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Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis

Pro-Russian separatists walk at a destroyed war memorial on Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of DonetskBy Alexei Anishchuk and Richard Balmforth LAKE SELIGER Russia/KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine called on Friday for full membership in NATO, its strongest plea yet for Western military help after accusing Russia of sending in armored columns that have routed its troops on behalf of pro-Moscow rebels. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defiant as ever, compared Kiev's drive to regain control of its rebellious eastern cities to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in World War Two. Speaking to young people at a summer camp, Putin told his countrymen they must be "ready to repel any agression towards Russia". Kiev and Western countries say the reversal was the result of the arrival of armored columns of Russian troops, sent by Putin to prop up a rebellion that would otherwise have been on the verge of collapse.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:48:50 -0400
Islamist gains in Syria alarm some Assad allies

Syrian government forces stand in a tank at the town of Mleiha near DamascusBy Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - A mounting death toll in President Bashar al-Assad's armed forces is causing alarm among some government loyalists who are worried about Islamic State's territorial gains and are turning their anger on the authorities in Damascus. The execution of scores of Syrian soldiers taken captive by Islamic State at an air base in Raqqa province has triggered unusually harsh social media criticism of the Damascus government by people who have taken its side in the civil war. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:39:48 -0400
U.S. slaps more sanctions on Iranian banks, firms

The U.S. Treasury building is seen in WashingtonThe United States on Friday imposed sanctions on more than 25 people and companies it accused of violating sanctions against Iran, including shipping firms, airlines, and six Iranian banks. Treasury Department said it was targeting the people and firms, including Iran's Asia Bank, Meraj Air and Lissom Marine Services LLC, a shipping firm, for a range of violations, including helping Iran's missile and nuclear programs, evading prior sanctions, or supporting terrorism.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:38:33 -0400
Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced: U.N.

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees carry their belongings as they walk at Azraq refugee campBy Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance of Islamist militants or are having difficulty in reaching open border crossings, the United Nations said. Syrians desperate to leave their war-engulfed homeland are forced to pay hefty bribes at armed checkpoints proliferating along Syria's borders, or to smugglers, the U.N. refugee agency said. The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said. Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, who serves as UNHCR special envoy, said in a separate statement: "Three million refugees is not just another statistic.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:18:21 -0400
Pakistan leader distances himself from army as crisis drags on

Pakistan's PM Sharif speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Obama at the White House in WashingtonBy Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Maria Golovnina ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's prime minister, weakened by weeks of opposition protests calling for him to resign, distanced himself from an army move to intervene in the crisis on Friday, saying he did not turn to the military for help to defuse the stand-off. Nawaz Sharif's efforts to end the conflict have repeatedly failed in recent days, leaving Pakistan locked in a dangerous deadlock with thousands of protesters massing outside parliament for weeks in a country that has seen a string of military coups. Opposition leaders Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri announced late on Thursday they would directly negotiate with army chief General Raheel Sharif. Prime Minister Sharif, who is not related to the army chief, emerged significantly weakened from the crisis.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:15:34 -0400
U.N. tries to locate Fijian peacekeepers seized on Golan Heights

Smoke rises following an explosion on the Syrian side near the Quneitra border crossingBy Luke Baker QUNEITRA Golan Heights (Reuters) - U.N. officials shuttled along the rocky frontier between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Friday, trying to establish the whereabouts of 43 United Nations peacekeepers seized by al-Qaeda-linked militants inside Syria. Israeli forces took up positions at Quneitra, a fortified crossing between Syria and the Golan, barely 400 meters from Nusra Front militants, who attacked a U.N. base on the Syrian side of the border on Wednesday and seized the 43 Fijians.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:13:28 -0400
Russia ready for gas talks with Ukraine, warns of disruptions
By Katya Golubkova and Denis Pinchuk MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is ready for talks on resuming gas supplies to Ukraine, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday, warning of disruption to flows to Europe this winter if a row over pricing and debts is not resolved. Novak said Moscow was ready to reduce its prices in an effort to secure a deal, but the proposed sum remained well above what Kiev has said it is willing to pay. The dispute comes amid escalating tensions between the two countries, with Ukraine accusing Russia of sending weapons and men to help a separatist rebellion in the east of the country -- an accusation Moscow rejects.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:51:17 -0400
Poland bars overflight by Russian defense minister's plane: Russian agency
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Poland refused permission for a plane carrying Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to fly through its airspace while attempting to return from a visit to Slovakia, RIA news agency said on Friday. RIA said the minister's plane turned around and landed back in the Slovak capital Bratislava. The reason for the reported incident was unclear. Poland has been one of the countries most critical of Russia's actions in the Ukraine crisis, accusing it of aggression against its neighbor. (Reporting by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:50:57 -0400
Don't mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says
By Alexei Anishchuk LAKE SELIGER Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: "It's best not to mess with us." Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate. Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armor to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:48:50 -0400
EU ministers discuss new response to Russia over Ukraine
By Francesca Landini and Lisa Jucca MILAN (Reuters) - European Union foreign ministers met in Italy on Friday to find what a diplomatic source said would be a clear message on sanctions for EU heads of states to make to Russia over its actions in Ukraine. The five-month conflict in Ukraine reached a dangerous point this week after NATO said on Thursday that well over 1,000 Russian troops had crossed the Ukrainian border and were fighting alongside pro-Moscow separatists. Russia says it has no involvement in the conflict that is pitting the rebels against the Ukrainian military, but EU foreign ministers were clearly not persuaded.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:47:51 -0400
No respite for South Sudan: cholera down but malaria, parasitic disease up: MSF
By Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - South Sudan's cholera crisis is waning but humanitarian workers are now battling increased cases of malaria and the parasitic disease kala azar, with children most affected. At least 10,000 people have been killed since the fighting erupted in late 2013, pitting President Salva Kiir's government forces against supporters of Riek Machar, his former deputy and longtime political rival. While a cholera outbreak appears to be under control, other diseases are plaguing South Sudan's hungry, displaced people. The latest emergency operations are focusing on malaria and kala azar, a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of a sandfly which is usually fatal without treatment.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:47:16 -0400
Iraqi town holds out against militant juggernaut

FILE - In this file photo taken Thursday, June 19, 2014, an al-Qaida-inspired militant stands guard at a checkpoint captured from the Iraqi Army outside Beiji refinery, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli decided to stay and fight. (AP Photo, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — As Islamic militants rampaged across northern Iraq in June, seizing vast swaths of territory and driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, the Shiite Turkmens living in the hardscrabble town of Amirli decided to stay and fight.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:46:33 -0400
De Marchi wins 7th Vuelta stage, Valverde leads
ALCAUDETE, Spain (AP) — Alessandro de Marchi of Italy pulled away from a small breakaway group to win an accident-filled seventh stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Friday, while Alejandro Valverde maintained the overall lead.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:46:30 -0400
Britain raises terror threat level on Iraq, Syria fears

An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State (IS)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the group's fighters driving through the northern Syrian City of HomsBritain raised its terror threat risk level to "severe" on Friday because of fears over the situation in Iraq and Syria, meaning an attack is thought to be "highly likely". The move following the killing of US journalist James Foley, apparently by a man speaking with an English accent who belonged to the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). While there was no intelligence to suggest that an attack was imminent, Prime Minister David Cameron said there was "no doubt in my mind" that IS had its sights set on targets in Europe. "What we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL (IS) is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before," he told a press conference just after the threat level was raised.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:44:48 -0400
BRIC wall: Brazil's economy slips into a recession
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil has slipped into recession, with government figures released Friday showing gross domestic product contracting for a second consecutive quarter.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:44:21 -0400
Pro-Russia separatists in control of coastal town

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside MoscowNOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russia separatists, relaxed and well-equipped, held firm control on Friday of the strategic coastal town of Novoazovsk, a day after Ukraine claimed tanks and armored vehicles had invaded from Russia.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:42:46 -0400
Stock market wavers in late morning trading

FILE - The New York Stock Exchange is shown, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011 file photo taken in New York. Global stock markets were muted Thursday Aug. 28, 2014 ahead of U.S. economic data and possible policy announcements from Japan.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)The stock market waffled between small gains and losses in light trading Friday, ahead of the Labor Day holiday. The latest reports on the U.S. economy were mixed: Consumer sentiment improved in August, while spending fell and income growth slowed in July.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:42:17 -0400
Owen Wilson in Venice with 'She's Funny That Way'

Actor Owen Wilson poses during the photo call for the movie She's Funny That Way at the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)VENICE, Italy (AP) — Movies — they don't make 'em like they used to. Well, Peter Bogdanovich does.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:35:08 -0400
Top Asian News at 3:30 p.m. GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's simmering summer of discontent gets even hotter Sunday when Beijing is expected to recommend restricting the first direct elections for the Chinese-controlled financial hub's leader, stepping up chances of a showdown with democracy groups. The former British colony, which was handed back to China in 1997, has been the scene of escalating tension for the past year after activists threatened a mass sit-in paralyzing the financial district if Beijing rules out genuine democratic reforms.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:32:53 -0400
Defiant Gaza militants vow to rearm amid shaky truce
Thousands of militants paraded in the besieged Gaza Strip Friday, defiantly saying they would rearm as the prospects of a final deal on a long-term Israel-Hamas truce looked shaky. Thousands of Islamic Jihad fighters paraded through Gaza City on Friday in a show of force, marching with light weapons and holding aloft rockets similar to those fired at Israel during the conflict.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:31:24 -0400
On Russian troops in Ukraine, honesty is not everyone's best policy
Russian President Vladimir Putin is chief among them; For them, stating unequivocally that Russia has attacked Ukraine would force them to impose more costly sanctions, and could block the path to a truce with Russia they hope will resolve the crisis. Some say the evidence of Russian involvement has built to a point where it now strains credibility to assert that Russia's military is not helping the rebels in eastern Ukraine. "In these acts, these recent acts, we see Russia's actions for what they are: a deliberate effort to support, and now fight alongside, illegal separatists in another sovereign country." NATO has released satellite imagery it said showed Russian combat forces inside Ukrainian territory.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:31:13 -0400
Ukraine wants weapons, does not expect NATO intervention: envoy
By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ukraine wants supplies of weapons but does not expect NATO to send soldiers to help it fight Russian troops in its eastern provinces, Kiev's ambassador to NATO said on Friday. Asked if any NATO member was currently supplying Ukraine with arms, Ihor Dolhov told reporters after an emergency meeting with NATO ambassadors: "No, unfortunately not." Dolhov said Ukraine was also not receiving any state-of-the-art weapons, despite Russian suggestions to the contrary. Dolhov was speaking in Brussels after ambassadors to the alliance discussed the escalating crisis in which NATO said well over 1,000 Russian troops are now operating inside Ukrainian territory.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:30:47 -0400
Pakistani premier denies asking army to mediate

A supporter of Pakistan's cricket celebrity-turned-politician Imran Khan takes part in an anti-government rally with writing on her forehead "Go Nawaz Go," in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Pakistani police have registered allegations of abetting murder against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother over the June killing of 14 supporters of a cleric who is currently leading thousands of anti-government demonstrators in Islamabad. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's prime minister on Friday denied asking the country's military chief to mediate with opposition leaders and protesters who have camped for two weeks outside parliament in the capital, Islamabad, demanding his resignation over alleged voting fraud.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:30:36 -0400
Missionaries who were exposed to Ebola released from U.S. quarantine
WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - Missionaries who were quarantined in North Carolina to ensure they were not infected with Ebola while working in Liberia have been released without showing signs of the virus, a local government spokesman said on Friday. Health officials in Charlotte required the temporary quarantine as a precaution after three missionaries with Christian organization SIM USA returned to the United States on Aug. 10 amid the worst outbreak on record of the deadly virus. The group included two doctors who cared for Ebola patients and missionary David Writebol, whose wife Nancy was one of two American relief workers who contracted the disease that has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. The missionaries' 21-day health monitoring periods ended at different times depending on when each person had last been in contact with Ebola patients.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:28:00 -0400
Mexico operations thwart child, family migrants
CHAHUITES, Mexico (AP) — Mexico's largest crackdown in decades on illegal migration has decreased the flow of Central Americans trying to reach the United States, and has dramatically cut the number of child migrants and families, according to officials and eyewitness accounts along the perilous route.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:27:57 -0400
US sanctions people aiding Iran's nuclear program
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Friday sanctioned more than 25 businesses, banks and individuals suspected of working to expand Iran's nuclear program, supporting terrorism and helping Iran evade U.S. and international sanctions.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:27:13 -0400
Boat flips near Dominican coast; at least 1 death
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Dominican authorities are searching for survivors after a boat carrying about 20 migrants apparently capsized off the eastern tip of the country.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:26:28 -0400
UK supermarket giant Tesco rocked by new crisis

