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CA record-breaking heat ... MI police: Firefighter intentionally struck and killed ... Trying to soften relations with Israel

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has been experiencing record-breaking heat. Triple-digit temperatures struck inland areas Wednesday, even as mountains and deserts were drenched by fierce, fast-moving storms. Downtown Los Angeles had a high of 101 degrees, while the airport in suburban Long Beach hit 103. In San Francisco, temperatures soared into the 90s and reached triple digits inland. But a breeze picked up and the area cooled off a bit by late Wednesday afternoon.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A driver in Michigan is accused of intentionally striking a firefighter who was standing in the road collecting money for charity. Thirty-five-year-old Dennis Rodeman died Wednesday night, hours after being struck in Lansing. Police tell the Lansing State Journal that there was some kind of argument, and the driver circled back around and struck Rodeman. Rodeman was married just two months ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says the United States plans to meet with Israel to discuss how the U.S. can ensure Israel's military advantage over its enemies. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have not met face to face since the nuclear deal Obama and other world leaders struck with Iran sent a deep chill through U.S.-Israeli relations.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's military is simulating attacks by political rival China, after Beijing staged what appeared to be a strike against the presidential office in Taipei. Taiwan's exercises follow televised images from China on July 22 depicting a mock ground troop attack on a red tower and attached low-rises that resembled Taiwan's presidential compound. China is Taiwan's only major potential military threat and the two sides are separated by an ocean strait that is 100 miles across at its narrowest point.

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rain is pummeling Japan for a second straight day Thursday, flooding hundreds of homes and causing landslides. The hardest-hit area is north of Tokyo. One woman is still missing hours after a landslide hit houses at the foot of a steep, wooded incline. Raging rivers have overflowed their banks, knocking some homes off their foundations and rescue workers in rubber dinghies helped residents trapped by floodwaters.

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