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  • Germany, France, Italy condemn anti-Semitic demos

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday condemned the rise in anti-Semitic protests and violence over the conflict in Gaza, saying they will do everything possible to combat it in their countries. "Anti-Semitic rhetoric and hostility against Jews, attacks on people of Jewish belief and synagogues have no place in our societies," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, France's Laurent Fabius and Italy's Federica Mogherini said in a joint statement issued in Brussels. The three said that while they respect demonstrators' freedom of speech and right to assemble, they will also do everything possible to fight "acts and statements that cross the line to anti-Semitism, racism and xeno

  • Turkish PM says he, Obama no longer talk directly

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he no longer holds "direct" telephone conversations with U.S. President Barack Obama, suggesting a rift between the leaders who were once close. In an interview with Turkey's ATV television late Monday, Erdogan said that "in the past, I used to call him directly. Because I was not able to get direct results on Syria, now our foreign ministers talk to each other." Erdogan did not elaborate. But the Turkish leader is known to have been frustrated by U.S. reluctance for a military involvement in Syria to end the violence there. Erdogan told ATV he speaks with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss Iraq.

  • Turkey detains police for 'spying' and wiretaps

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish police raided the homes of colleagues on Tuesday, detaining dozens of officers on suspicion of "spying" or of illegally wiretapping government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey's spy chief, news reports and officials said. Police conducted overnight raids in 25 provinces, detaining the police officers, including at least one former senior-ranking anti-terrorism officer who was seen being taken away in handcuffs. Turkish media reports said some of the officers were involved in a corruption probe launched in December that targeted four government ministers.

  • German court: chronically ill could grow marijuana

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — Some Germans may soon be able to grow their own marijuana to relieve chronic pain after a ruling from a court in Cologne. The Cologne administrative court ruled Tuesday in favor of three plaintiffs who had sued for the right to grow marijuana for therapeutic purposes, sending the cases back to the government agency responsible for approving medical marijuana products. The court says the three demonstrated they could not combat their pain any other way and could not afford to purchase medical marijuana, which is permitted in Germany but not usually covered by the country's health insurance system.

  • Egypt calls for Israeli, Palestinian peace talks

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary step to avoid sustained violence. It's unlikely that Washington is ready to wade back into the morass of peace negotiations that broke off last April after nearly nine months of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. But the new round of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants who control Gaza has reached the level of violence that U.S. officials warned last spring would happen without an enduring truce.

  • 1 killed, 65 hurt in Turkish tanker truck blast

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's state-run news agency says a tanker truck carrying liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, has overturned and exploded on a highway in southeast Turkey, killing one person and injuring at least 65 others. The Anadolu Agency said the accident early Tuesday caused a large blast and a fireball that engulfed two passenger buses and other vehicles that were also traveling on the road near the town of Lice, some 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of the city of Diyarbakir. At least 20 people were seriously injured and one of them later died in hospital. The private Dogan news agency said firefighters took two hours to bring the fire under control.

  • Israeli aircraft hit more than 70 targets in Gaza

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A police spokesman says Israeli aircraft have hit more than 70 targets in the Gaza Strip, including the home of the late leader of Hamas' military wing, five mosques and a football stadium. Ayman Batniji says tank shells damaged several houses along the eastern border of the territory early Tuesday and that at least 19 fishing boats were burned by navy shells fired from the Mediterranean. The Israeli military says two soldiers were killed, bringing the number of troops killed in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting to 27. A Palestinian official says more than 570 Palestinians have been killed since then. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Cairo in a new atte

  • Rebels release train with bodies from downed jet

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine. With body parts decaying in sweltering heat and signs that evidence at the crash site was mishandled, anger in Western capitals has mounted at the rebels and their allies in Moscow. Their reluctant cooperation will soothe mourning families and help investigators, but may do little to reconcile the East-West powers struggling over Ukraine's future. Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday it saw no evidence a missile was fired and denied involvement in the downing of Flight 17 — a

  • Gaza death toll rises as truce effort intensifies

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza's Hamas rulers signaled they won't agree to an unconditional cease-fire, Israel's prime minister said he'll do whatever is necessary to keep Israelis safe from Hamas attacks and the overall Palestinian death toll surpassed 560. Across Gaza, Israeli fighter planes hit homes and a high-rise tower, burying families in the rubble. The strike on the Gaza City tower brought down most of the building, killing 11 people — including six members of the same family — and wounding 40, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

  • Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sternly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Kremlin-backed separatists to stop hampering the probe at the Ukraine site of a downed passenger jet and allow international investigators unfettered access. "What exactly are they trying to hide?" Obama said Monday from the South Lawn of the White House. Obama also warned Putin that he could face additional economic costs if he fails to take steps to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, but officials said new American sanctions were not imminent. Instead, much of the White House's focus was on gaining access to the crash site and shoring up European Union sanctions, which have lagged behind U.S. penalties.

