File photo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Melissa Sheffield)(RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany) — The body of a male adolescent was found Sunday night in the wheel-well of a U.S. Air Force C-130 at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany after the plane had arrived from a flight that originated in Africa, a U.S. official confirmed Tuesday.

The body was found trapped in a compartment above the aircraft’s rear landing gear, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

The C-130 aircraft was on an eight-day journey, originating in Senegal and then stopping in Mali, Chad, Tunisia and Italy before arriving at Ramstein, according to Chief Master Sgt. Ellen Schirmer, a spokeswoman at Ramstein for the 86th Airlift Wing.

It’s unclear whether the child was a stowaway or where the child had boarded the plane, military officials said.

The boy’s body was found as maintenance crews conducted a thorough post-flight check typical of long flights, Kirby said.

“The cause of death as well the other circumstances surrounding this incident remain under investigation,” Kirby said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young man’s family.”

The aircraft had been in Mali on a regular mission.

Asked how a boy could have potentially sneaked onto the plane, Kirby noted that security measures at various airfields are not uniform.

“The aircraft is a rugged aircraft designed to operate in austere locations. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that the security at some of these fields is not going to be at the same level,” he said. “We shouldn’t expect that the security environment in every location that these aircraft operate in will be at the same high standard.”

German authorities will have the lead in the investigation, the official said. The U.S. Air Force is cooperating.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The airline industry is making more money after several difficult years during the recession. United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines all reported record second quarter profits, thanks to increased fares and fees.

“It is hard to believe that less than eight months ago, American [Airlines] was in bankruptcy yet today we are reporting record profits, prepaying debt, making additional pension contributions and declaring dividends to shareholders,” said the company’s CEO Doug Parker in a message to employees.

Major mergers could mean less competition on many routes, potentially leading to more fare increases as the economy improves.

A number of other U.S. carriers also posted strong second quarter earnings.

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File photo. (ABC News)(WASHINGTON) — During a press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that pro-Russian separatists have displayed an “appalling disregard for human decency” by allowing the remains of Malaysian Airlines crash victims to lay openly at the scene for days and barring international observers from accessing the site.

Both Kerry and Klimkin said there is still debris and human remains at the crash site that need to be investigated.

“They still can’t even ensure that all of the victims’ remains have been removed, and that is an unsupportable burden for any family to have to bear, and it is an unacceptable standard for behavior, period,” Klimkin said.

Kerry added that the United States and the European Union are working on additional sanctions on Russia. When asked when they would be imposed, he responded “forthwith.”

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Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — Washington D.C. attorney Michele Roberts has been voted in as the new head of the National Basketball Players Association, making her the first woman to lead a major North American sports union.

After many hours of debating Monday, NBPA executive committee members and team player representatives cast 32 votes in favor of Roberts as the successor to Billy Hunter, who was removed from the position. She needed only 26 votes for election.

Roberts said she would assemble a management team to run the union, perhaps even changing the union bylaws, before diving into negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. The players can opt out of the current CBA after the 2016-17 season, and Roberts wants to do everything in her power to prevent another lockout from happening.

“They’ve got their union back, and I’m going to make sure that they are empowered to take their union exactly where they want their union to go,” Roberts said. “It’s going to be a team that’s going to empower them to be able to do their business as they decide.”

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul said the entire players’ union was impressed with Roberts’ ideas for the future.

“One particular member from our search committee…asked her a very tough question in the interviews and [vice president] Roger [Mason Jr.] almost fell out of his seat after she finished giving her answer,” Paul said. “Even though she’s a female, she’s very relatable to a lot of our players. I think that’s what really hit home for not only myself but some of these other guys as well.”

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iStock/Thinsktock(WASHINGTON) — For many Americans, a long distance car trip is a cheaper option than flying as gas prices are falling quickly across the country.

The U.S. Energy Department says the average price of regular gas fell 5 cents a gallon last week to a nationwide average of $3.54.

For Midwesterners, prices are down 8 cents, while Californians, for the first time in months, are paying less than $4 a gallon for regular unleaded gas.

One expert says these late season low prices are rare.

“You know it’s something that’s relatively rare to see a price decline go this late into the summer months,” says senior GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan.

But DeHaan adds that the U.S. is producing more oil and getting it from other sources.

He says this is good news “as long as we don’t see a hurricane enter the Gulf.”

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“Fault in Our Stars” (Fox)(LOS ANGELES) — The Young Hollywood Awards were handed out Sunday night in Los Angeles, but the ceremony was broadcast Monday night on the WB. Viewers saw Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz win awards for fan favorite actor and actress, respectively.

The movie The Fault in Our Stars won a total of three awards, including favorite flick and best onscreen couple for stars Shailene Woodley and Elgort.

On the TV side, Orange Is the New Black scooped up three trophies, including most bingeworthy TV show. Danielle Brooks, who plays Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson in the series, won the award for Breakthrough Actress and Pablo Schrieber received the We Love to Hate You trophy for his character George “Pornstache” Mendez.

Kelly Osbourne hosted the ceremony.

Here are the winners in select categories:

Fan Favorite Actor: Male
Ansel Elgort

Fan Favorite Actor: Female
Chloe Grace Moretz

Breakthrough Actor
Dylan O’Brien

Breakthrough Actress
Danielle Brooks

Best Threesome
The Vampire Diaries, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley

Best On-Screen Couple
Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars

Best Bromance
Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum

Super Superhero

Kellan Lutz, The Legend of Hercules

We Love to Hate You

Pablo Schreiber, Orange Is the New Black

Bingeworthy TV Show

Orange Is The New Black

Favorite Flick

The Fault in Our Stars

Reality Royalty

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette

Cuz You’re Funny
Amy Schumer

Hottest Body (of Work)
Derek Hough

Trendsetter Award
Vanessa Hudgens

#SocialMediaSuperstar
Ashley Tisdale

Coolest Crossover Artist

Nick Jonas

Hottest Music Artist
Ed Sheeran

Breakout Music Artist
Sam Smith

Champ of Charity Award

Justin Bieber

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A plurality of Americans believes that the militant group Hamas is to blame for the violence that has erupted in Gaza for the past three weeks.

A Pew Research poll release Monday found that 40 percent of respondents fault Hamas while 19 percent says Israel spurred the attacks.

Meanwhile, 14 percent say both sides are to blame while 28 percent don’t know who was responsible for violence.

However, when broken down by political affiliation, the differences are starker.

Sixty percent who identify themselves as Republicans blame Hamas while 13 percent hold Israel responsible.

On the Democratic side, 29 percent says Hamas brought the violence in Gaza on themselves but 26 percent contend that it was Israel who is the aggressor.

Meanwhile, younger respondents to the Pew poll are more inclined to blame Israel than those who are older.

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iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) — Israel slammed Gaza with a barrage of airstrikes overnight, the heaviest bombardment in the three-week conflict.

Symbols of Hamas control came under fire, including TV headquarters, government offices and the home of a top leader. Israel said it targeted over 70 sites and hit 10 “terror operatives.”

Israeli troops also shelled Gaza Strip’s only power plant, hitting a fuel tank and causing the plant to shut down. Fire burned following the attack, with heavy smoke rising over Gaza City. Engineer Fatahi Khalil, from the electricity company, confirmed that it will take a year to fix the power plant. The damage will be assessed at a later time, he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday in a televised speech of a “prolonged” campaign in Gaza.

Hamas also signaled defiance. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader whose house was struck in an airstrike early Tuesday, said in a statement that “destroying stones will not break our determination.”

The tough words by both sides came amid mounting international appeals for an unconditional cease-fire.

However, Hamas has said it will not stop fighting until it wins international guarantees that a seven-year-old border blockade of Gaza will be lifted. Israel said its troops will not leave Gaza until they have demolished several dozen Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border. Late Monday, Netanyahu signaled that Israel is intensifying its air- and ground campaign.

The overall Gaza death toll rose past 1,100, according to the Palestinian health ministry, with another 6,500 injured.

The Israeli military said five of its soldiers were killed Monday, raising the total death toll on the Israeli side to 56, including 53 soldiers.
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iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) — Israel slammed Gaza with a barrage of airstrikes overnight, the heaviest bombardment in the three-week conflict.

Symbols of Hamas control came under fire, including TV headquarters, government offices and the home of a top leader. Israel said it targeted over 70 sites and hit 10 “terror operatives.”

Israeli troops also shelled Gaza Strip’s only power plant, hitting a fuel tank and causing the plant to shut down. Fire burned following the attack, with heavy smoke rising over Gaza City. Engineer Fatahi Khalil, from the electricity company, confirmed that it will take a year to fix the power plant. The damage will be assessed at a later time, he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday in a televised speech of a “prolonged” campaign in Gaza.

Hamas also signaled defiance. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader whose house was struck in an airstrike early Tuesday, said in a statement that “destroying stones will not break our determination.”

The tough words by both sides came amid mounting international appeals for an unconditional cease-fire.

However, Hamas has said it will not stop fighting until it wins international guarantees that a seven-year-old border blockade of Gaza will be lifted. Israel said its troops will not leave Gaza until they have demolished several dozen Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border. Late Monday, Netanyahu signaled that Israel is intensifying its air- and ground campaign.

The overall Gaza death toll rose past 1,100, according to the Palestinian health ministry, with another 6,500 injured.

The Israeli military said five of its soldiers were killed Monday, raising the total death toll on the Israeli side to 56, including 53 soldiers.
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Steve Bardens/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) — Serena Williams will play in a competitve tennis match Wednesday, the first since being forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after she appeared disoriented in her second-round doubles match.

“I was really, really sick,” Williams said. “Literally, the next three days I couldn’t get out of bed. And usually when you lose in a tournament, you leave. You don’t want to be around. Most people don’t want to be around the surroundings. You leave. I literally stayed until the tournament ended. I wasn’t allowed to leave by the doctors. The doctors said, ‘Don’t leave. You cannot. You have to stay.'”

During her last Wimbledon match, the 32-year-old Williams looked like she had forgotten how to play the sport she’s dominated for so long. She was weak she and could barely throw the ball over her head for a serve. When Williams finally withdrew from the match, tournament officials said she had a viral condition.

Since the incident, Williams has traveled to Croatia for what she called a vacation and also went to Toronto to work on a movie.

Williams says she is fine now and will play Wednesday in the Bank of West Classic at Stanford.

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