Middle East and North Africa

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Israel pummels Gaza; Kerry steps up diplomatic push

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GAZA/JERUSALEM - Israeli forces pounded Gaza on Wednesday, meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists and sending thousands of residents fleeing, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on a visit to Israel ceasefire talks had made some progress. | Video

S&P inches higher at open, buoyed by earnings

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks inched up at the open on Wednesday, boosted by earnings from companies like Boeing, Pepsi and Microsoft, though conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip weighed on investor confidence.

9:40am EDT

Delta CEO says will continue to bar flights to Israel: CNBC

WASHINGTON - Delta Air Lines will extend its suspension of flights to Israel on Wednesday amid hostilities between Israel and the militant group Hamas, its chief executive said on CNBC.

World, Israel 9:30am EDT

Iraq postpones vote for president, delaying power-sharing deal

BAGHDAD - Iraq's parliament, which had been due to elect the country's president on Wednesday, postponed the vote by a day, delaying the formation of a power-sharing government urgently needed to confront a Sunni Muslim uprising.

World, Iraq 9:00am EDT

Fuel tanks hit in clashes near Libyan airport

TRIPOLI - Fuel storage tanks that supply Tripoli were hit on Wednesday in clashes between rival Libyan militias, igniting a huge blaze near the international airport.

World, United Nations, Libya 8:53am EDT

Gaza mourns, seeks justice for generations lost in Israeli strikes

GAZA - Sitting at home for dinner or running for their lives in dark streets, generations of the same families are dying in Israel's bombardment of Gaza.

Islamic State says carried out Baghdad suicide bombing

BAGHDAD - Islamic State militants claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an overnight suicide bombing in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad which killed 33 people, one of the deadliest recent attacks in the Iraqi capital.

World, Iraq 8:06am EDT

Syria says hopes new peace mediator will be fair

BEIRUT - Syria urged a newly appointed international mediator to be "objective and honest" as he seeks an end to the country's civil war, Syrian state television reported on Wednesday.

World, United Nations, Syria 7:53am EDT

Iran nuclear talks to resume in early September: state TV

DUBAI - Iran said on Wednesday nuclear talks with six world powers would resume in early September, according to state television, after both sides agreed to continue talking for four more months to try to reach a final agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.

5:54am EDT

Arab rifts may complicate search for Gaza truce

(This July 21 story corrects the spelling of the name of analyst Ghanem Nuseibeh)

5:42am EDT

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