TIME Aviation

Sheriff’s Office: Military Jet Crashes in Virginia

(DEERFIELD, Va.) — A sheriff’s dispatcher says authorities are searching for a military jet that crashed in western Virginia.

Augusta County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Becky Coynter says witnesses reported hearing a loud noise that sounded like an explosion just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Coynter says authorities don’t know whether anyone was injured in the crash.

A news release from state police says officials located the crash site, with heavy smoke coming from the side of a mountain. The statement says state and local police are trying to reach the site. Police did not offer other details.

TIME

Third Doctor Dies From Ebola in Sierra Leone

(FREETOWN, Sierra Leone) —” A senior adviser to Sierra Leone’s president says a third doctor has died from Ebola, marking a setback in the country’s fight against the virulent disease.

Presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday that Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working in a clinic in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted the virus.

News of his death came as a Senegalese epidemiologist working in Sierra Leone was evacuated to Germany for medical treatment. He had been doing surveillance work for the World Health Organization.

Ebola is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of people sick with the virus. Health workers have been the most vulnerable because of their proximity to patients. The WHO says more than 120 health workers have died in the four affected countries.

TIME Banking

IMF Chief Lagarde Under Investigation in France

IMF Director Lagarde Speaks On Aid Package For Ukraine
Christine Lagarde at IMF headquarters in Washington D.C., in April 2014. Allison Shelley—Getty Images

PARIS (AP) — Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, was placed under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as France’s finance minister.

In a statement Wednesday after a fourth round of questioning before magistrates, Lagarde said she would return to her work in Washington later in the day and said the decision was “without basis.” She is the third IMF managing director in a decade to face legal troubles.

She and her former chief of staff face questions about their role in a 400 million-euro ($531 million) payment to a businessman.

“After three years of proceedings, dozens of hours of questioning, the court found from the evidence that I committed no offense, and the only allegation is that I was not sufficiently vigilant,” she said in her statement.

Under French law, the official investigation is equivalent to preliminary charges, meaning there is reason to suspect an infraction. Investigating judges can later drop a case or issue formal charges and send it to trial.

The payment in question was made to Bernard Tapie in arbitration over a dispute with state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over the botched sale of sportswear company Adidas. Critics have said the deal was too generous, and was symptomatic of the cozy relationship between money and political power in France.

The court investigating the Tapie payment has been set up specifically for allegations of wrongdoing committed in office. Lagarde’s former chief of staff — now head of the French telecom giant Orange — and Tapie both are under formal investigation for fraud.

Lagarde became French finance minister in 2007, the first woman to hold the post in a G-7 country.

Her predecessor at the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, quit after he was charged with attempted rape in the United States. The New York charges were later dropped. Strauss-Kahn is charged with aggravated pimping in a separate case in France.

A previous IMF chief, Rodrigo Rato, faced allegations of fraud in Spain after the bank he led as chairman collapsed. The collapse of Bankia came well after Rato’s tenure in the Washington-based IMF ended in 2007.

TIME States

Doug Ducey Wins GOP Primary for Arizona Governor

Doug Ducey, Sam Ducey, Joe Ducey
State treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey, right, hugs his son Sam Ducey, with other son Joe Ducey, left, joining them as they all smile as the candidate arrives to claim victory on winning the Republican primary for Arizona governor in Phoenix on Aug. 26, 2014 Ross D. Franklin—AP

In the quest for right-leaning Republican primary voters, the six candidates quickly staked out hard-line positions on immigration

(PHOENIX) — State Treasurer and former CEO Doug Ducey won the Republican primary for Arizona governor Tuesday, riding to victory with a campaign that focused on his blend of government and business experience in serving as a state official and building an ice cream company into a national brand.

Ducey started Cold Stone Creamery in Arizona and built it into a well-known chain before selling the company in 2007 and getting into politics.

He has been state treasurer for the last four years, serving as the chief steward of Arizona’s finances during a period that included the collapse of the housing market in the state.

