Week of diplomacy: Israel-Hamas talks, Abbas at UN RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - It's a busy week in Mideast diplomacy, book-ended by the launch of Israel-Hamas talks about a border deal for blockaded Gaza and the Palestinian president's U.N. speech about a new strategy for dealing with Israel. The talks about Gaza's future seem to be a long shot, and failure could set the stage for another Israel-Hamas war, even if neither side wants it. In another obstacle to an agreement, tensions are mounting between Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah, the movement of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, over who will run Gaza.
Syria refugee flood to Turkey hits 100,000 KUCUK KENDIRCILER, Turkey (AP) - The 19-year-old Kurdish militant, who has been fighting the Islamic State group in Syria, brought his family across the border into Turkey to safety Sunday. But in the tranquility of a Turkish tea garden just miles from the frontier, Dalil Boras vowed to head back after nightfall to continue the fight. Pulling a wad of Syrian bills from his pocket, the young fighter - who has already lost a 17-year-old brother to the Islamic militants' brutal advance - said that if the Turkish border guards tried to stop him, money would persuade them.
Relatives: Vet arrested at White House needs help MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - An Iraq war veteran accused of scaling a fence and making it into the White House before the Secret Service stopped him posed no threat to anyone and needs counseling instead of prosecution, members of his family said Sunday. Omar Gonzalez, 42, was arrested Friday and is expected in federal court Monday to face charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon - a small folding knife in this case.
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Police find rifle carried by ambush suspect CANADENSIS, Pa. (AP) - Authorities don't have the alleged gunman who is accused of a deadly ambush at a police barracks, but they say they've found the AK-47-style assault rifle that he was carrying. Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Sunday that police believe their massive manhunt is hot on the trail of 31-year-old Eric Frein (freen) as he travels on foot through northeastern Pennsylvania's heavy forests where he grew up.
Global marches draw attention to climate change NEW YORK (AP) - Tens of thousands of activists walked through Manhattan on Sunday, warning that climate change is destroying the Earth - in stride with demonstrators around the world who urged policymakers to take quick action. Starting along Central Park West, most came on foot, others with bicycles and walkers, and some even in wheelchairs. Many wore costumes and marched to drumbeats. One woman played the accordion.
NASA's Maven explorer arrives at Mars after a year CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's Maven spacecraft arrived at Mars late Sunday after a 442 million-mile journey that began nearly a year ago. The robotic explorer fired its brakes and successfully slipped into orbit around the red planet, officials confirmed.
New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Ending months of vote-related tension, Afghanistan's election commission named a new president Sunday only hours after the leading candidates signed a power-sharing deal that names one of them as the country's new chief executive. The commission named Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner and next president and noted that his one-time rival, Abdullah Abdullah, will fill the newly created position of chief executive, a post akin to prime minister. But it pointedly did not release final vote totals amid concerns that doing so could inflame tensions.
32 structures destroyed in California wildfire SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Light rain and cooler temperatures helped firefighters makes advances Sunday against a huge Northern California wildfire that has destroyed nearly three-dozen structures. According to preliminary figures, 10 homes and 22 outbuildings were lost in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines, said Capt. Tom Piranio, a state fire spokesman.
Dynamiting barely dents Peru's narco air bridge PICHARI, Peru (AP) - The dynamiting of clandestine airstrips by Peruvian security forces in the world's No. 1 coca-growing valley cuts into profits but hardly discourages cocaine traffickers who net tens of thousands of dollars with each Bolivia-bound flight. As authorities wound up a 54-airstrip "cratering" mission, Peru's counternarcotics police chief Gen. Vicente Romero told reporters that traffickers pay local villagers up to $100 each to fill the holes blasted into the landing strips that dot the flood plain of the vast and verdant Apurimac and Ene river valley.
Cuban baseball opening runs into trouble HAVANA (AP) - Cuba's unprecedented effort to stop a devastating baseball talent drain doesn't seem to be working, with a string of stars leaving for the major leagues in the year since the government allowed a small number to play professionally overseas. The island's national league began its 54th season Sunday badly weakened by the departure of both stars and promising prospects chasing dreams of riches in the U.S. To fight the drain, Cuba relaxed a five-decade ban on professional play in September 2013 and allowed ballplayers to sign offseason contracts with leagues like Japan's and Mexico's as long as a large chunk of their contracts goes to the state and they return to play in Cuba. The state also gave raises to on-island athletes.