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Hamas says fired rockets at 2 Israeli army bases

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Hamas said it fired a rocket barrage at two Israeli army bases on Tuesday, shortly after its militants also attempted to infiltrate Israel by sea.

Nine attackers killed in assault on Somalia presidential palace

An attack by Shebab rebels against Somalia's presidential palace has ended with at least nine of the attackers killed, a security official told AFP. "There were at least nine attackers, all have been killed, and the situation is under control, the attack is over," security official Abdi Ahmed said.

Russia, West have 'different approaches' to Iran talks: Fabius

France's foreign minister hinted Tuesday at divergences between Russia and Western countries currently involved in a decisive final round of talks with Iran to negotiate a deal on its controversial nuclear drive. "Whereas until now the P5+1 (the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) had a very homogeneous attitude, in the past days representatives in the negotiations have put forward a certain number of different approaches between part of the 5+1 and our Russian partners," he told a parliamentary commission. Fabius did not say what exactly the differences were between members of the P5+1, which has always presented a united front in negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme.

Verizon: U.S. government made 150,000 customer info requests in 2014

By Marina Lopes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government issued about 150,000 requests for customer information from Verizon Communications in the first half of 2014, most of them subpoenas, the country's largest wireless carrier reported on Tuesday. The report is the second summary of government requests Verizon has publicly issued since shareholders pressured the company to divulge information it shared with the government in December. The government issued 72,342 subpoenas, half of which request subscriber information on a given phone number or IP address, while others ask for transactional information, like the phone numbers a customer has called, according to Verizon. Verizon also received over 37,000 court orders, including 714 wiretaps, which give access to the content of communications and over 3,000 pen registers and trap and trace orders, which give the government real-time access to outgoing and incoming phone numbers, respectively.

Holder: Threat from Syria endangers Europe, US

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called on European nations Tuesday to deal more aggressively with the threat posed by the thousands of Westerners who have traveled to Syria to join the fighting there.

Obama offers to meet Texas Governor Perry over border issue

By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has offered to meet Texas Governor Rick Perry to discuss the border crisis during a visit to Texas after the governor declined a brief meeting when the president arrives in Austin, the White House confirmed on Tuesday. "The president would welcome a meeting with you while he is in Texas," White House aide Valerie Jarrett wrote to Perry. Obama is set to start his Texas trip on Wednesday. "A quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas," Perry wrote.

Germany weighs how to hit back in US spying row

Germany debated retaliatory measures against the United States on Tuesday after reports of an alleged double agent stoked still smouldering public anger over the NSA scandal. The case of a German intelligence operative suspected of spying for Washington drew a fierce response from Berlin, where indignation against one of its closest allies has run high since reports last year that the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. "The American intelligence services are obsessed with surveillance," he said.

Border money request won't include policy change

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is preparing to ask Congress for emergency spending of more than $2 billion to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied kids at the Southern border, but for now he won't seek legal changes to send the children back home more quickly.

McDaniel weighs challenge in Mississippi U.S. Senate primary

By Emily Le Coz JACKSON Miss. (Reuters) - Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party-backed Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate, is preparing a possible legal challenge to his defeat in last month's Republican primary after supporters spent Monday sorting through voting records in dozens of counties, campaign officials said. The conservative state senator has blamed his loss to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran on what he describes as illegal voting by Democrats who favored the six-term incumbent. The primary election is scheduled to be certified on Monday evening by the state Republican party, which will forward the results to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, party spokesman Bobby Morgan said. “There were several thousand absolute ineligible votes,” Mitch Tyner, a lawyer for the McDaniel campaign, told reporters on Monday.

US-China strategic talks get test this week

BEIJING (AP) — The United States and China will spend time over the next couple of days testing whether their annual "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" can produce tough compromises or just serve as a venue to talk about greater cooperation.

