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Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration condemned the deadly shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza Wednesday, using tough, yet carefully worded language that reflects growing White House irritation with Israel and the mounting civilian casualties stemming from its ground and air war against Hamas.

Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

DONETSK, Ukraine — Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky, the remains of some passengers are feared rotting in the 90-degree midsummer heat, deepening the frustration of relatives desperate to recover the bodies of their loved ones.

China: Ex-security czar is under investigation

BEIJING — China’s ruling Communist Party announced Tuesday an investigation into a feared ex-security chief, demonstrating President Xi Jinping’s firm grip on power and breaking a longstanding taboo against publicly targeting the country’s topmost leaders.

US, Europe impose new sanctions on Russia

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.

Shelling adds to civilian toll

DONETSK, Ukraine — Shells smashed into a residential neighborhood of Donetsk on Tuesday as Ukrainian forces intensified their campaign to encircle the rebel stronghold. The shelling killed at least two people, blew gaping holes in an apartment block and raised fears that the city is on the verge of severe bloodshed.