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Israel, Hamas battle over public opinion online

This graphic posted on the Israeli Defense Forces website, dated July 20, 2014, shows an artist's rendition of the Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza in an attempt to support Israeli government claims that Hamas is using hospitals, mosques and residences to hide, store and fire rockets. Beyond the boom of Israeli airstrikes and the stream of rockets fired from Gaza, Israel and Hamas are also battling to control the message emanating from this latest Israeli-Palestinian conflagration. Propaganda and psychological warfare are nothing new in battle, but technology and social media have exponentially increased the ability of each side to penetrate their intended audiences. (AP Photo/IDF website) JERUSALEM (AP) — Beyond the boom of Israeli airstrikes and the stream of rockets fired from Gaza, Israel and Hamas are also battling to control the message emanating from this latest Israeli-Palestinian conflagration.


Wrecked Costa Concordia begins final voyage

Tugboats move the cruise liner Costa Concordia anticlockwise during the refloat operation maneuvers at Giglio Island Italy's once-luxurious Costa Concordia cruise ship embarked on its last voyage on Wednesday, as tug boats began towing it from its island wreckage site to a scrapyard grave in one of the biggest salvage operations in maritime history. Hundreds of onlookers on the Mediterranean island of Giglio, including survivors from the nighttime disaster two and a half years ago that left 32 people dead, watched from shore as the crippled giant began its crawl up the coast. "This is a big day for Giglio but we'll only be able to relax once it reaches Genoa", Nick Sloane, the South African salvage master in charge of the operation, was quoted by Italian news agency Ansa as saying. The rusting liner, roughly twice the size of the Titanic and now hoisted afloat by massive air chambers, will be tugged to the port of Genoa in northwest Italy, where it will be dismantled and scrapped.


US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town, sending Palestinian residents fleeing, as the U.S. secretary of state presses ahead with top-gear efforts to end the conflict that has killed hundreds of Palestinians and tens of Israelis.(AP Photo) GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the U.S. secretary of state flew into Israel to press top-gear efforts for a truce in the conflict that has so far killed at least 657 Palestinians and 31 Israelis.


Bodies of MH17 crash victims flown to Netherlands

The national flag of the Netherlands is flown at half staff at the town hall in Eindhoven The first bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines plane that was downed over Ukraine were flown back on Wednesday to the Netherlands where a national day of mourning has been declared. Members of the Dutch royal family were due to meet the two military transport planes carrying 40 bodies which will undergo identification before being handed over to families. The Netherlands lost 193 citizens on the doomed jet that had 298 passengers and crew on board when it was downed last Thursday in eastern Ukraine, in a region controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Officials at Kharkiv airport held a minute's silence before the coffins were loaded onto the first Hercules plane, which took off at around noon local time.


Bodies of Malaysia jet victims leave Ukraine

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Two military aircraft carrying the first bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash left the embattled plains of eastern Ukraine Wednesday, bringing some consolation to grieving relatives who still must wait for positive identifications and answers about who caused the disaster.

Encephalitis outbreaks in India kill more than 150

Indian patient Arjun Ravidas is treated for Japanese encephalitis at the North Bengal Medical College Hospital on the outskirts of Siliguri on July 22, 2014 Recent outbreaks of encephalitis in India have killed more than 150 people, with health officials on alert fearing the death toll could rise further, state government directors said. Some 102 people have died in West Bengal state from the mosquito-borne virus which affects mainly malnourished children and can cause brain damage and seizures, said medical education director Sushanta Banerjee. "We have alerted health officials across the state to take preventive measures to stop Japanese encephalitis from spreading to newer areas," Parthajyoti Gogoi, regional director of health and the family welfare department in Assam, told AFP.


10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


U.N.'s Pillay says Israel may be committing war crimes

Israel may have committed war crimes by killing civilians and shelling houses and hospitals during its two-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Wednesday. Pillay, opening an emergency debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars by Palestinian militants into Israel. Citing cases Israeli air strikes and shelling hitting houses and hospitals in the coastal enclave, she said: "These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes. Its main ally the United States, a member state, has also said Israel is unfairly singled out.

