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  • Migrants: Obama urges Latin leaders, GOP to help

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressing for swift action, President Barack Obama on Friday urged Central American presidents and congressional Republicans to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families crossing the southwest border of the U.S. He emphasized to the regional leaders that despite U.S. compassion for migrant children, those who do not have a proper claim to remain in the U.S. will be turned back. While citing progress in stemming the flow, Obama called on House Republicans to act urgently on his request for emergency spending. With one week left before Congress' August recess, Republicans on Friday were trying to unite behind a plan that would spend about one-fourth of the amount in Obama's proposal.

  • France to host meeting on Gaza cease-fire talks

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — More than a half-dozen foreign ministers including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will hold a meeting in France to press for a cease-fire in Gaza. The French Foreign Ministry said Friday that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, along with his counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, the European Union, Turkey and Qatar, will attend the Saturday meeting. Besides supporting an Egyptian cease-fire plan — rejected by Gaza's militant Hamas rulers — the goal "is to bring together international efforts so that as quickly as possible conditions for a cease-fire in Gaza emerge," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Roman Nadal. Kerry has been in the Middle East seeking a seven-day humanitarian truce between Isra

  • US: Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis. Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said five salvos of heavy rockets were fired across the border near the town of Kolesnikov in the Luhansk region in the country's east.

  • AP ANALYSIS: Old story, new twists in Gaza war

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — The third Gaza war is playing out much like the first one more than five years ago: The harrowing civilian toll in Gaza is now at the center of the discourse, eclipsing the rocket attacks by Hamas militants that were the stated reason for the Israeli assault. Then as now, a question persists: Beyond the carnage, are Israel's airstrikes against civilian locations achieving anything at all? It ended messily for Israel in 2009. A U.N. commission investigated, Israel refused to cooperate, and the resulting report — since then partly disavowed by its own author, former South African judge Richard Goldstone — said Israel deliberately targeted civilians and might have committed war crimes, along with Hamas.

  • This Was the Syrian Civil War's Bloodiest Week Yet — And You Probably Heard Nothing About It

    Published: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    In the last week, 1,700 people died in Syria, making it the deadliest seven days since the conflict started three years ago, Mic reports. Of those casualties, 700 died in two days. Experts say this week marks a shift in the pattern of fighting, as opposition groups increasingly fight each other , leading to higher death tolls. And yet, when you think of the heartbreaking and significant news reported in the last week, the death toll in Syria doesn't spring to mind. But this week has left civilians even more vulnerable, and the world should be paying attention.

  • Teams converge on remote site to probe plane crash

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — Aviation experts, criminal investigators and soldiers began converging Friday on an isolated patch of restive Mali to search for clues that might explain why an Air Algerie jetliner fell from the sky in a storm and apparently disintegrated on impact. French authorities said the catastrophe was probably the result of extreme bad weather, but they refused to exclude other possibilities, like terrorism, without a full investigation. All 118 people aboard the plane were killed. The loss of flight 5017 wiped out whole families. Nearly half of the dead were French. The passenger list also included other Europeans, Canadians and Africans. The six crew members were Spanish.

  • What happened? The day Flight 17 was downed

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    SNIZHNE, Ukraine (AP) — It was lunchtime when a tracked launcher with four SA-11 surface-to-air missiles rolled into town and parked on Karapetyan Street. Fifteen hundred miles (2,400 kilometers) to the west, passengers were checking in for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. It had been a noisy day in this eastern Ukrainian town, residents recounted. Plenty of military equipment was moving through. But still it was hard to miss the bulky missile system, also known as a Buk M-1. It left deep tread marks in the asphalt as it rumbled by in a small convoy. The vehicles stopped in front of journalists from The Associated Press. A man wearing unfamiliar fatigues, speaking with a distinctive Russian accent, checked to make sure they wer

  • Yemen's Shiite rebels pull out of northern city

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's Shiite rebels battling their conservative Sunni rivals from one of the country's largest tribes have pulled out of a northern city they captured earlier this month, the rebels' spokesman said Friday. The spokesman, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, said the Hawthi rebels handed over the provincial capital of Amran to the central government, reflecting a military loss for their rivals, the powerful Hashid tribesmen who had previously controlled the city. The sectarian and tribal fighting between the two sides has raged in the city and the province of Amran for weeks, leaving scores killed and forcing many families to flee the area. Yemeni Red Crescent estimated that 15,000 families had fled the fighting.

  • Israeli defense minister tells troops Israel might significantly widen Gaza ground operation

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli defense minister tells troops Israel might significantly widen Gaza ground operation.

  • Afghan Taliban leader warns against pact with US

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — In a blow to hopes for peace talks, the Taliban's reclusive leader warned Friday that a bilateral security pact allowing thousands of U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of this year will mean more fighting. The Americans and NATO allies are winding down combat operations but want to leave a residual force to help train Afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism operations amid fears government troops are ill-prepared to face a relentless insurgency and the security vacuum could pave the way for an al-Qaida resurgence in the country. President Barack Obama has announced he wants to leave nearly 10,000 Americans in Afghanistan for two more years.

