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Leprosy: Myanmar struggles with ancient scourge

Mawlamyaing (Myanmar) (AFP) – High in the hills of Myanmar’s war-torn borderlands, a clutch of new leprosy cases among communities virtually cut off from medical help is a sign that the country’s battle with the ancient disease is far from over. It took six days by plane, boat, motorcycle, bus…

Ukrainian president pledges to ‘talk peace’ with Putin in upcoming meeting

Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) – Ukraine’s president said he will “talk peace” with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by demanding the withdrawal of pro-Kremlin militants from the war-torn east when they meet next week for the first time in months. President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday that “the whole world is…

British Muslim calls for action on jihadi subculture after beheading video

By Kate Holton and Raheem Salman LONDON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A senior British Muslim called on Thursday for action to tackle a jihadi sub-culture after an Islamic State video showed a suspected Briton beheading U.S. journalist James Foley held hostage in Syria. In Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S.…

US accuses Israel of targeting relatives of kidnapped and murdered Palestinian 16-year-old

The United States on Wednesday charged Israel had targeted members of a Palestinian family whose teenaged son was kidnapped and killed in July along with two cousins, who are US citizens. Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in annexed east Jerusalem plunged to a new low on July 2 when 16-year-old…

Liberia’s Ebola clampdown turns violent as local official and her family are evacuated

Violence erupted in an Ebola quarantine zone in Liberia’s capital Wednesday when soldiers opened fire and used tear gas on crowds as they evacuated a state official and her family. Four residents were injured in the clashes that flared in Monrovia’s West Point slum which has been contained as part…

Three top Hamas commanders and four children among 15 dead in Israeli strike on Gaza

Three senior Hamas commanders and four children were among at least 15 Palestinians killed in Gaza Thursday as Israel stepped up air strikes on day 45 of the bloody conflict. The leaders in the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades were among at least seven people killed when Israeli missiles totally destroyed a…

Pakistani lawmakers meet with protestors pushing to force PM Sharif from office

Islamabad (AFP) – Pakistani ministers and opposition politicians met anti-government protesters on Wednesday, but talks ended for the day with the sides appearing no closer to resolving a week-long political crisis that has rattled the restive, nuclear-armed nation. Thousands of followers of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have…

German minister accuses Qatar of funding Islamic State fighters

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Development Minister Gerd Mueller accused Qatar on Wednesday of financing Islamic State militants who have seized wide areas of northern Iraq and have posted a video of a captive American journalist being beheaded. “This kind of conflict, this kind of a crisis always has a history…

Islamic State jihadists are ‘worse than Saddam,’ Iraqi Kurd commander says

Jihadists targeting minorities are “worse than Saddam”, a Kurdish commander says, standing near a sand barrier at a front line in north Iraq, the militants’ black flag fluttering in the distance. The desert area was until recently under control of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, which launched a renewed…

Hamas leader Mohammed Deif ‘deserves to die’: Israeli minister

An Israeli cabinet minister on Wednesday justified an air strike on Gaza that killed the wife and child of Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif, saying he was a legitimate target. “Mohammed Deif deserves to die just like (the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden. He is an arch murderer and…

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