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Syria truce may be closer ...Mayor of quake-devastated Italian town worried... Blood supply to be screened for Zika



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GENEVA (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "have achieved clarity" on a path to restore a truce in Syria after hours of negotiations in Geneva. Kerry says the "vast majority" of technical discussions on steps to reinstate the ceasefire and improve humanitarian access have been completed. But Kerry says details remain to be worked out and experts will remain in Geneva to try and finalize the deal.

AMATRICE, Italy (AP) — The mayor of earthquake-devastated Amatrice (ah-mah-TREE'-cheh), Italy, says damage from aftershocks to two crucial access roads threatens to isolate the tiny hilltop town as it struggles to dig out of the rubble. The mayor says he's working with authorities to find alternative routes to bypass the damaged bridges. Wednesday's 6.2 earthquake in central Italy killed at least 281 people and left hundreds injured.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is telling all the country's blood banks to start screening for the Zika virus. Dr. Peter Marks of the Food and Drug Administration says "There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission" and thinks testing the blood supply is the smart move. Blood banks already test donations for HIV, hepatitis, West Nile and other blood-borne viruses.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge says two students and an employee must be allowed to use restrooms matching their gender identity at University of North Carolina campuses. The judge has temporarily blocked the university system from making the three plaintiffs follow the restroom provision of the so-called HB2 law as the larger case makes its way to trial in November. His final decision on the law won't come until after trial.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a man wearing only boxer shorts stole a pickup and drove it into a Southwest Airlines plane at an airport in Omaha, Nebraska, causing minor injuries to three people on board. The airport police chief says an officer spotted the man outside the terminal Thursday evening, screaming that people were trying to kill him. When officers approached, the man ran. The suspect is in custody, but has not yet been charged.

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The Associated Press

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