• Israel, Gaza militants trade fire after talks fail

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets and Israel responded with airstrikes on Wednesday after Egyptian efforts to mediate a lasting truce in the monthlong Gaza war collapsed in a hail of fire a day earlier. One of the Israeli airstrikes appeared to have targeted the home of Mohammed Deif, the Islamic militant group's elusive military chief, who has escaped numerous Israeli assassination attempts in the past. It was not immediately clear whether he was there at the time of the attack. The fighting resumed Tuesday when Gaza militants fired rockets at Israeli cities just hours before a temporary cease-fire was set to expire, prompting Israel to withdraw its delegation from Cairo and laun

  • Protesters plant Ukraine flag on Moscow skyscraper

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Protesters have scaled one of Moscow's famed Stalin-era skyscrapers and painted the Soviet star on its spire in the national colors of Ukraine. They also attached a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag to the top of the 176-meter (580-foot) building early Wednesday. Russian authorities were not amused by the prank in support of Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russian separatists. Police said they have detained four suspects and charged them with vandalism, a crime punishable with up to three years in prison. The LifeNews media site posted a video it says shows one of the protesters parachuting off of the building and landing in an inner courtyard.

  • Iraqis in besieged town appeal to army for help

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Members of a minority Iraqi Shiite community whose town has been besieged by Sunni militants are appealing to Iraq's military and the international community to intervene to end the siege, a lawmaker said Wednesday as the U.N. prepared to launch a massive aid push to help Iraqis uprooted by the extremists. The siege of the northern town of Amrili, populated by Shiite Turkmens, is part of a wide onslaught by militants from the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group and their Sunni allies who have seized large swaths of western and northern Iraq this summer. The group has since declared a self-styled caliphate in territory it controls in Iraq and neighboring Syria, imposing its own harsh interpretation of Islam

  • Liberian security forces seal slum to halt Ebola

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Security forces deployed Wednesday to enforce a quarantine around a slum in the Liberian capital, stepping up the government's fight to stop the spread of Ebola and unnerving residents. Liberia has the highest death toll of the four West African countries affected by the dreaded disease, and its number of cases is rising the fastest. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered the quarantine and imposed a nighttime curfew that begins Wednesday, saying that authorities have not been able to curtail the spread of Ebola in the face of defiance of their recommendations. She also ordered entertain "These measures are meant to save lives," she said in an address Tuesday night.

  • Pakistan lawmakers meet amid mass protests

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani lawmakers met Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters thronged outside the assembly calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged voting fraud. Sharif and other lawmakers were able to enter the building through a back exit connected to the premier's office after the protesters late Tuesday had torn down barricades and entered the so-called Red Zone housing Parliament and other key government buildings. The twin protests led by the famous cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have virtually shut down Islamabad, raising fears of unrest in the nuclear-armed U.S. ally with a history of military coups and dictatorship.

  • Fighting outside key Ukrainian city kills 9 troops

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian official says nine troops were killed in overnight fighting in the streets of the town of Ilovaysk, which lies just east of the rebel stronghold Donetsk. Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, said in a Facebook post Wednesday morning that government troops now control half of the town, but rebels are offering fierce resistance after more than a day of fighting. Government efforts to quell the pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine are focused on encircling Donetsk and also driving rebels out of the city of Luhansk. The Kiev government also has pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced 300,000

  • 111-year-old from Japan recognized as oldest man

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — A 111-year-old retired Japanese educator who enjoys poetry has been recognized as the world's oldest living man. Sakari Momoi received a certificate from Guinness World Records on Wednesday. He succeeds Alexander Imich of New York, who died in June at the age of 111 years, 164 days. The world's oldest living person is also Japanese: Misao Okawa, a 116-year-old woman from Osaka. Momoi was born Feb. 5, 1903, in Fukushima prefecture, where he became a teacher. He moved to the city of Saitama, north of Tokyo, after World War II and was a high school principal there until retirement. At the televised ceremony, Momoi wore a dark suit and silver tie, with his white hair neatly combed.

  • Chinese, Russian media turn criticisms back on US

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and Russian state media have seized on the U.S. police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old and ensuing protests to fire back at Washington's criticisms of their own governments, portraying the United States as a land of inequality and brutal police tactics. The violence in the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb of Ferguson comes amid tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine, as well as friction between Washington and Beijing over what China sees as a campaign to thwart its rise as a global power.

  • Indiana updates job search app for iPhone

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State technology officials are hoping that their updated smartphone app will make it easier for people seeking work with the state. The Indiana Office of Technology announced Tuesday it was releasing a new version of the app for iPhones and iPads that would make it easier to search state job postings. The update will also allow people to set up alerts if state jobs become available. The state's iPhone app also allows people to search government information, find state parks and do many other things linked to the state website. Officials said an Android app is in development.

  • Ukraine's rebel capital seeks ersatz normality

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — It has been weeks since Donetsk last had a traffic jam. The regular rumble on the edge of this besieged city in eastern Ukraine is a constant reminder of the government's effort to shell armed pro-Russian separatists out of their stronghold. Rebels give as good as they get, blindly lobbing shells back at an unseen foe. As fighting edges ever closer to the center, hundreds of thousands have fled a city once home to 1 million people. The bustle of a major industrial center has given way to the stillness of fear. College teacher Nataliya Badibina said she would have left to stay with relatives in Russia were it not for her mother and father. "My parents are ill.

