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Associated Press

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WASHINGTON — Congress ran full-tilt into election-year gridlock over immigration Thursday and staggered toward a five-week summer break after failing to agree on legislation to cope with the influx of young immigrants flocking illegally to the United States.

OKEMAH, Okla. — A man accused of killing two girls along a rural Oklahoma road in 2008, but who wasn't arrested until after being questioned in his fiancée's death three years later, pleaded guilty in both cases Thursday.

NEW DELHI — Hours past midnight Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was still working the phones, trying to come up with a cease-fire plan to stop the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip. He'd been pushing for a deal all day — in fact, for more than a week — and nailing down a final agreement was proving elusive.

DENVER — Recreational pot brownies in Colorado are about to get weaker. Or at least, easier to break up into manageable doses.

WASHINGTON — The CIA's insistence that it did not spy on its Senate overseers collapsed Thursday with the release of a stark report by the agency's internal watchdog documenting improper computer surveillance and obstructionist behavior by CIA officers.

NEW YORK — For investors, there were few havens on Thursday.

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy Hamas' tunnel network in the Gaza Strip designed for deadly attacks inside Israel, "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign against Palestinian militants in the densely-populated territory.

BENGHAZI, Libya — Islamic hard-line militias, including the group accused by the United States in a 2012 attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, claimed control of Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, after overrunning army barracks and seizing heavy weapons.

CHICAGO — A demoted worker shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a downtown high-rise office building in Chicago's bustling financial district, police said.

DAKAR, Senegal — The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa as the World Health Organization on Thursday announced dozens of new fatalities.

ATHENS, Ga. — Athens-Clarke County police say a dog was fatally shot after mauling a 10-year-old boy and attacking a responding officer.

ROZSYPNE, Ukraine — International investigators got their first look Thursday at the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, finally reaching the site two weeks after a missile brought down the plane. Fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels raged around them but the investigators called their brief inspection visit a success.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics.

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is reaching out to leaders of the state's Latino community to learn more about unaccompanied minors from Central American nations who are in Georgia, and to share concerns and seek solutions.

ATLANTA — An Atlanta motorist says she feels lucky to be alive after a sledgehammer flew through her window on one of Georgia's busiest freeways.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — It will be next spring before the state can resume executing death row inmates, an Alabama lawmaker said Wednesday.

KNOXVILLE — A federal judge has ordered mediation in a lawsuit targeting the truck-stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

MANSFIELD, Mass. -- Police are investigating a possible sexual assault at a weekend Keith Urban concert at which dozens of people were treated for excessive drinking.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Racing against time, members of a Japanese organization are combing a New York military museum's World War II records for information they hope will lead to the graves of American servicemen still listed as missing in action on Saipan.

WASHINGTON — Management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for the computer woes that paralyzed the president's new health care program last fall, nonpartisan investigators said in testimony released Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — Eager to begin a monthlong break, Congress leavened its customary heavy partisanship on Wednesday with a pinch of compromise, advancing legislation to repair the deeply troubled Department of Veterans Affairs and working to clear funds for highway construction at home and missile defense in Israel.

LOS ANGELES — Matt Kemp singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 13 and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Wednesday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.

WASHINGTON — Two Peace Corps volunteers are under isolation outside the U.S. after having contact with a person who later died of the Ebola virus.

Erlanger Health System has hired an executive from one of the country's biggest outpatient dialysis providers to head Erlanger East and Erlanger North hospitals.

WASHINGTON — Colleges and universities could be more accountable to rape victims under legislation introduced Wednesday by a bipartisan group of senators.

LAS VEGAS — A woman accused in a Las Vegas crime spree described to police how she stabbed a woman with a screwdriver during a violent string of mayhem that ended in the death of her partner and a homeowner.

MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia's president late Wednesday ordered the nation's schools to shut down and most civil servants to stay home as an Ebola outbreak that already has killed more than 130 people in the country deepened.

WASHINGTON — The body of a young stowaway was found inside a compartment near the wheel well of an Air Force cargo plane that had landed in Germany, U.S. military officials said Tuesday, triggering questions about the security of an aircraft that had made several stops in Africa.

TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Border Patrol officials said Wednesday that agents discovered a garage-sized hole through a steel fence that divides the United States and Mexico just east of Nogales, Arizona.

WASHINGTON — A former IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party controversy referred to some right-wing Republicans as "crazies" and more in emails released Wednesday. A key GOP lawmaker says the remarks show that Lois Lerner was biased against conservative groups and targeted them for extra scrutiny.

WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico man faces charges after authorities say a couple found him naked and sleeping in their bed.

Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed due to a contract dispute with its top actors.

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. — Authorities say divers are trying to locate an occupant who might be inside a vehicle after it plunged into a pond in suburban Atlanta.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband into a South Carolina maximum-security prison never made it inside the 12-foot-high razor wire fence, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused in connection with trying to sneak it in.

DONETSK, Ukraine — Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down, clashes on Wednesday between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels again prevented international experts from reaching the crash site to recover remains still baking in midsummer heat in farm fields — deepening frustration for victims' relatives and the governments whose citizens died.

MACON, Ga. — Bibb County sheriff's officials say a deputy accused of soliciting a teenage girl for sex has been arrested.

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — An Israeli airstrike hit a crowded Gaza shopping area on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 150, hours after Israeli tank shells slammed into a U.N. school sheltering displaced Palestinians, killing 15 people, Gaza health officials said.

BERLIN — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — When neighbors in Kingsport went to help a man whose home bore the brunt of a tornado, they made a discovery police say couldn't have been caused by the wind.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — A movie theater chain says it's reviewing complaints after its Augusta theater showed scenes from the R-rated film "Sex Tape" instead of the children's movie "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" in a summer movie program for youngsters.

WASHINGTON — Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

CHICAGO — The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.

SAN FRANCISCO — Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email.

WASHINGTON — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

LOS ANGELES — A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, trapping people in underground parking garages and covering some of the best-known parts of campus in water, including the school's famed basketball arena.

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — Several Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school used as shelter for refugees in the Gaza war early on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 90, a Palestinian health official and a U.N. official said.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced a bill to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records, a proposal that goes further than a similar House measure and has drawn support from civil liberties groups, the White House and Republicans.

WASHINGTON — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

SAN DIEGO — A small plane crashed in a San Diego shopping center parking lot Wednesday, killing an 80-year-old woman who was the lone passenger and injuring the pilot, authorities said.

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