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WASHINGTON (AP) — Singers Kay Perry and Stevie Wonder joined other A-list celebrities, world-famous athletes and American legends who donned their best suits and gowns Thursday as President Barack Obama hosted a White House celebration honoring the Special Olympics.
Israel and Hamas agreed to begin a 72-hour ceasefire from 0500 GMT Friday, alongside a diplomatic push for a more durable end to the bloodshed after almost four weeks of fighting. Just hours before the ceasefire came into force 14 more Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli tank and air fire in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile the Israeli army said that five of its soldiers died in mortar fire near the Gaza border, underlining the need for a negotiated truce. Hopes of an end to the bloodshed rose early Friday after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed a three-day ceasefire.
By Sarah Marsh and Richard Lough BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's bond and stock markets and peso currency dropped on Thursday after Latin America's No. 3 economy defaulted for the second time in 12 years following the collapse of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors. The default came after Argentina failed to strike a deal with lead holdout investors NML Capital Ltd, an affiliate of Elliott Management Corp and Aurelius Capital Management, in time for a midnight Wednesday EDT (0400 GMT) payment deadline. "Those who expect us to sign any old thing, threatening us that the world will come to an end otherwise, should not count on me," Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said in her first comments since the default. The government maintains it has not defaulted because it made a required interest payment on one of its bonds due 2033, but U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan blocked that deposit in June, saying it violated his ruling.