Yahoo (International News)

· Twelve-hour ceasefire takes effect between Israel, Gaza militants

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks on the phone to Israeli PM Netanyahu from his hotel suite in CairoBy Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect on Saturday after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a U.N. request for a pause in fighting and efforts proceeded to secure a long-term ceasefire moved ahead. The Gaza Health Ministry said 18 members of a single family were killed by Israeli tank shelling in the southern Gaza Strip shortly before the truce took effect at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT). Israel's military said it would hold fire for 12 hours, but would press on with its search for tunnels used by militants. A spokesman for the Islamist group Hamas, which dominates Gaza, said all Palestinian factions would abide by the brief truce.


· EU edges to economic sanctions on Russia but narrows scope

Ukraine's President Poroshenko smiles as he speaks during news conference at EU Council in BrusselsBy Adrian Croft and Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union reached outline agreement on Friday to impose the first economic sanctions on Russia over its behavior in Ukraine but scaled back their scope to exclude technology for the crucial gas sector. The EU also imposed travel bans and asset freezes on the chiefs of Russia's FSB security service and foreign intelligence service and a number of other top Russian officials, saying they had helped shape Russian government policy that threatened Ukraine's sovereignty and national integrity. FSB director Alexander Bortnikov and Mikhail Fradkov, a former prime minister who now heads the foreign intelligence service, were among 15 Russians or Ukrainians and 18 companies and other organizations named in the EU's latest sanctions list.


· Bad weather seen as probable cause of Air Algerie crash

Map locating wreckage site of Air Algerie flight 5017By Chine Labbé and Tiemoko Diallo PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) - Poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash of an Air Algerie flight in the West African country of Mali that killed all 118 people on board, French officials said on Friday. "French soldiers who are on the ground have started the first investigations," French President Francois Hollande told reporters. An earlier count of 51 French nationals among the dead was also raised to 54 by the French Foreign Ministry to include those with dual nationality. French, Malian and Dutch soldiers from a U.N. peacekeeping force (MINUSMA) secured the crash site, which lies about 80 km (50 miles) south of the northern Malian town of Gossi, near the Burkina Faso border.


· Ukraine faces bitter election in midst of conflict with Russia

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk addresses parliament in KievBy Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - 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. Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, a key interlocutor of the West during months of turmoil, announced on Thursday he would quit, saying parliament was betraying Ukraine's army and people by blocking reforms supported by Western backers. His move, following the exit of two parties from the ruling coalition, amounted to the start of a campaign for seats in a legislature still packed with former allies of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich, ousted by protests in February. "History will not forgive us," Yatseniuk told parliament on Thursday, in what analysts said was the first campaign speech for the party led by Yulia Tymoshenko, a rival of President Petro Poroshenko, who was elected to replace Yanukovich in May. Pro-Western political forces in Ukraine have been bitterly divided almost continuously since the country won independence with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.


· U.S. tells Pakistan: Do not let Haqqani fighters resettle
By Phil Stewart ASPEN Colorado (Reuters) - The U.S. government urged Pakistan on Friday to prevent displaced Haqqani militants from returning to their traditional sanctuary after a Pakistani military offensive near the Afghanistan border. The Haqqani network, which mainly operates out of Pakistan's border areas, has been blamed for some of the deadliest and most sophisticated attacks on NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan. "What we've asked for is that the Haqqanis, yes they’ve been displaced, yes they've been disrupted, but that they not be allowed to regroup and resettle back into those historical areas," said Jeffrey Eggers from the White House's National Security Council, speaking at a security forum in Colorado. No one from the Haqqani network has been reported killed, however, since the offensive began in June in the remote region of North Waziristan.
· Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia 'war zone'
By Patrick Markey and Aziz El Yaakoubi TRIPOLI (Reuters) - 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. With barrages of Grad rockets, anti-aircraft guns and artillery fired at their rival enclaves just kilometers apart, brigades of former rebels have turned parts of southern Tripoli in a battleground for nearly a fortnight. The clash over Tripoli International Airport is the latest eruption in a deepening rivalry among bands of ex-fighters who once battled side by side against Muammar Gaddafi, but have since turned against each other in the scramble for control. Since the 2011 fall of Tripoli, fighters from the western town of Zintan and allies have controlled the area including the international airport, while rivals loyal to the port city of Misrata had entrenched themselves in other parts of the capital.
· EU hits Russian intelligence chiefs with sanctions

