By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives planned to vote on Friday on revised border security legislation that would make it easier to deport Central American child migrants from the southwestern border, satisfying a key demand from conservative Republicans. House Republican lawmakers said they will try again to pass two separate bills that failed to win enough support from the party on Thursday amid a revolt influenced by Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party firebrand from Texas. The Senate failed to advance its own $2.7 billion border funding plan on Thursday. One bill provides additional funding for border security and to care for tens of thousands of migrant children who have flooded over the border in recent months.
The jihadist Islamic State has withdrawn from several villages dominated by a Sunni tribe in eastern Deir Ezzor province after clashes, a monitoring group said Friday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremist group had withdrawn from Abu Hamam, Kashkiyeh and Ghranij, three villages dominated by the Sunni Shaitat tribe in oil-rich Deir Ezzor. The group said members of the tribe also set fire to a headquarters belonging to the Islamic State in a fourth village and there were reports that the jihadists had withdrawn from a fifth village in the area. The Observatory said the Shaitat had promised IS it would not oppose it, in exchange for the jihadists not harassing or attacking its members.
US President Barack Obama and African leaders meeting at a breakthrough summit in Washington next week should commit to rolling back growing threats to freedom of expression on the continent, 15 rights groups said Friday. The 15 signatories include the African offices of the International Commission of Jurists and Lawyers for Human Rights as well as women's groups and civil society organisations. Obama, whose election in 2008 as the first black American president sparked huge expectations in Africa, has invited 50 heads of state and government for a summit which will see the greatest ever concentration of African leadership in Washington.
The US judge presiding over Argentina's bitter dispute with hedge-fund creditors ordered the two sides to hold new negotiations and called for an end to "mistrust" at a hearing Friday in New York. Argentina needs to strike a deal with the two US hedge funds, whose legal battle against its debt restructuring has blocked it from paying bondholders who agreed to take a 70-percent write-down after the country's 2001 economic crisis. It missed a $539 million payment due Wednesday after 11th-hour talks with the hedge funds -- which Buenos Aires calls "vulture funds" -- failed to break thmpasse. US District Judge Thomas Griesa, who has blocked Argentina from servicing its restructured debt without also repaying the hedge funds the full $1.3 billion it owes them, ordered the litigants to hold new talks.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded Friday that an Israeli soldier captured in Gaza be released immediately and condemned "in the strongest terms" the reported ceasefire violation by Hamas. Ban called on Israel and Hamas to show restraint and return to the 72-hour truce that collapsed after two soldiers were killed and a third reportedly captured near the southern city of Rafah. Ban was "shocked and profoundly disappointed" by the renewed violence and warned that if reports of the attack on Israeli soldiers were confirmed "this would constitute a grave violation of the ceasefire," the statement added.
Eight countries have offered to stage next year's European basketball championship, which was taken away from Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict there, the European federation said Friday. Germany, Croatia, Finland, Latvia, France, Israel, Poland and Turkey have all applied, European basketball sources said. A FIBA Europe meeting in September will make the choice. The 2015 championship was taken away from Ukraine in June as the separatist battles in the east of the country mounted.
Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man during clashes in the northern West Bank on Friday, security sources told AFP. They said Tamer Smour, 22, was hit by a live bullet in the chest in the city of Tulkarem. A spokesman for the Red Crescent told AFP that 39 Palestinians were wounded by live ammunition and rubber bullets fired by Israeli forces during clashes throughout the West Bank.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Narendra Modi that India's stance on a key WTO trade deal sent the wrong message, as he met the country's new prime minister for the first time on Friday. Kerry has expressed optimism about expanding cooperation between the world's two largest democracies during a first visit aimed at reviving a relationship clouded by mistrust. During the meeting -- aimed at breaking the ice with a leader once shunned by Washington -- Kerry told Modi India's stance on the deal was at odds with his desire to open up the country's economy. "We note that the prime minister is very focused on his signal of open to business and creating opportunities and therefore the failure of implementing TFA (Trade Facilitation Agreement) sends a confusing signal and undermines that very message that he is seeking to send about India," a US official quoted Kerry as saying.
The United States blamed Hamas for the breakdown of a ceasefire with Israeli forces Friday, accusing the Palestinian militant group of launching a "barbaric" attack to capture an Israeli soldier. "This is an outrageous action and we look to the rest of the world to join us in condemning it," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told MSNBC television. The White House reacted after Israel ended a three-day truce only hours after it began, accused Hamas of ambushing its troops and expressed fears that a soldier had been captured. Hamas for its part accused Israel of breaching the ceasefire after intensive shelling killed dozens of people in southern Gaza, but Washington sided with its ally's version of events.
Just hours after stepping down as US House majority leader, Republican Representative Eric Cantor announced he would resign from his congressional seat later this month. Establishment heavyweight Cantor lost his seat to an even more conservative but virtually unknown Tea Party-backed challenger in a June election amid deep divisions within the Republican Party ahead of November's congressional vote.
Saudi King Abdullah said Friday that world silence over Israeli "war crimes" in the Gaza Strip was "inexcusable" and would only breed more violence in the future. "We see the blood of out brothers in Palestine being shed in collective massacres that have spared nobody, and in war crimes against humanity," the king said in a speech carried by state news agency SPA. "This silence is inexcusable" and will "result in a generation that rejects peace and believes only in violence," he said.
The US economy generated 209,000 new jobs in July, down from June but maintaining the solid 200,000-plus monthly streak since February, the Commerce Department said Friday. The unemployment rate rose a mere 0.1 point to 6.2 percent, still near its lowest level since October 2008 and well down from the 7.9 percent at the start of 2013. Nevertheless, the number of unemployed rose by nearly 200,000 to 9.67 million, in part because of the constant increase in the number of working-age Americans, as well a return to the labor force by 141,000 people who had dropped out and were not previously counted as unemployed. Average weekly earnings ticked up only slightly, suggesting, as the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, that there is still slack in the labor market despite the steady gains in job creation.
Representative Eric Cantor said on Friday he will resign his seat effective Aug. 18, months earlier than expected following a stunning defeat in a Republican primary election. Cantor, who on Thursday stepped down from his leadership position in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, said he had asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to call a special election to coincide with November's congressional elections. Cantor, who was elected to the House in 2000 and served as House majority leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost to a Tea Party-backed college economics professor in June.