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Iraqi Kurdish forces enter Syria to fight Islamic State

A convoy of peshmerga vehicles is welcomed by Turkish Kurds after crossing into Turkey near the Habur border gate in the southeastern city of SilopiBy Humeyra Pamuk and Omer Berberoglu SURUC Turkey (Reuters) - A first group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Thursday to help push back Islamic State militants who have defied U.S. air strikes and threatened to massacre its Kurdish defenders. Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been encircled by the Sunni Muslim insurgents for more than 40 days. Weeks of U.S.-led air strikes have failed to break their stranglehold, and Kurds are hoping the arrival of the peshmerga will turn the tide. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:08:02 -0400
Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting Jewish far-rightist

Israeli policeman aims his weapon during clashes with Palestinians inside the old city of JerusalemBy Luke Baker JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police on Thursday shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to fierce clashes in East Jerusalem and fears of a new Palestinian uprising. The Al-Aqsa compound, or Temple Mount, which is a central cause of the latest violence, was closed to all visitors as a security precaution. It was the first full closure of the site, venerated by both Jews and Muslims, in 14 years Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Israeli actions as "tantamount to a declaration of war". ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:44:34 -0400
Ukraine gas supplies in doubt as Russia seeks EU payment deal

Russian Energy Minister Novak arrives for gas talks between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine at the EU Commission headquarters in BrusselsBy Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ukraine's efforts to unblock deliveries of Russian gas as winter sets in were deadlocked on Thursday as Moscow's negotiators were quoted demanding firmer commitments from the European Union to cover Kiev's pre-payments for energy. EU-hosted talks were adjourned after running late into the night, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and the head of Russian gas firm Gazprom told Russian news agencies. They would resume later in the day if Ukraine and the EU had a firm financing deal in place, Gazprom head Alexei Miller said. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:15:30 -0400
Hong Kong's loud American defies pro-Beijing 'smear campaign'

Mark Simon, a senior executive at Next Media, poses for pictures at the Next Media headquarters in TaipeiBy Greg Torode HONG KONG (Reuters) - China has often accused "foreign forces" of trying to destabilize free-wheeling Hong Kong during the current pro-democracy protests, with a garrulous expat American emerging as a key target of attack. Mark Simon, the right-hand man of pro-democracy newspaper magnate Jimmy Lai, has moved his family out of Hong Kong for safety and has been pressed to deny that he is a U.S. spy. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 07:40:35 -0400
Protesters march on Burkina presidency after burning parliament

A soldier runs from anti-government protesters as they take over the parliament building in OuagadougouBy Mathieu Bonkoungou and Joe Penney OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters marched on Burkina Faso's presidential palace after burning the parliament building and ransacking state television offices on Thursday, forcing President Blaise Compaore to scrap a plan to extend his 27-year rule. Emergency services said at least three protesters were shot dead and several others wounded by security forces when the crowd tried to storm the home of Compaore's brother. Security forces also fired live rounds and tear gas at protesters near the presidency in the Ouaga 2000 neighborhood. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:50:31 -0400
Iran says foils bid to sabotage nuclear heavy-water tanks: newspaper

A general view of the Arak heavy-water projectANKARA (Reuters) - Iran has foiled an attempt to sabotage tanks used for transporting heavy water, which is needed to run some nuclear reactors, and blames a "foreign country" for the incident, a senior official was quoted by local media as saying. The Islamic Republic is at odds with the West over suspicions it is covertly using its declared civilian atomic energy program to develop a nuclear arms capability. It denies this and has repeatedly accused certain Western states of trying to cripple the program through acts of sabotage. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:21:04 -0400
N. Korea cracking down on a distant threat: Ebola

This Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 photo shows medical personnel in protective suits standing by an ambulance, at the Sunan International Airport, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea would seem like the last place on Earth that has anything to worry about from Ebola. But it's virtually gone on DefCon 1 over what it sees as a looming invasion from the outside world that threatens to infiltrate its borders and relentlessly attack its people unless dramatic measures are taken immediately. It has banned tourists, put business groups on hold and is looking even more suspiciously than usual at every foreign face coming across its borders. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea announced Thursday it will quarantine foreigners for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus, even though no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country, or anywhere in Asia, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:50:08 -0400
Amnesty: Libyan militias committing war crimes
CAIRO (AP) — Amnesty International said rival militias and armed groups in Western Libya are committing "mounting war crimes" with impunity.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:49:38 -0400
US condemns renewed violence in South Sudan
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United States is condemning the latest violence to hit South Sudan, which the U.S. says is the fault of rebel fighters who launched attacks in and around an oil town.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:47:07 -0400
Bodies of 48 Sunni tribal fighters found in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi official says authorities have found the bodies of 48 Sunni tribesmen killed by the Islamic State group in the restive western province of Anbar.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:45:12 -0400
EU's Barroso believes Russia/Ukraine gas deal struck
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Thursday he believed the European Union had successfully brokered a deal on gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine. Barroso said in remarks made as he prepares to leave office on Friday that he was pleased still to be at work because "apparently we have an accord which the Commission has mediated between Russia and Ukraine." Negotiators had made no obvious progress in talks that began on Wednesday and were adjourned in the early hours of Thursday. (Reporting By Alastair Macdonald)
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:42:46 -0400
Lebanese army detains 50 in the north after weekend clashes
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese troops detained 50 people in raids on towns and Syrian refugee camps in the north of the country, the army said on Thursday, part of a crackdown after battles with Islamist gunmen over the weekend. The army has mounted several raids since Islamist militants clashed with soldiers in and around the northern city of Tripoli from Friday to Sunday, some of the worst fighting to spill over to Lebanon from the Syrian civil war. Soldiers moved on the towns of al-Minya, Mashta Hassan, Mashta Hammoud and refugee camps in the town of Behneen on Wednesday. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:41:51 -0400
Group says militants killed 600 Iraqi prisoners
BAGHDAD (AP) — Militants from the Islamic State carried out a mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi prison inmates when they seized the country's second-largest city of Mosul in June, an international rights group said on Thursday.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:38:45 -0400
UN watchdog slams Israel abuses, demands Gaza war probe

Palestinian children stand in the rubble of destroyed homes from the 50-day conflict between Hamas militants and Israel, in Gaza City on October 12, 2014A UN human rights watchdog on Thursday urged Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians, and demanded the country probe violations committed during repeated assaults on Gaza. With tensions soaring in East Jerusalem, and months of almost daily clashes, the UN Human Rights Committee published conclusions Thursday from its review earlier this month of Israel's human rights record. The committee lamented continued punitive demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, excessive force by the Israel Defence Forces and decried reports of the use of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians, including children, in Israeli detention facilities.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:37:26 -0400
Ebola: Danger in Sierra Leone, progress in Liberia

A Ebola health worker removes rubbish including plastic bottles from the Island Clinic Treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The rate of new Ebola infections in Liberia appears to be declining and could represent a real trend, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, but the epidemic is far from over. (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Liberia is making some progress in containing the Ebola outbreak while Sierra Leone is "in a crisis situation which is going to get worse," the top anti-Ebola officials in the two countries said.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:37:19 -0400
Brazilian swimmer banned for 2 years for doping
SAO PAULO (AP) — The Brazilian swimming federation says it has suspended Evandro Vinicius Silva for two years for doping.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:35:25 -0400
Top Asian News at 2:30 p.m. GMT
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Japan is not exactly Ebola country, but when a high-level delegation from Tokyo arrived in Pyongyang this week, two of the first people they met were dressed in full hazmat gear. North Korea is always on guard against outside influences, but now that it perceives the deadly disease to be a threat, its anxiety has reached a new level. It has banned tourists, is mulling strict quarantine requirements, has put business groups on hold and is looking even more suspiciously than usual at every foreign face coming across its borders.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:32:58 -0400
North Korea to deepen probe into Japanese abductees: Japan's Abe

Japan's PM Abe reviews members of JSDF during the JSDF Air Review to celebrate 60 years since the service's founding at Hyakuri air base in OmitamaTOKYO (Reuters) - North Korea had told Japan it intends to deepen its probe into the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang decades ago, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, but there was no indication of any imminent breakthrough. Abe's administration is under fire for fund-related scandals in his cabinet that have forced two ministers to resign and put others under scrutiny, and any progress in the talks with North Korea would provide a welcome relief. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:32:31 -0400
Iran wants sanctions lifted as part of nuclear deal

The chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi speaks on June 4, 2014 in DamascusIran wants all Western sanctions to be lifted as part of a deal on its contested nuclear programme by a November deadline, a top official said Wednesday. The six powers in the talks with Iran -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1 -- have set November 24 as the deadline. The chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the US proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions was "unacceptable." A Western diplomat close to the negotiations with Iran on Monday said a firm deal by the deadline was highly unlikely, saying Tehran would have to make "significant gestures."