Ukraine rejects talks with rebels until they disarm

Ukraine on Tuesday brushed off strong European pressure as it rejected talks with pro-Russian rebels on a truce to halt a bloody insurgency convulsing the ex-Soviet nation until they laid down their arms. The unconditional stance reflected a new confidence in Kiev that it was on the verge of quashing a rebellion it views as Moscow's retribution for the February ouster of a Kremlin-backed leader and the decision to pursue a historic alliance with the West. Ukrainian forces have scored a string of surprise military successes since the weekend that forced most of the militias to retreat to the sprawling eastern industrial hubs of Donetsk and Lugansk -- both capitals of their own "People's Republics". President Petro Poroshenko has ordered his troops to blockade the insurgents inside the cities and cut them off from any further arms supplies.

Iraq politicians back down over government delays

Iraq's politicians agreed to meet next Sunday after delays to the formation of a new government outraged Iraqis exasperated by political polarisation and fearful of a brutal Sunni militant offensive. The month-old crisis has seen a jihadist-led alliance overrun large swathes of northern and north-central Iraq, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and piling pressure on Nuri al-Maliki as he seeks a third term as prime minister. "The postponement of the parliamentary session was a shock to Iraqis living amid a sea of blood and a lack of services and jobs," said Essam al-Bayati, a professor at the University of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. A Baghdad grocer who gave his name as Abu Moussa said: "We have a crisis, and this postponement for calculations and deals between politicians is the biggest betrayal of the Iraqi people who went out to vote for them."

Israel 'readies Gaza options, including ground assault'

The Israeli army is preparing all options for stamping out militant rocket fire from Gaza, including a ground assault, a senior official said on Tuesday. Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli military announced the start of a new campaign called Operation Protective Edge aimed at stamping out rocket fire on southern Israel and destroying Hamas's military infrastructure. Overnight, the air force and the navy struck more than 50 targets across Gaza, wounding 22 people, medics said, with air strikes continuing into the morning. An air strike on the central Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian on Tuesday, an emergency services spokesman said.

Palestinian 'killed in Israeli strike' on Gaza

An Israeli air strike on the central Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian man on Tuesday, an emergency services spokesman said. "A man named Ashraf Yassin was killed in an Israeli air strike west of Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza," spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP. Witnesses said the man was a militant of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamist Hamas movement.

Abdullah claims victory as Afghan election crisis deepens

Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory on Tuesday in Afghanistan's disputed election, blaming fraud for putting him behind in preliminary results as fears rise of instability and ethnic unrest. Abdullah told a rally of thousands of rowdy supporters in Kabul that he would fight on to win the presidency, but he called for patience from loyalists who demanded he declare a "parallel government" to rule the country. Before he spoke, a huge photograph of President Hamid Karzai was ripped down from the stage -- underlining the boiling anger among many of Abdullah's supporters after the preliminary result in favour of poll rival Ashraf Ghani. The election stand-off has sparked concern that protests could spiral into ethnic violence and even lead to a return to the fighting between warlords that ravaged Afghanistan during the 1992-1996 civil war.

Eight wounded in Tanzanian tourist town restaurant blast

Eight people were wounded, one seriously, in a bomb blast in a restaurant late Monday in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, police said Tuesday. "No one died but eight people were wounded, one is in a serious condition," top Tanzanian police officer Issaya Mngulu told AFP. The attack took place at an upmarket Indian restaurant popular with foreigners and wealthy Tanzanians in the centre of town. Arusha is a key town for Tanzania’s tourist industry, a major source of foreign currency for the eastern African country.

One killed in grenade attack in Kenyan northeast

At least one person was killed and several injured when gunmen hurled a grenade in a restaurant in Kenya's restive northeastern town of Wajir, before spraying the building with bullets and escaping, police said Tuesday. "The victims were rushed to Wajir district hospital... one of the injured people succumbed to his bullet wounds," Wajir police chief David Kuria said. No one claimed immediate responsibility for the killing late Monday, the latest in a string of attacks along Kenya's border region with war-torn Somalia. Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab have launched attacks in the area, but the region has also witnessed weeks of revenge attacks between rival Somali clans, with at least 80 killed since May in fighting over land and grazing for livestock.