Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Obama to Keep 5,500 Troops in Afghanistan: Officials
The president is expected to make a formal announcement sometime Thursday morning that he plans to maintain 5,500 troops at bases in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar into 2017 and the term of his successor, the U.S. officials said Wednesday night. Read more in NEWS.
2. Off-the-Court Losses: The Tragic Life of Lamar Odom
As NBA player-turned-reality star Lamar Odom remained on a ventilator Thursday after collapsing at a Nevada brothel, his precarious condition highlights a life that seemed to have it all — but was too often undercut by heartbreak and tragedy. Read more in NEWS.
3. Benghazi Committee to Grill Key Clinton Aide
The House Select Committee on Benghazi will interview top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Adebin behind closed doors on Friday, sources familiar with the committee told NBC News Wednesday evening. The interview comes just days before Hillary Clinton is scheduled to testify before the committee herself during a public hearing on October 22. Read more in POLITICS.
4. Signs of Plea Deal Grow Stronger in Hastert Case
Hastert was indicted by a grand jury in May, accused of illegally evading federal bank transaction laws in making payments of nearly $2 million to a person identified in court documents only as "Person A." Hastert agreed to make the payments to "compensate for and conceal past misconduct," the indictment said, but provided no further details about the nature of the conduct. Read more in NEWS.
5. Toyota to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles
The Japanese maker recently introduced the Mirai, its first retail fuel-cell vehicle, and though sales have so far been measured in the hundreds, the target is to reach 30,000 annually by 2020, and even higher in the years beyond. Read more in BUSINESS.
6. Famed Astronomer Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Claims
7. Rejected Suitor, 70, Arrested in 45-Year-Old Texas Slaying
A 70-year-old Mississippi man is awaiting extradition on murder charges in the oldest cold case in El Paso, Texas, history — the 45-year-old stabbing death of a 21-year-old mom who police say turned down his romantic advances. Read more in NEWS.
Nightly Spotlight: Mogul Says No More Tipping at His Restaurants
Some big names in the restaurant world are getting behind the no-tipping concept and say the idea could catch on across the country.