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Syria ready to cooperate with U.S. and others to stop Islamic State

Baghdad (AFP) – The UN on Monday accused jihadists in Iraq of “ethnic and religious cleansing” as the most senior U.S. military officer warned they will soon threaten America and Europe. As condemnation of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group mounted, Syria — a pariah over its bloody crackdown on…

United Nations envoy says ‘war’ against Ebola could take six more months

Freetown (AFP) – The UN’s Ebola envoy said Monday the fight against the epidemic was a “war” which could take six more months, as its global health body claimed the disease was affecting an “unprecedented” number of medical staff. David Nabarro, a British physician the United Nations appointed to coordinate…

German Chancellor Merkel backs Spain’s opposition to Catalan push for independence

Madrid (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday backed Madrid’s opposition to attempts by Spain’s economically powerful Catalonia region to hold an independence referendum in November. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has pledged to go to the Constitutional Court to block any Catalan attempt to hold the poll, arguing…

Fishermen go missing as Hurricane Marie pounds Mexico’s coastline

Hurricane Marie was pounding heavy waves into Mexico’s Pacific coast Monday, where three fishermen went missing after their boat capsized. The eighth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season, Marie briefly hit category five, the most powerful storm rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale, before calming slightly. “Unfortunately, we have three missing…

Top general: Islamic State extremists will ‘soon’ pose a threat to the United States

The US military’s top general believes Islamic State extremists will “soon” pose a threat to America and Europe and that an international coalition will be needed to confront it, his spokesman said Monday. US commanders are preparing possible “options” to counter IS jihadists both in Iraq as well as Syria,…

Iran says it downed Israeli drone over nuclear site

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard said it has brought down an Israeli stealth drone above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the centre of the country. “A spy drone of the Zionist regime (Israel) was brought down by a missile… This stealth drone was trying to approach the Natanz nuclear zone,”…

Air strikes pound Gaza as Israel presses ‘Operation Protective Edge’

Israeli air strikes pounded Gaza Sunday, killing at least 16 people, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the bloody offensive would continue as long as necessary. Israel and Hamas, who have been fighting for 48 days, looked unlikely to end their deadly face-off even after Egypt called for an indefinite…

Iraq pleads for global help in fight against Islamic State jihadists

Iraq called for global support for its fight against jihadists, as Shiite neighbour Iran said it was helping Baghdad resist the militants but not with soldiers on the ground. Iraq is struggling to regain significant parts of the country after a lightning militant offensive led by the Islamic State (IS)…

Richard Attenborough, Oscar-winning director of Gandhi, dies at age 90

Taking turns as an actor, producer and director and picking up a mantlepiece full of awards along the way, Richard Attenborough, 90, was a much-loved and long admired fixture in the British film industry. From his first acting role in 1942 war movie “In Which We Serve”, the acclaimed “Brighton…

Nigerian town seized by Boko Haram declared ‘part of Islamic caliphate’ by extremist leader

Boko Haram’s leader said a northeast town seized by the insurgents earlier this month has been placed under an Islamic caliphate, in a video obtained by AFP on Sunday. “Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in (the town of) Gwoza and made it part of the…

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