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La Crosse man pleads guilty in March rape
A 22-year-old La Crosse man faces up to 28 years in prison after being convicted of raping a woman in her South Side apartment.

Sweaty suspect gives cops the slip
Police say an Onalaska man?s excessive perspiration allowed him to escape -- briefly -- from a locked squad car.

Cops: Man sets fire to dumpster after being booted from bar
Police say a Pennsylvania man set fire to a dumpster outside a North Side bar Thursday night after he was kicked out for smoking and using racial slurs.

Police: Hillsboro meth bust reveals big, dangerous operation
VIROQUA -- Police say search warrants executed by the Vernon County Sheriff's Department on Thursday afternoon shut down one of the most productive and hazardous methamphetamine operations in …

Lane closures next week on Hwy. 61 north of La Crescent
LA CRESCENT, Minn. -- The left lanes of Hwy. 61 north of La Crescent will be closed for several days starting Monday for repairs.

Three people hurt in Monroe County collision
TOWN OF SCOTT -- Three people were hurt in a two-car collision late Thursday afternoon in Monroe County.

DNR shuts down Houston County sand mine
Minnesota has ordered a Houston County sand mine to shut down until it obtains a permit to operate near a trout stream.

New site coming for Habitat ReStore
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area has purchased a new site near the La Crosse County Landfill to expand its ReStore for new and used building materials.

Money & Politics: Hulsey campaign a losing proposition
MADISON ? Brett Hulsey arrives for an interview at a downtown Madison cafe and points to the loafers on his feet.

Jazz All-Stars back for annual performances
Some of the area?s top young jazz musicians are gigging like the pros this weekend, performing Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. in the Piggy?s Restaurant Smokin? Blues Lounge.


National News
Gaza truce over, Israel soldier captured, 70 dead in Rafah shelling
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel declared a Gaza ceasefire over on Friday, saying Hamas militants breached the truce soon after it took effect and apparently captured an Israeli officer while killing two other soldiers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his security cabinet into special session and publicly warned Hamas and other militant groups they would "bear the consequences of their actions". The 72-hour break announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the most ambitious attempt so far to end more than three weeks of fighting, driven by mounting international alarm over a rising Palestinian civilian death toll. U.S. President Barack Obama called for the Israeli soldier's unconditional release and said that after the day's events it would be tough to reinstate a truce.

Experts recover human remains at Ukraine crash site despite new fighting

Members of a group of international experts inspect wreckage at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of HraboveBy Natalia Zinets and Gabriela Baczynska KIEV (Reuters) - International experts found the remains of more victims of the downed Malaysian airliner in east Ukraine on Friday but fighting nearby between government forces and pro-Russian rebels renewed security concerns around the wreckage. Roads had for days been too dangerous to use because of heavy fighting, frustrating efforts to recover all the victims' remains and push ahead with an investigation. They will... be brought back to the Netherlands for identification," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in the Netherlands. "The security situation at the site is unstable and unpredictable." In the latest clashes, separatist forces killed at least 10 Ukrainian paratroopers in an ambush after midnight near Shakhtarsk, one of the closest towns to the wreckage site, the Ukrainian military said.

Doubts surface about India's Modi after trade deal scuppered

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry meets with Indian PM Modi at the Prime Minister's residence in New DelhiBy Sanjeev Miglani and Rajesh Kumar Singh NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to office with a reputation as a business-friendly leader ready to open up one of the world's biggest markets and sweep away the remnants of the country's socialist past. Now potential investors, some of them foreign firms hoping to exploit new opportunities in India's vast consumer market, are scratching their heads after Modi's party walked away from a major deal to reform customs rules and make global trade easier. India shocked trade officials by rejecting the agreement at the 160-member World Trade Organization, one of the group's biggest initiatives since it was set up 19 years ago. New Delhi has since said it did not believe the pact was dead, but insisted that, alongside the so-called trade facilitation agreement, the WTO must find a deal allowing India to subsidize and stockpile food in order to protect the poor.

