Israeli troops kill 5 Palestinians in West Bank gun battles

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian health officials say at least five Palestinians have been killed in shootouts with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military says it conducted a series of arrest raids against the Hamas militant group across the West Bank early Sunday.

Gun battles erupted in two areas. Hamas says four of the dead were members of its military wing.

It was not known if the fifth person killed, identified as a 16-year-old boy, was also a militant.

The Israeli military says two soldiers were seriously injured by gunfire.

The West Bank has experienced a jump in violence in recent months.

Swiss approve same-sex marriage by wide margin in referendum

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland has voted by a wide margin to allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe.

Official results showed that the measure passed in a referendum on Sunday with 64.1% of voters in favor.

It won a majority in all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, or states.

Switzerland’s parliament and the governing Federal Council supported the “Marriage for All” measure.

Switzerland has authorized same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.

Most countries in Western Europe already recognize same-sex marriage, while most of those in Central and Eastern Europe don’t allow wedlock involving two men or two women.

House votes to protect abortion rights amid state challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation passed by the House on Friday would guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion.

But it’s a largely symbolic gesture because Republican opposition will doom the measure in the Senate.

The House vote is part of an effort by Democrats to circumvent a new Texas law that has placed that access under threat.

Democrats say they’ll do all they can to codify the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

They say abortion rights are under threat after the Supreme Court allowed a Texas law that would ban most abortions in the state to take effect.

In battle to restore power after Ida, a tent city rises

AMELIA, La. (AP) — Ida knocked out power to about 1.1 million customers in Louisiana when it came ashore Aug. 29.

Within days, electric officials transformed an empty lot into a bustling “tent city” with enormous, air-conditioned tents for workers, a gravel parking lot for bucket trucks and a station to resupply crews restoring power to the region.

After workers park their trucks at sunset and head in to eat, shower and sleep, gasoline trucks drive up and down the rows to fuel the vehicles so no time is lost in the morning.

Thousands of people are still in the dark while downed lines are righted and substations repaired.

Biden urges COVID-19 booster shots for those now eligible

President Joe Biden is urging those now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots to get the added protection.

His plea comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the doses for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday.

Biden praised the decision and aimed to set aside any unease about the vaccination by saying that he would get his own booster soon.

Police: Grocery store gunman was vendor, didn’t have target

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A gunman who killed one person and wounded 14 others in a Tennessee grocery store didn’t appear to target anyone specifically as he rampaged through the building on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

Police say the entire shooting was over within minutes as first responders swarmed the Kroger in Collierville, a wealthy suburb outside of Memphis. Police say some of the wounded were still in critical condition Friday morning.

The shooter acted alone and died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound within a couple of minutes of police arriving.

He was a third-party vendor to the store who was on site on a daily basis, identified as UK Thang. Police have not released a motive.

Migrant camp along Texas border shrinks as removals ramp up

CIUDAD ACUÑA, Mexico (AP) — A camp where more than 14,000 migrants had waited along the Texas border just days ago is now dramatically smaller.

But across the river in Mexico, migrants in a growing camp awoke Thursday surrounded by security forces.

Both governments appear eager to end the increasingly politicized humanitarian situation at the border.

The number of migrants at the border camp had been reduced to about 4,000 on Thursday morning as U.S. authorities had ramped up efforts to remove migrants from the camp.

The Biden administration’s special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, submitted a letter of resignation protesting the “inhumane” large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants.

Top Dems: We have framework to pay for $3.5T bill; no detail

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top congressional Democrats say they and the White House have agreed to a “framework” to pay for their emerging $3.5 trillion social and environment bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed the development to reporters on Thursday.

But they offered no details, and the significance was unclear.

Biden administration officials and Democratic congressional leaders have been negotiating  behind the scenes on the huge package of spending and tax initiatives.

The party has been divided over its final size and many of its details, and there has been no public word that agreements have been reached on any of those crucial questions.

Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy creates rift with religious partners

NEW YORK (AP) — As the Boy Scouts of America moves through its complex bankruptcy case, it’s encountering criticism from major religious groups that help it run thousands of scout units.

The churches fear an eventual settlement could leave many of them unprotected.

The Boy Scouts sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020 to halt individual lawsuits and create a compensation fund for thousands of men who claim they were molested as youngsters by scout leaders.

In July, the BSA proposed a deal that would bar further lawsuits against the national organization and its local councils.

But the deal did not cover the more than 40,000 organizations, including churches, that have charters to sponsor scout units.

CDC panel tackles who needs booster shot of COVID vaccine

Influential government advisers are beginning to debate just which Americans should get an extra dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine — even though regulators haven’t yet cleared the extra shots.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule soon on Pfizer’s bid for extra doses, after its advisers last week dramatically scaled back the Biden administrations plans for boosters for everyone.

Instead that panel backed another dose just for seniors and others at high risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the final word on who would qualify, and convened its own advisers Wednesday to start deliberations.