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A stand-alone U.S. Senate bill to block spending on President Barack Obama's November 2014 immigration order failed to clear a procedural vote on Friday after the provisions were stripped from a Department of Homeland Security funding bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately filed a motion to keep the bill alive for future consideration as Republicans in Congress try to continue their efforts to block Obama's executive orders lifting the threat of deportation from millions of undocumented immigrants.
Nine people are dead following a mass murder in rural Missouri in which the suspected gunman took his own life, police in the Midwestern state said Friday. With an investigation still underway, it appeared that seven people were shot and killed in four different residences in the small Bible Belt town of Tyrone. An eighth person, described as an elderly woman, was found dead in a fifth house, apparently "from natural causes," the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. "The apparent suspect, a 36-year-old male from Tyrone, was found dead in a vehicle... in (neighboring) Shannon County from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," added police spokesman Sergeant Jeff Kinder.
Ukraine said on Friday three soldiers had been killed, the first fatalities in several days in the war-torn east, as a shaky truce with pro-Russian rebels appeared to gain some traction with an apparent weapons pull-back. Isolated skirmishes highlighted the fragile situation as the UN discussed the conflict exactly one year after Russia and pro-Moscow forces began seizing ports and cities on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. Russia's annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine sparked the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War. A year on, the West is hoping the UN-backed truce deal negotiated by Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in Minsk earlier this month can prevent a further escalation.