Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- A series of underground gas explosions killed 20 people and injured 270 others late Thursday night in Taiwan's second-largest city, authorities said.... 7/31/2014 5:52 PM

Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels, deaths spike
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Thursday to destroy Hamas' tunnel network designed for deadly attacks inside Israel "with or without a cease-fire," as the Palestinian death toll soared past 1,400 - surpassing the number killed in Israel's last major invasion of Gaza five years ago.... 7/31/2014 5:47 PM

US, UN announce deal on Gaza cease-fire
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire to start Friday morning for 72 hours, the United States and United Nations announced Thursday.... 7/31/2014 5:46 PM

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.... 7/31/2014 5:45 PM

Default fuels uncertainty, stock drop in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's economy minister says he is willing to hold further talks with holdout investors whose claim for bond payments forced the South American country into its second default in 13 years.... 7/31/2014 5:14 PM

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.... 7/31/2014 5:10 PM

NY Fed: Puerto Rico should seek economic reforms
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- New York's Federal Reserve Bank warned on Thursday that Puerto Rico needs to improve its financial health soon or face a "painful adjustment."... 7/31/2014 4:34 PM

2 Azerbaijan rights activists charged with treason
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) -- Two prominent human rights activists in Azerbaijan have been charged with spying for Armenia, with one of them jailed for three months pending trial.... 7/31/2014 4:33 PM

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site
ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) -- As mortar fire landed nearby, an international team of investigators finally reached the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 wreckage site Thursday and got their first look at a scene experts fear has been badly compromised in the two weeks since the plane was blown out of the sky.... 7/31/2014 4:30 PM

Libya Islamic militias declare control of Benghazi
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) -- Islamic hard-line militias, including the group accused by the United States in a 2012 attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, claimed control of Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, after overrunning army barracks and seizing heavy weapons.... 7/31/2014 4:26 PM

Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant
TOKYO (AP) -- American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.... 7/31/2014 3:40 PM

Top UN aid official urges daily `pauses' in Gaza
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. humanitarian chief called Thursday for daily "humanitarian pauses" until a long-term cease-fire is reached between Israel and Hamas in order to deliver relief to hundreds of thousands in need in Gaza, rescue the injured and give civilians a reprieve from the war.... 7/31/2014 3:36 PM

Dutch retrieve DNA of some Ukraine crash victims
AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The head of the Dutch-led international team investigating the Malaysian Airline Flight 17 disaster says his group has retrieved additional DNA samples from 25 victims at a mortuary in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.... 7/31/2014 3:24 PM

Canada man accused in killings fit to stand trial
MONCTON, New Brunswick (AP) -- A man charged with fatally shooting three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and wounding two others in June has been found fit to stand trial.... 7/31/2014 3:19 PM

US launches charm offensive against wary India
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Given a rare opportunity to lunch with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Gaurav Dalmia was less interested Thursday in discussing the planned topics at hand, including climate change or even the trade dispute between India and the U.S. Instead, the Indian businessman was focused on Kerry himself - and whether he would be able to smooth over brittle relations between Washington and New Delhi for the sake of economic growth.... 7/31/2014 3:01 PM

Paris riot police deployed for pro-Israel rally
PARIS (AP) -- Hundreds of riot police in Paris deployed near the Israeli Embassy Thursday for the first major pro-Israel rally since the start of the latest Gaza war.... 7/31/2014 3:00 PM

French forces arrest Mali jihadist ex-leader
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- Authorities in northern Mali say a former jihadist leader in the town of Gao has been arrested by French military forces.... 7/31/2014 2:32 PM

Norway calls off terror alert, says threat gone
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Norway's intelligence service says the Scandinavian country no longer faces an imminent terror threat from people with links to Islamic fighters in Syria.... 7/31/2014 2:18 PM

Comm Games athlete fined for assault on rival
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- An Australian medal-winning weightlifter was convicted Thursday of head-butting another Commonwealth Games competitor in the athletes' village and Australia's athletics coach was sent home for criticizing his top star - just as the country's 20-year domination of the competition appeared to be coming to an end.... 7/31/2014 2:12 PM

Greece to help 'hundreds' of Chinese leave Libya
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- With the violence in Libya escalating to its worst level since the 2011 ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, governments from around the world are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from the country, many seeking help from nearby Greece.... 7/31/2014 1:56 PM