  • North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — In its latest personal attack on a prominent official from a rival country, North Korea on Wednesday called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a "hideous lantern jaw." North Korea has unleashed a slew of crude insults against leaders in Washington and Seoul this year, calling President Barack Obama a monkey and South Korean President Park Geun-hye a prostitute. Wednesday's slur against Kerry appeared only in a Korean-language dispatch, suggesting it was meant to rally anti-U.S. sentiment and burnish the leadership's image domestically at a time when Washington and Seoul are conducting annual military drills that Pyongyang calls an invasion rehearsal.

  • Israeli-US relations tested once again in Gaza war

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — When Israel completes its damage assessment from its latest war with Hamas, it may conclude that one of the biggest casualties was its all-important relationship with the United States. A recent American decision to hold back on the delivery of advanced Hellfire missiles offered dramatic manifestation of a relationship that appears to be deteriorating in large part due to strained ties between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Since both came into power in early 2009, they have been unable to see eye-to-eye on a host of issues — most notably on how to handle Iran's nuclear program and on peace talks with the Palestinians. There also seems to be little personal chemistry.

  • US safety agency offers online recall check

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government is offering a free online service for drivers to find out if their vehicles have been recalled but not repaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the service started Wednesday on its website, www.safercar.gov. Drivers can key in their vehicle identification number to get the results. The number can be found on the dashboard near the windshield or on the driver's door post near the latch. Also starting Wednesday, automakers must keep the same data on their own websites, and they have to update it at least once per week. The safety agency's site will show data if there's an open recall, or it will tell drivers there are none.

  • No photos: Parents opt to keep babies off Facebook

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Behold the cascade of baby photos, the flood of funny kid anecdotes and the steady stream of school milestones on Facebook. It all makes Sonia Rao, a stay-at-home mother of a 1-year-old in Mountain View, California, "a little uncomfortable." "I just have a vague discomfort having her photograph out there for anyone to look at," says Rao. "When you meet a new person and go to their account, you can look them up, look at photos, videos, know that they are traveling.

  • Gaza cease-fire efforts collapse in heavy fighting

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Egyptian attempts to broker an end to a monthlong war between Israel and Hamas collapsed in heavy fighting Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets and Israel responding with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip. At least three Palestinians were killed. The burst of violence, which erupted in the hours before a temporary truce was set to expire, left the Egyptian mediation efforts in tatters and raised the likelihood of a new round of fighting in a war that has already claimed more than 2,000 lives, most of them Palestinians. The fighting broke out when Gaza militants fired several rockets into Israel Tuesday afternoon.

  • Liberia president declares Ebola curfew

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia's president has declared a curfew and is imposing a quarantine of a major slum in the capital Monrovia as the death toll mounts from Ebola. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced late Tuesday that movements now would be restricted between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The country is already under a state of emergency, and the latest action also will block all movement in and out of West Point, home to at least 50,000 people. Over the weekend, residents angered over the placement of an Ebola center in West Point looted the facility and 37 patients left who were supposed to be under surveillance. Health officials said that all of those later returned.

  • Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is stepping down from the company's board, closing a chapter on 34 years with the software giant. Ballmer says he plans to devote more time to his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, civic contributions, study and teaching business at Stanford in the fall and USC next spring. Microsoft Corp. published Ballmer's resignation letter on its website Tuesday along with a response from current CEO Satya Nadella thanking him and wishing him well. The 58-year-old says he plans to hold on to his Microsoft stock and will continue to offer feedback on products and strategy. With 333.3 million shares worth $15 billion, Ballmer's 4 percent stake in the company makes him the l

  • Lawmakers expand carpool lane permits for plug-ins

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate has approved legislation that would allow another 15,000 fuel-efficient vehicles to use California's carpool lanes, even when they have only one occupant. AB2013 by Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance expands the number of "green HOV" permits to 70,000 from the current 55,000. The stickers generally apply to hybrid plug-in vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR. The legislation passed the Senate on a 25-6 vote Tuesday, but Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine says it was a giveaway to wealthy people who can afford expensive vehicles. Kelly Blue Book, for example, lists the base price of the Cadillac ELR as nearly $73,000.

  • Uber hires former Obama adviser Plouffe

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Uber is stepping up its political game with a high-powered new hire. The taxi-alternative service is hiring a former White House adviser to lead its campaign for acceptance in the 170 cities around the world where it operates. David Plouffe is best known for running President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. He is joining Uber as senior vice president of policy and strategy in September, bringing a campaign mindset to a company that has faced resistance in some U.S. cities from the taxi industry and regulators. Uber's app lets smartphone users locate nearby part-time drivers for the service, who use their own cars to ferry around passengers, as well as locate yellow cabs in cities like New York.

  • Corps: Waterway infrastructure improvements needed

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Higher-capacity ports, expanded locks and dams and other infrastructure improvements are needed in the Mississippi River Watershed to allow its waterways to handle shipping demands caused by higher agriculture, oil and natural gas production and manage climate change effects, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official said Tuesday. Brig. Gen. Peter A. DeLuca, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley Division, spoke Tuesday at a public meeting held on a corps vessel on the Mississippi River in Memphis. He called on federal, state and local governments — plus citizens groups, businesses and private entrepreneurs — to invest in updating existing infrastructure, and starting new projects. In June, Presi