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AP Top News at 9:17 p.m. EDT

Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali
OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso (AP) - An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso - the third major international aviation disaster in a week. The plane, owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Algeria's flagship carrier, disappeared from radar less than an hour after it took off from Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou for Algiers.


Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel's largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks in memory, a cluster of disasters spanning three continents. Industry analysts and safety experts shake their heads at the seeming randomness of the tragedies, saying they can find no common themes. Nor do they think the events indicate that flying is suddenly becoming less safe.


10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. JETLINER CARRYING 116 CRASHES IN WESTERN AFRICA


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UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children's clothing scattered in the courtyard. Palestinian officials blamed Israel for the shelling, which wounded dozens and came on the deadliest day so far of the current round of fighting. However, the Israeli military said the school "was not a target in any way" and raised the possibility the compound was hit by Hamas rockets.


Prosecutor: Doctor fires back at hospital gunman
DARBY, Pa. (AP) - A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said. The patient opened fire after entering the doctor's office at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital with the caseworker, District Attorney Jack Whelan said. Witnesses reported hearing yelling before the gunshots.


As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain
FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes. They discussed the brain activity and heart rate of Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was gasping over and over as witnesses looked on. The judge was concerned that no monitoring equipment showed whether the inmate had brain function, and they talked about whether to stop the execution while it was so far along.


Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands
KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) - Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Human remains continue to be found a full week after the plane went down - underlining concerns about the halting and chaotic recovery effort at the sprawling site spread across farmland in eastern Ukraine. Armed separatists control the area and have hindered access by investigators.


War College to investigate plagiarism allegations
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Sen. John Walsh remained steadfast Thursday amid an investigation into whether he plagiarized a research project required for a master's degree, winning fresh backing from fellow Democrats in Montana and the governor who appointed him to the Senate earlier this year. The U.S. Army War College said in a statement late Thursday it will examine evidence that Walsh included both conclusions and verbatim passages from the writings of other scholars in his 2007 paper, known as a strategy research project. The college is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


Across US job market, layoffs are becoming rare
WASHINGTON (AP) - The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller. As the U.S. economy has improved and employers have regained confidence, companies have been steadily shedding fewer workers. Which is why applications for unemployment benefits have dwindled to their lowest level since February 2006 - nearly two years before the Great Recession began - the government said Thursday.


Tornado slams Virginia campground; 2 dead
CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) - Albert Thorn awoke in his rental cottage Thursday to the sound of heavy rain and wind. Then, there was screaming. Within minutes, the sky turned dark, cellphones pinged with emergency messages and a tornado tore through a popular campground, ripping awnings from trailers and flipping RVs on their sides. A couple from New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent. Their 13-year-old son, in a tent next to them, had life-threatening injuries. He was among three dozen people hurt.