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Taliban threaten US, Pakistan over bin Laden

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – Pakistan’s main Taliban faction on Monday threatened to attack Pakistan and the United States after the US confirmed that Osama bin Laden had been killed near the Pakistani capital.

“If he has been martyred, we will avenge his death and launch attacks against American and Pakistani governments and their security forces,” spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

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“These people are in fact the enemies of Islam,” he added.

The Taliban spokesman said the militia had not itself managed to confirm bin Laden’s death, which was announced by US President Barack Obama.

“If he has become a martyr, it is a great victory for us because martyrdom is the aim of all of us.”


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US military strengthens deployment in Syria

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Washington (AFP) - The US Army announced Friday it was stepping up its military deployment -- both troops and equipment -- in northeastern Syria despite a push to limit its presence there, a move that follows tensions with Russia in the region.US Central Command (Centcom) "has deployed Sentinel radar, increased the frequency of US fighter patrols over US forces, and deployed Bradley Fighting Vehicles to augment US forces" in the area, which is controlled by the US and its Kurdish allies, spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement. The number of armored vehicles sent as reinforcement did ... (more…)

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Man arrested scaling tallest building in Paris

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A man was arrested Friday after climbing up the facade of the Tour Montparnasse, the tallest building in Paris. a police source said.

The unnamed climber, who used no harnesses or other aids, was detained after he got to the top of the 210-meter (690 feet) office block, the source said.

He began the ascent in the early evening and was arrested at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) after a rescue worker descended on a rope and accompanied him to the roof of the tower.

It wasn't the first time a climber had taken on the Tour Montparnasse. In 2015 the French "Spiderman" Alain Robert completed the daring feat with a Nepalese flag in hand, in tribute to the victims of a devastating earthquake in the country.

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Disgraced Harvey Weinstein loses top royal honor

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Queen Elizabeth II has stripped Harvey Weinstein of the royal honor he was awarded before his predatory sex crimes came to light, an official government statement said on Friday.

The disgraced Hollywood movie mogul, who is currently serving a 23-year jail term for rape, received the honor in 2004 in recognition of his contribution to the British film industry.

But an announcement in The Gazette, the UK official government record, said it had now been withdrawn.

"The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein to be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 29 January 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order," it read.

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