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AP Top News at 10:43 a.m. EDT

Published:   |   Updated: July 17, 2014 at 02:43 PM

CAIRO (AP) Egypt's foreign minister said Thursday that his country's proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas is gaining momentum, calling it the only viable way to stop an "intolerable humanitarian situation" in Gaza. He also expressed frustration that "Palestinian factions" - a clear reference to Hamas - did not share what he described as Egypt's "desire ... to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza" by agreeing to the initiative.WASHINGTON (AP) A Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service has expanded to include an inquiry into the disappearance of emails from a former senior IRS official. Deputy Attorney General James Cole was to update Congress on Thursday about the department's investigation into whether the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. He also was expected to tell members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that investigators now were looking into emails that went missing from the computer of Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations.WASHINGTON (AP) The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says it's not acceptable to change U.S. policy to speed Central American kids home faster from the border without court hearings. Sen. Robert Menendez is a New Jersey Democrat. Menendez says the change would take due process rights away from children who've been arriving at the border by the tens of thousands.MOSCOW (AP) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday lamented the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, saying they will stalemate bilateral relations and hurt not only Russian but also American businesses. Russia's benchmark MICEX was down 2.9 percent in late afternoon trading Thursday upon news of the sanctions while Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft, was nearly 5 percent down and second-largest oil producer was trading 9 percent lower.SYDNEY (AP) Australia's government repealed a much-maligned carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters on Thursday, ending years of contention over a measure that became political poison for the lawmakers who imposed it. The Senate voted 39 to 32 to axe the 24.15 Australian dollar ($22.60) tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide that was introduced by the center-left Labor government in July 2012. Conservative lawmakers burst into applause as the final tally was announced.WASHINGTON (AP) A Senate subcommittee chairwoman says General Motors should have fired its chief lawyer in the wake of a long-delayed recall of millions of small cars. An internal report found GM attorneys signed settlements with the families of crash victims but didn't tell engineers or top executives about mounting problems with ignition switches. It also found that GM's legal staff acted without urgency.EL ALTO, Bolivia (AP) Alicia weaves through El Alto's stalled traffic under a blazing sun, hawking colorful woven flowers to grumpy drivers and lovers. With luck, the 12-year-old and her mother will together muster $18 by day's end, all the while keeping watch over her younger brother and sister, ages 8 and 6.GENEVA (AP) Texas blues legend Johnny Winter, known for his lightning-fast blues guitar riffs, his striking long white hair and his collaborations with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and childhood hero Muddy Waters, has died. He was 70. Winter was a leading light among the white blues guitar players, including Eric Clapton and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, who followed in the footsteps of the earlier Chicago blues masters. Winter idolized Waters and got a chance to produce some of the blues legend's more popular albums. Rolling Stone magazine named Winter one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.

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