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Rebels lower demands in peace talks

MOSCOW — Pro-Russian rebels softened their demand for full independence Monday, saying they would respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for autonomy — a shift that reflects Moscow’s desire to strike a deal at a new round of peace talks.

‘Guardians’ wins weekend box office again, becomes No. 1 movie of year

LOS ANGELES — Perhaps as a sign this summer couldn’t be over soon enough for Hollywood, the top three positions at the box office for the weekend were exactly the same as last week: “Guardians of the Galaxy” continued its surprising run with an estimated three-day draw of $16.3 million, and with a cumulative total of $274.6 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday, the film became the top box-office draw not only of the summer but of the year so far, passing “Captain America: The Winter Solider.”

Iraqi forces break militant siege of Shiite town

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen on Sunday broke a six-week siege imposed by the Islamic State extremist group on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amirli, as a suicide bombing killed 14 people in Anbar western province, officials said.

Ferguson’s flashpoint sparks national outrage

LOS ANGELES — They were killed in Wisconsin, New York and California. Some were shot on the street. One was killed in a Wal-Mart. Another died after being placed in a chokehold. All died at the hands of police and all have been united by one thing: the killing of Michael Brown.

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Gaza apartment tower bombed

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel bombed an apartment tower in downtown Gaza City on Saturday, collapsing the 12-story building in an unprecedented strike, while Hamas kept up heavy rocket fire that sent more Israelis fleeing border areas close to Gaza.

As evangelist crusades, zeal and questions follow

MIAMI — By the time the Rev. Reinhard Bonnke edges toward the stage, anticipation in the thundering arena is swelling. A crowd of thousands has been told of his decades of preaching in Africa, the tens of millions of souls he has saved, the countless healings for which he has been a conduit and the modern-day Lazarus he saw risen. The floor is vibrating, the air filled is with fog, sleek videos are flashing on massive screens.

Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza militants Friday gunned down 18 alleged spies for Israel in an apparent attempt to plug security breaches and deter others, a day after Israel killed three top Hamas military commanders in an airstrike likely guided by collaborators.

Mosque attack kills 64 in Iraq, Sunnis halt talks

BAGHDAD — Gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers and killed at least 64 people, prompting Sunni lawmakers to withdraw from talks on forming a new, more inclusive government capable of confronting the Islamic extremists who have overrun large swaths of Iraq.

Stocks lower as Ukraine tensions flare

NEW YORK — The stock market paused Friday, following four days of gains, after a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left investors unsure about how the nation’s most important financial voice feels about raising interest rates in the coming months.