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Hamas rulers threaten to escalate violence

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Gaza's militant Hamas rulers threatened to escalate fighting with Israel on Saturday after airstrikes killed several gunmen in the coastal territory, and Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel wounded one person and damaged an elementary school in the country's south.

There are periodic exchanges of strikes between Gaza and Israel, but this flare-up is the most serious in months. Gaza militants fired more than 30 rockets and mortar shells on Saturday alone, bringing the week's rocket tally to more than 150, according to the Israeli military.


Climate activists scale palace gates

LONDON (AP) -- Four climate change activists scaled gates at Queen Elizabeth II's Buckingham Palace home on Saturday and locked themselves to railings in a protest demanding more urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The group, from the Climate Siren environmentalist movement, wore T-shirts with the slogan "Climate emergency. 10 percent annual emission cuts" and chanted through speakers.

The protesters unfurled a banner quoting a 2008 speech by Prince Charles, the queen's son and heir, warning over a lack of progress on attacking climate change.

The queen was not at the palace Saturday.


Bus crash kills 8 Czech tourists

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -- At least eight Czech tourists were killed and 44 injured when a bus crashed and overturned on a major highway in Croatia on Saturday, police said.

The accident happened about 125 miles south of Zagreb, on a highway connecting the Croatian capital with the central Adriatic coastal city of Split, according to a police statement.

Croatia's state TV said the bus crashed through metal barriers in the middle of the highway, and overturned in the opposite lane near a tunnel.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas called the crash "a huge tragedy" and offered condolences to the families of the victims. He said Czech authorities are doing all they can to help.


New leader downplays president's ouster

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) -- Paraguay's newly sworn-in president set about forming a government Saturday as he promised to honor foreign commitments, respect private property and reach out to Latin American leaders to minimize diplomatic fallout and keep his country from becoming a regional pariah.

In a brief appearance before international journalists, Federico Franco tried to broadcast a sense of normality a day after lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to kick President Fernando Lugo out of office.

"The country is calm. I was elected (as vice president) in 2008 by popular vote. Activity is normal, and there is no protest," Franco said.

The Paraguayan Senate voted 39-4 the previous day to dismiss Lugo a little more than a year before his five-year term was to end, and Franco took the oath of office soon after.

Lugo's ouster drew swift condemnation around Latin America. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said his country won't recognize the new government.