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Paris relives the joy of liberation, 70 years on

“Paris! Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself. Liberated by its people…” The words of Charles De Gaulle to an ecstatic crowd cheering the capital’s liberation from Nazi occupation after four long, painful, bitter years. It was August 25, 1944, and after six days of…

Lucky koala ‘Sir Chompsalot’ caught by firefighters after falling out of tree

A lucky koala was recovering Friday after being caught by firefighters when it fell unconscious from a tree before being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Emergency crews were called to the Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin on Thursday night after reports that an injured animal was lying on the road after being hit…

UN rights chief slams Syria ‘paralysis’ as death toll tops 191,000

More than 191,000 people have died in Syria, United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday, hitting out at “international paralysis” on the nearly three-and-a-half year conflict. Pillay said the death toll of 191,369, recorded between March 2011 when the war broke out and April this year, was nearly double…

German cop faces murder charges for stabbing fellow cannibalism fetishist dead

Berlin (AFP) – A German police officer will go on trial Friday accused of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists. In a lurid case that made international headlines, prosecutors say the 56-year-old defendant, Detlef Guenzel, confessed to stabbing the throat of a man last…

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…

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