Dutch prime minister challenges Putin...2 Israeli soldiers killed...100 deaths reported in Nigeria

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Updated: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 01:16:06 EST

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch prime minister says he's had an "extremely intense" telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin, urging the Russian president to "show the world he intends to help" in the Ukraine plane crash investigation. The prime minister says he was shocked by images of what he called "completely disrespectful behavior" of rebels picking through the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet. Most of the 298 people who died were Dutch citizens.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli army says two of its soldiers have been killed in a battle with Palestinian militants trying to enter Israel through a tunnel. Another soldier and two Israeli civilians have died since Israel launched its offensive against Gaza militants who've been firing rockets at Israel. More than 330 Palestinians have been killed. Israel says its ground troops have discovered 13 tunnels into Israel that could be used to carry out attacks.

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — There's word of more deadly violence in Nigeria. A civilian defense spokesman and a human rights activist say Boko Haram (BOH'-koh hah-RAHM') militants have killed more than 100 people and hoisted their flag over a town near a northeastern state capital. Survivors say insurgents lobbed homemade bombs into homes and gunned down people trying to escape the attack yesterday. Residents of nine other northeastern villages are said to be on the run because of threats from the Islamic extremists.

WINTHROP, Wash. (AP) — Howling winds are pushing a 260-square-mile Washington wildfire in new directions today. The Okanogan (oh-kah-NAH'-guhn) County sheriff says the wildfire that has blackened more than 260 square miles has calmed down near Pateros, where it destroyed about 100 homes this week. But the fire has picked up on its north side closer to Winthrop. The area is more sparsely populated, but homes are scattered throughout the woods. One home burned down overnight.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Three massive fires since the beginning of June have highlighted the threat lightning poses in the North Dakota oil patch. In each case it was tanks that store the toxic saltwater associated with drilling — not the oil wells or drilling rigs — that were to blame. The lightning-sparked fires destroyed the groups of silo-like storage tanks at the three locations and burned for days, spewing noxious black smoke into the air and literally salting the earth.

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