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3-day Gaza cease-fire goes into effect
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - A three-day cease-fire in the Gaza Strip went into effect Friday following heavy Israel-Hamas fighting that killed 17 Palestinians and five Israeli soldiers. The cease-fire, announced by the U.S. and the U.N. hours earlier, took effect at 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned there were "no guarantees" that the lull would bring an end to the Gaza war, now in its fourth week.


Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Nearly a month into Israel's fierce assault on Hamas in Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is facing mounting domestic pressure to seek war crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court. He has hesitated in the past because such a move would instantly put the Palestinians on a risky collision course with Israel. But with about 1,400 Palestinians killed in Gaza, according to health officials, Abbas has signaled he might move ahead - cautiously.


CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds
WASHINGTON (AP) - The CIA's insistence that it did not spy on its Senate overseers collapsed Thursday with the release of a stark report by the agency's internal watchdog documenting improper computer surveillance and obstructionist behavior by CIA officers. Five agency employees - two lawyers and three computer specialists- improperly accessed Senate intelligence committee computers earlier this year in a dispute over interrogation documents, according to a summary of a CIA inspector general report describing the results of an internal investigation. Then, despite CIA Director John Brennan ordering a halt to that operation, the CIA's office of security began an unauthorized investigation that led it to review the emails of Senate staffers and search them for key words.


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Gas blasts kill 24, injure 271 in Taiwanese port
KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) - At least 24 people were killed and 271 injured when several underground gas explosions ripped through Taiwan's second-largest city, hurling concrete and cars through the air and blasting trenches in the streets, authorities said Friday, as a search for the cause began. The series of explosions about midnight Thursday and early Friday struck a densely populated district where several petrochemical companies operate pipelines alongside the sewer system in Kaohsiung, a southwestern port with 2.8 million people.


Congress oks VA, highway bills, not border measure
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress ran full-tilt into election-year gridlock over immigration Thursday and staggered toward a five-week summer break after failing to agree on legislation to cope with the influx of young immigrants flocking illegally to the United States. Faring far better, a bipartisan, $16 billion measure to clean up after a scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs and a second bill to prevent a cutoff in highway funding gained final passage in the Senate and were sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.


Death toll hits 51 from mudslide in Indian village
MALIN, India (AP) - Heavy rains hampered efforts Friday by hundreds of rescue workers digging through heavy mud and debris, as the death toll from a landslide that engulfed an entire village in western India rose to 51. Rescuers are still looking for about 100 people missing and feared dead, after another 10 bodies were pulled out of the debris overnight.


Tropical Storm Bertha forms in the Atlantic
MIAMI (AP) - Tropical Storm Bertha has formed, becoming the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. The U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami said the tropical storm's maximum sustained winds Thursday night were near 45 mph (75 kph).


Signed ticket from Gehrig's last game nets $95,600
NEW YORK (AP) - A ticket stub signed by Lou Gehrig on the day he retired from baseball sold for $95,600 at an auction on Thursday, and the boxing gloves Muhammad Ali wore in the first of his three fights against Joe Frazier sold for $388,375. The July 4, 1939, ticket and the 1971 Fight of the Century gloves were among the highlights from Heritage Auctions' sale at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.


Price, Lester, Lackey traded in deadline flurry
Baseball fans were still trying to sort out the dizzying deals for postseason aces Jon Lester and John Lackey, Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes and All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera when they were treated to a most curious sight Thursday. In the seventh inning of a tight game at Comerica Park - with the bases loaded, no less - Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson suddenly trotted from his position to the dugout.


W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) - The death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa as security forces went house-to-house in Sierra Leone's capital Thursday looking for patients and others exposed to the disease. Fears grew as the United States warned against travel to the three infected countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - and Sierra Leone's soccer team was blocked from boarding a plane in Nairobi, Kenya, that was to take them to the Seychelles for a game on Saturday. Airport authorities in Kenya said Seychelles immigration told them to prevent the team from traveling.

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