A Ukrainian armoured convoy heads towards the eastern city of Lysychansk, in the region of Lugansk, on July 25, 2014The European Union announced Saturday it had widened its sanctions against Russia over its role in conflict-torn Ukraine to include the heads of intelligence services. The director of the FSB security service, Alexander Bortnikov, and the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mikhail Fradkov are on the new list of 15 people and 18 entities targeted by an asset freeze and visa bans, the EU's Official Journal said. Also on the list is Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Bortnikov and Fradkov, both members of the Russian Security Council, are included for being "involved in shaping the policy of the Russian government threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," the Official Journal said.


· Perera spoils South African recovery in 2nd test

South African batsman AB de Villiers bats during the second day of the second test cricket match between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Sanka Gayashan)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera captured two wickets in three deliveries to spoil South Africa's recovery on the third morning of the second cricket test, holding the visitors to 163-5 at lunch on Saturday.


· Top Asian News at 7:30 a.m. GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — As skyscrapers around Hong Kong harbor erupted into a reverie of laser beams and giant digital displays during their synchronized nightly light show, one innocuous 28-story building near the water's edge had stayed dark for months, clad in bamboo scaffolding for a face-lift. Then, in June, the renovated tower came to life, flashing giant Chinese characters that some in Hong Kong saw as a warning.
· Japanese PM opens LatAm tour with Mexico energy deals

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech at the Industriales Club in Mexico City, on July 25, 2014Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe struck a series of energy deals with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the start of a five-country Latin American tour. Abe, whose visit to the region comes on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping's, met Pena Nieto at the presidential palace for talks that ended with the signing of a raft of deals. The new agreements included one between Mexican state oil firm Pemex and Japan's development bank, and another between Pemex and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation.


· Al Qaeda releases video of US suicide bomber in Syria

A portrait of US citizen Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, who is believed to have been involved in a suicide bombing against regime forces in Syria on May 25, 2014, is shown in this image grab taken from a Al-Nusra Front videoSyria's Al-Qaeda affiliate has released a video of a US suicide bomber who blew himself up at an army post in the northwest of the country. Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, alias Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, was believed to be the first American national to carry out such an attack in Syria's more than three-year-old war. Hopefully it will be in heaven," Abu Hurayra says in broken Arabic in the 17-minute video posted on YouTube on Friday by Al-Nusra Front. The footage, released via Al-Nusra's official channel Al-Manara Al-Baydaa, also shows Abu Hurayra saying: "I came to Syria without money to buy a rifle or a pouch.


· Friday Sports In Brief
BERGERAC, France (AP) — Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania led a late breakaway in a downpour to win the 19th Stage of the Tour de France on Friday after hitching a ride with his Garmin-Sharp teammates.
· UN warns of world inaction as South Sudan famine looms

A woman and her children displaced by fighting in South Sudan sit outside her tent at the Kule camp for Internally Displaced People at the Pagak border crossing in Gambella, Ethiopia, on July 10, 2014Top UN aid chiefs have begged donors to increase efforts to stave off looming famine in South Sudan, where a third of the population are in crisis after months of war. Nearly a million children aged under five face acute malnutrition, the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN children's agency UNICEF said in a joint statement released late Friday, after their top directors visited the impoverished nation. The UN Security Council said Friday the food crisis is now the worst in the world, as it called on countries who had pledged 618 million dollars in aid to make good on their promises. "If we are to rapidly expand our operations and save more lives, then we need more resources, and the international community has to act now," WFP chief Ertharin Cousin said.