North Korea accuses U.N. Security Council of double standards

Ri Tong-il, spokesman for North Korean Foreign Minister Park Ui-chun speaks with media during the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Regional Forum in HanoiBy Mirjam Donath UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea accused the United Nations Security Council on Friday of double standards by condemning Pyongyang's recent ballistic missiles launches while ignoring "provocative" joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea. The normally reclusive state held its fourth news conference at the United Nations this year to push for an emergency Security Council meeting on the military exercises, which Pyongyang routinely denounces as preparation for war. North Korea's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ri Tong Il said Pyongyang wrote to the 15-member council, of which the United States and South Korea are members, on July 21 to request the body take up the issue.

African leaders agree steps to fight runaway Ebola outbreak

Sierra Leonean President Koroma, Liberian President Sirleaf and Guinean President Conde speak during a conference on the Ebola virus in ConakryBy Saliou Samb CONAKRY (Reuters) - West African leaders agreed on Friday to take stronger measures to try to bring the worst outbreak of Ebola under control and prevent it spreading outside the region, including steps to isolate rural communities ravaged by the disease. The World Health Organization and medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres said on Friday the outbreak, which has killed 729 people in four West African countries, was out of control and more resources were urgently needed to deal with it. WHO chief Margaret Chan told a meeting of the presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - the countries worst affected - that the epidemic was outpacing efforts to contain it and warned of catastrophic consequences in lost lives and economic disruption if the situation were allowed to deteriorate. "The presidents recognize the serious nature of the Ebola outbreak in their countries," Chan said after the meeting.

Argentina debt talks must continue after default: U.S. Judge

Attorney Carmine Boccuzzi, lead lawyer representing Argentina in its ongoing debt talks, arrives at federal court for a hearing in New YorkBy Joseph Ax, Nicholas Brown and Richard Lough NEW YORK/BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina cannot turn its back on negotiations with holdout creditors after defaulting on its sovereign debt, a U.S. judge instructed on Friday, just as the country's failure to service a June interest payment was declared a "credit event." In a stern tone, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York slammed the decision by Latin America's third biggest economy to defy his order that it pay in full holdout investors suing it and instead default on $29 billion in debt. As Griesa was speaking, a 15-member committee facilitated by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) voted unanimously to call the missed coupon payment a "credit event." The move triggers a payout process for holders of insurance on Argentine debt, which analysts estimate could amount to roughly $1 billion. Griesa said, "Nothing that has happened this week has removed the necessity of working out a settlement." He chided Argentina for making public statements he characterized as misleading.

Protesters in Libya's Benghazi march against militias

Fighters from the Benghazi Shura Council gesture on top of a tank in BenghaziBy Feras Bosalum and Ahmed Elumami BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - Two thousand people took to the streets of Benghazi on Friday to protest against Islamist militants and former rebel militias who have been fighting armed forces and taken over an important military base in the eastern Libyan city. The heavy clashes in Benghazi and the capital Tripoli over the past two weeks have been the worst since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi, killing more than 200 people and forcing most Western governments to pull their diplomats out of the North African state. ...

Republicans revive U.S. border security bills to speed deportations

Speaker of the House Boehner arrives for a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in WashingtonBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives sought to patch over another deep rift and pass revised border security legislation on Friday, hoping to persuade voters they are acting to tackle the growing crisis over child migrants from Central America. Tougher language in the twin bills would make it easier to deport migrant children, add money to deploy National Guard troops at the border with Mexico and largely reverse President Barack Obama's policy of deferring action against minors brought to the United States illegally by their parents. The changes were intended to satisfy conservative House Republican lawmakers who withdrew their support on Thursday amid a revolt instigated by Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party firebrand from Texas.

Investigators probe whether ferry killed humpback whale in Alaska
By Steve Quinn JUNEAU Ala. (Reuters) - Authorities in Alaska are investigating whether a state ferry killed a 30-foot (9-meter), 25-ton (22.6-tonne) humpback whale in a collision near Kodiak Island, or whether the giant mammal was already dead when it was struck, officials said on Friday. Kate Wynne, a marine mammal specialist for the University of Alaska Sea Grant Program, said there was no doubt the whale died from being hit by a sea-going vessel.

Obama, Putin discuss Ukraine, missile treaty

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, on July 4, 2014WASHINGTON (AP) ? Capping a week of aggressive action against Russia, President Barack Obama pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday for a diplomatic path out of Ukraine's struggle with Moscow-backed pro-Russian separatists. Putin countered by calling U.S. and European economic sanctions against Russia counterproductive.

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