  • US's Kerry says more work needed to reach deal on 7-day truce between Hamas and Israel

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — US's Kerry says more work needed to reach deal on 7-day truce between Hamas and Israel.

  • Taiwan plane survivor crawls out, phones dad

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    XIXI, Taiwan (AP) — The 10 survivors of Taiwan's worst air disaster in more than a decade include a 34-year-old woman who called her father after scrambling from the wreckage and seeking help at a nearby home. Hung Yu-ting escaped through a hole in the fuselage that opened up after the plane plowed into homes Wednesday while attempting to land on the outlying resort island of Penghu, killing 48 people. She used the phone at the nearby house to call her father. "She called me on the phone to say the plane had crashed and exploded but that she had already crawled out and I should come right away to get her," said Hung's father, Hung Chang-ming, who lives just a few hundred meters (yards) from the crash site.

  • Israel media: Israel's security cabinet unanimously rejects Kerry's proposal for Gaza truce

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel media: Israel's security cabinet unanimously rejects Kerry's proposal for Gaza truce.

  • Gunmen kill 2 senior officers in Egypt's Sinai

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Gunmen shot and killed two senior Egyptian officers in the country's volatile Sinai Peninsula where the military has been trying to quell a spreading insurgency by Islamic militants, a security official said. The attackers opened fire on the officers' vehicle near the peninsula's northern city of el-Arish, sprayed it with bullets and then fled the scene, the official said. The attack came a day after the military said it killed three militants in Sinai, including the brother of the alleged leader of an al-Qaida-inspired group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. A statement Thursday on the official Facebook page of military spokesman, Brig. Gen.

  • Jordan shoots down 'aerial target' near Syria

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's air force shot down an "aerial target" near the Syrian border on Friday, a Jordanian military official said. Eyewitnesses said the object was a drone. It was not immediately clear where the object came from, but there have been reports of intense fighting in the southern Syrian province of Daraa that borders Jordan. Syria's civil war, now in its fourth year, has often spilled across the country's borders. Also, extremists from the Islamic State group last month seized a huge chunk of territory straddling the Iraq-Syria border, declared a self-styled caliphate and imposed their harsh interpretation of Islam on the civilian population in the area.

  • Hezbollah leader vows to support Gazans

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group vowed on Friday to support Palestinian militants battling Israeli troops in Gaza, even as his own fighters are bogged down in the war in neighboring Syria. In his first remarks on the latest Israeli-Palestinian fighting that erupted on July 8, Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that it would be "suicide" to continue waging war in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah, a Shiite group, has long been one of the closest allies of Hamas, the main Palestinian Sunni faction which controls Gaza. Both militant groups are backed by Iran.

  • Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the downing of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, U.S. and European sanctions had mainly targeted a handful of individuals, sparing economic ties. Then last week the U.S. imposed penalties on some of Russia's largest corporations. And when the airliner was shot down just a day later in Ukraine, allegedly by separatists with Moscow's support, concern grew in Russia that the sanctions would only get worse as President Vladimir Putin shows little sign of cooperation.

  • Gaza officials accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    PARIS (AP) — Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli ground forces that's left 800 Palestinians dead — including hundreds of civilians. Thirty seven Israelis have been killed, 35 of them soldiers. The officials accuse Israel of war crimes, which, they say, under the ICC statutes includes "crime of apartheid," ''attacks against civilians," ''excessive loss of human life" and "crime of colonization.

  • Prominent Libyan activist abducted amid clashes

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Armed men abducted a well-known Libyan political activist in the country's capital, his father said Friday, the latest in rampant attacks that have targeted officials, activists and foreigners in the strife-torn nation. The abduction of Abdel-Moaz Banoun came as Tripoli is embroiled in weeks-long clashes between rival militias. The fighting has killed and wounded dozens on both sides. Banoun's father, Abdullah Banoun, told The Associated Press that his son was taken by two armed men who attacked his car on Thursday. No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction, but the father blamed the militias. Abdel-Moaz Banoun has been an outspoken critic of the militias and has urged that they be disbanded.

  • Turkish high-speed rail opens between main cities

    Updated: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey inaugurated a high-speed rail service Friday linking Ankara to Istanbul which will cut travel time between the country's main two cities by half. The launch suffered a mishap however, with a technical fault causing the train to stop for 15 minutes until it was repaired. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other dignitaries opened the service, making the first high-speed journey with stops at two stations along the way where the Turkish leader delivered campaign speeches for presidential elections on Aug. 10. Private NTV television and other reports said a wire failure caused the train to stop about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Istanbul, but the problem was quickly repaired.