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at 21:17 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Analysis: Afghan government hopes to divide and conquer a fractured Taliban movement

KABUL - The new leader of the Afghan Taliban faces the twin challenges of bringing together an insurgency that he ran for years under another man's name and uniting a fractured movement that has seen fighters desert for more extreme groups such as the Islamic State. Meanwhile, the Afghan government believes it can seize on the Taliban leadership crisis it has created by announcing that Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for more than two years to further weaken the insurgency.


at 21:07 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Coast Guard suspends search for boys at sunset after week of frustrating, fruitless efforts

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - After hundreds of rescue workers fanned out across a massive swath of the Atlantic for a full week, the Coast Guard's search for two teenage fishermen ended Friday, a heart-rending decision for families so convinced the boys could be alive they're pressing on with their own hunt.


at 20:51 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

The latest: Coast Guard suspends its search for teen fishermen missing off Florida coast

MIAMI - The latest on the search for the two teens who went missing while on a fishing trip off Florida's Atlantic coast:


at 20:48 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Germany shelves Nazi crimes investigation of Minnesota man deemed unfit for trial

BERLIN - German prosecutors have shelved their Nazi war crimes investigation of a retired Minnesota carpenter whom The Associated Press exposed as a former commander in an SS-led unit, saying Friday that the 96-year-old is not fit for trial.


at 20:30 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Suspected Jewish radicals burn Palestinian child to death in possible spark for more violence

DOMEA, Palestinian Territories - Suspected Jewish assailants set fire to a West Bank home on Friday and burned a sleeping Palestinian toddler to death in an attack that drew Palestinian rage and widespread Israeli condemnation. The attack, which threatens to set off another violent escalation, shines a light on the growing lawlessness of extremist Jewish settlers that Israel is either unable or unwilling to contain.


at 18:15 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Lynn Anderson, singer of 'Rose Garden' and of 'Lawrence Welk' fame, dies at age 67

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Lynn Anderson, whose strong, husky voice carried her to the top of the charts with "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden," has died. She was 67.


at 16:45 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Federal authorities contacted by representative of Minnesota dentist who killed African lion

MINNEAPOLIS - Federal authorities say they've now been contacted by a representative for the Minnesota dentist who killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe.


at 16:41 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Alaska appeals court affirms conviction of woman who used hot sauce as punishment

JUNEAU, Alaska - An Alaska appeals court has affirmed the conviction of an Anchorage woman whom prosecutors said used a videotape of herself punishing her son to try to get on the "Dr. Phil" show.


at 16:21 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Investigators hopeful wing flap will shed light on mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

SAINT-ANDRE, Reunion - Under a microscope and expert eyes, the wing fragment that washed up on the beach of this volcanic island could yield clues not just to its path through the Indian Ocean, but also to what happened to the airplane it belonged to.


at 16:20 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Pummeled in its capital, Islamic State group still hanging tough across Iraq and Syria

WASHINGTON - American intelligence agencies have concluded that despite billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago.


at 16:06 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

As UK inquiry ends, Litvinenko widow says evidence points to Putin behind husband's killing

LONDON - Nine years after former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko drank radioactive tea at a London hotel, an inquiry into his death ended Friday with his widow claiming President Vladimir Putin ordered the killing — and Moscow accusing Britain of politicizing the probe.


at 16:04 on July 31, 2015, EDT.

Zimbabwe: Wildlife minister says extradition being sought for American dentist who killed lion

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe intends to seek the extradition of an American dentist who killed a lion that was lured out of a national park and shot with a bow and a gun, and the process has already begun, a Cabinet minister said Friday.


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