US urges Hamas to cease fire...Putin urged to help with plane probe...'Apes' top box office

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 20 Jul 2014 01:16:06 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is calling on Palestinian militants to accept a cease-fire agreement that would halt nearly two weeks of fighting with Israel. In the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, Hamas needs to "step up and show a level of reasonableness." Kerry says Israel has a right to defend itself against frequent rocket attacks by Hamas from the Gaza Strip but he's concerned about the rising death toll. At least 425 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have been killed in 13 days of fighting.

TOREZ, Ukraine (AP) — U.S. and European leaders are demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine give international investigators full access to the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. A leader of the rebels says they've taken possession of the bodies that have been recovered as well as the plane's black boxes. He says they'll be held until the arrival of international investigators.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister is condemning the Islamic State extremist group for threatening Christians in the part of Iraq it controls. Most of the Christians in Mosul have fled after being told they would have to convert to Islam, pay a tax of face death. Residents in Mosul say Islamic State fighters have begun to occupy churches and seize the homes of Christians who have fled the city.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ohio (AP) — An Army veteran who was wounded during the Iraq War is worried a citation will cost him his 14 pet ducks. Darin Welker of West Lafayette, Ohio was cited with a minor misdemeanor last month for having the ducks in his yard. He could be fined $150 when he appears in court Wednesday. But Welker's big worry is that he won't be allowed to keep the ducks. He says they help him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and keep him more active.

NEW YORK (AP) — "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the top movie for the second straight week. With an estimated $36 million, the science fiction sequel easily beat the horror thriller "The Purge: Anarchy," which opened at No. 2 with $28 million. In third place is Disney's "Planes: Fire & Rescue," the animated sequel to 2013's "Planes."

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