AP Top News at 8:38 a.m. EDT

PLO offers 24-hour truce, says it speaks for Hamas
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - .A senior PLO official has called for a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza war, saying he is also speaking in the name of Hamas. Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Tuesday that Israel must bear the consequences if it rejects this call.


With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support
WASHINGTON (AP) - As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military campaign against Hamas. Many even have criticized the administration's effort to stop violence that has killed more than 1,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 40 Israeli soldiers and three civilians this month.


Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Shelling in at least three cities in eastern Ukraine has hit a home for the elderly, a school and multiple homes, adding to a rapidly growing civilian death toll Tuesday. The use of unguided rockets in fighting between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels has been causing a notable increase in casualties in recent days and drawn criticism from the U.N. and rights groups.


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Immigration debate roils politics in ... Maine?
LEWISTON, Maine (AP) - In the whitest U.S. state, thousands of miles from the Mexican border, the debate over immigration is quickly becoming a central issue in one of the nation's most closely watched governor's races. With its close-knit communities and a practice of labeling non-natives as "from away," Mainers have a reputation for being insular. But they have also embraced the need for immigrants as the state's population ages and declines.


Despite good news, benefit programs face problems
WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of insolvency. Getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending, Medicare's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030, the government said Monday. That's four years later than last year's estimate.


US: Russia violated 1987 nuclear missile treaty
WASHINGTON (AP) - In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on Monday of conducting tests in violation of a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach "a very serious matter" and going public with allegations that have simmered for some time. The treaty confrontation comes at a highly strained time between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia's intervention in Ukraine and Putin's grant of asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.


Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bills. Their mortgages, auto loans or student debt pile up, unpaid. Even past-due gym membership fees or cellphone contracts can end up with a collection agency, potentially hurting credit scores and job prospects, said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank.


$1,000 pill now hepatitis C treatment of choice
WASHINGTON (AP) - A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans. In less than six months, prescriptions for Sovaldi have eclipsed all other hepatitis C pills combined, according to new data from IMS Health. The prospect of a real cure, with fewer nasty side effects, is enticing thousands of patients to get treated for the first time.


'Pawn Stars' TV star plans stores near famous shop
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The long parade of tourists who regularly stop by the downtown Las Vegas shop featured on the History Channel reality show "Pawn Stars" could soon have something better to do while waiting in line. Gold & Silver Pawn Shop co-owner Rick Harrison has drawn up plans for a Pawn Star Plaza shopping center that could boast six restaurants and about 16 small shops. The company's general contractor has submitted the proposal to the city planning department, and a review is expected in September, according to pawn shop general manager Theo Spyer.


NBA, Clippers eager for Sterling out, Ballmer in
The NBA and the Los Angeles Clippers are ready to move on, even if Donald Sterling wants to keep fighting. Move on to Steve Ballmer, who paid a record price for the team and is now a step closer to finally owning it.

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