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AP Top News at 10:51 a.m. EDT

Saturday, August 23 2014 | 2:51 p.m. CDT
Obama again faces tug of military action in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) ? For three years, President Barack Obama has resisted the pull of potential U.S. military action in Syria. He has held firm even as the civil war's death toll climbed toward 200,000, the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians and Islamic State militants strengthened amid the chaos.

Russian aid trucks leave; Merkel seeks cease-fire

DONETSK, Russia (AP) ? Hundreds of trucks from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine rolled back across the border Saturday into Russia but questions about alleged Russian artillery in Ukraine still remained. NATO said Friday it has mounting evidence that Russian troops are operating inside Ukraine and launching artillery attacks at Ukrainian troops from Ukrainian soil as well as from Russia. Moscow's ambassador to the U.N. vehemently rejected that accusation.

Egypt calls for open-ended Gaza cease-fire

CAIRO (AP) ? Egypt on Saturday called for an open-ended cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, urging Israel and Hamas to return to indirect talks after seven weeks of fighting punctuated by a number of failed truce attempts. The call from the foreign ministry came shortly after Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo. Egyptian officials did not say how they expected renewed talks to produce a different outcome after repeated failures.

Iceland says subglacial eruption is underway

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) ? Iceland's Meteorological Office says a subglacial eruption is underway at the Bardarbunga volcano, which has been rattled by thousands of earthquakes over the past week. Vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer says sesmic data indicates that lava is melting ice beneath the Vatnajokull glacier.

Sierra Leone makes hiding Ebola patients illegal

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) ? Sierra Leone voted to pass a new amendment to its health act, imposing possible jail time for anyone caught hiding an Ebola patient, a practice the World Health Organization believes has contributed to a major underestimation of the current outbreak. The new law, an update to the country's 1960 Public Health Act, was passed on Friday and imposes prison terms of up to two years for violators, said lawmaker Ansumana Jaiah Kaikai.

Ferguson residents struggling with daily life

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) ? Life in this working-class St. Louis suburb of modest brick homes and low-rise apartments hasn't been the same since Angelia Dickens' son tearfully told her, "The police shot a boy." Since that news two weeks ago, she has been afraid to leave her apartment at night as protesters clash with police in sometimes violent confrontations. She's stopped going to her job at a call center after it took two hours to navigate police barricades and street closings to get home.

Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) ? Ferguson's streets were peaceful for a third night as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old. A small stream of protesters marched in the St. Louis suburb as night fell Friday, but instead of confrontations with police, several stopped to talk one-on-one with officers about the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown and tactics used by authorities during previous demonstrations.

Iraq suicide bomber kills at least 11 in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) ? A suicide bomber hit an Interior Ministry building in central Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 11 people, as an investigation was underway into a deadly attack on a Sunni mosque that has heightened sectarian tension amid a fragile political transition. The suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the gate of the intelligence headquarters in Karrada district in the early afternoon, killing six civilians and five security personnel, a police officer said. He said 24 other people were wounded.

Phelps wins gold, Ledecky breaks 400 world record

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) ? The second coming of Michael Phelps gained momentum with another gold medal at the Pan Pacific championships on a night when U.S. teenager Katie Ledecky set yet another world record. The old and the new faces of world swimming delivered on expectations Saturday, with 29-year-old Phelps following up on his relay gold by winning his first individual title since returning to international competition following 1 ? years in retirement. The most decorated Olympian in history won the 100-meter butterfly in 51.29 seconds, edging long-time U.S. teammate Ryan Lochte.

Spirits, prayers mark hunt for Myanmar's lost bell

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) ? Divers stand on the edge of a small wooden fishing boat gazing at the murky, choppy waters below. After receiving blessings from Buddhist monks, they lower their masks and plunge one-by-one into the mighty Yangon River, clinging to garden hoses that will act as primitive breathing devices during their dizzying descent into darkness. From the shoreline, thousands of spectators look on, some peering through borrowed binoculars, praying the men will find what other salvage crews have not: The world's largest copper bell, believed to have been lying deep beneath the riverbed for more than four centuries.

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