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WASHINGTON — Responding to a series of fiery train crashes, the government proposed rules Wednesday that would phase out tens of thousands of older tank cars that carry increasing quantities of crude oil and other highly flammable liquids through America's towns and cities.

WASHINGTON — The State Department's global database for issuing travel documents has crashed, resulting in major delays for potentially millions of people around the world waiting for U.S. passports and visas, officials said Wednesday.

ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer, Ervin Santana won his second straight start and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 6-1 on Wednesday night.

PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.

ABOARD THE SILVER SPLENDOR — For a lucky fellowship of fans, Comic-Con is beginning early on a private train car trekking to the pop-culture convention.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A man was convicted Wednesday of fatally stabbing his ex-wife 84 times and covering her face with a pig mask.

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — An eastern Kansas man was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder and other felonies after an alleged abduction and police chase ended in the death of a 5-year-old girl from a gunshot wound.

DENVER — A federal judge in Denver has declared Colorado's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but he issued a temporary stay of the ruling to give the state a chance to appeal.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to at least 695 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands — Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

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July 23, 2014

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