Jerusalem (AFP) - Fifteen Palestinians were killed Thursday when an Israeli shell slammed into a UN-run school where hundreds of civilians had taken refuge, sending the death toll in Gaza soaring to 777 despite world efforts to broker a ceasefire.
By Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union would target state-owned Russian banks vital to financing Moscow's faltering economy in the most serious sanctions so far over the Ukraine crisis under proposals considered by EU governments on Thursday. Ambassadors of the 28-nation bloc met in Brussels to discuss options drafted by the executive European Commission in response to the downing of a Malaysian airliner in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists. "If implemented such sanctions would be a serious blow to the Russian economy, exacerbating an already very likely recession this year and sustaining an economic depression for longer," said analyst Michal Dybula of BNP Paribas. The proposals included an arms embargo, although diplomats said it would apply to future deals and would not bar delivery of a French warship built for Russia under a 2011 contract.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An influential Democratic senator threatened Thursday to block U.S. arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn't get an assessment of Iraqi forces and assurances the weapons won't fall into the hands of extremist militants.