GAZA/JERUSALEM - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed regional leaders to nail down a Gaza ceasefire on Friday as the civilian death toll soared, and further violence flared between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. | Video
BRUSSELS - European Union ambassadors reached a preliminary agreement on Friday to push ahead with hard-hitting economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis but details remained to be worked out, diplomats said. | Video
PARIS/BAMAKO - Poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash of an Air Algerie flight in the West African state of Mali that killed all 118 people on board, French officials said on Friday.
BEIJING - China investigated more than 25,000 people for corruption in the first six months of 2014, state media said on Friday, amid a nationwide crackdown on graft.
BAGHDAD - Iraq's senior cleric on Friday urged political leaders to refrain from clinging to their posts - an apparent reference to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has defied demands that he step aside. Speaking through an aide who delivered a sermon after Friday prayers in the holy city of Kerbala, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said leaders should show flexibility so that political deadlocks could be broken and Iraq could confront militants.
ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated a $4 billion high-speed train link between Istanbul and Ankara on Friday, the latest in a series of "mega projects" he hopes will help him win a presidential election in a few weeks time.
JAKARTA - Indonesia's losing candidate in this month's presidential election challenged the official result in the Constitutional Court on Friday.
SEOUL - South Korea's forensic agency said on Friday it was impossible to determine the cause of death of a businessman linked to a ferry that sank killing 304 people in April because there was too much tissue damage to his badly decomposed body.
LONDON - The leader of Britain's opposition Labour party said on Friday he could win a national election next May, despite his perceived image problem, by focusing on big policy ideas rather than photo opportunities.
KIEV - Ukraine's prime minister has launched what promises to be a bitter election campaign that could divide pro-Western parties and complicate their efforts to fight pro-Russian rebels in the country's east.
Regardless what voters decide in the November elections, there will be a major changing of the guard next year in the U.S. Congress as result of a number of key retirements.