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Ukrainian president orders cease-fire...Three Americans killed in Afghanistan...Levee removed

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 20, 2014 at 11:41 a.m.



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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is ordering his forces to cease fire and halt military operations for seven days against pro-Russia separatists in the country's east — the first step in what he hopes is a concrete plan to end the conflict that has cost more than 350 lives. Poroshenko said troops would still return fire if attacked. He spoke during his first trip as president to the troubled east. He met with residents of a town in a separatist region.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. defense official says three NATO troops killed today in southern Afghanistan were Americans. The official in Washington says a roadside bomb killed the three U.S. troops and a military dog. NATO had announced the deaths without providing any details. Foreign forces have largely shifted to a training and advisory role in Afghanistan but still face danger from insurgents who are fighting to derail the Western-backed government.

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) — Crews have started taking down sandbags and other containers that were blocking a section of Interstate 29 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. They'd been put there as a temporary levee, as the Big Sioux River headed toward a crest that forecasters believed would set a record. But the river -- which wasn't expected to reach that crest until tonight -- instead crested overnight, and at a level a couple of feet below the record.

DENVER (AP) — Authorities say they recovered a body from the rubble of a suburban Denver house that was leveled by an unexplained explosion. The body was found this morning. Officials haven't said if it was the man reported missing after the explosion. A city spokeswoman in Thornton says investigators are looking into whether natural gas was the cause. Debris was scattered across two square blocks.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The numbers of great white sharks are surging in the ocean off the eastern United States and Canada, after declining for years. That finding comes in a report that scientists are calling one of the most comprehensive studies of those sharks. Government scientists who put together the study say the resurgence is due to conservation efforts -- and the growing colonies of gray seals, which the sharks like to eat. But it's still safe to go back in the water. Confrontations between great white sharks and swimmers are still extremely rare.

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The Associated Press

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