Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 6:28 am
Updated Sunday 5:46 a.m. ET
The death toll at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi has increased to at least 52, and civilians are still inside as militants exchange sporadic barrages of gunfire with Kenyan security troops outside.
"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku, Kenya's Interior cabinet secretary told AP early today. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.
He said that five to 15 attackers are involved in the standoff, but declined to estimate the number of hostages.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks at a Republican rally Friday after the House passed a measure that would temporarily fund the government while crippling President Obama's health care law. The Senate is not expected to follow suit.
The House has passed a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through Dec. 15. It passed almost entirely along party lines: In addition to funding the government, it calls for defunding of the Affordable Care Act.
The White House has said President Obama would veto the bill, were it to come to his desk in this form. And it most likely won't. Democrats, who control the Senate, won't pass a bill that defunds Obamacare.
Yesterday, Syria sent the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons an initial declaration, detailing its trove of chemical weapons. The declaration is now being reviewed by that organization's verification division. The U.S.-Russian agreement reached last weekend calls for inspectors to be on the ground in Syria by November, and all chemical weapons to be removed from the country or destroyed by the middle of next year.