Egyptian efforts for
Gaza cease-fire collapse
in heavy fighting between Israel, Hamas
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Egyptian attempts to broker an end to a monthlong war between Israel and Hamas militants collapsed in heavy fighting Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets and Israel responding with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip. At least two Palestinians were killed.
The burst of violence erupted in the hours before a temporary truce was set to expire. It left the Egyptian mediation efforts in tatters, and raised the likelihood of a new round of violence.
Israel withdrew its delegation from the Cairo cease-fire talks following a sudden burst of rocket fire on Tuesday afternoon, and quickly resumed its campaign of airstrikes.
Palestinian officials reported Israeli airstrikes throughout Gaza that gained intensity throughout the evening.
Palestinian medical official Ashraf al-Kidra said two people -- a 40-year-old woman and a 2-year-old girl -- were killed in an airstrike in Gaza City. A total of 21 people were wounded in a separate airstrike that hit a building that houses offices of Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV station, he said.
Ferguson leaders pledge outreach, urge protesters to stay home to ‘allow peace to settle in’
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Ferguson’s leaders urged residents Tuesday to stay home after dark to "allow peace to settle in" and pledged several actions to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the St.
According to a statement from the city, Ferguson’s mayor, City Council and other employees have been exploring how to increase the number of African-American applicants to the law enforcement academy, develop incentive programs to encourage city residency for police officers and raise funds for cameras that would be attached to patrol car dashboards and officers’ vests.
"We plan to learn from this tragedy, as we further provide for the safety of our residents and businesses and progress our community through reconciliation and healing," the leaders said in the statement Tuesday.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown’s family, said the 18-year-old’s funeral and memorial service would be Monday, though the time and location haven’t been finalized.
The National Guard arrived in Ferguson Monday but kept its distance from the streets during another night of unrest.
Holder brings personal history, civil rights commitment to Ferguson’s racial crisis
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eric Holder talks about the nation’s civil rights struggles in a way no previous U.S. attorney general could -- by telling his own family story.
As he increasingly pushes his Justice Department to protect voting rights and end unfair prison sentences and police brutality, Holder has drawn on personal history to make the case that the nation has much work to do to achieve justice for all. It’s a legacy he’ll likely draw on when he travels Wednesday to Ferguson, Missouri, to supervise the federal investigation of the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
Holder tells how his father, an immigrant from Barbados proudly wearing his World War II uniform, was ejected from a whites-only train car. How his future sister-in-law, escorted by U.S. marshals, integrated the University of Alabama in spite of a governor who stood in the schoolhouse door to block her. How as a college student, he was twice pulled over, his car searched, even though he wasn’t speeding.
And Holder recalls that the slaying of black teen Trayvon Martin in 2012 prompted him to sit down with his own 15-year-old son for a talk about the way a young black male must act and speak if confronted by police -- the same talk his father had given him decades earlier.
"I had to do this to protect my boy," the nation’s first black attorney general said at an NAACP convention last year.
Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held cities while pushing ahead on diplomatic efforts
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Government troops pressed attacks Tuesday in the two largest cities held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, while Kiev also pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict that has killed more than 2,000 and displaced another 300,000.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko prepared to host German Chancellor Angela Merkel this weekend before heading to a meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The next two weeks "will be crucial for finding the way to move from war to peace," said Valery Chaly, the deputy head of Poroshenko’s administration.
He said in a televised briefing that Kiev sees "clear diplomatic roadmap" ahead and expressed hope that a new approach could be found to end the war.
Poroshenko’s efforts to quell the insurgency have been focused on encircling Donetsk, the largest rebel-controlled city and a regional capital. Fighting began in mid-April after Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea, while Kiev’s forces have recaptured significant amounts of territory from the separatists.
Don Pardo, longtime ‘Saturday Night Live’ announcer dies; voice graced TV, radio for decades
NEW YORK (AP) -- Few would recognize his face, but most knew his voice: the booming baritone that for nearly four decades heralded "Saturday Night Live."
Don Pardo, the eras-spanning radio and TV announcer whose resonant voice-over style was celebrated for its majesty and power, died Monday in Arizona at the age of 96.
"He became our link to the beginnings of television on NBC -- and radio," said Lorne Michaels, who, as creator of "SNL" (and who remains its executive producer) hired Pardo.
