AP Top News at 2:41 a.m. EDT

France sends soldiers to guard Air Algeria wreck
PARIS (AP) - French officials have dispatched a military unit to secure the site in Mali where an Air Algeria plane crashed in a heavy rainstorm with 116 people aboard. A message posted Friday on the website of President Francois Hollande said the wreckage had been clearly identified despite the disintegration of the aircraft.


Official: Israel Cabinet to discuss cease-fire
JERUSALEM (AP) - An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. He spoke on condition of anonymity because Friday's deliberations are taking place behind closed doors. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no immediate comment.


US weighs refugee status for youth from Honduras
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is weighing giving refugee status to young people from Honduras as part of a plan to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, White House officials said Thursday. The plan would involve screening youths in Honduras, one of the world's most violent nations, to determine whether they qualify for refugee status. Similar in-country screening programs were set up in East Asia after the Vietnam War and in Haiti in the 1990s.


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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.


Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor
DARBY, Pa. (AP) - Authorities are attempting to determine why a patient fatally shot a caseworker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex and whether a psychiatrist who pulled out his own gun and wounded the patient had concerns about him. The psychiatrist, Dr. Lee Silverman, was grazed in the temple during the gunfight in his office Thursday afternoon with patient Richard Plotts, said Delaware District Attorney Jack Whelan.


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.


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.


Black boxes from Taiwan air crash investigated
XIXI, Taiwan (AP) - Investigators on Friday were examining wreckage and flight data recorders for clues into a plane crash on a Taiwanese island that killed 48 people. Stormy weather and low visibility are thought to have been factors in Wednesday's crash of the twin propeller ATR-72 operated by TransAsia Airways.


World Cup over, but some Argentines won't go home
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Lucas Bazan Pontoni rifled through his pockets for the 45-cent lunch fee as he stood in line at a downtown soup kitchen. When he came up short, an acquaintance sprang for the government-subsidized meal. One of about 160,000 Argentines who flooded into Brazil for the World Cup, Pontoni hardly fits the image of deep-pocketed foreigners who dropped around $3 billion in Brazil during the monthlong tournament. The 23-year-old actor is broke, and he has no immediate plans to return home almost two weeks after Germany beat Argentina in the July 13 final.


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.