A dust storm reported to be more than 3,000 feet high hit Phoenix Friday, limiting visibility and threatening to reshape landscapes and leave a coating of grit in its wake. Striking photos show a wall of dust pushing its way across neighborhoods and streets in the Phoenix metro region in the Valley.
The storm is commonly referred to as a haboob, from the Arabic word for an intense summer dust storm. Today's storm hit in time to complicate the Friday afternoon commute.
A humanitarian cease-fire lasting 12 hours could begin in Gaza on Saturday, as Hamas says it has agreed to a temporary peace and Israeli media are reporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also approved the plan. The truce would allow Palestinian civilians to get food and aid where it's needed, officials say.
"There is a national (Palestinian) agreement on humanitarian ceasefire through the UN on Saturday" for 12 hours, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri posted on his Facebook page, according to NPR's Emily Harris, who's in Gaza.
Rep. Curt Clawson hasn't been in Congress long — he was sworn into office exactly one month ago. We mention that as a caveat, because in a congressional hearing Thursday, Clawson seems to have mistaken Americans who work in the U.S. departments of State and Commerce for representatives of India's government.
President Obama met with the leaders of three Central American countries at the White House on Friday, telling them that they share responsibility with Washington for stemming an influx of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren discussed the growing humanitarian crisis with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Approving a bill that has already passed the Senate, the House of Representatives has given its consent to legislation that lets U.S. consumers "unlock" their cellphones, rather than having them remain linked to specific service providers.
President Obama says he will sign the bill into law, applauding Congress today for taking "another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget."
Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:52 pm
Pope Francis has accepted an invitation to visit Philadelphia in September 2015, a trip that would mark his first to the U.S. as pontiff.
Catholic News Service quotes Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi as saying that the pope has expressed "his willingness to participate in the World Meeting of Families" in Philadelphia, and that he's also received invitations to visit New York, the United Nations and Washington, D.C., which he's considering.
Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:01 pm
Indonesia's president-elect is making good on a campaign promise to be a new kind of leader — starting with his Cabinet, which he's asking ordinary people to help him choose.
Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, was named president on Tuesday following July 9 polls, the results of which were contested by rival Prabowo Subianto. In the final count approved by the country's election commission, Jokowi secured 53 percent to Prabowo's 47 percent.
Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 11:53 am
Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET.
The Netherlands and Australia — countries that lost large numbers of citizens in last week's downing of Flight MH17 — are planning to send police to eastern Ukraine to help secure the debris field there.