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Separatist rebels deny shooting down airliner

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Separatist rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have denied that they are responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane.

Putin: US sanctions hurt bilateral ties, US firms

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday lamented the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, saying they will stalemate bilateral relations and hurt not only Russian but also American businesses.

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Families tell of horrors at raided Mexican shelter

ZAMORA, Mexico— Relatives of youths rescued by police from a refuse-strewn group home where employees allegedly beat and raped residents are telling of how they tried to remove their loved ones, only to be met with demands for thousands of dollars for their release.

Noisy Gypsy removal backfires

BRUSSELS (AP) — A plan by a Belgian mayor to remove a group of Gypsies by playing loud music backfired when the camping cars stayed put and the children danced to the music.

Typhoon slams into Philippines; thousands evacuate

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A typhoon slammed into the northeastern Philippines late Tuesday night, flooding low-lying villages, ripping off roofs and knocking down trees and electric posts in a disaster-prone region where tens of thousands of people fled to safety ahead of the deluge.

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Egyptian truce plan unravels after new fighting

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — An Egyptian truce proposal for the conflict in Gaza quickly unraveled Tuesday, after the Islamic militant Hamas rejected the plan, Gaza militants fired scores of rockets at Israel and Israel responded with more than a dozen air strikes.

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Israeli bombing turns Gaza into ghost town

GAZA CITY, Gaza — It’s the holy month of Ramadan, when people throughout the Muslim world meet with friends and family, buy presents for loved ones and break a day-long fast each evening amid colorful street scenes.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s massive air campaign in Gaza topped 100 people Friday as rockets fired by militants reached deeper into Israel — and for the first time in the fighting, struck from neighboring Lebanon.

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Iraqi Kurds take over two oil fields

BAGHDAD — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said, the latest move in a deepening a dispute with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad denounced the takeover of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields as “a violation to the constitution” and warned that it poses “a threat to national unity.” He said Kurdish troops moved in and expelled local workers from the two sites. The seizure of the fields could accelerate the unraveling of already worsening relations between the Kurdish autonomy zone in the north and Iraq’s central government. The spat is one of the ripple effects of the Sunni militant offensive that overran much of northern and western Iraq last month, plunging the country into its worst crisis since the last U.S. troops left in 2011.

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House chairman: $3.7 billion request 'too much'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency request for the border crisis is too big and the House won't approve it, the chairman of the House committee that controls spending said Friday. "It's too much money. We don't need it," Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., told reporters.

US given heads up about newspaper data destruction

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper's hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show.

19 Ukraine servicemen killed in rocket attack

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russia rebels fired missiles Friday at government troops near the Russian border, killing at least 19 servicemen, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said, adding that four troops were killed in other clashes. President Petro Poroshenko summoned security officials in Kiev to discuss Friday's pre-dawn attack at a forward base in eastern Ukraine and declared that the perpetrators would be punished.

Chinese hackers hit U.S. personnel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, according to The New York Times.

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Benghazi: Two days, two distinct attacks on Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Well-trained attackers executed the deadly dawn assault on a CIA complex in Benghazi, Libya, suggesting different perpetrators from those who penetrated the U.S. diplomatic mission the previous night, according to newly revealed testimony from top military commanders.

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Israel escalates Gaza offensive, casualties mount

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault targeting hundreds of Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip Thursday as Palestinians reported the strikes also hit a home and a beachside cafe, raising the total number of people killed in this week's offensive to at least 85. Israel's missile defense system also once again intercepted rockets fired by militants at the country's two largest cities, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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