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Gaza truce holds as Israel, Hamas claim 'victory'

Palestinians flash the sign of victory atop a vehicle, as people celebrate a deal reached between Hamas and Israel for a long-term end to fighting in the Gaza Strip, August 26, 2014, in Gaza City The skies over Gaza remained calm Wednesday as a long-term ceasefire took hold, ending the deadliest violence in a decade with Israel and Hamas both claiming 'victory' in the 50-day war. Millions in and around the war-torn enclave enjoyed a welcome night of peace during which there were no strikes on Gaza, nor Palestinian rockets fired at Israel, the Israeli army said. "Since the truce came into force, there has been no IDF activity in Gaza, and no rocket fire on Israel," a military spokeswoman said 12 hours after the guns on both sides fell silent. Both Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement, the de facto authority in Gaza, hailed the ceasefire as a victory.


Afghan candidate Ghani pulls observers from election audit

Afghanistan's presidential candidates Ghani and Abdulah shake hands after announcing a deal for the auditing of all Afghan election votes at the United Nations Compund in Kabul KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani pulled his observers from a U.N.-supervised audit of votes on Wednesday after rival candidate Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the process, a senior member of Ghani's team said. "Although it seems sort of unfair ... politically it seemed more prudent," said Daoud Sultanzoy, adding that the United Nations had asked that Ghani's observer leave the process, in the interest of fairness. The Independent Election Commission will continue the audit, Sultanzoy said. (Reporting By Krista Mahr; Editing by Robert Birsel)


Annual tomato battle leaves Spanish town red

Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other, during the annual "tomatina" tomato fight fiesta, in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. The streets of an eastern Spanish town are awash with red pulp as thousands of people pelt each other with tomatoes in the annual "Tomatina" battle that has become a major tourist attraction. At the annual fiesta in Bunol on Wednesday, trucks dumped 125 tons of ripe tomatoes for some 22,000 participants, many from abroad to throw during the hour-long morning festivities. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) BUNOL, Spain (AP) — The streets of an eastern Spanish town are awash with red pulp as thousands of people pelt each other with tomatoes in the annual "Tomatina" battle that has become a major tourist attraction.


Man stabbed, two bodies discovered along Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park

Man stabbed, two bodies discovered along Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park An investigation is underway along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, after a stabbing, a reported abduction and the discovery of two bodies.


Iraq strikes jihadists as fears grow for besieged town

Iraqi security forces and Turkmen Shiite fighters, who volunteered to join the government forces, hold a position on August 4, 2014 in Amerli, some 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Baghdad Iraqi warplanes have begun targeting jihadists besieging the Shiite Turkmen town of Amerli amid growing fears for the safety of thousands of residents short of food and water and facing a "massacre". With some 12,000 Turkmen trapped in the northern town, US President Barack Obama is "nearing a decision" to authorise strikes and aid drops in the area, The New York Times reported. The report added that Obama is also seeking to piece together an international coalition for potential military action in Syria, where the US has begun reconnaissance flights. Iraqi warplanes carried out nine air strikes on Tuesday against the militants besieging Amerli, an officer said.


APNewsBreak: Jindal suing feds over Common Core

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2012 file photo, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana addresses activists from America's political right at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. Jindal planned to file a lawsuit Wednesday Aug. 27, 2014 against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally manipulating federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal planned to file a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally manipulating federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.


UN panel: Crimes against humanity spread in Syria

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference, giving the first public comments by a senior Assad official on the threat posed by the Islamic State group, in Damascus, Syria on Monday, August 25, 2014. Al-Moallem warned the U.S. not to conduct airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State group without Damascus’ consent, saying any such attack would be considered an aggression. Al-Moallem also said that Syria is ready to work with regional states and the international community amid the onslaught of Islamic militants there and in Iraq, adding that the Syrian government is a crucial partner in the war on terror. (AP Photo/SANA) GENEVA (AP) — An independent U.N. commission said Wednesday that the Syrian government has likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians and that the Islamic State group committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians in two cities in the country's north and west.


UN panel: Crimes against humanity spread in Syria

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference, giving the first public comments by a senior Assad official on the threat posed by the Islamic State group, in Damascus, Syria on Monday, August 25, 2014. Al-Moallem warned the U.S. not to conduct airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State group without Damascus’ consent, saying any such attack would be considered an aggression. Al-Moallem also said that Syria is ready to work with regional states and the international community amid the onslaught of Islamic militants there and in Iraq, adding that the Syrian government is a crucial partner in the war on terror. (AP Photo/SANA) GENEVA (AP) — An independent U.N. commission said Wednesday that the Syrian government has likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians and that the Islamic State group committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians in two cities in the country's north and west.