A Tesco supermarket pictured in south London on October 2, 2013British supermarket giant Tesco plunged deeper into crisis on Friday after issuing yet another profits warning, cutting both its dividend and capital expenditure, and rushing in its new chief executive. In reaction to the dire trading update, Tesco shares plunged by more than 8.0 percent in early morning deals on the London stock market to strike an 11-year low point.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:25:19 -0400
US sanctions people aiding Iran
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Friday sanctioned more than 25 businesses, banks and individuals suspected of working to expand Iran's nuclear program, supporting terrorism and helping Iran evade U.S. and international sanctions.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:22:56 -0400
Ebola arrives in Senegal as outbreak accelerates

A man that was hired by the community sprays chemicals to try and prevent the spread of the Ebola virus is seen in Monrovia, Liberia, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa eventually could exceed 20,000 cases, more than six times as many as are now known, the World Health Organization said Thursday. A new plan released by the U.N. health agency to stop Ebola also assumes that the actual number of cases in many hard-hit areas may be two to four times higher than currently reported.(AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A man infected with Ebola traveled to Senegal, bringing the disease to that country for the first time in an outbreak that has hit four other West African nations and killed more than 1,500 people, the Ministry of Health said Friday.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:22:40 -0400
Balotelli in line for Liverpool debut at Spurs

Liverpool's Adam Lallana, left, and Mario Balotelli in the stands during the English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, where Manchester City were playing Liverpool, Monday Aug. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/PA, Peter Byrne) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVELIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Mario Balotelli is in line to make his Liverpool debut against Tottenham on Sunday after impressing manager Brendan Rodgers in the Italy striker's first practice sessions with his new club.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:19:45 -0400
SAfrica: 4 guilty in murder try on Rwandan general
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African court found four men guilty Friday of an attempt to murder an exiled former Rwandan general in front of his home in Johannesburg, an attack that the general said was ordered by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:17:58 -0400
Myanmar discovers it has only 51 million people
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar has discovered it has only 51 million people — far less than the previously estimated 60 million.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:16:41 -0400
US steps up sanctions on Iran over nuclear program

US imposes new sanctions on authorities involved in Iran's missile and nuclear programmesWashington (AFP) - The United States imposed new sanctions Friday on networks linked to Iran, stepping up pressure over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:06:05 -0400
Britain's Cameron plans new laws to tackle terrorism threat
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday he planned to introduce new legislation to make it harder for Britons to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside Islamist extremists. Cameron, who said he would detail his plans in parliament on Monday to confiscate passports, was speaking as Britain raised its international terrorism threat level to "severe", its second highest level. This will include further steps to stop people traveling, with new legislation that will make it easier to take people's passports away," Cameron told a news conference.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:04:38 -0400
Top Asian News at 3:00 p.m. GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's simmering summer of discontent gets even hotter Sunday when Beijing is expected to recommend restricting the first direct elections for the Chinese-controlled financial hub's leader, stepping up chances of a showdown with democracy groups. The former British colony, which was handed back to China in 1997, has been the scene of escalating tension for the past year after activists threatened a mass sit-in paralyzing the financial district if Beijing rules out genuine democratic reforms.
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:02:52 -0400
Cameron promises tough action to fight militants

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron answers questionsLONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:00:52 -0400
Torres may be ready for new start, says Mourinho

Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho, center, gestures as he watches his team play against Leicester City during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)LONDON (AP) — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has raised the prospect of Fernando Torres leaving the club before the transfer window closes, saying the Spain striker may be ready to "try a new life, a new club, probably a new league."

Date Posted : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:57:23 -0400

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