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July 23, 2014

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AP Top News at 6:55 a.m. EDT

Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 3:55 a.m.

Mortars fired at Israel during Gaza cease-fire

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military says three mortar shells were fired from Gaza after a humanitarian cease-fire went into effect. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld had earlier said two rockets fell in open areas in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries. He said the rockets landed at 12 p.m. local time, two hours after the cease-fire began.

AP Interview: Egypt says Gaza cease-fire bid alive

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's foreign minister said Thursday that his country's proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas is gaining momentum, calling it the only viable way to stop an "intolerable humanitarian situation" in Gaza. He also expressed frustration that "Palestinian factions" - a clear reference to Hamas - did not share what he described as Egypt's "desire ... to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza" by agreeing to the initiative.

Putin: US sanctions hurt bilateral ties, US firms

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday lamented the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, saying they will stalemate bilateral relations and hurt not only Russian but also American businesses. Russia's benchmark MICEX was down 2.6 percent in early afternoon trading Thursday upon news of the sanctions while Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft, was nearly 5 percent down.

Gunmen attack airport in Afghan capital

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen carried out a pre-dawn rocket attack on Kabul International Airport on Thursday, temporarily shutting down the facility and setting off a gunbattle with security forces in which four attackers were killed, officials said. The militants occupied two buildings which were under construction some 700 meters (yards) north of the facility, and were using them as a base to direct rockets and gunfire toward the airport and international jet fighters flying over Kabul, said Afghan army Gen. Afzal Aman.

After hybrid success, Toyota gambles on fuel cell

TOKYO (AP) — Rocket science long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker. Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical reaction when oxygen in the air combines with hydrogen stored as fuel.

Dems target women with bills on contraception, pay

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and Republicans are fervently pursuing a batch of doomed bills in Congress because they target a coveted prize in the Nov. 4 elections: female voters. Wednesday's Senate vote on contraception legislation is the latest example of Democrats' win-by-losing strategy, which forces Republicans to vote on sensitive matters that might rile women this fall.

Holocaust Museum opens UN archive on WWII crimes

WASHINGTON (AP) — From Adolf Hitler down to the petty bureaucrats who staffed the Nazi death camps, thousands of perpetrators of World War II war crimes were eventually written up in vast reams of investigative files — files that now, for the first time, can be viewed in their entirety by the public. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington has obtained a full copy of the U.N. War Crimes Commission archive that has largely been locked away for the past 70 years under restricted access at the United Nations. On Thursday, the museum will announce it has made the entire digital archive freely available to visitors in its research room.

Justice Dept: Missing emails now part of IRS probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service has expanded to include an inquiry into the disappearance of emails from a former senior IRS official. Deputy Attorney General James Cole was to update Congress on Thursday about the department's investigation into whether the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. He also was expected to tell members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that investigators now were looking into emails that went missing from the computer of Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations.

Bolivia on verge of legalizing work from age 10

EL ALTO, Bolivia (AP) — Alicia weaves through El Alto's stalled traffic under a blazing sun, hawking colorful woven flowers to grumpy drivers and lovers. With luck, the 12-year-old and her mother will together muster $18 by day's end, all the while keeping watch over her younger brother and sister, ages 8 and 6.

Ukraine: Air Force jet downed by Russian missile

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council says an Air Force fighter jet has been struck and shot down by a missile fired from a Russian plane. Ukrainian officials have recently accused Russia's armed forces of being directly implicated in attacks on Ukrainian troops battling an insurgency near the Russian border.