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Israel rejects ceasefire plan, source says as death toll nears 850

GAZA/JERUSALEM - Israel rejected on Friday international proposals for a ceasefire in its fight against Islamist militants in Gaza, but is discussing changes to the truce plan with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a government source said. | Video

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Obama calls Afghan candidates as vote recount drags on

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Friday called Afghanistan's presidential candidates who are fighting over who won a June 14 election and urged them to maintain national unity during a vote recount and transition, the White House said.

Afghanistan 4:09pm EDT

Iraq's top cleric sends subtle message to Maliki: step aside

BAGHDAD - Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric urged political leaders on Friday 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 an insurgency.

Iraq, United Nations 4:16pm EDT

Kenyan police kill two men suspected of planning ferry attack

MOMBASA Kenya - Kenyan police said on Friday they shot and killed two armed men suspected of planning an attack on a ferry in the port city of Mombasa after one of them tried to hurl a grenade at approaching police.

Africa 2:41pm EDT

Syrian air strike kills 20 rebels on Lebanese border: sources

BEIRUT - A Syrian Air Force strike on the border with Lebanon killed around 20 Syrian rebel fighters on Friday, security sources said, in the latest spillover of violence into the area.

2:00pm EDT

Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt to appeal: family

SYDNEY - (This story corrects headline to reflect single journalist; corrects paragraph one to show Peter Greste family said he will appeal; adds paragraphs 6 and 7 statement from Mohamed Fahmy's brother that Fahmy has not yet decided to appeal)

1:36pm EDT

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