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AP Top News at 12:59 a.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.


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.


Doctor: Patient killed caseworker before gunfight
DARBY, Pa. (AP) - A doctor told police that a patient fatally shot a caseworker at their hospital complex before the doctor pulled out his own gun and exchanged fire with him and wounded him, a prosecutor said Thursday night. Dr. Lee Silverman, a psychiatrist, was grazed in the temple during the gunfight in his office with patient Richard Plotts, according to Delaware District Attorney Jack Whelan.


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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.


House panel clears way for vote on Obama lawsuit
WASHINGTON (AP) - Over Democratic objections, Republicans cleared the way Thursday for a House vote on legislation authorizing an election-year lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of failing to implement the 4-year-old health care law as it was written. The vote in the Rules Committee was 7-4, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed.


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.


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.


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.