35 killed in Gaza; Israeli soldier feared captured GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - A Gaza cease-fire quickly unraveled on Friday as violence erupted in and around a southern town in the war-ravaged strip, with at least 40 Palestinians killed in Israeli shelling while the military said two soldiers were killed and an infantry officer was feared captured during fighting there. Israel and Hamas accused each other of breaking the cease-fire, which had been announced by the U.S. and the U.N. and took effect at 8:00 a.m. Friday. The fighting broke out less than two hours later.
In brief lull, Gaza's displaced survey devastation GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Bassem Abul Qumbus looked in despair at the wreck of his home. Shells had punched holes in an upper-floor bedroom. A wall had collapsed into the kitchen. The dozens of baby chicks he'd been raising on the roof were dead, except for three tiny survivors and a slightly injured white duck. "I'm heart-broken," said Abul Qumbus. The 35-year-old father of eight had spent the earnings of a lifetime - about $55,000 - to build the three-story home. Now he's not certain if it can be repaired.
Ukraine: Investigators start jet crash site search HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) - With the sound of artillery blasts at a distance, 70 international investigators arrived Friday at the eastern Ukraine site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed and started recovering the remains of as many as 80 victims that have been lying in farm fields for two weeks. Several hours before they arrived, at least 10 Ukrainian soldiers were killed when their convoy was ambushed by pro-Russian separatist rebels in a town close to the wreckage site. Thirteen more soldiers were unaccounted for after the attack, officials said, and the bodies of four more people were being examined to determine whether they were soldiers or rebels.
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2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Two American tourists charged with "anti-state" crimes in North Korea said Friday they expect to be tried soon and pleaded for help from the U.S. government to secure their release from what they say could be long prison terms. In their first appearance since being detained more than three months ago, Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle told a North Korean AP Television News crew that they were in good health and were being treated well. They also said they were allowed to take daily walks. The brief meeting was conducted under the condition that the specific location not be disclosed.
US employers add 209K jobs, rate rises to 6.2 pct. WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers extended their solid hiring into July by adding 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year-old recovery. July's gain was less than in the previous three months, though, and probably wasn't strong enough to intensify fears that the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates to curb inflation.
12,000 evacuees return after Taiwan gas explosions KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) - The 12,000 people who fled in fear of more gas pipeline explosions in Taiwan's second-largest city returned to their homes Friday after authorities said there was no more risk of blasts like the series that ripped apart streets overnight, killing 26 people and injuring 267. With clean-up work underway in the more than 2 square kilometers (1 square mile) area, investigators were turning to the task of determining the cause of the blasts, the industrial city's worst such disaster in 16 years.
AP PHOTOS: City streets destroyed in Taiwan blasts City streets destroyed, transformed into trenches strewn with dirt, ripped pieces of pipe and jagged blocks of concrete. Broken fire trucks turned upside down, twisted soot-covered cars and motorcycles, ripped advertising signs. The site of underground gas explosions in Taiwan's second-largest city is a scene of destruction. The blasts hit a densely populated district where petrochemical companies operate pipelines in the city of Kaohsiung. The streets were busier than normal because people were visiting a nearby night market. Firefighters who went to investigate the early reports of a gas leak were among the dead and injured.
Rep. Cantor to resign from House seat in August RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - After a stunning primary election loss, former Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Friday that he will resign his seat in the House of Representatives months earlier than expected. The congressman will step down Aug. 18 and has asked Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election to enable his successor to take office immediately, Cantor said in a statement, a day after stepping down from his leadership post.
WHO: Ebola moving faster than control efforts CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met Friday in Guinea's capital. Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, said the meeting in Conakry "must be a turning point" in the battle against Ebola, which is now sickening people in three African capitals for the first time in history.
Could Helen Mirren forget how to act? She worries LOS ANGELES (AP) - Helen Mirren lowers her voice to a whisper and her eyes take on a devious twinkle as she makes a confession: When she has a really good time making a movie, as she did on "The Hundred-Foot Journey," she fears: "Oh my God, is it going to suck?" Never mind that the 69-year-old Dame of the British Empire who won an Oscar for playing the Queen just said a four-letter word. Mirren also said that when she takes time off work, she worries that she has forgotten how to act altogether.