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Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

Posted September 20

MANHATTAN EXPLOSION

Extremist ramblings found with bomb suspect

Two U.S. officials say a notebook with extremist ramblings was found when the man suspected of placing bombs in New York City and New Jersey was taken into custody.

The Associated Press viewed a blood-stained page of the notebook. It contained a reference to Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike, and Nidal Hasan, the former U.S. Army major who went on a 2009 rampage at the Fort Hood military installation.

The page includes the phrase "Join us in our New front."

The officials also said that Ahmad Khan Rahami had traveled to Pakistan in recent years. One said he arrived from Afghanistan with his family as a young child.

The officials were not authorized to publicly reveal details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

MANHATTAN EXPLOSION-OFFICERS

Wounded New Jersey officers out of hospital

Two New Jersey police officers wounded in a shootout with the man suspected of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey have been released from the hospital.

Linden police say Officer Angel Padilla went home Monday night, several hours after he was shot in the torso. Authorities have said a bulletproof vest saved Padilla from a more serious injury.

Another Linden officer, Pete Hammer, was released Tuesday. Authorities say his head was grazed by bullet or shrapnel as the officers exchanged gunfire with suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami.

SYRIA-DIPLOMACY

US, Russia say Syria's truce isn't dead; more meetings planned

The United States, Russia and more than a dozen other countries are declaring that the Syrian cease-fire isn't dead -- despite increasing violence on the ground there.

Today's gathering in New York was led by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart. It was aimed at holding on to what might be salvageable from Syria's week-old truce.

Among the incidents standing in the way are a mistaken air raid by the U.S.-led coalition on Syrian soldiers, and a deadly attack on an aid convoy that the U.S. is blaming on Russia and Syria.

The talks are set to continue later this week. And British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it's "the only show in town."

Kerry and Russia's Sergey Lavrov have spent months trying to forge a diplomatic path. Their deal earlier this month would have created a new, joint U.S.-Russian center to coordinate strikes on the Islamic State militants and al-Qaida-linked groups. But first, the truce and unfettered aid deliveries in Syria would have to have been protected for seven straight days. Neither commitment was met.

SYRIA

Russia denies attacking convoy

Moscow is angrily denying that the Russian or Syrian air force were involved in an overnight attack on a humanitarian convoy.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that "we responsibly say that neither the Russian nor the Syrian air force conducted any strikes on the U.N. aid convoy on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo."

It describes claims that Russian or Syrian aircraft were involved as "hasty and unfounded," adding the allegations could be aimed at distracting attention from an earlier strike on Syrian army positions by the U.S.-led coalition.

Syrian activists and paramedics have said the airstrikes on the convoy were conducted by Russian or Syrian aircraft.

The attack Monday night killed 20 civilians and prompted the U.N. to suspend all aid convoys in Syria.

CAMPAIGN 2016-EARLY VOTING

NEW: Early voting shows strengths for Clinton, Trump

Early numbers from advance voting for president show initial strength for Hillary Clinton in the critical state of North Carolina and good news for Donald Trump in Iowa.

In North Carolina, more than 53,000 voters requested ballots, and 2,939 had been returned. That's up from 47,313 ballots requested during a similar period in 2012. By party, Democrats made up 40 percent of the ballots returned compared to 33 percent for Republicans. At this point in 2012, Republicans were running ahead in ballots submitted.

In Iowa, more than 68,000 have requested ballots. Democrats dominate with 40,476 or 60 percent of the ballots so far, compared to 13,011 or 19 percent for Republicans.

But in a sign of softness among Clinton supporters, the numbers are down significantly from 2012, when 92,850 Democrats requested ballots.

CAMPAIGN 2016-PENCE-TRANSGENDER

NEW: Pence won't say whether Trump would reverse policy on transgenders in military

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is avoiding answering whether a Trump administration would reverse an Obama administration policy that allows transgender men and women to serve openly in the U.S. military.

Pence was asked about the policy Tuesday during an event the campaign billed as a veterans round table on the decommissioned USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Indiana governor said, "What should drive our military is the mission." He added that Donald Trump's military policy would be "driven by common sense" and prioritize "unit cohesion."

He did not mention transgender service members, but Pence's answer echoed some criticism of the Obama administration policy. Some retired military personnel frame the policy as a "social experiment" that will damage unit cohesion and threaten the military's ability to carry out missions.

CAMPAIGN 2016-CLINTON-DISABLED

Clinton to speak on people with disabilities

Hillary Clinton plans to speak about how her economic plans will support people with disabilities.

Clinton's campaign says the Democratic presidential candidate will use a speech in Orlando, Florida Wednesday to "make the case for building an inclusive economy that welcomes people with disabilities, values their work, rewards them fairly, and treats them with respect."