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:31:40 -0400
Peshmerga troops start entering Syrian border town

Smoke rises from an Islamic State fighters position in the town of Kobani during airstrikes by the US led coalition, seen from the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Ten Iraqi peshmerga fighters entered the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani via Turkey on Thursday, the first from among a group of 150 Kurdish troops headed there, activists said.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:29:37 -0400
Jerusalem on edge after police kill Palestinian gunman

Masked Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in the mostly Arab east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Abu Tor on October 30, 2014Clashes raged in east Jerusalem Thursday after police shot dead a Palestinian accused of trying to kill a Jewish hardliner, prompting officials to close the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Israel said its closure of the shrine, which is holy to Jews and Muslims, was a temporary measure aimed at calming tempers, but Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said it was tantamount to a "declaration of war". Wednesday night's shooting incident and the subsequent killing of the suspected gunman sent tensions soaring to a new high, following months of almost daily clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the occupied eastern sector of the Holy City. "This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation," Abbas said through his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina, warning it would only fuel "more tension and instability".

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:29:30 -0400
South Africans mourn sport deaths
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Singing hymns and blowing vuvuzelas, South African sporting fans on Thursday paid final respects to three sporting figures who died within three days of each other.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:28:29 -0400
China 'vulnerable' to Ebola outbreak, says expert

Women work on the CT1SL428, a protective suit for use in handling people infected with Ebola, in a sewing room of Lakeland Industries Inc in Anqiu, 500km south of Bejing on October 23, 2014China is "vulnerable" to the deadly Ebola outbreak due to the soaring number of Chinese working in Africa and poor infection control at home, a co-discoverer of the virus warned Thursday. Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot also said experience with other viral outbreaks showed that airport screening was largely ineffective, and repeated his earlier criticism of the World Health Organization's initially "slow" response to the crisis. China is Africa's largest trading partner and Beijing's diplomatic footprint across the continent has expanded hugely in recent years as it seeks resources to drive the world's number-two economy. "So it is not impossible that one of them will go (back) to China.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:24:37 -0400
Pakistan reaches 304-2 against Australia
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Younis Khan struck his third straight century and Azhar Ali also reached triple figures to put Pakistan in control at 304-2 after the first day of the second test against Australia Thursday.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:20:22 -0400
Protesters storm Burkina Faso parliament, set fire
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Protesters stormed Burkina Faso's parliament Thursday, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president's rule during his 27 years in power.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:17:53 -0400
US stocks are mixed early trading

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Major stock indexes traded in a tight range in the early going as investors wait for word from the Federal Reserve and mull over a mixed batch of earnings results. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are drifting in early trading Thursday as a parade of big companies turn in quarterly results. A strong gain for Visa pulled the Dow Jones industrial average higher.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:16:56 -0400
World Bank gives $100 mn for Ebola health workers in W.Africa

Medical staff wearing protective masks wait for passengers arriving from Conakry in Guinea at Abidjan airport on October 20, 2014 as Ivory Coast's airline resumed flights to the three west African countries worst-hit by EbolaThe World Bank said Thursday it was immediately providing $100 million to support the deployment of more health workers to Ebola-stricken West Africa. The money is in answer to appeals for reinforcement of health workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the deadly disease has killed nearly 5,000. The United Nations estimates that the three countries need another 5,000 international medical, training and support personnel in the coming months. "The world's response to the Ebola crisis has increased significantly in recent weeks, but we still have a huge gap in getting enough trained health workers to the areas with the highest infection rates," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:13:39 -0400
Sri Lanka says no hope finding mudslide survivors
KOSLANDA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Hundreds of desperate Sri Lankan villagers dug with bare hands through the broken red earth of a deadly landslide Thursday, defying police orders after a top disaster official said there was no chance of finding more survivors at the high-elevation tea plantation.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:10:00 -0400
Navas to take legal action against spying agents
MADRID (AP) — Keylor Navas says he will take legal action after 24 government agents of Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department used a database to access personal information about the Real Madrid and national team goalkeeper.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:09:22 -0400
NATO 'vigilant' over Russian warplane manoeuvres

