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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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China factory index at 18-month high in July
HONG KONG (AP) -- A survey shows China's factory activity rose in July to its highest level in 18 months, a sign that mini-stimulus measures to shore up the world's No. 2 economy have taken hold.... 7/23/2014 10:41 PM

Japan trade deficit at record $75B in first half
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's trade deficit surged to a record 7.6 trillion yen ($74.9 billion) in the first half of the year as exports failed to keep pace with surging imports, the Finance Ministry reported Thursday.... 7/23/2014 10:37 PM

UN aid chief says Gaza ceasefire is vital
TOKYO (AP) -- The U.N.'s humanitarian chief says a ceasefire to stop the violence in Gaza is vital because of the deteriorating situation.... 7/23/2014 10:21 PM

Australia vows help to secure Ukraine crash site
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's foreign minister said Thursday that her country stood ready to provide whatever resources were needed to secure the Malaysian airliner's crash site in Ukraine, as newspapers reported Australian troops and police could soon be sent.... 7/23/2014 10:18 PM

Shock of ferry sinking slows South Korea economy
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's economic growth hit its lowest level in three quarters after a deadly ferry sinking dented consumer spending, the central bank said Thursday.... 7/23/2014 10:03 PM

Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island on Thursday where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were searching for one person who might have been in a wrecked house on the ground.... 7/23/2014 10:02 PM

Rockets found at UN Gaza school went missing
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was "alarmed" to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza and now "have gone missing," and he demanded a full review of such incidents.... 7/23/2014 9:02 PM

Venezuelan network Telesur expands into English
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The Spanish-language television network started by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a vehicle for promoting in Latin America his leftist brand of political change will now reach audiences in English.... 7/23/2014 8:58 PM

Fans hop aboard exclusive train to Comic-Con
ABOARD THE SILVER SPLENDOR (AP) -- For a lucky fellowship of fans, Comic-Con is beginning early on a private train car trekking to the pop-culture convention.... 7/23/2014 8:34 PM

Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Shopkeepers say they were sitting outside their shuttered businesses Wednesday, catching a break from being cooped up during wartime, when an Israeli missile struck a nearby mosque, killing a truck driver and wounding 45 people.... 7/23/2014 8:05 PM

Argentina president says country will not default
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's president said Wednesday that her country will not go into default because it has been paying debts to bondholders on time.... 7/23/2014 7:58 PM

Honduran families deported back to a bleak future
TOCOA, Honduras (AP) -- Elsa Ramirez already had lost two brothers to violence in this remote Caribbean region when co-workers handling clandestine cocaine flights from South America murdered her husband four months ago.... 7/23/2014 7:34 PM

Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader goes on trial
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A top leader of the anti-government protests that wracked Venezuela for months this spring is getting his day in court.... 7/23/2014 7:29 PM

Patriotic parade at big Peru psychiatric hospital
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Patients and staff at Peru's largest psychiatric hospital put on a patriotic parade at the facility Wednesday to celebrate the 193rd anniversary of the country's independence from Spain.... 7/23/2014 7:15 PM

New Zealand raises interest rate to 3.5 percent
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- New Zealand on Thursday raised its benchmark interest rate to 3.5 percent but signaled it was pausing its program of rate hikes.... 7/23/2014 6:35 PM

European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights
BERLIN (AP) -- Air France and Germany's two largest airlines on Wednesday canceled more flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas.... 7/23/2014 6:32 PM

Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected an attempt by Iran to persuade him to step down, senior Iraqi politicians said Wednesday, underlining his determination to defy even his top ally to push for a third term in office and further exacerbating the country's political crisis.... 7/23/2014 6:25 PM

Cuba, US begin 5-game exhibition baseball series
HAVANA (AP) -- Cuba is hoping to use a five-game baseball exhibition against a team of U.S. college players to bounce back from recent disappointing international results in a sport that's considered the island's national pastime.... 7/23/2014 6:13 PM

US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.... 7/23/2014 6:08 PM

Jamaica police arrest 41 suspected scammers
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- More than three dozen Jamaicans have been arrested as suspected lottery scammers, police on the Caribbean island said Wednesday.... 7/23/2014 5:46 PM