Israel, Palestinians trade 'war crimes' accusations at U.N. debate

GENEVA (Reuters) - Israel and the Palestinians accused each other of war crimes at an emergency debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday, and both said their actions during Israel's assault on Gaza were within the rules of international law. "Israel will destroy Hamas' military infrastructure," Israel's ambassador to the body, Eviatar Manor, told the debate, referring to the Palestinian militant group controlling Gaza. "However, the Gaza residents are not our enemy. Israel is fully committed to international law," he added. ...

Kerry files to Tel Aviv despite FAA ban

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Kerry is meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as efforts for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel continues. (AP Photo/Pool) The top U.S. diplomat arrives in Israel to push for a truce deal in the warring Gaza Strip.


Worldwide FGM ban sought at 'Girl Summit'

Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai speaks at the 'Girl Summit 2014' at Walworth Academy, on July 22, 2014 in London Prime Minister David Cameron called on Tuesday for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation and child marriage as he launched the first UN-backed "Girl Summit" on issues that affect millions around the globe. Cameron announced that parents in Britain would face prosecution for failing to prevent their daughters from being subjected to FGM, while setting out steps to tackle both practices in developing nations. "Our aim is to outlaw FGM and child marriage everywhere for everyone," Cameron told the summit in London, to applause from an audience of experts and campaigners from around the world. FGM, which affects tens of millions of women, particularly in the Horn of Africa, ranges from removal of the clitoris to the mutilation and removal of other female genitalia.


In international flight, volatile conflicts abound

Israeli police officers secure a destroyed house that was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinians militants from Gaza, in Yahud, a Tel Aviv suburb near the airport, central Israel, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. As a result, Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airlines decided to cancel their scheduled flights to Israel.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty) DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In Libya, militias armed with shoulder-launched missiles are battling for control of the country's main airport. In Africa, the entire Sahel region is awash with weapons that include portable air defense systems leftover from the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.


House, Senate chart separate courses on border

In this July 12, 2014, photo, Central American migrants ride a freight train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Ixtepec, Mexico. The last time so few people were arrested at the country’s borders was 1973, when the Border Patrol recorded just fewer than 500,000 arrests. And the volume of people being arrested at the border remains dramatically lower than the all-time high of more than 1.6 people in 2000. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal that could pass both chambers.


Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Judges in health care rulings vote party line

A view of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse that houses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Washington. Obama's health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them.


Benin detains 10 people in child trafficking probe

Benin has detained 10 people on suspicions of child-trafficking just weeks after a group in neighbouring Niger was held for links to a "baby factory" ring, police sources said on Tuesday. While it was not immediately clear if there was a connection between the two cases, the latest detentions point to the persistence of human trafficking across West Africa. "There have been around 10 people detained in the civil prison since last week," said Ghislaine Bokovo, director of the Benin police force's central office for child protection. Martial Degbessou, from the Porto-Novo police division, said people operating in trafficking networks often purported to be holding children on behalf of a nongovernmental organisation.

Britain plans new laws to prevent female genital mutilation

By Kylie MacLellan and Emma Batha LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will introduce new laws to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) including making it compulsory for teachers and health workers to report cases, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday. "It's absolutely clear what we are trying to achieve...and that is to outlaw the practices of female genital mutilation and childhood and early forced marriage; Around 103,000 women aged between 15 and 49, and another 10,000 girls aged under 15 who have migrated to England and Wales are estimated to have undergone FGM, according to a report on Tuesday from City University London. Cameron said ending FGM and child marriage was a global challenge on a par with eradicating poverty and tackling diseases.

