AP Top News at 3:43 p.m. EDT

Airlines on alert as eruption begins in Iceland
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) - Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, prompting the country to close the airspace over the volcano. Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano, located deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, in the last week. Seismic data indicated that magma from the volcano was melting ice beneath the glacier's Dyngjujokull icecap, Meteorological Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said.


Russian aid trucks leave; highlight dire needs
DONETSK, Russia (AP) - Hundreds of Russian aid trucks returned home from rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Saturday, highlighting a dire need for long-term assistance to the region where homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by months of fighting. Ahead of a much-anticipated meeting on Tuesday between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks in Kiev with Ukrainian officials and expressed hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 2,000 lives.


Sierra Leone makes hiding Ebola patients illegal
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) - Sierra Leone has passed a new law imposing possible jail time for anyone caught hiding an Ebola patient - a common practice that the World Health Organization believes has contributed to a major underestimation of the current outbreak. The new law, passed Friday, imposes prison terms of up to two years for violators, said lawmaker Ansumana Jaiah Kaikai. It now goes for presidential approval.


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Obama again faces tug of military action in Syria
WASHINGTON (AP) - For three years, President Barack Obama has resisted the pull of potential U.S. military action in Syria. He has held firm even as the civil war's death toll climbed toward 200,000, the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians and Islamic State militants strengthened amid the chaos.


Ferguson residents struggling with daily life
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Life in this working-class St. Louis suburb of modest brick homes and low-rise apartments hasn't been the same since Angelia Dickens' son tearfully told her, "The police shot a boy." Since that news two weeks ago, she has been afraid to leave her apartment at night as protesters clash with police in sometimes violent confrontations. She's stopped going to her job at a call center after it took two hours to navigate police barricades and street closings to get home.


Israeli airstrike collapses Gaza apartment tower
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israel bombed an apartment tower in downtown Gaza City on Saturday, collapsing the 12-story building in an unprecedented strike, while Hamas kept up heavy rocket fire that sent more Israelis fleeing border areas close to Gaza. The violence signaled that a speedy resumption of truce talks is unlikely, despite another appeal by mediator Egypt. Gaps between Israel and Hamas on a border deal for blockaded Gaza remain vast, and repeated rounds of talks have ended in failure.


Bombings kill 30 in Iraq after Sunni mosque attack
BAGHDAD (AP) - Bombings in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk killed at least 30 people in Iraq on Saturday as the government investigated a deadly attack on a Sunni mosque the day before that has heightened sectarian tensions amid a fragile political transition. In oil-rich Kirkuk, long disputed by Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government, three bombs went off in a crowded commercial district, killing 19 people and wounding another 112, Kirkuk deputy police chief Tarhan Abdel-Rahman said.


Ferguson streets stay calm after violent nights
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Ferguson's streets remained peaceful as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest that erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old. The St. Louis County NAACP planned a youth march Saturday afternoon to the site in the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was killed. Supporters of the officer, Darren Wilson, rallied in St. Louis. Earlier in the day, Normandy High School, which Brown attended, observed a moment of silence for him at the start of a home football game against Lift for Life Academy Charter.


Thousands turn out for rally over chokehold death
NEW YORK (AP) - Thousands of people expressing grief, anger and hope for a better future marched peacefully through Staten Island on Saturday to protest the chokehold death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer. The afternoon rally and march was led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner, who died July 17 after a New York Police Department officer took him to the ground with a banned tactic in a confrontation captured on video.


As evangelist opens US crusade, zeal and questions
MIAMI (AP) - By the time the Rev. Reinhard Bonnke edges toward the stage, anticipation in the thundering arena is swelling. The crowd of thousands has been told of his decades of preaching in Africa, the tens of millions of souls he has saved, the countless healings for which he has been a conduit and the modern-day Lazarus he saw risen. The floor is vibrating with the thumping of bass, fog blows into the air, sleek videos play on huge screens, and each speaker who comes to the microphone stokes the fires of excitement. Great things are coming. Anything is possible. Miracles will happen.