AP Top News at 7:57 p.m. EDT

Associated Press
A Palestinian worker stands on a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010. Israeli settlers have begun work on at least 544 new homes since Israel's 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts expired three weeks ago, according to an Associated Press count based on an extensive tour of settlements and interviews with mayors, construction workers and a contractor. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)
.

View gallery

Israeli settlers have begun building new homes at an extraordinary pace since the government lifted its moratorium on West Bank housing starts — almost 550 in three weeks, more than four times faster than the last two years. And many homes are going up in areas that under practically any peace scenario would become part of a Palestinian state, a trend that could doom U.S.-brokered peace talks.

WASHINGTON (AP) — All signs point to huge Republican victories in two weeks, with the GOP now leading Democrats on virtually every measure in an Associated Press-GfK poll of people likely to vote in the first major elections of Barack Obama's presidency. In the final survey before Election Day, likely voters say the GOP would do a better job than Democrats on handling the economy, creating jobs and running the government.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican says President Barack Obama and a more-Republican Congress could join to pass laws on trade and spending policy and make changes to the health care overhaul if the administration listens to voters on Election Day. "I can't believe he's going to continue to ignore the wishes of the American people if his party has a very bad day Nov. 2," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "If he pivots and wants to work with us, obviously I'd be happy to talk to him."

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Beyond the courtroom arguments about "disrupting the troops" and "unit cohesion" are the nitty gritty details behind the Pentagon's fight to go slow on allowing openly gay troops. Will straight and gay troops have to shower next to one another? Will the military have to provide benefits to gay partners, and can it afford to? And the biggest question of all: Will gays be harassed or intimidated?

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The leaders of Iran and Venezuela hailed what they called their strong strategic relationship on Wednesday, saying they are united in efforts to establish a "new world order" that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and visiting Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, watched as officials from both countries signed 11 agreements promoting cooperation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, trade and public housing.

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — Capitalizing on the emerging car culture of Southern California in the 1950s, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller started a drive-in church and built it into an international televangelist empire, symbolized by the soaring glass Crystal Cathedral and its weekly "Hour of Power" show. Now Schuller's life's work is crumbling.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Delaware Senate candidates Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons on Wednesday offered sharply different views on what's bogging down the economy and how to fix it. In a mostly civil debate to be aired Wednesday night on television station WHYY, O'Donnell said unsustainable federal spending and a heavy tax burden were the main causes of the downturn.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia Thomas is an experienced political activist with ties to the tea party movement. She's an outspoken opponent of the Obama administration. She's also the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She's now in the spotlight for her out-of-the-blue phone call asking Anita Hill to apologize for a 19-year-old sexual harassment accusation that nearly kept him off the court.

PRAXEDIS G. GUERRERO, Mexico (AP) — There's a new police chief in this violent borderland where drug gangs have killed public officials and terrified many citizens into fleeing: a 20-year-old woman who hasn't yet finished her criminology degree. Marisol Valles Garcia was sworn in Wednesday to bring law and order to a township of about 8,500 that has been transformed from a string of quiet farming communities into a lawless no man's land. Two rival gangs — the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels — have been battling for control of its single highway, a lucrative drug trafficking route along the Texas border.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano hit consecutive homers to build an early cushion, CC Sabathia made the lead stand up and the New York Yankees avoided elimination, beating the Texas Rangers 7-2 Wednesday and closing within 3-2 in the AL championship series. Sabathia bounced back from an erratic opener, staying away from too much trouble against Josh Hamilton and Texas' big bats. Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz made an early exit with hamstring trouble, a day after Yankees star Mark Teixeira was lost for the postseason with a hamstring injury.

View Comments