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   HOUSTON (AP) - Southern Baptist pastors from around the nation are meeting in Houston in advance of their denomination's annual conference starting Tuesday.

   The Southern Baptist Convention, with nearly 16 million members, remains the nation's largest Protestant denomination, but membership declined slightly last year and baptisms fell by 5.5 percent.

   At the pastors conference Sunday evening, Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston's First Baptist Church said, "Our country is in trouble, our churches are in trouble, our pastors are in trouble." He said, "We need more Jesus."

   Southern Baptists are expected to pass a resolution urging congregations to end their sponsorship of Boy Scout troops now that gay youths will be allowed to join. Church leaders also are worried about growing acceptance of gay marriage and government requiring some religious institutions to provide contraception coverage.

 
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   KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan authorities say a battle with insurgents near Kabul's international airport has ended and all the attackers have been killed. A Ministry of Interior spokesman says two civilians were wounded in Monday's attack that was apparently targeting NATO's airport headquarters. The attackers had rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles and at least one large bomb.

   A deputy Kabul police chief says there were seven attackers. Two blew themselves up with suicide vests and five were shot and killed by police.

   It was unclear if the attack had damaged facilities inside the airport. The attackers had taken over a four- to five- story building under construction nearby.

   The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

   It was the latest in a series of attacks against the capital this year.

 
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JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli official says the government will not agree to the borders that the Palestinians are demanding for an independent state.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said Israel would not let such a state be established within the regional boundaries that existed prior to the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians want east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza — territories captured by Israel in that war. Danon's remarks were broadcast on Israel Radio Sunday.

His remarks came ahead of another visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the region this week.

The government has distanced itself from similar comments made by Danon last week.

Israel's chief negotiator Tzipi Livni told the station Sunday she was hopeful talks will resume with the Palestinians despite "elements" within the Israeli government.

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