Israeli strikes hit UN school, Gaza shopping area GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli strikes hit a crowded shopping area in Gaza City Wednesday, hours after tank shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with war refugees in the deadliest of a series of air and artillery attacks that pushed the Palestinian death toll above 1,300 in more than three weeks of fighting. The bloodshed came on the heels of an escalation by both sides fighting in the embattled coastal territory, further dimming prospects for a sustainable cease-fire despite international diplomatic efforts.
Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war JERUSALEM (AP) - Despite Israeli casualties and world criticism, a near-consensus in Israel supports the government's conduct of the Gaza war, views Hamas as the aggressor and considers outsiders' moralizing as hypocritical, ignorant or both. And in an echo-chamber fed by ubiquitous updates on Hamas rocket and tunnel attacks, the minority of local voices that do agonize over Gazans' suffering are being silenced in a way rarely seen in a country long proud of its spirited, democratic debate. A series of recent opinion polls have shown robust support for the war, reflecting years of frustration over rocket fire from Gaza and a new fear of Hamas' network of tunnels that stretch well into Israel and imperil communities along the border. Opposing views, coming primarily from leftist activists and intellectuals, have been met with threats, insults and charges of treason both in social media and face-to-face.
3 Putin allies among 8 hit with new EU sanctions BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle for the first time Wednesday for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine, subjecting three of his long-time associates to EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans. A total of eight people were added to the EU's sanctions list for allegedly undermining Ukraine's sovereignty or profiting from Moscow's takeover of Crimea, the EU's Official Journal showed. Three companies were also blacklisted.
Watch Top News Video
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky, the remains of some passengers are feared rotting in the 90-degree (32-degree Celsius) midsummer heat, deepening the frustration of relatives desperate to recover the bodies of their loved ones. Fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels has kept away international police charged with securing the site, a sprawling area of farmland and villages. And until it's secured, there is no way for forensic experts to gather up any remaining bodies or collect debris for analysis.
Ex-IRS official called conservatives 'crazies WASHINGTON (AP) - A former IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party controversy referred to some right-wing Republicans as "crazies" and more in emails released Wednesday. A key GOP lawmaker says the remarks show that Lois Lerner was biased against conservative groups and targeted them for extra scrutiny. Lerner headed the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status. In a series of emails with an associate in November 2012, Lerner made two disparaging remarks about some members of the GOP, including one remark that was a profane characterization.
House approves VA health care overhaul WASHINGTON (AP) - The House overwhelmingly approved a landmark bill Wednesday to refurbish the Veterans Affairs Department and improve veterans' health care. The 420-5 vote sends the bill to the Senate, where approval is expected by Friday.
Congress cooperates _ and fights _ as recess nears WASHINGTON (AP) - Eager to begin a monthlong break, Congress leavened its customary heavy partisanship on Wednesday with a pinch of compromise, advancing legislation to repair the deeply troubled Department of Veterans Affairs and working to clear funds for highway construction at home and missile defense in Israel. Yet old habits proved unbreakable less than 100 days before elections with control of Congress at stake. House Republicans hastened to authorize an official lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of failing to enforce the health care law. And gridlock loomed on the administration's call for billions to cope with a surge in young immigrants pouring into the U.S. illegally from Central America.
Detroit police: Sleeping boy, 8, shot and killed DETROIT (AP) - Sporadic gunfire isn't an unusual sound in the Brewster Homes public housing complex in Detroit, but booming noises that shook Tenesha Higgins early Wednesday morning were way too close. Numerous shots were fired at an apartment building, with one piercing a wall and hitting an 8-year-old boy who was sleeping. The child - who Higgins described as a "good boy" who loved playing baseball - died 45 minutes later.
UCLA's Pauley Pavilion drenched in hoops history LOS ANGELES (AP) - The House That Wooden Built is waterlogged. Pauley Pavilion, UCLA's storied basketball arena where John Wooden coached teams that won eight of his 10 national championships, was drying out Wednesday after its court was deluged by 10 inches of water when a 93-year-old pipe burst near the campus in Westwood.
Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production NEW YORK (AP) - Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors. The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's scheduled first day of work after the summer hiatus was postponed. There's no word on when "The Big Bang Theory" team will be back at work.