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New York City officials are turning up the heat on Elmo, Cookie Monster and Statue of Liberty impersonators - Times Square costumed characters who often demand money for posing in photos with tourists.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A Florida mother is facing a felony charge after leaving her 2-month-old baby in a hot minivan parked outside a doctor's office for about an hour.
BEIRUT (AP) - The Syrian government is still indiscriminately bombing civilians with explosives-filled barrels in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, an international human rights group said Wednesday.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) - Albania's central bank says 713 million leke (5 million euros; $6.75 million) has been stolen from its reserve storage building.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) - The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.
NEW DELHI (AP) - An Indian court convicted 10 people on Wednesday in a 2004 fire that tore through a thatched-roof schoolhouse, killing 94 children in a horrifying case that focused attention on poor fire regulations in the country.
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia blasted the West's new economic sanctions on Wednesday, accusing the U.S. of being "prosecutorial" in its drive to impose penalties on the country's key energy and finance sectors.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Portugal's Espirito Santo family business survived wars, dictatorship, revolution and family feuds for almost 150 years. Now, one of Europe's last banking dynasties is being stripped of its wealth and influence amid accounting irregularities, huge unreported debts, and a police investigation.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea fired four short-range projectiles toward the ocean off its east coast on Wednesday in its latest in a series of missile and artillery tests, officials said.
BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand's military government approved a massive budget to upgrade the country's railways including high-speed rail that would eventually link with China as part of an eight-year plan to improve infrastructure, officials said Wednesday.
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Insurgents fighting in Syria to oust President Bashar Assad detonated bomb-packed tunnels under buildings in the contested northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, killing at least 13 pro-government troops, opposition activists said.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Fuel prices in Yemen nearly doubled Wednesday as the government ended a fuel subsidy program costing billions of dollars, sparking scattered demonstrations that saw one person killed as authorities quickly dispersed protesters, security officials said.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Top U.N. officials are expressing shock and outrage at an attack on a U.N. school in Gaza that killed 16 people and injured more than 100.
BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) - Residents say 13 people were killed and 35 injured when two mosques in northern Nigeria were bombed Tuesday night at the close of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A London law firm representing 16 girls in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania said Wednesday it is initiating legal proceedings against British Airways over allegations that one of its pilots sexually abused the girls.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an immediate halt to hostilities around the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine to allow unimpeded access for international investigators.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council is condemning the offensive waged by the extremist Islamic State group and allied militants in Iraq, calling it "a major threat" to the country's future.
BAGHDAD (AP) - European and Dubai-based airlines have begun rerouting flights over Iraqi airspace as a security precaution, though Iraq says its skies are safe.
MILAN (AP) - Italian carmaker Fiat SpA, which controls Chrysler, on Wednesday said second-quarter profits dropped by more than a half due to lower performance in North and Latin America.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's ruling party won most of the seats at stake Wednesday in legislative by-elections, cementing its majority and giving a boost to President Park Geun-hye's conservative government after April's ferry disaster.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Palestinian official: 15 dead, more than 150 wounded in strike on busy Gaza market.
LONDON (AP) - British police have charged two former senior journalists at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid with conspiring to hack phones.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Amid escalating tensions with socialist Venezuela, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday announced new travel restrictions against Venezuelan officials believed to have committed human rights abuses during a spring crackdown on anti-government protests.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turks are divided on how they feel about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of his bid to become president in an upcoming election, and about their country's direction, according to an opinion poll published Wednesday.
DUBLIN (AP) - Ireland's second-largest bank, Allied Irish Banks, has returned to profit for the first time since a 2008 property crash pushed the nation to the brink of bankruptcy.
BERLIN (AP) - German authorities say a man was killed and five others injured when a mechanical digger tipped over and hit them during a so-called Cold Water Challenge, a dare that has been spreading on Facebook.