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Israel and Gaza militants exchange fire after deadly strikes

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The latest confrontation between Israel and Gaza militants is in its second day, as Israeli jets hit targets in Gaza and rocket fire persists into southern Israel. At least 12 people have been killed in Gaza, including a senior militant leader and 5-year-old girl, Palestinian officials say. The fighting began with Israel’s targeted killing of the militant — a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad — on Friday. Gaza’s Hamas rulers so far appear to be staying on the sidelines, keeping the conflict’s intensity somewhat contained, for now. Israel and militant Hamas have fought four wars and several smaller battles over the last 15 years.

EXPLAINER: What is driving the current Israel-Gaza violence

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip are exchanging fire in the worst bout of cross-border violence since an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas last year. Israeli airstrikes killed 11 people, including a senior commander from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed militant group, in a targeted strike. That came following the arrest this week of another senior Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank in what’s been a monthslong Israeli operation to round up Palestinians suspected of attacks. Militants have fired dozens of rockets at Israeli cities and towns.

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Ukraine grain shipments offer hope, not fix to food crisis

BEIRUT (AP) — A ship bringing corn to Lebanon is offering hope after becoming the first to depart a Ukrainian Black Sea port since Russia invaded. The war has threatened food supplies in countries like Lebanon, which has the world’s highest rate of food inflation and depends on the Black Sea region for nearly all of its wheat. The shipment is a key first step to get food trapped in Ukraine to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia where people are going hungry. But the small scale means the initial shipments won’t draw down food prices or ease a global food crisis soon. Experts also say most of the trapped grain is for animal feed, not for people to eat.

EXPLAINER: On China, US and climate, action, not talk is key

China has cut off climate talks with the U.S. — imperiling future global climate negotiations, but not necessarily blunting the impacts of significant climate actions at home in both countries. The move from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs came Friday in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, along with cancellations in strategic and military talks. The move came less than three months before the next key international climate summit in November. Meanwhile, the U.S. is poised to pass its most ambitious ever clean-energy legislation later this year. Experts say that could influence China’s future climate actions more than any negotiations.

Indiana becomes 1st state to approve abortion ban post Roe

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana has become the first state in the nation to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that overturned Roe v. Wade. Indiana lawmakers on Friday approved the near-total abortion ban with some exceptions, including in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb immediately signed the bill. Indiana was among the first Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws after the Supreme Court ruling that removed constitutional protections for the procedure.

‘Community Lighthouses’ powered by the sun and volunteers

LaPLACE, La. (AP) — Global warming is producing more extreme weather. That can mean extended power outages in places like New Orleans. A grassroots network is launching “Community Lighthouses” to meet the challenge. These solar-powered electricity hubs can provide a lifeline after a disaster, enabling neighbors to recharge phones and equipment and refrigerate medicines. Each lighthouse will be supported by a team of volunteers familiar with their neighborhood. Organizer Broderick Bagert said organizers felt powerless as the city struggled to deliver basics after Hurricane Ida last year. He says instead of questioning why someone else doesn’t take care of the problem, “the real question is, ’why don’t WE?'”

Antitrust trial puts book publishing industry in the dock

NEW YORK (AP) — The Justice Department’s legal effort to block the merger of book publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster is more than just a showcase for the Biden administration’s tougher approach to corporate consolidation. The trial going on in federal court in Washington is also a rare moment for the publishing industry itself to be placed in the dock. Through the trial’s opening week, industry executives, along with agents and authors such as Stephen King have shared opinions, relived disappointments and revealed financial figures they would otherwise have preferred to discuss privately or confide on background with reporters.

Ukrainian unit digs in for Russian assault on eastern city

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian military personnel are fortifying their positions around the eastern city of Sloviansk in expectation of a fresh Russian attempt to seize the strategic point in the fiercely fought-over Donetsk region. As heavy ground fighting continues on the front line only miles to the east, southeast and north of Sloviansk, members of the Dnipro-1 Regiment are digging in after a week of relative calm. The last Russian strike on the city occurred on July 30. While the lull provided Sloviansk’s remaining residents a reprieve after regular shellings between April and July, some unit members say it could be a prelude to renewed attacks.

Boy at heart of UK court battle dies after life support ends

LONDÖN (AP) — A 12-year-old boy who has been in a coma for four months has died at a London hospital after doctors ended life-sustaining treatment that had been the subject of a lengthy court battle. Archie Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, said he died at 12:15 p.m. local time Saturday, about two hours after the hospital began withdrawing treatment. British courts had rejected the family’s request to transfer Archie to a hospice, and the European Court of Human Rights refused for a second time to intervene in the case. His mother, Hollie Dance, says “he fought until the very end. I’m the proudest mum in the world.″

Progressive and centrist Dems battle for Vermont House seat

STOWE, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint are the leading candidates in a Democratic U.S. House primary that could make either of them the first female member of the state’s congressional delegation. Gray has the backing of the centrist lane of the party, with endorsements from two former governors and a campaign donation from retiring U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy. Balint has been endorsed by an all-star list of progressive leaders, including the state’s other U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders, and the founders of Vermont’s famously progressive ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s. The winner of Tuesday’s primary is expected to cruise to victory in November in deep-blue Vermont.

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