saturday.
Carson City, Nev.
Simpson pleads for leniency at hearing
O.J. Simpson pleaded with a parole board for leniency on his armed robbery and kidnapping sentence Thursday as he expressed regret for his actions and described being an upstanding inmate. Simpson, 66, noted he has made amends with his victims in a botched heist of memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007. Parole officials' decision will have little affect on his overall sentence because he's eligible for parole on only one of his consecutive sentences. His best chance for freedom lies with a judge's pending decision on whether to grant him a new trial.
Cleveland: A hearing will be held today for Ariel Castro amid reports that lawyers have reached a plea deal in the case involving the kidnapping and rape of three women held in his run-down house for about a decade.
Pakistan: The United States has drastically scaled back drone attacks against militants in Pakistan and limited strikes to high-value targets in response to growing criticism of the program there.
South Korea: North Korea threatened Thursday to re-station troops at a stalled inter-Korean factory park just across the border of the Koreas, as scuffles reportedly broke out between delegates after talks on restarting the complex failed.