Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza, killing 15 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside. Pools of blood soiled the school courtyard, amid scattered books and belongings. There was a large scorch mark in the courtyard marking the place where one of the tank shells hit.
France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported, according to the plane's owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso. Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 0155 GMT (9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday), the official Algerian news agency APS said.
Arizona execution takes nearly 2 hours PHOENIX (AP) - A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S. The execution of 55-year-old Joseph Rudolph Wood took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency appeal while it was ongoing. The Arizona Supreme Court also called an impromptu hearing on the matter and learned of his death during the discussions.
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Pope meets Christian sentenced to death for faith ROME (AP) - Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant born just weeks ago in prison. The Vatican characterized the visit with Meriam Ibrahim, 27, her husband and their two small children as "very affectionate."
Planes with Malaysia Airlines bodies leave Ukraine KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) - Two military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster departed for the Netherlands Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash scene which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels. All 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 - most of them Dutch citizens - were killed when the plane was shot down on July 17. U.S. officials say the Boeing 777 was probably shot down by a missile, most likely by accident.
Taiwan airline suspects bad weather caused crash XIXI, Taiwan (AP) - Stormy weather trailing behind a typhoon was the likely cause of a plane crash on a Taiwanese island that killed 48 people on board and injured 10 on the plane and five on the ground, the airline said Thursday. The ATR-72 operated by Taiwan's TransAsia Airways was carrying 58 passengers and crew when it crashed while trying to land in the Penghu island chain in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday. The plane was flying from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.
Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) - Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances. "Why does any explorer undertake the necessary risks in order to accomplish their dream? Because that person has a drive, they have a focus, and they have a need to explore that dream," he wrote in a July 15 blog for The Huffington Post.
Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of late Pleistocene fossils: The bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave. Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming is 85 feet deep and almost impossible to see until you're standing right next to it. Over tens of thousands of years, many, many animals - including now-extinct mammoths, short-faced bears, American lions and American cheetahs - shared the misfortune of not noticing the 15-foot-wide opening until they were plunging to their deaths.
Fans start lining up as Comic-Con floor opens Comic-Con is all about bringing fans close to the artists and properties they love - after navigating crowds and waiting in line. The lineups began as soon as the San Diego Convention Center opened its doors. Fans with four-day passes to the sold-out pop-culture spectacular gained early admission to the showroom floor Wednesday night, where they were the first to see a 10-foot-tall Transformer, a Lego Spider-Man and a life-sized, road-ready Hot Wheels car inspired by Darth Vader.
JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) - President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S. Mint is producing collectors' coins that restore the original 1964 design, which incorporated suggestions from a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy.