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Obama dining with 4 Kansas City letter writers
President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall during the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Monday, July 28, 2014, in Washington. The President announced that the program will be renamed in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela. The summit is the lead-up event to next week’s inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest gathering any U.S. President has held with African heads of state. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is taking four Kansas City residents out to dinner to chew over the concerns of heartland Americans, with little time remaining for action on pressing issues before Congress begins its August recess.

US accuses Russia of violating 1987 missile treaty
In this Dec. 8, 1987, file photo, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, right, shakes hands with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after the two leaders signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to eliminate intermediate-range missiles during a ceremony in the White House East Room in Washington. In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on July 28, 2014, 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 Russia's grant of asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.(AP Photo/Bob Daugherty, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration accusation that Russia violated a key nuclear weapons treaty leaves the future of the 26-year-old accord in question and further dampens President Barack Obama's hopes to burnish his legacy with deeper cuts to nuclear arsenals.

Smartphone app promises medical pot delivery
Leaves of a mature marijuana plant are seen in a display on April 18, 2010 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CaliforniaSan Francisco (AFP) - Startup Eaze on Tuesday released a smartphone application promising prompt, professional delivery of medical marijuana at the doors of patients in San Francisco.

Gaza death toll passes 1,200 amid latest talk of truce
Heavy smoke billows following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 29, 2014The Palestine Liberation Organisation expressed readiness for a Gaza truce and Washington said Israel had sought help Tuesday in calming a 22-day conflict that has killed more than 1,200 people in the enclave. US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked for fresh help from America in trying to broker a ceasefire. The top US diplomat added that Netanyahu had said he "would embrace a ceasefire that permits Israel to protect itself against (Palestinian militants') tunnels and obviously not be disadvantaged for the great sacrifice they have made thus far."

Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary
FILE - This July 22, 2014 file photo shows Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. House and Senate negotiators have approved a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and reform a program scandalized by veterans' long waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays. The action comes as the Senate is set to vote Tuesday to confirm former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new VA secretary, replacing Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson. (AP Photo)The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

U.N. agency to form airline safety task force after Ukraine crash
By Allison Martell and Allison Lampert MONTREAL (Reuters) - The United Nations' civil aviation body said on Tuesday it would quickly form a task force on airline safety, noting that while this was complex and politically sensitive, urgent action had to be taken after the recent downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the airline industry and other aviation groups said they would look at how safety information could be collected and distributed properly. Western states, which believe that pro-Russia rebels brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 using a missile supplied by Russia, agreed on Tuesday to impose wider sanctions on the Russian economy. Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 went down over eastern Ukraine earlier this month.

Clean-air rules assailed as too much, too little
Clean air advocates cheer as Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, speaks at a rally outside an Environmental Protection Agency hearing, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Atlanta. Utility and coal companies are expected to argue Tuesday against proposals from the Obama administration that would force a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2030 from 2005 levels. The EPA is holding three public hearings on the proposal in Atlanta, Denver and Washington. (AP Photo/David Goldman)DENVER (AP) — Hundreds of people across the country lined up Tuesday to tell the Environmental Protection Agency that its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough.

US bars Kurdish oil from entering Texas port
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The U.S. has barred a shipment of Kurdish crude oil from reaching the Texas coast amid concerns independent oil sales from Kurdistan could further weaken Iraq's fragile central government as it struggles to contain a Sunni military offensive.

Woman forgives husband who left son in hot car
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut woman whose 15-month-old son died this month after her husband left him in a car on a hot day said Tuesday he is an amazing father and she forgives him.

Stocks end lower ahead of economic data
FILE - This Monday, July 15, 2013 file photo shows the American flag and Wall St. street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. European and Asian stocks rose Tuesday, July 29, 2014 ahead of a string of U.S. and Chinese economic reports later this week and despite the possibility of more sanctions on Russia. Wall Street was expected to rise on the open. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market fell modestly on Tuesday as investors waited for a batch of big economic reports later this week.

US appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law
FILE - This Nov. 21, 2013 file photo shows abortion support signs outside of the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Jackson, Miss. A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday, July 29, 2014 that a Mississippi law that would close the state's only abortion clinic is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's effort to close its last abortion clinic was overturned in federal appellate court on Tuesday. Advocates for the law said women with unwanted pregnancies could always travel to other states, but the judges said every state must guarantee constitutional rights, including abortion.

The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store
App Store Official Charts for the week ending July 28, 2014:

ESPN suspends Smith for comments on abuse
FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 file photo, Stephen A. Smith arrives at Spike TV's Video Game Awards in Los Angeles. ESPN says it has suspended sportscaster Stephen A. Smith, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 for a week because of comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure they don't provoke attacks. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
FILE - In this July 22, 2014 file photo former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, center, arrives at court with his wife, Terry, and others for his defamation lawsuit against "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle in St. Paul, Minn. Kyle wrote in his best-seller that he decked Ventura in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura allegedly said Navy SEALs "deserve to lose a few." Ventura, a former SEAL and pro wrestler, testified Kyle fabricated the story. Kyle denied that in testimony videotaped before his death last year. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jim Gehrz, File) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES LOCAL TELEVISION OUTST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

Byron Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers
Former Los Angeles Lakers players from left, Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Byron Scott, Earvin "Magic" Johnson with general manager Mitch Kupchak pose during a news conference to introduce Scott as the new Lakers head coach in Los Angeles Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Scott is the former head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He was the NBA's coach of the year in 2008. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Byron Scott is taking over the Los Angeles Lakers with the vocal support of his fellow Showtime greats.

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