Pardo’s strong jaw and leading-man smile were seldom on display, but for more than 60 years his elegant pipes graced newscasts, game shows (during the original run of "Jeopardy!," its emcee ritually called on him to "Tell ‘em what they’ve won, Don Pardo") and especially "SNL," where he played an integral role through last season, heralding the lineup, like always, as recently as the May finale.
"There was no greater thrill than hearing Don Pardo bellow your name for the first time in the opening credits of ‘Saturday Night Live,"’ said long-time cast member Tina Fey. "It meant you were officially ‘on television."’
After in-custody death, N.Y. officials used familiar playbook to head off Ferguson-type turmoil
NEW YORK (AP) -- The police killings of two unarmed black men came barely three weeks apart, generating immediate and potentially volatile outrage.
But compared with the violent aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, the fallout from the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York now seems notable for what’s been absent: no guns pointed at raging protesters, no billowing tear gas, no lengthy delay in revealing an officer’s name, no National Guard troops.
The relative calm in New York followed a carefully calibrated response by city and police officials intended to neutralize possible unrest. The response drew on the lessons from other high-profile use-of-force cases involving black victims that roiled the city in the late 1990s.
"What you want in a democracy is the ability to express your concerns, but you don’t want it to spill over into disorder," Police Commissioner William Bratton said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "I think we’ve had a very informed and reasonable response to the issues raised by everybody. There’s been no violence."
Initial outrage over Garner’s July 17 death was fueled by an amateur video showing an arresting officer appearing to put him in a chokehold, banned under police policy, and Garner gasping "I can’t breathe" before falling unconscious. The next day Mayor Bill de Blasio postponed a family vacation, spoke with black community leaders and called a news conference with Bratton.
No photos: Many parents opt to keep kids’ identities off social media amid privacy concerns
NEW YORK (AP) -- Behold the cascade of baby photos, the flood of funny kid anecdotes and the steady stream of school milestones on Facebook.
It all makes Sonia Rao, a stay-at-home mother of a 1-year-old in Mountain View, California, "a little uncomfortable."
"I just have a vague discomfort having her photograph out there for anyone to look at," says Rao. "When you meet a new person and go to their account, you can look them up, look at photos, videos, know that they are traveling."
At a time when just about everyone and their mother -- father, grandmother and aunt -- is intent on publicizing the newest generation’s early years on social media sites, an increasing number of parents like Rao are bucking the trend by consciously keeping their children’s photos, names and entire identities off the Internet.
Reasons for the baby blackout vary. Some parents have privacy and safety concerns. Others worry about what companies might do with their child’s image and personal data. Some simply do it out of respect for their kids’ autonomy before they are old enough to make decisions for themselves.
Maine man shows up for
2-day jail sentence wearing T-shirt with his mug shot on it
MADISON, Maine (AP) -- A Maine man who served a 48-hour sentence for drunken driving wore something special for his jail booking photo: a T-shirt featuring his mug shot.
Nineteen-year-old Bobby Burt, of Pittsfield, had the mug shot from his June arrest printed on the orange shirt, along with the words, "Sponsored by Bud Light and Somerset County Sheriff."
The mug shot is making the rounds online thanks to The Smoking Gun, which posted it Monday.
Sean Maguire, the jail’s compliance manager, said there’s no policy on what inmates can or cannot wear for booking photos.
Burt, who’s using the mug shot for his Facebook profile picture, didn’t immediately return a call left at his place of employment Tuesday.
Iraqi military clashes with militants outside city of insurgent-held city of Tikrit
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Skirmishes broke out Tuesday between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit, a local official and a resident said, a day after the Iraqi and Kurdish troops backed by U.S. airstrikes dislodged Islamic militants from a strategic dam in the country’s north.
The United Nations refugee agency, meanwhile, said it is launching one of its largest aid pushes aimed at helping close to a half million people who have been forced to flee their homes by the violence in Iraq.
The clashes in Tikrit, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, began on the militant-held city’s southwestern outskirts when a military convoy was travelling along the main highway that links Baghdad with the northern provinces, they said. The Iraqi military shelled militant positions inside and outside the city.
There were no immediate reports of casualties. The local official and resident both spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety.
Sunni extremists from the Islamic State group have occupied Tikrit and the northern city of Mosul since early June, as well as large parts of the country’s north and west. The militant onslaught has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.