Huge flames destroy vacant house in Camden

Huge flames destroy vacant house in Camden Firefighters battled huge flames at a vacant house in Camden, New Jersey early Wednesday morning.


Huge flames destroy vacant house in Camden

Huge flames destroy vacant house in Camden Firefighters battled huge flames at a vacant house in Camden, New Jersey early Wednesday morning.


Godzilla stomps back in ultra HD, wires intact

Godzilla stomps back in ultra HD, wires intact TOKYO (AP) — At a humble Tokyo laboratory, Godzilla, including the 1954 black-and-white original, is stomping back with a digital makeover that delivers four times the image quality of high definition.


Godzilla stomps back in ultra HD, wires intact

Godzilla stomps back in ultra HD, wires intact TOKYO (AP) — At a humble Tokyo laboratory, Godzilla, including the 1954 black-and-white original, is stomping back with a digital makeover that delivers four times the image quality of high definition.


Inarritu's 'Birdman' opens Venice Film Festival

Enricco Masserdotti, right, and his colleague Carlo Gheda prepare a sign for the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. The 71st edition of the festival opens on Wednesday, Aug. 27 and runs until Sept. 6. (AP Photo/David Azia) VENICE, Italy (AP) — A film in which art and fame battle it out in the streets and skies of Manhattan has kicked off the 71st Venice Film Festival, where high-art aspirations mix with Hollywood hopes.


Inarritu's 'Birdman' opens Venice Film Festival

Enricco Masserdotti, right, and his colleague Carlo Gheda prepare a sign for the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. The 71st edition of the festival opens on Wednesday, Aug. 27 and runs until Sept. 6. (AP Photo/David Azia) VENICE, Italy (AP) — A film in which art and fame battle it out in the streets and skies of Manhattan has kicked off the 71st Venice Film Festival, where high-art aspirations mix with Hollywood hopes.


Pakistan minister urges opposition to ease demands

A supporter of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan uses her cell phone to take picture of Khan during a protest near the parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Thousands of supporters of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri are besieging parliament in the capital to pressure Sharif to resign over alleged election fraud. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Cabinet minister has urged Pakistan's two key opposition figures leading mass rallies outside parliament to back off their demand for the prime minister's resignation in ongoing talks with the government.


Pakistan minister urges opposition to ease demands

A supporter of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan uses her cell phone to take picture of Khan during a protest near the parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Thousands of supporters of Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri are besieging parliament in the capital to pressure Sharif to resign over alleged election fraud. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Cabinet minister has urged Pakistan's two key opposition figures leading mass rallies outside parliament to back off their demand for the prime minister's resignation in ongoing talks with the government.


Eurozone borrowing costs fall to record lows

The Euro logo is displayed in front of the European Central Bank, ECB in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on August 7, 2014 The cost of borrowing for eurozone countries fell to record low levels on Wednesday, despite gloom over the economic outlook and crisis over economic policy in France. The bond interest rates are falling following comments made by the head of the European Central Bank assuring that deflation will be kept at bay. The interest rate or yield indicated by traded German 10-year bonds, the benchmark for the eurozone, fell to a record low level of 0.915 percent from 0.939 percent late on Tuesday. The rate for French 10-year debt fell to a record low of 1.249 percent from 1.275 percent, against a background of the formation of a new government in France following the shock dismissal on Monday of economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, who had criticised economic policy.


Eurozone borrowing costs fall to record lows

The Euro logo is displayed in front of the European Central Bank, ECB in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on August 7, 2014 The cost of borrowing for eurozone countries fell to record low levels on Wednesday, despite gloom over the economic outlook and crisis over economic policy in France. The bond interest rates are falling following comments made by the head of the European Central Bank assuring that deflation will be kept at bay. The interest rate or yield indicated by traded German 10-year bonds, the benchmark for the eurozone, fell to a record low level of 0.915 percent from 0.939 percent late on Tuesday. The rate for French 10-year debt fell to a record low of 1.249 percent from 1.275 percent, against a background of the formation of a new government in France following the shock dismissal on Monday of economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, who had criticised economic policy.


Man stabbed, two bodies discovered along Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park

Man stabbed, two bodies discovered along Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park A search is underway along the Schuylkill River as police investigate a stabbing, a reported abduction and the discovery of two bodies.


