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Sec. of State John Kerry announces 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza

New Delhi (AFP) – Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said early Friday. Kerry, on a visit to New Delhi, said that the two sides would cease fire at 8 am local time (0500 GMT) and that…

MH17 probe inches forward as experts reach Ukraine site

An international probe into the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine inched forward on Thursday as experts risked attack to reach the site for the first time in nearly a week after Kiev announced a halt to its military offensive. A small team of Dutch and Australian experts accompanied…

Sudanese woman who had faced execution for being Christian heads to the US

(Reuters) – A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, was due to return to the United States on Thursday, according to a family member. Mariam Yahya Ibrahim was scheduled to arrive in Manchester, New Hampshire, on…

French father put photo of his beaten baby on Facebook ‘for a laugh’

French police have charged a father with child abuse after he allegedly shook and beat his month-old baby because he could not bear the infant’s crying – and then posted a photo of the baby’s bruised face on Facebook “for a laugh”. In a case that has shocked France, the…

Canada blames Hamas for civilians killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday blamed Hamas for the heavy loss of civilian life caused by Israel’s deadly strikes on the Gaza Strip. At least 110 people were killed on Wednesday alone in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, as the Palestinian death…

Ugandan state lawyers seek to dismiss legal bid to overturn anti-gay law

Ugandan state lawyers sought on Thursday to dismiss a petition by activists at the constitutional court seeking to overturn anti-gay legislation condemned by rights groups as draconian. Signed by Uganda’s veteran President Yoweri Museveni in February, the law calls for homosexuals to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of…

Islamic State jihadists battle with Kurds and Sunni tribes in Syria

The jihadist Islamic State (IS), which has taken over large swathes of war-torn Syria in just a few months, was on Thursday engaged in fighting Kurds and members of a Sunni tribe. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the well-equipped Kurds, who started fighting IS soon after it emerged…

UN rights chief slams Israel’s ‘defiance’ of international law

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Thursday slammed what she said was Israel’s “deliberate defiance” of international law during the Gaza conflict. Pillay lambasted the country’s attacks on homes, schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities which are sheltering 250,000 civilians in Gaza. “There appears to be deliberate defiance of…

Liberia shuts schools as Ebola spreads, Peace Corps leaves three countries

By David Lewis and Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) – Liberia will close schools and consider quarantining some communities, it said on Wednesday, rolling out the toughest measures yet imposed by a West African government to halt the worst outbreak on record of the deadly Ebola virus. “This is a major…

Lawmakers threaten Canada and Japan over objections to Pacific trade deal

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday said Japan’s refusal to drop all barriers to farm imports under a Pacific trade deal was unacceptable and urged the U.S. administration to cut Japan and Canada out of the talks if they did not give ground. In a letter to President…

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