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Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, two senior officials in the group said Saturday. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has debated for months whether to join the court, a step that would transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile and could also strain his ties with the United States.


Russian aid trucks begin to leave Ukraine
DONETSK, Russia (AP) - Trucks marked as being from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to Ukraine began returning to Russia on Saturday. An Associated Press reporter counted 67 trucks entering the border crossing in the Russian city of Donetsk before noon Saturday. Another AP reporter on the Ukrainian side of the border said a line of trucks about 3 kilometers (2 miles) long was waiting to cross. The checkpoint on the Ukrainian side was being operated by separatist rebels, who inspected the trucks.


Gov't warns US retailers about hacking software
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday. The government urged businesses of all sizes to scan their point-of-sale systems for software known as "Backoff," discovered last October. It previously explained in detail how the software operates and how retailers could find and remove it.


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Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Ferguson's streets were peaceful for a third night as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old. A small stream of protesters marched in the St. Louis suburb as night fell Friday, but instead of confrontations with police, several stopped to talk one-on-one with officers about the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown and tactics used by authorities during previous demonstrations.


Few details month after reporters detained in Iran
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - An Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post and his journalist wife have been held in custody for a month in Iran, suggesting a possible struggle between a new guard of moderates pushing for greater freedom and the old hard-line establishment. Jason Rezaian, his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two unnamed Iranian-American photojournalists were detained a month ago this past Friday. One of the photojournalists was released shortly after being detained, and the other freed on bail Wednesday, the Post reported. However, Rezaian and his wife remain held without formal charges and have not been heard from since being detained.


Iraq family's flight reveals depth of Sunni grief
BAGHDAD (AP) - For nearly a decade Abu Omar has been fleeing Iraq's many conflicts, but they always seem to catch up to him. In his Sunni family's ancestral home in Fallujah it was the heavy shelling - first by the Americans in 2004 and then again this past January, when the walls shook and the roof caved in over their heads. In the Baghdad neighborhood where they have twice sought refuge, it is the persistent fear of a late-night knock on the door by shadowy sectarian militias.


Iraq investigating Sunni mosque attack
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's parliament speaker says an investigation is underway into an attack on a Sunni mosque that killed more than 60 people and escalated sectarian tensions. In a press conference on Saturday, Salim al-Jabouri said a committee of security officials and lawmakers will announce its findings in two days. Al-Jabouri, a Sunni, described Friday's attack northeast of Baghdad as "carnage."


Clinton shadow in Iowa no threat to some Democrats
ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) - Democrats with presidential dreams are coming to Iowa with little fanfare, entourage or recognition. They are undeterred by talk of a Hillary Rodham Clinton candidacy in 2016 or her plans to visit the leadoff caucus state next month to honor retiring Sen. Tom Harkin.


Spirits, prayers mark hunt for Myanmar's lost bell
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - Divers stand on the edge of a small wooden fishing boat gazing at the murky, choppy waters below. After receiving blessings from Buddhist monks, they lower their masks and plunge one-by-one into the mighty Yangon River, clinging to garden hoses that will act as primitive breathing devices during their dizzying descent into darkness. From the shoreline, thousands of spectators look on, some peering through borrowed binoculars, praying the men will find what other salvage crews have not: The world's largest copper bell, believed to have been lying deep beneath the riverbed for more than four centuries.


Havana retro-Soviet restaurant a nod to nostalgia
HAVANA (AP) - There's no rice, beans or fried plantains at Havana's newest private restaurant. You can order a minty mojito, but it'll come mixed with vodka instead of the traditional white rum. The waiters speak Russian, and patrons are expected to order in that language if they want to get served. But don't worry, the menus at this retro-Soviet restaurant come with translations and pronunciation guides for the non-initiated.

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