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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he has "considerably" narrowed the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians and he believes the start of final-status negotiations could be "within reach."

Kerry delivered his assessment Sunday after four days of shuttling between the sides.

Kerry says he was impressed with the "serious commitment" by both sides to resume talks, which broke down nearly five years ago.

"I know progress when I see it, and we are making progress," Kerry said.

He said he would leave a team of experts in the region to continue efforts and he plans on returning soon.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to life in prison plus 120 years for a deadly apartment shooting.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael David sentenced 36-year-old Donnell Rivers Friday for first-degree murder, first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Rivers fired into the apartment multiple times in December 2010, killing 26-year-old Cynthia Williams. None of the other three people in the apartment were hurt.

A statement from Williams' mother was read during the hearing. The statement said that Rivers "should never be allowed to hurt anyone else." An assistant circuit attorney also said that Rivers had been placed on parole four months before the shooting.

Sunday, 30 June 2013 08:15
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COLUMBIA, Ill. (AP) — Murder charges have been filed against a southwestern Illinois man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend on the same day both were expected in court regarding a protection order against him.

Jordan Kuykendall was charged with first-degree murder Saturday in the death of 17-year-old Erin Schneider. Her body was found Thursday in Kuykendall's home in Columbia, southeast of St. Louis.

Kuykendall is being held on a $1 million bond. Police say he isn't cooperating and has an attorney.

Schneider's body was found after her parents asked police to check Kuykendall's residence. Her mother had obtained a protective order against Kuykendall on her daughter's behalf two weeks earlier.

Kuykendall is under police guard at a St. Louis hospital where he's being treated for injuries he sustained in a car accident Thursday.

Sunday, 30 June 2013 08:02
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 35-year-old man with a history of domestic violence killed his wife and son before fatally shooting himself.

The Post-Dispatch reports that the man cut lawns for his landlord. When the man didn't show up for work Saturday, the landlord went to the south St. Louis home that the family recently moved into and found the bodies.

The man's 26-year-old wife and 3-year-old child had been shot multiple times. Police didn't immediately release their names.

Police say the man had been charged in May with hitting his wife with a tire iron.

Sunday, 30 June 2013 07:58
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