Five held in China food scandal probe, including head of Shanghai Husi Food

Employees stand during a seizure conducted at the Husi Food factory in Shanghai By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai police said on Wednesday they detained five people in an investigation into a Chinese-based supplier of foreign fast-food brands, including KFC, McDonald's Corp and coffee chain Starbucks Corp, over allegations the firm supplied old and rotten meat. The five detained include the head of the company - Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC - and the firm's quality manager, the police said in an online statement. McDonald's and Yum Brands Inc, the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, and a number of other global brands have pulled products from their outlets after it emerged that Shanghai Husi supplied expired meat to clients in China, as well as Japan. Earlier, the official Xinhua news agency cited the Shanghai food and drug watchdog as saying that food safety violations at Shanghai Husi were company-led rather than the acts of individuals.


SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds

FILE- In this Dec. 17, 2008 file photo, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) headquarters in Washington is shown. Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday July 23, 2014 to end a longtime staple of the investment industry _ the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds _ at least for some money funds used by big investors. (AP Photo/File) WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry — the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds — at least for some money funds used by big investors.


Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

Graphic shows results of a survey about teen drug use; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm; NEW YORK (AP) — Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale national survey.


Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

Graphic shows results of a survey about teen drug use; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm; NEW YORK (AP) — Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale national survey.


Obama government looks to satisfy religious groups on Obamacare

A man sits at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, California The Obama administration is developing a method for religious organizations opposed to contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act to opt out of providing the coverage in their health plans without filling out a form. Under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare, employers must provide health insurance policies that cover preventive services for women, including contraception and sterilization. As a result, the Obama administration intends to augment its regulations to provide an alternative way for such religious organizations to provide notification while ensuring that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services.


L.A. Clippers would lose players if Sterling stays: CEO

Clippers owner Sterling sits with companion as he watches team play Knicks in NBA game in Los Angeles By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Clippers could face an exodus of players, sponsors, fans and their coach if embattled owner Donald Sterling is still associated with the team, Richard Parsons, the franchise's interim chief executive, said on Tuesday at a trial over the NBA team's $2 billion sale. Parsons, the former Time Warner CEO who was installed by the NBA to run the Clippers in May, testified that the team would likely lose profitability and its overall value if sponsors, one of its top revenue streams, leave because of Sterling. "We have a bunch of sponsors who are sitting at the edge of the pool and they don't want to go into the water," Parsons told Los Angeles Superior Court a day after failed settlement talks between Sterling, 80, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who won the bidding for the team.


Clippers CEO: Rivers will quit team if Sterling remains owner

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. The future of the Clippers is closer to decision as testimony resumes Monday, July 21, 2014, in a probate trial over whether a deal negotiated by Donald Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team for $2 billion is authorized under a Sterling family trust. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File) Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO Richard Parsons testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he'll quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.


Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

A view of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse that houses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Washington. Obama's health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.


Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.


Meningitis diagnosis prompted W.Va. clinic probe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An investigation that found syringes were being reused at a West Virginia pain management clinic — whose operator had his medical license revoked in Texas — was triggered after a patient developed bacterial meningitis, a health official said Tuesday.

Seven ex-NFL players appeal concussion settlement

(Reuters) - Seven retired National Football League players are appealing a recent settlement between the league and about 5,000 former players stemming from a lawsuit over concussions suffered on the field, court records show. The appeal, filed in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, came about two weeks after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval to a settlement that removed a $675 million cap on awards to former players who were part of the groundbreaking head injury lawsuit. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say 20,000 retired players could be covered under the agreement. The players filing the appeal said the settlement did not offer enough to those who had yet to see the worst of their symptoms appear, and did not cover all diagnoses suffered by players with head trauma.

Black lung claims by 1,100 coal miners may have been wrongly denied

Medical opinions by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins should be assumed to lack credibility, senators are told at a hearing Tuesday.

Judge: Forget lethal injections, use guillotine or firing squads

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2003 file photo, Judge Alex Kozinski, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, gestures as Chief Judge Mary Schroeder looks on in San Francisco. A decision by a divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2014, reinstated a lawsuit filed against YouTube by an actress who appeared in an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in many parts of the Middle East. The 9th Circuit said the YouTube posting infringed actress Cindy Lee Garcia's copyright to her role, and she, not just the filmmaker, could demand its removal. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, Pool, file) A federal judge said questions about the use of lethal injection call into question the integrity of capital punishment.


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