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Israel agrees to 12-hour Gaza ceasefire

JERUSALEM - Israel has agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire in fighting with militants in the Gaza Strip to start at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, a military spokeswoman said.

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Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia 'war zone'

TRIPOLI - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around Tripoli's largest airport, now at the heart of a standoff between the country's powerful militias.

Libya 6:49pm EDT

Islamic State kills Syrian soldiers, captures parts of base: group

BEIRUT - Fighters from al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State killed at least 50 Syrian army soldiers and took over parts of their base on Friday outside the northern city of Raqqa, as the radicals escalated their attacks on government forces, a monitoring group said.

Syria 6:32pm EDT

Grieving Dutch minister made Europe re-think Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS - When Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans spoke to his European Union peers of his grief and anger over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines airliner over eastern Ukraine, it was a turning point in Europe's approach to Russia.

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

China probes more than 25,000 people for graft in first half of year

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.

China 4:22am EDT

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