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GAZA Tomas Tatar Jersey , July 22 (Xinhua) -- Israel's large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip has killed 576 Palestinians and injured around 3,600 others, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said on Tuesday.

Israel launched a series of airstrikes on 20 houses, facilities of a football club and open areas supposedly used for launching rockets at Israel in Gaza on early Tuesday, killing 15 Palestinians, al-Qedra said.

As of Tuesday, the death toll in Gaza has reached 576, including 154 children, 58 women and 28 old people, the spokesman said.

On the Israeli side, one civilian and 25 soldiers -- more than twice as many as the fatalities in Israel's last Gaza ground war in 2009 -- have been killed in the tit-for-tat violence.

An Israeli soldier was also kidnapped Sunday by Hams militants during an ambush in Gaza City.

International efforts to broker a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip are in process, but the warring sides had no intention to come to an agreement.


TEHRAN -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday censuredU.S. President Donald Trump's recent anti-Iran speech as "ignorantand spiteful" at the UN General Assembly.

Trump's "rhetoric against Iran was ignorant and spiteful,abundant with false information and baseless allegations," Rouhanisaid, addressing the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.(Iran-Rouhani-Trump)

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DOHA -- Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has calledfor an international convention to settle its diplomatic crisiswith Saudi-led Arab quartet through peaceful means, state-run QatarNews Agency reported Wednesday.

"The blockade was imposed abruptly and without warning,prompting Qataris to consider it as a kind of treachery," Al Thanisaid in a speech at the opening of the 72nd Session of the UnitedNations General Assembly. (Qatar-Diplomatic Crisis)

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MANAMA -- Bahrain's government on Wednesday announced it hashired a law firm to secure the release of 19 fishermen who werecaught by Qatari authorities.

Qatari officials impounded 16 Bahraini fishing vessels and theircrew, which, Bahrain officials said, has violated internationalmaritime regulations. (Bahrain-Qatar-Fisherman)

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ANKARA -- Turkey has deployed fully equipped commando units aspart of military reinforcements along its southern border withSyria, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday, citing amilitary source.

The military vehicles loading fully equipped commandos travelledto the Syrian border on Wednesday, near Reyhanli district ofsouthern Hatay province, according to the anonymous source.(Turkey-Syria) Enditem

By Matthew Rusling

CORAL GABLES, the United States, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- In parts of Coral Gables, a small city near Miami, even the smallest and oldest properties are worth millions of U.S. dollars. The biggest easily cost tens of millions, and home owners have million dollar yachts parked in waterways that lead right up to their door.

But sea levels in southern Florida are rising, and that could have a major impact on the area's high-value real estate -- some of the most expensive in the nation. The problem could have long-term ripple effects throughout the economy, from mortgage lending to insurance to taxes.

Coral Gables has 48 miles (77 kilometers) of coastline, and much of it is at one or two feet (30 to 60 cm) above sea level. Rising sea levels could flood roadways and coastlines, which could, one day, have a dramatic impact on the local economy.

Southern Florida is a playground for the rich and famous, as well as a major retirement destination for many Americans, who have come to spend their golden years soaking up the sun and living a relaxed, seaside lifestyle.

The wealthy are also drawn to the area for the same reasons, and the area long ago opened up a major high-end property market, with gated communities where back doors lead right into gorgeous waterways.

But southern Florida lies on a bed of porous limestone. During high tides, flooding can -- and does -- occur on sunny days, without even a drop of rain. That's because high tides -- increasingly higher due to sea level rise spurred by climate change -- seep up through the drainage system and flood streets and roadways.

Rising sea levels could pose a host of related problems, such as problems for mortgage lenders, the city's mayor, Raúl Valdés-Fauli, told Xinhua.

Indeed, at some point, there may be problems in getting 30 year mortgages, as banks may not be willing to lend, since homeowners may be unable to re-sell the property in the long run, reducing their ability to pay off mortgages, experts said.

Property taxes could also be impacted, as home values could go down substantially, Valdés-Fauli said, leaving possible local government budget shortfalls.

"That's a lot of money for us. We're not only going to have to see how we're going to replace that, but also see how we're going to take measures to combat what's happening," he said.

"We get 45 percent of our income from real estate taxes," he said of the local government.

But if banks and mortgage lenders are no longer willing, down the road, to provide mortgages due to fear of flooding, that could lead to dramatically lower tax receipts.

Much of the area's high value real estate is either close to the waterfront or on canals. Many home owners have yachts parked in the water, which leads right up to their door.

"The yachts are going to lose the ability to go out into the sea because of the height of the bridges (is too low), they're not going to be able to fit under them. And we have (a few hundred) houses in from those bridges, and they're going to lose their waterfront quality if they can't have a substantial boat in back of them," Valdés-Fauli said.

"We are facing pressures on sea level rising, we really are, and our most expens.

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