Alpine skiing - Swiss legend Karl Molitor dies at 94

Alpine skiing - Swiss legend Karl Molitor dies at 94 - Swiss alpine skiing legend Karl Molitor has died at the age of 94, his family announced on Wednesday. Molitor, from the ski resort of Wengen in Switzerland's rugged Bernese Oberland region, won multiple victories in the iconic Lauberhorn downhill. His first win on the Lauberhorn, at 4.48 kilometres the longest downhill on the alpine skiing calendar, was in 1939, when he was 20. In 1948, at the Winter Olympics in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz, Molitor won silver in the combined and bronze in the downhill.


Alpine skiing - Swiss legend Karl Molitor dies at 94

Alpine skiing - Swiss legend Karl Molitor dies at 94 - Swiss alpine skiing legend Karl Molitor has died at the age of 94, his family announced on Wednesday. Molitor, from the ski resort of Wengen in Switzerland's rugged Bernese Oberland region, won multiple victories in the iconic Lauberhorn downhill. His first win on the Lauberhorn, at 4.48 kilometres the longest downhill on the alpine skiing calendar, was in 1939, when he was 20. In 1948, at the Winter Olympics in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz, Molitor won silver in the combined and bronze in the downhill.


South Sudan warring forces trade blame over UN helicopter crash

A UN helicopter is pictured in Pibor, South Sudan, on January 12, 2012 Warring forces in South Sudan traded blame Wednesday for the crash of a UN helicopter in which three crew died, although investigations have yet to confirm if it was shot down. A UN team was investigating the wreckage of the Mi-8 helicopter on Wednesday, but have made no comment on the cause of the crash, in which three were killed and one wounded. Army spokesman Philip Aguer said rebels "shot it down", but provided no further evidence. Rebel spokesman Mabior Garang, son of South Sudan's first president John Garang who died in a helicopter crash in 2005, dismissed the claims as "malicious allegations".


South Sudan warring forces trade blame over UN helicopter crash

A UN helicopter is pictured in Pibor, South Sudan, on January 12, 2012 Warring forces in South Sudan traded blame Wednesday for the crash of a UN helicopter in which three crew died, although investigations have yet to confirm if it was shot down. A UN team was investigating the wreckage of the Mi-8 helicopter on Wednesday, but have made no comment on the cause of the crash, in which three were killed and one wounded. Army spokesman Philip Aguer said rebels "shot it down", but provided no further evidence. Rebel spokesman Mabior Garang, son of South Sudan's first president John Garang who died in a helicopter crash in 2005, dismissed the claims as "malicious allegations".


IMF chief charged with 'negligence' over graft case

IMF chief Christine Lagarde poses on the sideline of a press conference, on August 27, 2014 at her lawyer's office in Paris, after announcing she had been charged for "negligence" over a multi-million-euro corruption case IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister. The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled by a special court in Paris that probes cases of ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has faced such questioning in a case that has weighed upon her powerful position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. "The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation," she said in exclusive comments to AFP. In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered.


IMF chief charged with 'negligence' over graft case

IMF chief Christine Lagarde poses on the sideline of a press conference, on August 27, 2014 at her lawyer's office in Paris, after announcing she had been charged for "negligence" over a multi-million-euro corruption case IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister. The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled by a special court in Paris that probes cases of ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has faced such questioning in a case that has weighed upon her powerful position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. "The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation," she said in exclusive comments to AFP. In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered.


Quake is major test for hard-luck California city

Contractors pull loose bricks from the roof of an earthquake damaged 36,000 square foot former boat shop on Mare Island Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Vallejo, Calif. The building dates from 1904 and was used by the Navy. The bayside city that twice was briefly the capital of California sustained more than $5 million in damage and dozens of injuries. It was the latest blow to a town that has weathered years of bankruptcy and is now beset by gangs and crime. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — The historic blue-collar town of Vallejo is a short distance but a far cry from the touristy Napa Valley vineyards and quaint towns. So when Sunday's earthquake struck, the damage to the wine industry took center stage and the rubble in Vallejo got scant attention.


Quake is major test for hard-luck California city

Contractors pull loose bricks from the roof of an earthquake damaged 36,000 square foot former boat shop on Mare Island Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Vallejo, Calif. The building dates from 1904 and was used by the Navy. The bayside city that twice was briefly the capital of California sustained more than $5 million in damage and dozens of injuries. It was the latest blow to a town that has weathered years of bankruptcy and is now beset by gangs and crime. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — The historic blue-collar town of Vallejo is a short distance but a far cry from the touristy Napa Valley vineyards and quaint towns. So when Sunday's earthquake struck, the damage to the wine industry took center stage and the rubble in Vallejo got scant attention.


