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Earthquake deaths rise...Weather worries in Louisiana...Former President Bill Clinton defends charity

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AMATRICE, Italy (AP) — Searchers using bulldozers and their bare hands continue to look for earthquake victims in central Italy, about 20 hours after three towns were reduced to rubble. Authorities say the death toll has climbed to 159. The number is likely to increase as recovery efforts continue. One collapsed building being searched is a hotel believed to have been occupied by about 70 people.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says officials are closely monitoring a tropical disturbance that threatens to move into the Gulf of Mexico. They're worried about the potential for a tropical weather as southern Louisiana recovers from the worst flooding in state history. Edwards says soggy debris piled up in neighborhoods that were flooded could become missiles if there are hurricane force winds. In addition to working with the federal government on disaster relief, Edwards says he's also "fervently praying" there won't be any tropical weather.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton is defending the work of his charity, the Clinton Foundation. Critics say big foundation donors had access to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. The former president told reporters in Atlanta today: "If there's something wrong with creating jobs and saving lives, I don't know what it is." The campaign says opponents targeting Hillary Clinton have politicized foundation work like efforts to solve the AIDS crisis.

LONDON (AP) — The ongoing violence in Syria has taken years off of people's life expectancy, according to a new analysis published in the journal Lancet. Since the Arab uprising began in 2010, about six years have been shaved off of men's life expectancy in Syria while women have lost about five years. Elsewhere in the Middle East, researchers found that the lives of people in Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt were about three months shorter than expected, according to health data from 22 countries.

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal prosecutor in Seattle has told a jury in closing arguments that a Russian man made millions by hacking into U.S. businesses to steal credit card information and selling that data to other criminals. Roman Seleznev is the son of a Russian lawmaker. The government alleges his thefts resulted in almost $170 million in credit card loses around the world. Some of the businesses that were victimized are pizza restaurants in Washington state.

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