· Top Asian News at 7:00 a.m. GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — As skyscrapers around Hong Kong harbor erupted into a reverie of laser beams and giant digital displays during their synchronized nightly light show, one innocuous 28-story building near the water's edge had stayed dark for months, clad in bamboo scaffolding for a face-lift. Then, in June, the renovated tower came to life, flashing giant Chinese characters that some in Hong Kong saw as a warning.
· Israel and Hamas declare 12-hour Gaza truce

Israeli 155mm artillery fires towards the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel's border with the coastal Palestinian enclave on July 25, 2014The Israeli military and the militant Palestinian Hamas were set on Saturday to start a 12-hour ceasefire at 8:00 am (0500 GMT), but a longer-term truce remained elusive. Hamas said that it and other militant groups in Gaza had reached "national consensus on a humanitarian truce" and Israel later confirmed that it would observe what it called "a humanitarian window in the Gaza Strip". A statement from the Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza warned people not to approach bombed-out buildings and militant bases for fear of "explosive objects". Earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking from Cairo, said that efforts to broker a longer halt to the fighting had so far yet to bear fruit.


· Fragile 12-hour truce enters into force in Gaza

Israeli soldiers march next to an army deployment area near the border between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 25, 2014A 12-hour humanitarian truce between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group entered into effect on Saturday, as top diplomats pressed efforts to secure a longer-term ceasefire. The fragile ceasefire came into force at 8:00 am (0500 GMT) after Hamas and the Israeli military announced their consent in the early hours of Saturday morning. Hamas said it and other militant groups in Gaza had reached "national consensus on a humanitarian truce", and Israel later confirmed it would observe what it called "a humanitarian window in the Gaza Strip". The Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza advised people not to approach bombed-out buildings and militant bases for fear of "explosive objects".


· No truce, but 12-hour lull in Gaza fighting begins

Amidst the morning fog, smoke from an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Israel-Hamas fighting looked headed for escalation after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed Friday to broker a weeklong truce as a first step toward a broader deal. Hours after the U.S.-led efforts stalled, the two sides agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire to begin Saturday. However, the temporary lull was unlikely to change the trajectory of the current hostilities amid ominous signs that the Gaza war is spilling over into the West Bank. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and Hamas began a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza Saturday after the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed to produce a longer truce aimed at ending nearly three weeks of fighting.


· Top Asian News at 6:30 a.m. GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — As skyscrapers around Hong Kong harbor erupted into a reverie of laser beams and giant digital displays during their synchronized nightly light show, one innocuous 28-story building near the water's edge had stayed dark for months, clad in bamboo scaffolding for a face-lift. Then, in June, the renovated tower came to life, flashing giant Chinese characters that some in Hong Kong saw as a warning.
· Holy month of Ramadan is a big boon for retailers

In this July 12, 2014 photo, Lebanese shoppers are seen reflected, at left, by a shop window that is decorated with the Islamic crescent symbol representing the season of Ramadan, with the words, "Happy Ramadan," bottom, at the Beirut Mall, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month, is a boon for retailers in the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. And while some Muslims welcome it as a positive sign, others see it as commercialization of a sacred time of year, threatening to subvert its very nature. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Glitzy billboards in the Middle East and postage stamps in the U.S. Advertisements for lingerie and sales on modest skirts. Lavish buffets and cellphone apps.


· Israeli shells kill 18 Gazans of a single family: health ministry
GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli tank shelling killed 18 Palestinians from a single family in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Gaza health ministry said, shortly before a 12-hour humanitarian truce agreed by Israel and Hamas went into effect. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said that the 18 members of the Al-Najar family had been trapped inside their house in Khuzaa village east of Khan Younis since Thursday and that many others were wounded in Israeli tank shelling. ...

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