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Briefs

Gaza militants fire retaliation rocket

– Gaza militants on Tuesday fired a rocket into Israel for the first time in three months, rattling a cross-border truce that has held since Israel’s military offensive against the Hamas-run territory.

Israel closed Gaza’s main cargo crossing until further notice, an apparent warning to Gaza’s Hamas rulers to clamp down on rocket squads.

“Quiet will be met with quiet, missiles will be met with a response,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres, adding that he believes both sides “have a deep interest in lowering the flames.”

Militants claiming affiliation with the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, took responsibility.

They said in an email to journalists that they fired the rocket to avenge the death of a Palestinian in Israeli custody.

The detainee, Arafat Jaradat, 30, died over the weekend after interrogation by Israel’s Shin Bet security services.

Palestinian officials, citing an autopsy, said the detainee was tortured, while Israel says more tests are needed to determine the cause of death.

Military: No decline in Taliban attacks

The American-led military coalition in Afghanistan backed off from its claim that Taliban attacks dropped off in 2012, tacitly acknowledging a hole in its widely repeated argument that violence is easing and that the insurgency is in steep decline.

In response to Associated Press inquiries about its latest series of statistics on security in Afghanistan, the coalition command in Kabul said it had erred in reporting a 7 percent decline in attacks.

In fact there was no decline at all, officials said.

Baseball fan sues after losing eye

A man who lost an eye after being hit by a foul ball at a baseball game can seek damages from a minor league team in Idaho.

The Idaho Supreme Court decided not to impose the “Baseball Rule” of liability in the lawsuit brought by Bud Rountree, instead choosing to let a jury decide if watching baseball is an inherently dangerous activity done at the spectator’s own risk. Rountree was struck by a ball while watching the Boise Hawks, a Chicago Cubs farm team.

Family missing at sea likely a hoax

The Pacific Ocean either swallowed an adventurous couple and two young children aboard a sailboat off the Monterey coast this week, or someone played a cruel hoax that wasted Coast Guard resources and tugged at the hearts of coastal residents over two days of searching.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday called off the search for a boat that reportedly sank in rough seas far off the Central California coast, saying nothing more could be done and that the family’s distress calls might have been a hoax.

“We’ve exhausted the possibilities,” Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Mike Lutz said. The Coast Guard is treating the incident as a rescue, with the possibility the calls came from a trickster. Neither the family nor the boat has been reported missing.

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