The race to replace Republican Gov. Jan Brewer began as a fairly quiet contest focused on health care and jobs before shifting abruptly when thousands of immigrant children began pouring into the country and some settled in Arizona.

In the quest for right-leaning Republican primary voters, the six candidates quickly staked out hard-line positions on immigration and repeatedly attacked the Obama administration for failing to secure the border.

TIME Boxing

Pacquiao to Help Set Up Boxing Academy in China

Manny Pacquiao
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao speaks during a news conference in Macau, on Aug. 25, 2014 Vincent Yu—AP

Manny Pacquiao hopes the institute will foster warmer relations between the Philippines and China

(MANILA, Philippines) — Manny Pacquiao is setting up a boxing institute in China and believes the country of 1.4 billion people can produce professional world champions.

Pacquiao said Wednesday that he has partnered with a Chinese company and the Chinese government to set up an institute in his name, with the aim of imparting the experience that has seen him win eight world titles.

He was speaking from Shanghai where he is promoting his Nov. 22 fight against Chris Algieri for a WBO welterweight title in Macau. He will be defending the welterweight crown he won in a rematch earlier last year with Timothy Bradley, avenging his 2012 loss.

Pacquiao, 35, said the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute will “start in Beijing, and the plan is for the whole of China.”

While China has produced accomplished fighters and Olympic champions at amateur level, there is potential to translate that to professional ranks, saying the local boxers “just need some knowledge about boxing and should be taught the basics.”

“Of course, with 1.4 billion population for the whole China, they can produce good fighters like other champions,” he said.

Pacquiao, who is also a congressman, told ABS-CBN television in Manila he intends his new venture to also foster warmer relationships between the Philippines and China, whose territorial dispute in the South China Sea has intensified in recent months.

“This will even help in strengthening our relationship … especially since in this project, the Chinese government is involved,” he said.

Pacquiao said he would visit the academy “once a month, once in three months, to supervise them.”

On top of his duties in the academy and as congressman and boxer, Pacquiao has taken on the role of playing coach of a new Philippine professional basketball team which will see action for the first time in October.

He said the team trains every day, except on weekends. “I can handle it,” he said.

The well-loved Bible-quoting boxer is regarded as a folk hero by Filipinos, and his win over Brandon Rios in Macau last November was a boost to a country recovering from Typhoon Haiyan which killed more than 6,300 in the central Philippines.

TIME Video Games

Video-Game Makers: Lohan Sued Us for Attention

Lindsay Lohan At 'Weisses Fest 2014'
Lindsay Lohan attends a press conference during 'Weisses Fest 2014' on July 26, 2014 in Linz, Austria. Monika Fellner/Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit says Grand Theft Auto V uses her image, voice and styles

(NEW YORK) — The makers of the “Grand Theft Auto” video games say Lindsay Lohan sued to get attention when she asserted the games’ latest installment features a character based on her.

In Manhattan court papers made public Tuesday, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and subsidiary Rockstar Games call the case frivolous and maintain it was “filed for publicity purposes.” They want it dismissed and want the “Mean Girls” star to pay their legal fees.

Lohan’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Lohan sued in July over “Grand Theft Auto V.” Her suit says the game uses her image, voice and styles and evokes her via a character named Lacey Jonas.

Take-Two says her voice, name and likeness aren’t used, and the character resembles her only in being a young, blonde woman.

TIME Syria

Journalist Held Captive in Syria Arrives in the U.S.

Peter Theo Curtis
Peter Theo Curtis, who was released from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria, talks to reporters near his mother's home in Cambridge, Mass. on Aug. 27, 2014. Brian Snyder—Reuters

Journalist Peter Theo Curtis returned home to the U.S. on Tuesday, two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group that held him hostage for 22 months, his family said

(BOSTON) — Journalist Peter Theo Curtis returned home to the United States on Tuesday, two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group that held him hostage for 22 months, his family said.

Curtis family spokeswoman Betsy Sullivan said in a statement that Curtis arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport Tuesday afternoon after leaving Tel Aviv. By evening he had been reunited with his mother Nancy Curtis at Boston Logan International Airport.

“I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today — strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants, and most of all my family — to say welcome home,” Curtis said in the statement.

He also said he was “deeply indebted” to the U.S. officials who worked to get him released.

Curtis, 45, of Boston, was released by al-Nusra Front, a Sunni extremist group.

Last week, journalist James Foley, who also was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising, was killed. The Islamic State group posted a Web video showing his beheading.

The extremists said they killed the Rochester, New Hampshire, resident in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes targeting Islamic State positions in northern Iraq.

Curtis’ mother said she was “overwhelmed with relief” that her son had been returned to her. “But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the past week,” she said. “My heart goes out to the other families who are suffering.”

U.S. freelance journalist, Austin Tice of Houston, disappeared in Syria in August 2012. He is believed to be held by the Syrian government.

TIME stock market

Another Milestone: S&P 500 Closes Above 2,000

It was a big round-number day for the stock market.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed a hair above 2,000 points Tuesday, 16 years after it closed above 1,000 points for the first time.

The milestone added to the market’s gains from the day before and extended the stock index’s record-shattering run this year.

The S&P 500 index, a widely followed barometer of the stock market, has closed at a new high 30 times this year. By this time last year, it had done so 25 times.

The index briefly rose past 2,000 on Monday, but closed just below that level. It still set a record-high close in the process.

“There’s perhaps a small psychological boost when you get over such a significant price level,” said Cameron Hinds, regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

U.S. stocks, in the midst of a five-year rally, have surged in the final weeks of the summer after dipping earlier this month on concerns about geopolitical tensions in Russia and the Middle East.

The latest string of shattered market benchmarks comes as investors cheered new indications that the economy is strengthening, setting the stage for stronger company earnings.

Major U.S. indexes began in positive territory in premarket trading Tuesday. That trend held as investors began to digest the latest economic reports.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose this month to the highest point in nearly seven years. A separate report showed that orders of durable manufactured goods surged by a record 22.6 percent in July, thanks to a jump in aircraft sales. A third report showed U.S. home prices rose in June, although at a slower pace.

Stocks opened slightly higher and remained in the green the rest of the day. The S&P crossed above 2,000 points early on, and hovered at or above the mark as it approached the close of regular trading.

Moments before the close it dipped below 2,000, then inched up just above.

The S&P 500 rose 2.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 2,000.02. Seven of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index gained, led by energy stocks. Utilities declined the most.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29.83 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,106.70. The Nasdaq composite gained 13.29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,570.64.

The major U.S. indexes are riding a three-week streak of weekly gains and are up for the year.

The string of record highs this year isn’t unusual when a market is recovering from a downturn, said Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones.

In the past, once stocks have hit a new high after a downturn, they have continued higher for about two years, on average, she said. The first time the S&P 500 hit a new high after the financial crisis was March 2013. So this year’s record run is still within the average range.

“Markets don’t climb sharply. They tend to climb slowly, and that’s probably good news for a continued climb in the future,” Warne said.

The Dow also has put up some big numbers this year, notching 15 new closing highs. That trails the 30 it racked up by this time a year ago.

While the market is setting records, many stock watchers believe equities remain fairly valued, though not cheap.

The S&P 500 is trading around 16 times its forward-operating earnings, or over the next 12 months. The historical average on that measure is about 15 times.

“That says stocks are no longer cheap, but we also don’t think they’re expensive,” Warne said. “Historically, when the price-earnings ratio has been in that range, returns over the next year have been around 7 percent. That’s not bad.”

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.39 percent. U.S. crude for October delivery rose 51 cents to $93.86 a barrel. In metals trading, gold rose $6.30 to $1,285.20 an ounce, silver rose three cents to $19.39 an ounce and copper fell three cents to $3.19 a pound.

