Pro-Russian rebels are leaving their positions on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and retreating towards its center, Ukrainian military officials said on Wednesday. Residents said the rebels, who want independence from Kiev for Ukraine's Donbass region, had dug trenches in downtown Donetsk outside the main university, where they have been living in student dormitories. Ukrainian forces have forced the rebels back to their two main strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, taking villages and suburbs around them to try to squeeze them out. "In Donetsk, rebels abandoned their positions en masse and went towards the central part of the city," the headquarters of what Kiev calls its "anti-terrorist operation" said in a statement.
BEIJING (AP) — Five employees of a company accused of selling expired beef and chicken to McDonald's, KFC and other restaurants were detained by police Wednesday after an official said illegal activity was an organized effort by the supplier.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The top U.S. diplomat defied a Federal Aviation Administration ban and flew into Israel's main airport Wednesday in a sign of sheer will to achieve a cease-fire agreement in the warring Gaza Strip despite little evidence of progress in ongoing negotiations.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as dozens of Palestinian families trapped by the fighting scrambled to flee the area. The U.S. secretary of state meanwhile presses ahead with top-gear efforts to end the conflict that has killed at least 650 Palestinians and 31 Israelis.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Display Co. said profit for the April-June quarter more than doubled as a stronger won reduced the value of its foreign debt and the World Cup boosted demand for ultra-high-definition TVs.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — John Kerry files to Tel Aviv despite FAA ban, pushes cease-fire between Israel, Hamas.
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By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - Football practices at which middle- and high-school students tackle each other will be restricted in California under a law signed on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the latest U.S. effort to minimize brain injuries from the popular sport. The measure, which limits practices with full-on tackling during the playing season and prohibits them during most of the off-season, comes amid growing concern nationwide over brain damage that can result from concussions among student as well as professional athletes. "This is a very balanced approach," said Democratic Assemblyman Ken Cooley, the law's author. It's good for kids and it's good for parents." The measure, which goes into effect in January, makes California the 20th state to restrict practices by middle school and high school football teams during which tackling and other full-contact activities are allowed.
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Monday met with former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer to discuss a possible settlement over Sterling's opposition to the $2 billion sale of the basketball team, a source close to the case said. Ballmer met with Sterling for 90 minutes at the 80-year-old real estate billionaire' s request, but the talks did not resolve Sterling's opposition to the deal brokered by his estranged wife, the source said. Sterling and his wife, Shelly Sterling, are locked in a court battle over whether Sterling has legal standing to block the NBA-record sale to Ballmer.
Orlando's Victor Oladipo and Utah's Trey Burke were among 13 players named Tuesday to a USA Select squad that will help train America's Basketball World Cup squad of NBA stars. The Select team, featuring five NBA rookies, is a first step for young players into the USA Basketball talent pool that has produced gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and a 62-1 record since settling for bronze at the 2004 Athens Games. NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant and three other members of the squad that won Olympic gold two years ago in London were named last week to the US team that will defend the world title in Spain in September. The Select unit that will train against them in Las Vegas during a selection camp will include NBA All-Rookie Team players Oladipo, Burke, Tim Hardaway Jnr of New York and Mason Plumlee of Brooklyn plus All-Rookie second-teammer Cody Zeller of Charlotte.
(Reuters) - Three days after losing one of the National Basketball Association's best young players on the free agent market, the Indiana Pacers gained a welcome boost by signing seven-year league veteran Rodney Stuckey on Monday. Though Stuckey lacks the all-round talent of fellow shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who opted to leave the Pacers for more money with the Charlotte Hornets, he will certainly give Indiana plenty of athleticism and vigor. "Rodney is a very talented player who can create and score in a variety of ways," Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in a statament.
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With the $2-billion sale of pro basketball's Los Angeles Clippers at stake and the team's irascible owner refusing to bless the record deal his estranged wife brokered, Bert Fields can hardly keep a smile from his face. As one of the colorful cast of characters in a trial over the minutiae of a family trust and California probate law, the 85-year-old attorney to some of Hollywood's biggest players over the last five decades appears to relish his role as the adversary of Donald Sterling, the man banned for life by the NBA over racist remarks. "Bert Fields is one of those lawyers who is in his element in the courtroom," said Steven Weisburd, a Texas civil litigator who has been part of legal teams that have opposed Fields. Fields, who has a reputation for making a witness' time on the stand miserable, may get another shot to examine Sterling as the 80-year-old real estate billionaire could testify again when his own attorneys start their case in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday.
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