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Ukraine clashes keeping experts from bodies

DONETSK, Ukraine — Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky, the remains of some passengers are feared rotting in the 90-degree midsummer heat, deepening the frustration of relatives desperate to recover the bodies of their loved ones.

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters.

Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against Gaza’s Hamas rulers claimed at least 116 Palestinian lives.

Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

McALLEN, Texas — For nearly two months, images of immigrant children who have crossed the border without a parent, only to wind up in concrete holding cells once in the United States, have tugged at heartstrings. Yet most Americans now say U.S. law should be changed so they can be sent home quickly, without a deportation hearing.

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.

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Social Security: $300M on ‘IT boondoggle’

WASHINGTON — Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency.

Drought pushes farmers to the brink

The water could start at any time. Every few hours, Anita Pointon refreshes the website that tells when it’s their turn to tap into a canal they share with other farmers, because the work begins as soon as they know. Her husband, Chuck, 62, will set out to walk the farm with a moisture probe to see which fields are the driest. One run of water covers about only 18 acres of their 500, so they have to choose carefully.

China meat scandal hits Starbucks, Burger King

BEIJING — A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald’s said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets.