TueFeb202018

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International

Russia: 5 dead in church shooting; police kill suspect

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Russia: 5 dead in church shooting; police kill suspect

A gunman opened fire with a hunting rifle on churchgoers leaving a service in Russia's Dagestan region, killing five people and wounding four others, then was shot and killed by police, authorities say.


The shootings took place Sunday evening in Kizlyar, a town of about 50,000 people on the border with Chechnya.

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Suu Kyi could be held guilty of crimes against humanity, says UN special envoy

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Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is 'either denying or really far away moved', says the UN Special Envoy on Human Rights in Myanmar. Reuters file photo

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, heavily criticised for failing to stand up for the Rohingyas, could be held accountable for crimes against humanity, says UN Special Envoy Yanghee Lee.

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US, Turkey return from brink, aim to 'normalize' ties

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US, Turkey return from brink, aim to 'normalize' ties

The United States and Turkey pulled back from the brink of crisis on Friday, agreeing to normalize badly strained relations over Syria and other issues that had threatened the NATO allies' longstanding ties.


However, details of the rapprochement were vague as the two sides agreed in principle only to form working groups that will begin meeting within the month to examine points of contention and try to resolve them.

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Sister of North Korea leader arrives in South Korea

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The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in South Korea on Friday, landing at Incheon International Airport in a private jet with the rest of her entourage of senior officials, including the North’s nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam.

Kim Yo Jong is the first of North Korea’s ruling family to visit the South, while Kim Yong Nam is the most senior North Korean official to make a cross-border trip.

 

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7 killed, 67 missing after quake rocks Taiwan tourist area

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The aftermaths of earth quake are seen in Hualien, Taiwan, February 6, 2018, in this picture grab obtained from social media video. FACEBOOK/CHEN QI XUAN/via Reuters

Rescuers combed through the rubble of collapsed buildings on Wednesday, in a search for 67 people missing after a strong earthquake which killed at least seven near Taiwan’s popular tourist city of Hualien.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, which hit near the coastal city just before midnight (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, injured 260 people and caused four buildings to collapse, officials said.

 

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North Korean official facing sanctions may get exemption

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The head of the U.N. committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea on Wednesday proposed granting an exemption for a senior official from Pyongyang to attend the Winter Olympics in South Korea with his country's high-level delegation though he is subject to a travel ban and asset freeze.


Ambassador Karel Van Oosterom of the Netherlands, who chairs the Security Council committee, sent a proposed letter of approval to Security Council members with a deadline of 3 p.m. EST Thursday for objections. If there are none, he said the exemption will be granted for Choe Hwi, who has been on the U.N. sanctions blacklist since June 2, 2017.

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North Korea flouts sanctions, earning $200 million from banned exports: UN

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North Korea is flouting UN sanctions by exporting coal, iron, steel and other commodities banned under UN sanctions, earning nearly $200 million in revenue last year, a UN report has said.

A UN panel of experts also found evidence of North Korea's ongoing military cooperation with Syria to develop its ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs, and with Myanmar.


North Korea "continued to export almost all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions, generating nearly $200 million in revenue between January and September 2017," said the report by the experts seen by AFP on Friday.

 

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N Korea links in Syria’s chemical weapons programs

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United Nations report on Friday said its panel of experts found evidence of military cooperation by North Korea to develop Syria’s chemical weapons programs and to provide Myanmar with ballistic missiles.


The country is flouting sanctions by exporting coal, iron, steel and other banned commodities, earning nearly $200 million in revenue last year.

 

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Trump proposes US citizenship plan for undocumented immigrants

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US President Donald Trump's administration has unveiled a sweeping new immigration plan to Congress that offers 1.8 million young unauthorized immigrants known as "Dreamers" a path to citizenship over 10-12 years.

In a comprehensive reform that will be formally presented next week, Trump also asked Congress Thursday to eliminate the popular "green card lottery" program and severely restrict family immigration, steps analysts say could cut in half the more than one million foreign-born people moving to the country annually.

 

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Sexual harassment, assault rife at United Nations, staff claim

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The United Nations has allowed sexual harassment and assault to flourish in its offices around the world, with accusers ignored and perpetrators free to act with impunity, the Guardian has been told.


Dozens of current and former UN employees described a culture of silence across the organisation and a flawed grievance system that is stacked against victims.

 

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Trump's appointee resigns after derogatory remarks on Muslims, blacks, gays, women

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An appointee of President Donald Trump has resigned from the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other service programs after he made derogatory remarks on blacks, Muslims, gays, women, veterans with PTSD and undocumented immigrants surfaced in the news media.


Carl Higbie, the appointee resigned on Thursday afternoon after CNN unearthed the comments reportedly he made.

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Trump takes on US Senator Durbin on 'racial slur'

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US President Donald Trump has said he was "totally misrepresented" by those saying he used the term "s**thole" to describe African nations last week.


He was responding to a claim by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin that he used "vile and racist" language during a meeting on immigration reform, BBC reported on Monday.


Trump also said the allegation was hurting efforts to strike a deal to protect so-called Dreamer immigrants.

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Tunisia police arrest 200 to tackle protest

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Police arrested more than 200 people across the country as demonstrators took to the streets of Tebourba, a town west of the capital Tunis where a man in his 40s died in unrest Monday night.

Dozens of police hurt during clashes in Tunisia, the interior ministry said Wednesday, as anger over austerity measures spilt over into unrest.

 

The North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic transition since a 2011 revolt that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings, but seven years after the revolution tensions over economic grievances are high, AFP reports.

 

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Officials from North, South Korea begin rare formal talks

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Officials from North, South Korea begin rare formal talks 

Senior officials from North and South Korea began the rivals' first formal talks in about two years Tuesday to discuss how to cooperate in next month's Winter Olympics in the South and how to improve their long-strained ties.

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Huge Philippine procession secured tightly amid terror fears

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A massive crowd of mostly barefoot Filipino Catholics has joined an annual procession of a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ under extra-tight security after the Philippines came under a disastrous pro-Islamic State group attack last year.

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Korea talks to begin Friday

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In a rare more archrival North and South Korea are going to meet for first official dialogue in more than two years ahead of Winter Olympics.


North Korea has sent a list of its delegation for a rare high-level meeting with the South this week, the unification ministry in Seoul said Sunday.


The two Koreas agreed Friday to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years and are expected to discuss the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, AFP reports.

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Israeli PM backs Trump critique of Palestinian UN aid agency

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Israeli PM backs Trump critique of Palestinian UN aid agency 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he "completely agrees" with President Donald Trump's critique of the U.N. agency aiding Palestinian refugees, saying that UNRWA only perpetuates the problem and should cease from operating in the region.

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