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Thursday, July 31, 2014
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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

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 2:56 PM

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site
ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) -- Two weeks after a missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, an international team of investigators Thursday reached a wreckage site in eastern Ukraine that remains bitterly contested between government forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels.... 7/31/2014 2:52 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 2:37 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 what it called a "painful adjustment."... 7/31/2014 2:36 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

Stocks fall in Argentina as country enters default
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Stocks fell sharply in Argentina on Thursday as the country defaulted on its bills for the second time in 13 years, raising fears the move could diminish foreign reserves, stoke inflation and drive the economy deeper into recession.... 7/31/2014 2:14 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

Palestinians mull war crime charges against Israel
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking written pledges of support from all political factions, including rival Hamas, before making any attempt to press for possible war crimes charges against Israel, senior officials said Thursday.... 7/31/2014 2:07 PM

W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- Security forces went house-to-house looking for Ebola patients and others exposed to the disease Thursday in Sierra Leone's capital as the death toll from the worst recorded outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.... 7/31/2014 2:05 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

Snowden's asylum status in Russia ending
MOSCOW (AP) -- Edward Snowden's temporary asylum status in Russia will expire at midnight Thursday, but the former U.S. National Security Agency systems administrator appears set to stay on until authorities decide on his application for an extension.... 7/31/2014 1:46 PM

Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy Hamas' tunnel network in the Gaza Strip designed for deadly attacks inside Israel, "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign against Palestinian militants in the densely-populated territory.... 7/31/2014 1:43 PM

Travel ban for Sierra Leone players over Ebola
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- The Sierra Leone soccer team has been banned from traveling to the Seychelles for an African Cup of Nations qualifier because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus.... 7/31/2014 1:43 PM

French experts in Burkina Faso to ID victims
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) -- A presidential aide says two French experts are in Burkina Faso to collect DNA samples from the relatives who lost family members in the Air Algerie plane crash.... 7/31/2014 1:27 PM

UN official: Vietnam violates religious freedom
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- A U.N. official who went to Vietnam to assess religious freedom in this Southeast Asian country said Thursday that security agents closely monitored his visit and people he wanted to meet were harassed and intimidated.... 7/31/2014 1:23 PM

Afghan electoral officials to restart vote audit
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Despite lingering disputes, Afghan electoral officials said Thursday that they will resume an audit of the presidential election this weekend after the presidential candidates sparred over how to disqualify ballots amid allegations of massive fraud.... 7/31/2014 1:17 PM

EU identifies 5 Russian banks it is sanctioning
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union on Thursday revealed the details of its broad economic sanctions against Russia, including the names of five major banks which will see their access to the 28-nation bloc's capital market curtailed.... 7/31/2014 1:06 PM