By Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S failure to secure a firm ceasefire in the Gaza Strip despite two weeks of intense diplomacy reflects new regional dynamics in which the world's most powerful actor has diminished influence and fewer allies. When Secretary of State John Kerry left Washington on July 21 on a mission to try to halt the latest Israeli-Palestinian war, more than 400 Palestinians had been killed, mostly civilians, along with 20 Israelis, 18 of them soldiers. Nearly two weeks later, after Kerry's extensive face-to-face diplomacy in Cairo, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Tel Aviv and Paris and scores of telephone calls, the death tolls have tripled, two ceasefires have collapsed and the violence rages. Israel declared a 72-hour Gaza ceasefire over on Friday within hours of its taking effect, saying that Hamas militants breached the truce soon after it began and apparently captured one Israeli officer while killing two others. Renewed Israeli shelling killed more than 70 Palestinians and wounded some 220, hospital officials said, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas and other militant groups they would "bear the consequences of their actions." Beyond the animosity of the two sides - neither of which seem close to achieving its aims - Washington's diplomatic challenge has been made more complex by the erosion of its standing in the Middle East.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona executioners injected Joseph Rudolph Wood with a lethal combination of drugs 15 times during the nearly two hours it took for him to die, according to documents released Friday.