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AP Top News at 11:54 a.m. EDT

Israeli airstrike kills 3 senior Hamas leaders
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three senior Hamas military commanders Thursday, delivering a likely blow to the organization's morale and highlighting the long reach of Israel's intelligence services. The strike marked a further escalation in fighting after Egyptian efforts to end the war collapsed earlier this week, and signaled no end in sight for violence that has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.


2 American Ebola patients released from hospital
ATLANTA (AP) - After nearly three weeks of treatment, the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa have been discharged from an Atlanta hospital, officials said Thursday. Their release poses no public health risk, Dr. Bruce Ribner of Emory University Hospital stressed. Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, show no evidence of Ebola, and generally patients do not relapse and they are not contagious once they've recovered, said Ribner, director of the hospital's infectious disease unit.


US special ops tried but failed to find hostages
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say. The rescue mission was authorized after intelligence agencies believed they had identified the location inside Syria where the hostages were being held, administration officials said Wednesday. But the several dozen special operations forces dropped by aircraft into Syria did not find them at that location and engaged in a firefight with Islamic State militants before departing, killing several militants. No Americans died but one sustained a minor injury when an aircraft was hit.


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Foley's death isn't changing views in Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) - For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists. It's equally unclear whether the Obama administration will be asking them to back a new U.S. approach. President Barack Obama said the United States wouldn't scale back its military posture in Iraq in response to James Foley's killing. But he offered no specifics Wednesday about what new steps he might take to protect additional captives and other Americans, and ward off what he described as the al-Qaida offshoot's genocidal ambitions.


Holder offers reassurance to people of Ferguson
ST. LOUIS (AP) - To reassure the people of Ferguson, Attorney General Eric Holder reached into his own past, recalling the times he had been stopped by police officers who seemed to target him because of his race. On a visit to the St. Louis suburb that has endured more than a week of unrest, Holder sought to build confidence in the investigation into the death of the black 18-year-old who was shot by a white officer. The trip also underscored the priority to the Obama administration of civil rights in general and the Michael Brown case in particular.


Fighting in Ukraine as aid convoy reaches customs
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Parts of eastern Ukraine were wracked by fierce fighting Thursday as government troops sought to snatch back territory from separatist rebels, while a Russian aid convoy to the hard-hit city of Luhansk began to make tentative steps toward its destination. Russia has been trying to send in over 200 trucks carrying what it says is humanitarian aid to help civilians in Luhansk, but Ukraine fears the move is a ploy to aid the pro-Russian separatists. The convoy has been held up at the border for a week in a dispute over the conditions under which Ukraine will let in the Russian trucks.


Noodles: Friend or foe? S. Koreans defend diet
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Kim Min-koo has an easy reply to new American research that hits South Korea where it hurts - in the noodles. Drunk and hungry just after dawn, he rips the lid off a bowl of his beloved fast food, wobbling on his feet but still defiant over a report that links instant noodles to health hazards. "There's no way any study is going to stop me from eating this," says Kim, his red face beaded with sweat as he adds hot water to his noodles in a Seoul convenience store. His mouth waters, wooden chopsticks poised above the softening strands, his glasses fogged by steam. At last, he spears a slippery heap, lets forth a mighty, noodle-cooling blast of air and starts slurping.


United lures top fliers with promise of a hot meal
NEW YORK (AP) - To win the hearts of frequent business travelers, United Airlines is going through their stomachs. The carrier has been looking for ways to woo back some of its top fliers who defected to other carriers following a rocky merger with Continental Airlines. So, it's upgrading first class food options and replacing snacks with full meals on some of its shortest flights.


Record drought saps California honey production
LOS BANOS, Calif. (AP) - California's record drought hasn't been sweet to honeybees, and it's creating a sticky situation for beekeepers and honey buyers. The state is traditionally one of the country's largest honey producers, with abundant crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar that bees turn into honey. But the lack of rain has ravaged native plants and forced farmers to scale back crop production, leaving fewer places for honeybees to forage.


Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies
LOS ANGELES (AP) - If it walks like a drama and talks like a drama and yet calls itself a comedy, that's just fine with the Emmy Awards. But the audience for Monday's ceremony (8 p.m. EDT, NBC) may suffer momentary confusion when, say, the Netflix women's prison saga "Orange Is the New Black" pops up as a nominee for best comedy series.