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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting Wednesday in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region's plans to hold a secession referendum in November.

Several Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school used as shelter for refugees in the Gaza war early on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 90, a Palestinian health official and a U.N. official said.

The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.

A leading doctor who risked his own life to treat dozens of Ebola patients died Tuesday from the disease, officials said, as a major regional airline announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people.

Shells smashed into a residential neighborhood of Donetsk on Tuesday as Ukrainian forces intensified their campaign to encircle the rebel stronghold. The shelling killed at least two people, blew gaping holes in an apartment block and raised fears that the city is on the verge of severe bloodshed.

China's ruling Communist Party announced an investigation into a feared ex-security chief, demonstrating President Xi Jinping's firm grip on power and breaking a longstanding taboo against publicly targeting the country's topmost leaders.

A powerful cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai was assassinated by a suicide bomber hiding explosives in his cap on Tuesday, a provincial official said. It was the latest attack targeting Afghan power brokers and government officials as insurgents and political factions struggle for power ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat forces by the end of this year.

Rats are on the rampage in the elegant garden of the Louvre Museum, so bold they romp on the grass in broad daylight, defying death threats from sanitation workers and scaring tourists.

A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed Islamic militants, state media reported Tuesday.

Toyota remains No. 1 in global vehicles sales after the first six months of this year, followed by Volkswagen which bumped General Motors out of second place as the U.S. automaker grapples with a recall scandal.

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