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Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel's stepped up campaign against Gaza's Hamas rulers claimed at least 116 Palestinian lives. After the strikes near the shopping area in Gaza City, bodies lay scattered in the streets as the wounded screamed for help. "Where is the ambulance?" one man moaned as he lay on the blood-soaked ground.


Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration condemned the deadly shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza Wednesday, using tough, yet carefully worded language that reflects growing White House irritation with Israel and the mounting civilian casualties stemming from its ground and air war against Hamas. The U.S. frustrations were compounded by a flurry of Israeli media reports this week that appeared aimed at discrediting President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who spent days trying to negotiate an unsuccessful cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. In unusually blunt language, a State Department spokeswoman on Wednesday repeatedly described one of the reports as "complete crap."


Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks concludes that the agency initially kept the secretary of state and some U.S. ambassadors in the dark about harsh techniques and secret prisons, according to a document circulating among White House staff. The still-classified report also says some ambassadors who were informed about interrogations of al-Qaida detainees at so-called black sites in their countries were instructed not to tell their superiors at the State Department, says the document, which the White House accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter.


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House GOP scrambles for votes on border bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans, scrambling to win conservative support for a bill addressing the immigration crisis on the border, have scheduled a companion vote on legislation to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants here illegally. The late-night maneuvering Wednesday came ahead of a planned vote Thursday on a $659 million bill to send resources to the border and to speed the return back home of unaccompanied Central American minors who've been arriving by the tens of thousands. Conservative support was lacking with time running short before lawmakers' annual August recess begins Friday.


Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead
WASHINGTON (AP) - A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters. Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013.


Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky, the remains of some passengers are feared rotting in the 90-degree (32-degree Celsius) midsummer heat, deepening the frustration of relatives desperate to recover the bodies of their loved ones. Fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels has kept away international police charged with securing the site, a sprawling area of farmland and villages. And until it's secured, there is no way for forensic experts to gather up any remaining bodies or collect debris for analysis.


Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail
NEW YORK (AP) - The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesday deadline to reach a deal with holdout bondholders came and went with Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof holding firm to his government's position that it could not accept a deal with U.S. hedge fund creditors it dismisses as "vultures." Kicillof said the funds refused a compromise offer in talks that ended several hours earlier, although he gave no details of that proposal.


Congress cooperates _ and fights _ as recess nears
WASHINGTON (AP) - Eager to begin a monthlong break, Congress leavened its customary heavy partisanship on Wednesday with a pinch of compromise, advancing legislation to repair the deeply troubled Department of Veterans Affairs and working to clear funds for highway construction at home and missile defense in Israel. Yet old habits proved unbreakable less than 100 days before elections with control of Congress at stake. On a party-line vote of 225-201 Republicans pushed legislation through the House authorizing an official lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of failing to enforce the health care law, denying they had impeachment in mind.


AP PHOTOS: At least 17 die in Gaza school attack
JEBALIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) - Shelling of a school crowded with refugees in Gaza early Wednesday killed at least 17 people and wounded 90 more, according to Palestinian health officials. Some 3,300 Gazans seeking shelter from the fighting had been crowded into the U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp when it was hit by a series of Israeli artillery shells.


Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles, into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities face with miles of water lines installed generations ago. The flooding sent more than 20 million gallons of water cascading from a water main in the midst of California's worst drought in decades and as tough new state fines took effect for residents who waste water by hosing down driveways or using a hose without a nozzle to wash their car.

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