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Car bombs and beheadings in Syria...Ukrainian rebels claim control of airport...Upping the ante in Hong Kong

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DAMASCUS (AP) — Twin bombings near a school in central Syria have left at least 17 people dead, including 10 children. Syrian activists say the explosions occurred in a government-controlled area. Activists also say Islamic State militants beheaded nine Kurdish fighters, including three women, captured in clashes near the Syria-Turkey border.

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — The cease-fire in eastern Ukraine is being further degraded as rebels appear to be closing in on the government-held airport in Donetsk. A rebel commander at a checkpoint not far from the airport told an AP reporter that the rebels control most of the airport, which has been the focus of the worst fighting in the region for weeks.

HONG KONG (AP) — Student leaders of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are raising the stakes. They warn that if the territory's leader doesn't resign by the end of the day tomorrow they will step up their actions, including occupying several important government buildings. That sets the scene for a possible renewed confrontation with the police who are unlikely to allow government buildings to be stormed.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Officials say they're finally getting the upper hand today on a wind-blown multi-alarm fire just a block from the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The fire has damaged several buildings including two that have partially collapsed. No injuries have been reported. Fire Chief Dennis Brooks tells WMGM-TV that the fire started inside a consignment shop and spread to three other buildings.

OTAKI, Japan (AP) — Recovery teams are describing the scene as "severe" at or near the summit of a central Japanese volcano where at least 48 people died in a surprise eruption. One body recovered near the summit was in a squatting position and had to be dug out of a thick layer of ash. Another was caught between huge boulders. Officials say they have recovered all visible bodies.

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