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AP Top News at 11:58 a.m. EDT

Malaysia jet victims' bodies arrive in Netherlands
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands (AP) - Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 landed Wednesday in the southern city of Eindhoven, and pro-Russian rebels shot down two fighter jets in Ukraine's restive east as fighting flared in the region. Six days after the Boeing 777 was shot down over the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, the first bodies finally arrived in the Netherlands, the country that bore the heaviest toll in the crash that killed all 298 passengers and crew.


A kiss, a prayer: The last hours of MH17's victims
In a bedroom in a townhouse near Amsterdam, Miguel Panduwinata reached out for his mother. "Mama, may I hug you?" Samira Calehr wrapped her arms around her 11-year-old son, who'd been oddly agitated for days, peppering her with questions about death, about his soul, about God. The next morning, she would drop Miguel and his big brother Shaka at the airport so they could catch Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the first leg of their journey to Bali to visit their grandmother.


US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to broker a truce in a war that has so far killed more than 680 Palestinians and 31 Israelis. But neither side appeared close to backing down, after Palestinian rocket fire led several international airlines to cancel flights to Tel Aviv and Israeli troops clashed with Hamas fighters near the Gaza town of Khan Younis, forcing dozens of families to flee.


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House GOP: Send National Guard, speed removals
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans want to slash President Barack Obama's emergency spending request for the border, speed young migrants back home to Central America, and send in the National Guard. The proposals Wednesday morning amounted to a rebuke of Obama's proposed solution to the crisis on the Southern Border. They put the House on a collision course with the Democratic-run Senate, and increased the likelihood that congressional efforts to address the crisis on the Southern Border, where unaccompanied kids and teens have been showing up by the tens of thousands, will end in stalemate.


Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs
WASHINGTON (AP) - Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday. The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online.


Porch shooter's lawyer says he feared for his life
DETROIT (AP) - A defense lawyer for a Detroit-area man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch says he repeatedly heard poundings - "boom, boom, boom" - outside his home before he opened the door and shot her in the face. Jurors heard opening statements Wednesday in the trial of Theodore Wafer, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride last November in Dearborn Heights.


Plane crashes in Taiwan, 47 trapped, feared dead
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - A plane landing in stormy weather crashed outside an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, and the transport minister said 47 people were trapped and feared dead. Another 11 people were injured when the ATR-72 operated by Taiwan's TransAsia Airways crashed on Penghu, an island in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China, Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih was quoted as saying by the government's Central News Agency. The plane was arriving from Kaohsiung, a city in southern Taiwan.


New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires
WASHINGTON (AP) - Thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude oil would be phased out within two years under regulations proposed Wednesday in response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Accident investigators have complained for decades that the cars are too easily punctured or ruptured, spilling their contents, when derailed.


With GOP runoff over, Perdue and Nunn face off
ATLANTA (AP) - Within hours of David Perdue's GOP Senate nomination, he and Democrat Michelle Nunn launched the real battle for Georgia's open Senate seat with attack ads and retail politicking in a match up that could help settle control of the Senate. Democrats wasted no time launching their first attacks against the businessman who spent at least $3 million of his own money defeating veteran Rep. Jack Kingston Tuesday night. Hours later, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee rolled out a 2 1/2 minute online video that spliced together debate clips of Kingston and other Republican primary opponents attacking Perdue as an out-of-touch executive who enriched himself leading companies that lost U.S. jobs.


Seniors share homes for cost saving, companionship
NEW YORK (AP) - It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do. Rosenfeld is among thousands of aging Americans taking part in home-sharing programs around the country that allow seniors to stay in their homes and save money while getting some much-needed companionship.


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