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As Kerry says more work needed for 7-day pause, Israel warns of stepped up group operation

JERUSALEM — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel’s defence minister warned that the military may soon broaden its ground operation “significantly.”

The tough statement by Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, coupled with Kerry’s inability to broker even a temporary cease-fire after a week of shuttling around the region, signalled the fighting is likely to drag on, with more than 820 Palestinians and 38 people in Israel killed so far. READ

US says Russia is firing across the border into Ukraine and moving in heavy artillery

Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis. READ

Investigators, soldiers converge on desolate Air Algerie crash site in Mali

Aviation experts, criminal investigators and soldiers began converging Friday on an isolated patch of restive Mali to search for clues that might explain why an Air Algerie jetliner fell from the sky in a storm and apparently disintegrated on impact. READ

US right-wing radio toasts Harper government over Mideast

A highly popular conservative radio talk show in the United States has heaped praise on Canada’s Harper government, while simultaneously blasting U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration. READ

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says he is resigning

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation Thursday, opening the way for new elections that would reflect the country’s starkly changed political scene after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February. READ

Two-hour execution rekindles US death penalty debate after murderer gasps for 90 minutes

The third botched execution in six months in the U.S. has rekindled the national debate over the death penalty and given potentially new evidence to those building a case against lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment. READ

Taiwan authorities search plane wreckage for clues on crash that killed 48, injured 15

Firefighters uncovered ID cards and body fragments as they picked through wreckage Thursday for evidence to identify the victims of a plane crash that killed 48 people on a Taiwanese island. READ

Two planes carrying remains from Malaysian Airlines disaster arrive in the Netherlands

Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a UN team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels. READ

Air Algerie flight ’probably crashed’; 5 Canadians among 116 on board: officials

An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital that disappeared from radar over northern Mali during a rainstorm carried 116 people, including five Canadians, officials said. READ

Plane crashes while landing in storm at Taiwan airport, killing 47

A plane attempting to land in stormy weather crashed on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing 47 people and wrecking houses and cars on the ground. READ

Top US diplomat pushes for cease-fire as Gaza families flee heavy fighting in south

Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to end fighting that has so far killed more than 680 Palestinians and 34 Israelis. READ

Coffins with Malaysia Airlines victims arrive in the Netherlands as fighting flares in Ukraine

Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 landed Wednesday in the southern city of Eindhoven, and pro-Russian rebels shot down two fighter jets in Ukraine’s restive east as fighting flared in the region. READ

Wife of Canadian teacher detained in Jakarta pleads for husband’s release

The wife of a Canadian teacher detained in Indonesia on allegations of child sexual assault is pleading for her husband’s release. READ

Train with plane crash bodies leaves rebel town

A refrigerated train carrying Malaysia Airlines victims’ bodies pulled away Monday from a rebel-held town in eastern Ukraine, one small step forward in easing the agony of their grieving families. READ

Truce elusive as Israel, Hamas stick to positions and fighting intensifies despite diplomacy

The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip signalled Monday that the Islamic militant group will not agree to an unconditional cease-fire with Israel, while Israel’s defence minister pledged to keep fighting “as long as necessary” — raising new doubt about the highest-level mediation mission in two weeks. READ

Downing of jet in eastern Ukraine claimed victims from 11 countries, all walks of life

The human cost of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 hit home around the world Friday, upending scores of families and small communities spanning half of the planet, from a Dutch fishing village to an Australian soccer club and a Dubai cake store. READ

Canadian tour bus rolls over in New York state: one Quebec teen dead

A would-be fun-filled weekend in New York City for more than 50 Quebecers turned tragic Friday when their tour bus rolled over in upstate New York, killing one teenage girl and injuring many other passengers. READ

Israel presses forth in Gaza ground operation and prepares to “significantly” expand campaign

Israeli troops pushed into Gaza on Friday in a ground offensive that officials said could last up to two weeks as the prime minister ordered the military to prepare for a “significantly” wider campaign. READ

World leaders call for Ukraine cease-fire after Malaysia Airlines plane shot down

World leaders called for an immediate cease-fire in eastern Ukraine on Friday and demanded speedy access for international investigators to the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner shot down over the country’s battlefields. READ

Gunmen attack airport in Afghan capital, 4 attackers killed

Gunmen carried out a pre-dawn rocket attack on Kabul International Airport on Thursday, temporarily shutting down the facility and setting off a gunbattle with security forces in which four attackers were killed, officials said. READ

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