Among the stocks making big moves Tuesday:

— Amazon rose 2.3 percent after saying that it would buy video streaming company Twitch for $970 million. The stock climbed $7.81 to $341.83.

— Best Buy fell $2.19, or 6.8 percent, to $29.80 after the electronics retailer reported that its fiscal second-quarter net income plunged 45 percent as sales weakened.

— Orbitz fell 4.6 percent after American Airlines and US Airways disclosed they are pulling flight listings from the site because they have not been able to reach agreement on a long-term contract with the travel booking website operator. Orbitz shed 39 cents to $8.04.

TIME Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel, Hamas Accept Gaza War Cease-Fire

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas recites a prayer in memory of those killed during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, ahead of a press conference on August 26, 2014 in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas recites a prayer in memory of those killed during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, ahead of a press conference on August 26, 2014 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abbas Momani—AFP/Getty Images

(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) — Israel and Hamas announced Tuesday that they agreed to an open-ended cease-fire in the Gaza war after seven weeks of fighting that killed more than 2,200 people, the vast majority Palestinians.

The cease-fire was to take effect at 7 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), but violence persisted until the last minute.

In Israel, mortar shells fired from Gaza killed one man and seriously wounded two people, authorities said.

In Gaza, police reported that an Israeli airstrike collapsed a seven-story building in the town of Beit Lahiya, the sixth high-rise to be toppled since the weekend. Booms from Israeli strikes could be heard in Gaza after the truce announcement was made.

In Gaza, massive celebratory gunfire erupted after 7 p.m. Chants normally reserved for Muslim holidays could be heard from mosque loudspeakers.

Earlier, officials from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main groups fighting Israel, had said the cease-fire included an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief supplies and construction materials into the war-battered territory.

Talks on more complex issues, such as Hamas’ demand to build an airport and a seaport for Gaza, would begin in a month, said Ziad Nakhala, a senior Islamic Jihad official.

The details of the cease-fire would effectively mean Hamas and Islamic Jihad settled for terms that are similar to those that ended more than a week of fighting with Israel in 2012.

Under those terms, Israel promised to ease restrictions gradually, while Hamas pledged to halt rocket fire from Gaza at Israel. The truce held for long stretches, but Gaza’s border blockade also remained largely intact.

Even though it apparently had little to show for, Hamas declared victory.

“We are here today to declare the victory of the resistance, the victory of Gaza, with the help of God, and the steadfastness of our people and the noble resistance,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a news conference at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007. Under the restrictions, virtually all of Gaza’s 1.8 million people cannot trade or travel. Only a few thousand are able to leave the coastal territory every month.

During the war, Hamas had said it would only cease fire if the blockade is lifted.

However, Israeli pressure on the group has been escalating. Hamas is believed to be left with just one-third of its initial rocket arsenal of 10,000, while Israel says it has destroyed most of Hamas’ network of military attack tunnels.

Israeli strikes have destroyed or severely damaged more than 17,000 Gaza homes, according to United Nations estimates, leaving about 100,000 people homeless. The number of dead has also been rising steadily, reaching at least 2,140 by Tuesday, with more than 11,000 Gazans wounded since July 8, Palestinian health officials said.

On the Israeli side, 69 people have been killed, all but four of them soldiers. Thousands of Israelis living near Gaza have fled their homes, including in recent days when Gaza militants stepped up mortar fire on southern Israel.

___

Daraghmeh reported from Ramallah, West Bank.

___

Associated Press writer Sarah El Deeb in Cairo and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

TIME Israel

Hamas Official: Cease-Fire Reached With Israel

A senior Hamas official says a cease-fire has been reached with Israel to end a seven-week war that has killed more than 2,000 people.

The official said the deal calls for an “open-ended” cease-fire, and an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief supplies and construction materials into the war-battered territory.

Talks on deeper issues, such as Hamas’ demand to reopen Gaza’s airport and seaport, would begin in a month.

The official said Egypt planned an announcement later Tuesday. He spoke on condition of anonymity pending the announcement.

There was no immediate Israeli comment.

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