Clinton will stress her work for people with disabilities, including appointing a special advisor for international disability rights when she was secretary of state. She will also detail how her economic plans help people with disabilities by improving employment opportunities.

This is the latest in a series of speeches designed to showcase Clinton's positive vision. She spoke about faith in Kansas City recently and stressed her plans for younger voters in Philadelphia this week.

CAMPAIGN 2016-TRUMP-BIRTHERS

NEW: Trump won't elaborate on 'birther' announcement

Donald Trump isn't answering questions about his sudden acknowledgment of the fact that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Trump made a stop at a North Carolina restaurant. He greeted diners and posed for photos, but refused to answer a reporter's shouted questions about when he'd changed his mind about Obama's birthplace.

Trump spent years as the chief proponent of the falsehood that Obama was born outside the country. He declared for the first time Friday that he'd changed his mind, but did not explain how or when he'd come to that conclusion.

CONGRESS

UPDATE: Slow progress on bill to battle Zika and prevent shutdown

Top congressional leaders say negotiators are making slow but steady progress on a must-do spending bill to prevent a government shutdown next week and fund the battle against the Zika virus. A handful of tricky issues remain and the Senate's top Republican again delayed a procedural vote on the measure.

Congressional aides say that Republicans have offered to drop especially controversial provisions involving pesticide regulations and work schedules for long-haul truckers.

But the Senate's top Democrat says a battle continues to rage over a demand by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to make sure corporations do not have to disclose their spending on political activities to investors. And negotiators continue to grapple over which spending cuts would accompany the $1 billion-plus in Zika funding.

RON PAUL AIDES-SENTENCED

Ron Paul's 2012 aide avoids prison for campaign violations

The chairman of Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign has been sentenced to two years' probation and six months of home confinement, avoiding prison for conspiring to cover up campaign payments to a former Iowa state senator.

Jesse Benton was convicted of conspiracy and three charges related to false campaign reporting. He was sentenced Tuesday.

The campaign's manager John Tate and deputy manager Dimitri Kesari also were convicted. Tate also was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. Kesari's sentencing is set for Wednesday morning.

The men have argued they broke no laws when they paid $73,000 to former Sen. Kent Sorenson, who endorsed Paul six days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

Prosecutors say the scheme became illegal when the men tried to hide the payment in federal campaign financial disclosure reports.

Appeals of their convictions are expected.

KILLINGS BY POLICE-TULSA

UPDATE: Police say Tulsa officer who killed man had stun gun

A police spokesman says the Oklahoma officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man had a stun gun at the time but did not use it.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell tells The Associated Press that officer Betty Shelby was certified on the use of stun guns. Police say Shelby fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Friday while responding to a report of a stalled vehicle.

Police say Crutcher did not have a weapon on him or in his SUV.

Shelby's attorney, Scott Wood, told the Tulsa World that Shelby opened fire and another officer used a stun gun when Crutcher's "left hand goes through the car window."

But at a press conference Tuesday, attorneys representing Crutcher's family provided an enlarged photo of the police footage that appeared to show that Crutcher's window was up at the time of the shooting.

OIL PIPELINE-PROTEST

Task force looking into security, pipeline protesters' clash

A joint task force of North Dakota and federal officials is investigating a clash between Dakota Access pipeline protesters and private security guards earlier this month.

The Morton County Sheriff's Department is heading up the probe of the Sept. 3 incident, after which security guards and protesters reported injuries.

Tribal officials say about 30 protesters were pepper-sprayed and some were bitten by dogs at the construction site near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

The task force includes members of the Morton and Mercer County sheriff's departments, the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says the BIA is representing Native American tribes.

A North Dakota state agency that regulates private investigation and security firms is also looking into the incident.

SPY PLANE CRASH

NEW: Pilots eject before military plane crash in California

The U.S. Air Force says a U-2 spy plane has crashed after taking off from Beale Air Force Base in Northern California.

It says two pilots ejected before the crash around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Military officials say the aircraft was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance squadron and was on a training mission.

The Sutter County Sheriff's Office says the plane crashed in the Sutter Butte mountains about 60 miles north of Sacramento.

WELLS-FARGO-CONGRESS

Regulator says Wells Fargo case shows weakness

A top federal regulator says the case of Wells Fargo employees having opened millions of accounts without customers' permission shows "overall weaknesses in (the bank's) management," especially in the area of compliance with laws and regulations.

Thomas Curry, the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, spoke at the hearing after Wells Fargo's CEO had testified. Curry called the Wells Fargo practices "outrageous."

Regulators fined San Francisco-based Wells Fargo $185 million earlier this month, saying employees had opened the millions of accounts to meet aggressive sales targets. Some 5,300 Wells Fargo employees have been fired and the bank has said it will end all product sales targets for all retail banking employees.

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