Barcelona sign Brazilian right-back Douglas

Brazil's Douglas Pereira (left) vies for the ball with Colombian Rafael Toloi during a match of the U-20 South American Championships at the "Jose Antonio Anzoteagui" Stadium in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on February 6, 2009 La Liga giants Barcelona have completed the signing of Brazilian full back Douglas Pereira from Sau Paulo for an initial fee of four million euros ($5.2 million, £3.2 million), the club confirmed on Wednesday. The 24-year-old will sign a five-year deal and is expected to compete with compatriot Dani Alves for a place in the first team. "FC Barcelona and Sao Paulo FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Douglas Pereira," said a statement on the Barca website. "Douglas will travel to Barcelona at the end of this week to do his medical, sign his contract and be presented as a Barcelona player."


Barcelona sign Brazilian right-back Douglas

Brazil's Douglas Pereira (left) vies for the ball with Colombian Rafael Toloi during a match of the U-20 South American Championships at the "Jose Antonio Anzoteagui" Stadium in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on February 6, 2009 La Liga giants Barcelona have completed the signing of Brazilian full back Douglas Pereira from Sau Paulo for an initial fee of four million euros ($5.2 million, £3.2 million), the club confirmed on Wednesday. The 24-year-old will sign a five-year deal and is expected to compete with compatriot Dani Alves for a place in the first team. "FC Barcelona and Sao Paulo FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Douglas Pereira," said a statement on the Barca website. "Douglas will travel to Barcelona at the end of this week to do his medical, sign his contract and be presented as a Barcelona player."


Ukraine's PM says Russia has plans to block gas flows to Europe

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk delivers a speech in Kiev KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday that Kiev knew of plans by Russia to halt gas flows this winter to Europe. "The situation in (Ukraine's) energy sector is difficult. We know of Russia's plans to block (gas) transit even to European Union countries this winter," he told a government meeting. Last year, half of Russian gas exports to the EU were shipped via Ukraine. Russian gas exporter Gazprom and the Energy Ministry were not immediately available for comments. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin)


Ukraine's PM says Russia has plans to block gas flows to Europe

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk delivers a speech in Kiev KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday that Kiev knew of plans by Russia to halt gas flows this winter to Europe. "The situation in (Ukraine's) energy sector is difficult. We know of Russia's plans to block (gas) transit even to European Union countries this winter," he told a government meeting. Last year, half of Russian gas exports to the EU were shipped via Ukraine. Russian gas exporter Gazprom and the Energy Ministry were not immediately available for comments. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin)


Little League champs arrive back in South Korea

South Korea's Tae Min Moon (14) leads his teammates in a victory lap around Howard J. Lamade Stadium after winning 8-4 over Chicago in the Little League World Series championship baseball game in South Williamsport, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The captain of the South Korean team that won the Little League World Series wants to keep winning baseball championships with his friends when they grow up.


Little League champs arrive back in South Korea

South Korea's Tae Min Moon (14) leads his teammates in a victory lap around Howard J. Lamade Stadium after winning 8-4 over Chicago in the Little League World Series championship baseball game in South Williamsport, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The captain of the South Korean team that won the Little League World Series wants to keep winning baseball championships with his friends when they grow up.


Japan PM sent prayer note to war criminal ceremony

A stone-carved guardian dog sits in front of a memorial compound honoring World War II-era war criminals in Koyasan Okuno-in temple in Koya town, Wakayama prefecture, central Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga acknowledged Wednesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 29 sent a note to the Koyasan temple's ceremony honoring hundreds of war criminals that praised their contributions to the country. Suga said that Abe sent the note to the ceremony, but in his capacity as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, not as prime minister. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a note earlier this year to a ceremony at a Buddhist temple honoring hundreds of World War II-era war criminals praising their contributions to the country, the government's top spokesman said Wednesday.


Japan PM sent prayer note to war criminal ceremony

A stone-carved guardian dog sits in front of a memorial compound honoring World War II-era war criminals in Koyasan Okuno-in temple in Koya town, Wakayama prefecture, central Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga acknowledged Wednesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 29 sent a note to the Koyasan temple's ceremony honoring hundreds of war criminals that praised their contributions to the country. Suga said that Abe sent the note to the ceremony, but in his capacity as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, not as prime minister. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a note earlier this year to a ceremony at a Buddhist temple honoring hundreds of World War II-era war criminals praising their contributions to the country, the government's top spokesman said Wednesday.


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