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US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault of the Gaza war on Tuesday, destroying key symbols of Hamas control, shutting down the territory’s only power plant and leaving at least 128 Palestinians dead on the bloodiest day of the 22-day conflict.

After plane scare, new fears surface about spread of Ebola

DAKAR, Senegal — No one knows for sure just how many people Patrick Sawyer came into contact with the day he boarded a flight in Liberia, had a stopover in Ghana, changed planes in Togo, and then arrived in Nigeria, where authorities say he died days later from Ebola, one of the deadliest diseases known to man.

Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, Netanyahu says

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to leave their homes and head immediately for Gaza City.

US fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

2nd American has Ebola in Liberia

BOONE, N.C. — A second American aid worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus at the same hospital in Liberia where an American doctor became infected while helping to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease, a relief group official said Sunday.

Fighting intensifies near crash site

DONETSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month.

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US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

WASHINGTON — The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

Online communications poses law enforcement hurdles

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement and intelligence authorities say they are increasingly struggling to conduct court-ordered wiretaps on suspects because of a surge in chat services, instant-messaging and other online communications that lack the technical means to be intercepted.