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AP Top News at 3:49 a.m. EDT

Judges in health care rulings vote party line
WASHINGTON (AP) - In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them. It was the latest illustration that presidents help shape their legacies by stocking the federal bench with judges whose views are more likely to align with their own.


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.


Gaza families plead for evacuation amid battle
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Dozens of Palestinian families trapped by clashes between Hamas militants and Israeli troops are scrambling to flee a southern Gaza Strip neighborhood as Israel reported that two more of its soldiers have died in the conflict. The Palestinian Red Crescent says it's trying to evacuate about 250 people from near Khan Younis, which has been under Israeli tank shelling and drones strikes since early Wednesday.


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Bodies of Malaysia jet victims to leave Ukraine
KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine prepared a departure ceremony for the bodies of Malaysia Airlines passengers and crew who became victims of fighting raging far below them on the plains of eastern Ukraine. Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said Wednesday's ceremony was set for 11 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) at the airport in Kharkiv, before the bodies are flown to the Netherlands.


Israel, Hamas battle over public opinion online
JERUSALEM (AP) - Beyond the boom of Israeli airstrikes and the stream of rockets fired from Gaza, Israel and Hamas are also battling to control the message emanating from this latest Israeli-Palestinian conflagration. Using videos, Twitter, text messages, leaflets and phone calls, both sides have attempted to direct the tone of the fighting - for their own public, their opponent's population and for a global audience. Propaganda and psychological warfare are nothing new in battle, but technology and social media have exponentially increased the ability of each side to penetrate their intended audiences.


Young MH17 victim has eerie premonition of crash
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.


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. The weak link in the system seemed to be call centers that handled applications for thousands of consumers unable to get through online.


Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. But the split rulings don't necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act.


Seniors use roommate-finding agencies to cut costs
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.


In international flight, volatile conflicts abound
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense systems leftover from the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi. Then there's Syria's civil war, in which thousands of soldiers have defected and set up new battalions that have shot down military helicopters and jets. And in Iraq, the al-Qaida breakaway group that has taken huge swaths of territory seized weapons depots all along the way.