7.21.14:    Kerry heads to Middle East, Gaza death toll past 500


WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is heading back to the Middle East to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.


Kerry leaves Monday for Egypt, where he’ll join diplomatic efforts to resume a truce that had been agreed to in November 2012.


Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council emerged from an emergency session late Sunday with a proposed resolution much weaker than a proposal from Jordan that called for Israel to pull out of Gaza.


The Palestinian death toll is now past 500.  The overall Israel death toll is 20.

7.18.14:  Bodies are being recovered from crash side in eastern Ukraine



KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian official says 181 bodies have been located so far at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine. A Ukraine Foreign Ministry representative says the bodies will be taken for identification to Kharkiv, a government-controlled city 170 miles north of the crash site.


Separatist rebels who control the area where the plane was brought down say they’ve recovered most of the plane’s black boxes and are considering what to do with them. Ukraine accuses separatists of shooting down the plane yesterday.


There’s no word on whether there were any Americans on the Malaysia Airlines plane that went down in Ukraine yesterday, killing all 298 people on board. The plane that was headed to the capital of Malaysia had originated in Amsterdam, and most of the passengers were from the Netherlands. There were 173 Dutch on board, 44 were Malaysian, including 15 crew and two infants, and 28 were Australian. There were eight other known nationalities, and the nationalities of 18 people are unconfirmed.


7.17.14:  Mortar shells during cease-fire


JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel says mortar shells have been fired from Gaza after a humanitarian cease-fire went into effect.  The Israeli army says the 3 mortar shells were fired about 2 hours after the cease-fire began.


Israel and Hamas both agreed on a halt in fighting for a 5-hour period to allow people in Gaza to stock up on supplies.


This is the 10th day of fighting and the pause in airstrikes was to allow Palestinians to restock food, water and other necessities.


Just hours before, Israeli military says it stopped 13 Gaza militants from carrying out an attack by sneaking through a tunnel that goes from Gaza to Israel.

7.16.14:  Deadly typhoon hits the Philippines


MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The death toll from a typhoon that hit the Philippines is now 12.


The capital, Manila, was spared a direct hit today, but the fierce storm still brought down trees and utility poles and tore off roofs.


The typhoon weakened before it blew out of the country, heading possibly toward northern Vietnam or China’s Hainan Island.


Forecasters say it could regain strength while crossing the South China Sea.

7.15.14:  Deadly subway train derailment in Moscow


MOSCOW (AP) — At least 19 people are dead and at least 150 have been taken to the hospital following a subway train derailment in Moscow.


Several cars left the track in a tunnel after a power surge triggered an alarm, which caused the train to stop abruptly.


Emergency officials say 7 bodies have been recovered and rescuers are working to pull out 12 more bodies.


City Hall officials say about 50 of the injured are in grave condition.

7.14.14:  Ebola crisis in West Africa deepens; 500+ dead


More than 530 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have now been attributed to the Ebola virus — the largest outbreak on record.


The key to stopping the spread of the disease, which causes its victims to bleed from the ears and nose, is isolating the sick, but fear and panic have sent some patients into hiding.


Ebola has reached the capitals of all three countries, and the World Health Organization reported 44 new cases including 21 deaths on Friday.


There are reports of panicked residents in remote areas attacking the very health workers who’ve been sent to help them.


In one town in Sierra Leone, residents partially burned down a treatment center over fears that the drugs given to victims were actually causing the disease.


Dr. Unni Krishnan, who heads disaster preparedness and response for the WHO, says there’ve been no recorded cases of Ebola outside Africa, and, he says, the “threat of it spreading though is very much there.”

7.14.14:  Germany beat Argentina in overtime


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mario Goetze volleyed in the winning goal in extra time to give Germany its fourth World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday.


Goetze controlled the ball with his chest and then shot past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the 113th minute.


Argentina had created more chances, but failed to really test Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer throughout the 120 minutes of regulation and extra time.


The win is Germany’s first as a united country. West Germany won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

7.11.14:  Gaza rocket fire strikes southern Israel


JERUSALEM (AP) — Rocket fire from Gaza has struck a gas station in southern Israel today, wounding three people including one seriously.


Meanwhile, Lebanon’s military says it’s found and dismantled a pair of rocket launchers on its territory after three rockets were fired across the border into northern Israel today.


Israel returned fire while continuing to bombard Gaza. Israel has carried out more than 1,000 strikes on Gaza in a four-day offensive that’s killed at least 98 people.

7.9.14:  Typhoon and mudslides cause problems in Japan and China


TOKYO (AP) — The strong typhoon that slammed through Okinawa has swerved toward Japan’s heavily populated central islands.

It’s forecast to hit Kyushu island tomorrow and could travel across the main island of Honshu, which includes the major cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. The torrents of rainfall expected could trigger landslides and floods, and much of eastern Japan could see lightning and possibly tornadoes.

Local governments have issued warnings for strong winds, high tides and heavy rains, and are advising people to stay indoors as much as possible.

Meanwhile, Okinawa’s government says the typhoon toppled trees, flooded cars and injured at least 30 people. Nearly 38,000 homes remain without power on the southern island.

One man is reported missing from a fishing boat in rough seas off Kyushu to the north.


Meanwhile, seventeen people have gone missing after being likely swept into a river or buried in mud by a landslide in southwestern China.

The official Xinhua News Agency says today’s landslide triggered by heavy rains in Yunnan province left another person injured.

It says more than 140 rescuers, using excavators, fire trucks and ambulances, are searching the site of the landslide, which lies about 550 yards from the Nujiang river.

7.8.14:  Hispanic evangelicals addressing immigration crisis


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Hispanic evangelical leader says most of the unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border would be better off with their parents and should be sent home.


The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez says those without parents in the U.S. could fall victim to the same drug gangs in American cities that threaten their lives in Central America.


Rodriguez is president of NHCLC/Conela, which represents more than 40,000 Hispanic evangelical churches in the U.S. and 500,000 worldwide.


NHCLC/Conela plans to broadcast public service announcements in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala discouraging parents from sending their children on the dangerous trek to the U.S. border, and is urging Central American pastors to spread that message throughout their communities.


Rodriguez says that while NHCLC/Conela opposes illegal immigration, its churches are offering temporary shelter, food and clothing to children packed into U.S. detention facilities while their cases are processed.