AP Top News at 2:06 p.m. EDT

Pro-Russia separatists in control of coastal town
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) - Pro-Russia separatists, relaxed and well-equipped, held firm control on Friday of the strategic coastal town of Novoazovsk, a day after Ukraine claimed tanks and armored vehicles had invaded from Russia. Associated Press reporters saw at least a half-dozen tanks in the town of about 12,000 people, bearing the flags of Novorossiya, the would-be state proclaimed by rebels in two eastern Ukraine regions. None of the tanks bore Russian markings, but ready-made meals seen near one of the tanks carried markings that they were issued by the Russian army.


At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home
WASHINGTON (AP) - The case of Mehdi Nemmouche haunts U.S. intelligence officials. Nemmouche is a Frenchman who authorities say spent 11 months fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria before returning to Europe to act out his rage. On May 24, prosecutors say, he methodically shot four people at the Jewish Museum in central Brussels. Three died instantly, one afterward. Nemmouche was arrested later, apparently by chance.


UN says Syria refugees top 3 million mark
GENEVA (AP) - The civil war in Syria has forced 3 million people out of the country, including more than a million people who fled in the past year, creating a crisis that the U.N. refugee agency said requires the biggest operation in its 64-year history. The tragic milestone means that about one of every eight Syrians has fled across the borders, and 6.5 million others have been displaced within Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, the Geneva-based agency said. More than half of all those uprooted are children, it said.


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Ebola arrives in Senegal as outbreak accelerates
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - A man infected with Ebola traveled to Senegal, bringing to the country the first confirmed case of the dreaded disease that has hit four other West African nations and killed more than 1,500 people, the Ministry of Health said Friday. The infected person, a university student from Guinea, sought treatment at a hospital in Senegal's capital, Dakar, on Tuesday but gave no indication he might have Ebola, Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters. The next day, an epidemiological surveillance team in Guinea alerted Senegalese authorities that they had lost track of a person who had had contact with sick people. The team said that the person disappeared three weeks ago and may have come to Senegal.


Cameron promises tough action to fight militants
LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Friday to plug gaps in Britain's armory to combat terror, describing the extremist threat posed by the Islamic State group as being more dangerous than even that of al-Qaida. Cameron's remarks came just moments after authorities raised Britain's terror threat level to severe, the second-highest level. The decision was related to developments in Iraq and Syria, but there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent.


Mexico operations thwart child, family migrants
CHAHUITES, Mexico (AP) - Mexico's largest crackdown in decades on illegal migration has decreased the flow of Central Americans trying to reach the United States, and has dramatically cut the number of child migrants and families, according to officials and eyewitness accounts along the perilous route. Convoys of Mexican federal police and immigration service employees in southern Mexico have begun scouring the tracks of the infamous freight train known as "La Bestia," or The Beast, that has long carried crowds of migrants on its lumbering route north. They have also set up moving roadblocks, checking the documents of passengers on interstate buses.


Iraqi town holds out against militant juggernaut
BAGHDAD (AP) - As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli decided to stay and fight. The wheat and barley farmers took up arms, dug trenches and posted gunmen on the rooftops, and against all odds they have kept the Islamic State extremist group out of the town of 15,000 people. But residents say they are running low on food and water despite Iraqi army airlifts, and after more than six weeks under siege they don't know how much longer they can hold out.


Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - College students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in history. With the virus continuing to kill in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the expected arrival of thousands of students from those countries has U.S. authorities on alert but cautioning against alarm.


As stocks rise, so does anxiety: Time to get out?
NEW YORK (AP) - Is it time to cash out of stocks? The market has nearly tripled in a little over five years, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed above 2,000 for the first time on Tuesday. With each record, the temptation grows to take your winnings and flee.


Shelley Sterling: Ballmer eager to own Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) - When Shelly Sterling was approached by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about buying the Los Angeles Clippers, the wife of disgraced team owner Donald Sterling did not know who he was. But in short order she convinced him the team was worth an unprecedented $2 billion. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Shelly Sterling offered details about how she negotiated one of the richest deals in sports after her husband's racist rant to a girlfriend became public and prompted the NBA to ban him for life and decree he give up the team. At that point, Shelly Sterling stepped in.

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