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    Govt-held Ukraine town hit by rebel shells

    Heavy shelling hit a town in southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday, the third day of an assault that has forced government troops to spread their ranks thinner along the Russian border. Ukraine claimed the shelling was coming both from pro-Russian separatists and from Russia itself.


    UN panel: Crimes against humanity spread in Syria

    The Syrian government has likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians while the Islamic State group has committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians in two provinces in the country, an independent U.N. commission said Wednesday.


    Israeli army officer wounded by fire from Syria

    An Israeli army officer stationed in the Golan Heights was moderately wounded Wednesday by errant fire from neighboring Syria's civil war, the military said, adding that it fired back at Syrian army positions in response.


    Erdogan rules out obedient role for successor

    President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday rejected claims that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is set to replace him as prime minister, would merely do his bidding as he continues to rule Turkey from behind the scenes.


    West Africans get creative with Ebola awareness

    A young man on camera names the person who's challenged him to dump the contents of a bucket over his head. But in a twist on the ice bucket challenge, this man is soon drenched in frothy, soapy water — part of a campaign to raise awareness about Ebola prevention in West Africa.


    This week's reviews in brief

    Here are condensed versions of this week's book reviews:


    Making wagonloads of money in pre-Civil War Independence

    "Merchants of Independence: International Trade on the Santa Fe Trail, 1827-1860" by William Patrick O'Brien; Truman State University Press (224 pages, $34.95)


    Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

    Malaysia is preparing to unveil the latest overhaul of its beleaguered state-owned airline, which is reeling from twin disasters months apart that killed hundreds of passengers.


    Afghan candidate pulls out of election audit

    One of two men vying to become the president of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, pulled his observers Wednesday from an audit of the country's disputed election over concerns of widespread fraud in a move that throws the already contentious election into further crisis.


    Experts find 283 DNA samples from MH17 site

    Experts working to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 say they have gathered DNA samples from 283 different people and have positively identified 173 of them.

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