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Pan-African airline suspends flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone amid Ebola concerns

Monrovia (AFP) – Pan-African airline ASKY suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone over the worsening Ebola health crisis, as the Liberian football association said it halted all activities in the country. The LFA decided “to cease operations of football activities considering that football…

EU hits Russia with economic sanctions as fighting intensifies in Ukraine

After months of hesitation, the EU finally agreed Tuesday to impose economic sanctions against Russia, hoping to make it change course in Ukraine as fighting intensified around cities held by pro-Moscow rebels. The new measures impose restrictions on the finance, defence and energy sectors so as to increase the cost…

US ‘gravely concerned’ about 15-year-old American held in Israeli jail

The United States on Monday urged Israel to expedite the case of a 15-year-old American citizen held for three weeks on charges of rock-throwing, amid concerns he has been mistreated in custody. Mohammed Abu Nie — who has dual American and Palestinian citizenship — was arrested in east Jerusalem on…

Senior US military officers weigh risks of aiding Ukraine in fight against pro-Russian forces

Senior American military officers are discussing the possibility of providing Ukraine with more precise intelligence that would allow it to target missiles held by pro-Russian forces, US officials said Monday. But no decision is imminent and some officials are concerned such a move could backfire by escalating the conflict between…

Conservationists: ‘Scaly anteaters’ face extinction after becoming Asian delicacy

Geneva (AFP) – The scaly anteater, which looks like an artichoke with legs and a tail, is being eaten out of existence as its tasty meat is served up at banquets across Asia, conservationists said Tuesday. The mysterious mammal, also known as a pangolin, is the prey of poachers with…

Seaside resorts turn into refugee camps for Ukrainians escaping conflict

Sedove (Ukraine) (AFP) – With their sunburnt backs, flip-flops and baseball caps, the families lolling about the Ukrainian resort town of Sjedove on the Azov Sea could be mistaken for holidaymakers. But they are all refugees, fleeing the deadly combat in east Ukraine as the fighting has escalated in recent…

Pussy Riot takes Kremlin to European court of human rights for ‘punk prayer’ imprisonment

Two members of the feminist group Pussy Riot are suing the Russian government in the European court of human rights (ECHR) over their imprisonment for a 2012 “punk prayer” protest at a Moscow cathedral. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were given an amnesty in December after serving 21 months in prison and pre-trial…

Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces as world pleads for truce

Exchanges of fire killed eight Palestinian children in a Gaza refugee camp and four people in Israel on Monday, shattering hopes for an end to three weeks of devastating violence. The missile that slammed into a public playground in the seafront Shati UN refugee camp also killed at least two…

Israel army warns Palestinians around Gaza City to flee

The Israeli army on Monday sent messages to thousands of Palestinians living near Gaza City to flee shortly after a mortar shell killed at least four people in Israel. “A short while ago, phonecalls were made and text messages were sent out to the civilian population of Shejaiya, Zeitun and…

Islamic State militants open ‘marriage bureau’ for women who want to marry a jihadist

The Islamic State, which advocates public stoning for adultery, has opened a “marriage bureau” for women who want to wed its fighters in territory they control in Syria and Iraq. The jihadist group’s office is operating from Al-Bab, a town in Aleppo province of northern Syria, for “single women and…

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