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Obama seeks limits on US mergers abroad

LOS ANGELES — Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded “economic patriotism” from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.

UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

Tornado slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

CAPE CHARLES, Va. — Albert Thorn awoke in his rental cottage Thursday to the sound of heavy rain and wind. Then, there was screaming. Within minutes, the sky turned dark, cellphones pinged with emergency messages and a tornado tore through a popular campground, ripping awnings from trailers and flipping RVs on their sides.

Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Shopkeepers say they were sitting outside their shuttered businesses Wednesday, catching a break from being cooped up during wartime, when an Israeli missile struck a nearby mosque, killing a truck driver and wounding 45 people.

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WASHINGTON — Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims.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.

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Israeli bulldozers destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli bulldozers on Saturday demolished more than a dozen tunnels the military said were being used by Hamas gunmen to sneak beneath the southern border of the Jewish state and carry out attacks on its soldiers and civilians.

Mideast divisions cloud Gaza cease-fire efforts

CAIRO — Even as the death toll mounts in the Gaza Strip, attempts to broker a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel have so far run aground — in part because they have become mired in the deep divisions between Mideast countries.

Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

HRABOVE, Ukraine — International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.