  • Britain, UN host 1st summit to end child marriages

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — More than 700 million women alive today were married before they turned 18, the United Nations' children agency said Tuesday, as it co-hosts a London summit calling for more progress to end child marriages and the practice of female genital mutilation. Figures released by UNICEF say child brides are most common in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and about one in three — or some 250 million — were married before they turned 15. India alone accounts for a third of all the world's child brides, the agency said. Poorer girls are much more vulnerable: While the wealthiest girls in India marry at around 20 years old, the poorest do so at an average age of 15.

  • US urges global push for Israeli, Hamas cease-fire

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — With high hopes but low expectations, the U.S. stepped up calls Monday for an international push to end fighting in the Gaza Strip as President Barack Obama sent his top envoy to the Mideast to help broker a new cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants — the third since 2009. Voicing fresh concern about civilian casualties, Obama reaffirmed his belief that Israel has the right to defend itself against a barrage of more than 1,500 rockets being launched by Hamas. Yet he said Israel's military assault of Gaza had already done "significant damage" to Hamas' network of tunnels, safe havens and other infrastructure, and said he doesn't want to see more civilians getting killed.

  • Israeli mood turns dark with mounting casualties

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — For almost two weeks, Israel practically bristled with confidence and pride: The Iron Dome air defense system was dependably zapping incoming Hamas rockets from the skies, the military was successfully repelling infiltration attempts on the ground and from the sea, and the conflict with Hamas was causing almost no casualties in Israel. That has changed in what seems like a flash, after at least 25 soldiers were killed and scores injured — a predictable yet still stunning outcome of the fateful decision, announced late Thursday, to send troops and tanks by land into Hamas-ruled Gaza.

  • Official: Turkish soldier killed in clash

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An official says Turkish soldiers have clashed with a group of suspected smugglers on the Turkish-Syrian border. One soldier was killed and two others were wounded. Izzettin Kucuk, the governor for Sanliurfa province, told the private Dogan news agency that the firefight broke out late Monday near the town of Ceylanpinar, which borders Syria. The agency said the suspected smugglers ignored warnings for them to stop and fired on the soldiers. There was no further detail on the incident — the latest on the shared 910-kilometer (566-mile) border. Since 2012, Turkish security forces have been retaliating to stray fire from Syria landing on Turkey's territory or to attacks from smugglers or ot

  • Islamic militants kill 2 tribal leaders in Egypt

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Security officials in Egypt say suspected Islamic militants have gunned down two tribal leaders in the restive northern region of the Sinai Peninsula over their alleged connection to authorities. The officials said that Sheik Ashtewi Maraheel and Hassan al-Baiera, both from the well-known Sawarka Bedouin tribe of the northern Sinai, were killed in two separate incidents in the town of Rafah after sunset Monday. The officials say that masked militants opened fire on each of them near their homes before fleeing. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

  • Kuwait strips citizenship of ex-lawmaker, others

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwait's government stripped five people of their citizenship Monday, including the owner of an independent newspaper and television station as well as a former opposition lawmaker. The official Kuwait News Agency announced the decision by Kuwait's Cabinet, which approved a draft decree to revoke the five's citizenship. The state news agency did not give a reason for the Cabinet's decision. A human rights lawyer in Kuwait said it was the first time he had heard of the government revoking citizenships without a court order. Among those named in the decision is former Islamist opposition lawmaker Abdullah al-Barghash, including two of his brothers and a sister.

  • Dutch anger swells at treatment of Ukraine bodies

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The families and friends of Dutch citizens blown out of the sky above Ukraine poured out their grief and anger Monday at a meeting with their monarch and political leaders. "This terrible disaster has left a deep wound in our society," a somber King Willem-Alexander said after meeting the next of kin at a private meeting. "The scar will be visible and tangible for years to come." The Dutch have widely condemned the way the bodies of the victims have been treated in Ukraine and the fact they have not yet been returned home, four days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killed 298 passengers and crew, including 193 Dutch citizens.

  • Protesters denounce Israel at embassy in Cyprus

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters have demanded a halt to military action in Gaza during a peaceful protest near the Israeli embassy in the Cypriot capital. Monday's protest was organized by left-wing trade unions and peace groups and included Turkish Cypriot activists from the ethnically divided island's breakaway north. Riot police standing behind a cordon of barbed wire-topped fences prevented marching protesters from approaching the embassy's entrance. Some protesters burned a hand-painted Israeli flag. Organizers condemned the bloodshed in Gaza and urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop the fighting.

  • Clashes between rival militias in Libya kill 47

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    CAIRO (AP) — Clashes between rival Libyan militias fighting for control of the capital's international airport killed 47 people over the last week, Libya's Health Ministry said, as violence in an eastern city killed five. The weeklong battle in Tripoli began when Islamist-led militias — mostly from the western city of Misrata — launched a surprise assault on the airport, under control of rival militias from the western mountain town of Zintan. The clashes resumed Sunday after cease-fire efforts failed. On Monday, the burned-out shell of an Airbus A330 sat on the tarmac, a $113 million passenger jet for Libya's state-owned Afriqiyah Airways destroyed in the fighting.

  • CORRECTS: Israel: 7 soldiers killed in fighting with Hamas, raising Israeli death toll to 27

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    JERUSALEM (AP) — CORRECTS: Israel: 7 soldiers killed in fighting with Hamas, raising Israeli death toll to 27.