Russia and United States agreed to call urgent military talks to head off the risk of clashes between their forces, after Moscow's dramatic entrance into the Syrian war. The Americans accused Russia of striking moderate rebel factions fighting Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime under cover of their claimed assault on the Islamic State group.
Joaquin surged in strength to become a Category Three hurricane as it barreled toward the Bahamas, on a track that could take it to the US east coast, forecasters said. The storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour, is located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of San Salvador in the Bahamas, the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center said. Major hurricanes are Category Three and above, with top sustained winds of 111-130 miles per hour and higher.
Afghan forces retook control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz on Thursday after a three-day Taliban occupation that dealt a stinging blow to the country's NATO-trained military. Afghan forces, hindered by the slow arrival of reinforcements but backed by limited US air support, struggled to regain control of the city after three days of heavy fighting. The streets were littered with Taliban bodies, residents told AFP, adding that fighting was still ongoing in parts of the city.
By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose on Thursday, drawing strength from overnight gains in global equities markets following their weakest quarter in four years, while twin surveys showing persistent weakness in China's manufacturing sector were taken in stride. The final Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for September was slightly down from August but was a touch higher than a preliminary reading, a survey released on Thursday showed. China's official PMI released separately inched up to 49.8 in September from the previous month's reading of 49.7, though it still showed contraction for the second straight month.
In a feminist restaurant housed in a theatre, seven immigrant female chefs are bringing a taste of their homelands to Londoners, whilst earning themselves a stake in British society. "We want to give power to the invisible women around the world," said Roberta Siao, the 43-year-old Brazilian who runs the kitchen at Mazi Mas, as she worked away on preparing her passion fruit speciality. The restaurant is housed in the Ovalhouse theatre, directly opposite the Hobbs Gates entrance to The Oval, south London's famous cricket ground.
German auto giant Volkswagen shifted up a gear in its plans to recall millions of cars fitted with pollution-cheating software as it boosted efforts to find the masterminds behind the scam. Following the departure of chief executive Martin Winterkorn and sales chief Christian Klingler in VW's deepest-ever crisis, more heads looked set to roll after new CEO Matthias Mueller vowed to be "ruthless" in investigating the affair. The steering committee of the carmaker's supervisory board met on Wednesday to discuss the preliminary findings of an internal probe into a scam that has rocked the automobile sector and wiped 29 billion euros ($32.5 billion) off VW's market capitalisation.
The Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first division title in 22 years by clobbering the Baltimore Orioles 15-2 behind a career high five-hit performance from shortstop Ryan Goins. The Jays fittingly captured the American League East Division with a blowout victory as they lead the league in that category, having scored 10 or more runs 26 times this season. "It's the ultimate right now," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
By Mirwais Harooni and Kay Johnson KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan officials said government troops recaptured much of the strategic northern city of Kunduz from Taliban insurgents early on Thursday, three days after losing the provincial capital in an embarrassing defeat for Kabul and its U.S. allies. Details of the overnight counter-offensive were still emerging, and it was not immediately clear which areas of the city of 300,000 were back under government control. A Taliban spokesman denied the government had retaken Kunduz, saying insurgent fighters were still resisting government forces in the center and controlled most of the rest of the city.