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Teams converge on remote site to probe plane crash

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.


Kerry says no deal yet for 7-day truce in Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon broaden its ground operation "significantly."


Obama asks Central American leaders for help

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.


US: Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

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.


What happened? The day Flight 17 was downed

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.


Jailed Russian opposition leader goes on hunger strike

Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov began a hunger strike on Friday, a day after being sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for inciting public unrest. "Today is the first day of the indefinite hunger strike declared by Udaltsov. Udaltsov, a leftist opposition leader, and his co-defendant Leonid Razvozzhayev were convicted on Thursday of fomenting mass riots ahead of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration to a third term in 2012. Udaltsov wrote a letter to the head of the prison in Moscow informing him that was going on hunger strike, said prison service spokesman Sergei Tsygankov.


AP ANALYSIS: Old story, new twists in Gaza war

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.


Israel rejects Gaza truce plan

Israeli media say the country's Security Cabinet has unanimously rejected a U.S. proposal for a temporary pause in Israel-Hamas fighting.


In Gaza, pediatrics wing crowded with war wounded

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The pediatrics wing of the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip is filled with the youngest victims of more than two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting.


States' use of execution drugs varies widely

The prolonged execution of an Arizona death row inmate with a new, two-drug combo has highlighted the patchwork quilt approach that states now take with lethal drugs, with types, combinations and dosages varying widely. A question and answer look at how the disparity came about and why, following more than three decades in which all death penalty states used the exact same three-drug mixture.


Comic-Con fanboys, girls confront changes in beloved characters

Captain America is now black, Thor becomes a woman, and comic character Archie Andrews is shot and killed while saving his gay friend. The annual pop-culture carnival that is the Comic-Con Festival got under way in San Diego on Thursday with fans welcoming the world of change facing so many beloved characters. An estimated 150,000 devotees of comics, video games, fantasy and action movies are expected to throng the four-day extravaganza in southern California, many opting to don costumes of their favorite characters. The streets surrounding the festival resemble a surreal bazaar: a miniature Darth Vader asleep on the shoulders of his father, dressed as Bart Simpson, or Princess Elsa from "Frozen" posing with "Avengers" heroine Black Widow.


Drought, disease to drive up U.S. meat, seafood prices

By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Overall U.S. food inflation will remain near the historic norm in 2014, even as prices for meat and seafood are pushed higher by disease and widespread drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday. Prices for shelf-stable and processed items made by companies such as General Mills and Kraft Foods Group are relatively flat. "It appears that supermarkets are maintaining minimal price inflation on packaged food products, possibly in an effort to keep prices competitive in light of rising cost pressures for most perishable items," the USDA said.


AH5017: First images emerge of Air Algerie crash site

This photo provided Friday July 25, 2014 by the French army shows a helicopter at the site of the plane crash in Mali. French soldiers secured a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, the French president said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason for the catastrophe that killed all onboard is bad weather. At least 116 people were killed in Thursday's disaster, nearly half of whom were French. (AP Photo/ECPAD)

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