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Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

Tuesday - 8/5/2014, 5:20pm  ET



General is highest ranking Army officer killed in Iraq or Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An American general has become the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer to be killed in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

A Pentagon spokesman says the general was killed in an apparent insider attack today by a member of the Afghan security forces. The shooting wounded another 15 people, about half of them Americans.

According to the spokesman, the assailant was dressed in an Afghan army uniform when he fired into a group of international soldiers at a defense university at a base west of Kabul. The shooter was then killed.

The attack occurred during a visit to the university by coalition members.

The number of so-called "insider attacks" -- incidents in which Afghan security turn on their NATO partners -- largely dropped last year. In 2013, there were 16 deaths in 10 separate attacks. In 2012, 53 coalition troops were killed in 38 separate attacks.


Israel-Hamas truce sets stage for talks on Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The Israelis and Palestinians each have a delegation in place in Cairo, for talks aimed at a long-term truce in Gaza.

Both sides halted cross-border attacks as a three-day cease-fire took effect this morning. The shelling stopped, and in Gaza City -- where streets had been deserted during the war -- traffic picked up and shops started opening. Israel says it has withdrawn the last of its ground forces from Gaza.

In the coming days, Egyptian mediators plan to shuttle between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations.

As details of the Palestinian demands emerge, there are signs that Hamas is willing to give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a role in Gaza as part of rebuilding efforts. Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas' Palestinian Authority in 2007, prompting the Egyptian and Israeli blockade of the territory.

The return of Abbas would presumably be aimed at reassuring Israel and Egypt, and allowing an easing of the closure.

A senior Israeli official says his government is willing to discuss an easing of Gaza border restrictions, but that it needs guarantees that Hamas will not be able to re-arm.

The situation on the ground in Gaza remains volatile, and any cease-fire violation could quickly derail the Cairo talks. There are wide gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian positions.


Aid group: American with Ebola weak but improving

ATLANTA (AP) -- The husband of the second American aid worker recently diagnosed with Ebola says the patient is weak but showing signs of improvement.

The president of the aid group SIM USA said Tuesday that Nancy Writebol's husband described the woman as progressing. Bruce Johnson says he spoke with David Writebol, who said 58-year-old Nancy stood and got on a plane in Liberia with assistance to head to Atlanta for treatment. When she arrived Tuesday, she was wheeled in a stretcher.

David Writebol, still in Liberia, says the family was considering funeral arrangements, but now feels relieved and cautiously optimistic. He praised her treatment in Liberia.

SIM says it's working to bring David Writebol home.

Johnson says SIM has spent nearly $1 million since the diagnoses of Nancy Writebol and the first American brought back, 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly. He works for Samaritan's Purse. Johnson says that group has spent more than $1 million.


NEW: Obama announces $33B in commitments for Africa

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the U.S. must do more to boost its financial foothold in Africa as economies on the continent grow stronger.

Obama is speaking at a U.S.-Africa summit in Washington that has brought together business leaders and politicians. In conjunction with the summit, the White House is announcing $33 billion in commitments aimed at increasing U.S. economic ties with Africa.

A big part of the money, $14 billion, is coming from the private sector. Among the companies announcing new commitments are Coca-Cola and General Electric.

Tuesday's business conference is part of an unprecedented three-day U.S.-Africa summit. Nearly 50 African leaders are in Washington for the meetings.


NEW: UN to meet on Ukraine humanitarian situation

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- At Russia's request, the U.N. Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

The open session will be held late Tuesday.

Britain holds the Security Council presidency this month and its U.N. Mission said John Ging, the director of U.N. humanitarian operations, will brief council members.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has repeatedly warned of a growing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine.

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