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US economic growth accelerated to a 2.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter boosted by a big jump in exports and solid consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Coming just 11 days before the presidential election in which the economy has been a major issue, the GDP data showed the strongest growth in two years, and beat the consensus forecast of 2.5 percent. The strong report may increase the pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year, something it has not done since December 2015.
By Ellen Francis and Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels including jihadists counter-attacked the army and its allies on Friday aiming to break a weeks-long siege on eastern Aleppo, insurgents said. The assault, employing heavy shelling and suicide car bombs, was mainly focused on the city's western edge by rebels based in the countryside outside Aleppo. It included Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a former affiliate of al Qaeda previously known as the Nusra Front, and groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has mocked his Democratic rival's family history of military service, saying he had forgotten the Asian-American congresswoman's "parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."