Russian bombers Tu-22M3NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the transatlantic alliance remained vigilant after an increase in Russian military manoeuvres in European airspace. "NATO is strong, it remains vigilant," he said during a visit to Athens. Russian strategic bombers, fighters and tanker aircraft have been intercepted on Tuesday and Wednesday in what NATO said earlier was "unusual" activity. "This strength is our answer" to what NATO has termed large-scale Russian military manoeuvres over the Atlantic, Baltic, North and Black seas earlier this week, when they skirted NATO airspace.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:08:31 -0400
Burkina Faso military to make statement soon: local media
DAKAR (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's military command will make a statement on the situation in the country at 1400 GMT (6.00 a.m. EDT), local media reported on Thursday. Thousands of protesters had earlier marched on the presidential palace after burning the parliament building and ransacking state television offices, forcing President Blaise Compaore to scrap a plan to extend his 27-year rule. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Daniel Flynn)
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:06:41 -0400
Survey: Asia finds money brings happiness

A Chinese woman laughs during a social dance with a man at Ritan Park in Beijing, China Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Levels of self-reported well-being in fast-growing nations like Indonesia, China and Malaysia now rival those in US, Germany and the United Kingdom, rich nations which have long topped the happiness charts, according to a Pew Research Center global survey released Friday that it showed how national income was closely linked to personal life satisfaction. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)SINGAPORE (AP) — Emerging Asian nations are finding out what developed ones did years ago: money — and the stuff it buys — brings happiness.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:05:48 -0400
Court case dropped against Nigerian football federation

Nigeria's players celebrate a goal during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan in Abuja on October 15, 2014A court case against Nigeria's football association that threatened to earn the country a lengthy ban from international competition has been dropped, lawyers said on Thursday. The case had been brought by Chris Giwa, who was appointed to head the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in controversial circumstances in August but then later ousted. A judge in the central city of Jos had last week ruled that the appointment of a new president, Amaju Pinnick, and executive committee should be set aside. Joshua Onoja, representing the NFF, also confirmed that the case had been discontinued.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:03:45 -0400
Schalke extends Atsuto Uchida's contract

Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi, left, and Schalke's Atsuto Uchida challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Schalke has extended the contract of Japan defender Atsuto Uchida by three years until 2018.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:03:05 -0400
Top Asian News at 2:00 p.m. GMT
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Japan is not exactly Ebola country, but when a high-level delegation from Tokyo arrived in Pyongyang this week, two of the first people they met were dressed in full hazmat gear. North Korea is always on guard against outside influences, but now that it perceives the deadly disease to be a threat, its anxiety has reached a new level. It has banned tourists, is mulling strict quarantine requirements, has put business groups on hold and is looking even more suspiciously than usual at every foreign face coming across its borders.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:03:04 -0400
Zambia: President's body to return Saturday

ARCHIVO - Foto de archivo, 23 de septiembre de 2011, del presidente de Zambia, Michael Sata, tras prestar juramento en Lusaka, Zambia. Sata murió tras una enfermedad, anunció el miércoles 29 de octubre de 2014 el gobierno zambiano. (AP Foto/Jerome Delay, File)LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — The body of President Michael Sata, who died in London after a long illness, will be flown to Zambia on Saturday, the Zambian government said.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:01:15 -0400
Sicily: 5 free things for visitors to do

This September 2014 photo shows the Norman cathedral of Cefalu in northern Sicily. The cathedral, which dates to the 12th century, is one of many splendid examples of Norman architecture in Sicily that are open to the public and free to visit. The Normans conquered Sicily during the Middle Ages and established a kingdom that to this day fascinates scholars and tourists alike for its melding of northern European and Muslim cultures. (AP Photo/Cain Burdeau)PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Sicily is the Mediterranean's largest island and a trip around this triangular-shaped ancient land can be particularly rewarding for those in search of free things to do. Besides Sicily's sights, smells and sounds — the feast of wildflowers in rainy months, colorful street markets in towns and cities alike, picturesque faces and places around every corner — many of the island's greatest gifts are free.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:01:12 -0400
Pakistan reaches 304-2 at end of Day 1
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan reached 304-2 on Thursday at the end of the first day's play in the second cricket test against Australia.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:04 -0400
Wanted in US, Roman Polanski questioned in Poland

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2014 file photo Polish-French film director Roman Polanski holds his best director award during the 39th French Cesar Awards Ceremony in Paris, Friday Feb. 28, 2014. Prosecutors in Poland questioned filmmaker Roman Polanski on the request of U.S. prosecutors who are seeking his arrest on charges from 1977 of having sex with a minor, a spokeswoman said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Spokeswoman for the prosecutors in Krakow, Boguslawa Marcinkowska, said the filmmaker remained free but available for further proceedings. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Prosecutors in Poland questioned filmmaker Roman Polanski at the request of U.S. prosecutors who are seeking his arrest on charges from 1977 of having sex with a minor, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:54:33 -0400

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