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Islamic State video claims to show beheading of U.S. journalist

Still image from undated video of a masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaking next to man purported to be James Foley at an unknown locationBy Alexander Dziadosz and Michael Georgy BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. The video, titled "A Message To America," also showed images of another U.S.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:29:39 -0400
Gaza war rages on, Hamas says Israel tried to kill its military chief

Smoke rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in GazaBy Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike in Gaza killed the wife and infant son of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, the group said, calling it an attempt to assassinate him after a ceasefire collapsed. Palestinians launched more than 100 rockets, mainly at southern Israel, with some intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, the military said. Israeli aircraft have carried out 80 strikes in the Gaza Strip since Tuesday, "targeting terror sites", the military said. Hamas and medical officials said 19 people died in the latest Israeli raids, including Deif's wife and seven-month-old son.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:46:02 -0400
Street battles in eastern Ukraine town kill nine: ministry

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop an armoured personnel carrier as they are transported to a military base in the eastern Ukrainian town of KramatorskBy Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces fought street battles with separatist rebels in the eastern town of Ilovaisk overnight into Wednesday as they sought to isolate rebel strongholds near the Russian border, an Interior Ministry official said. Nine pro-Ukrainian volunteer fighters, supporting Kiev's forces, were killed in the fighting in Ilovaisk, which lies part way along the road from Donetsk, the region's main hub, and the border with Russia, the official, Anton Gerashchenko, said. Separately, health authorities said 34 civilians had been killed as a result of fighting in the 24 hours up to noon Wednesday in the wider Donetsk region, one of two big provinces of Ukraine's industrial east. Local authorities in the big eastern city of Luhansk said the city rocked with the crash of artillery fire and heavy automatic fire on Wednesday as government forces kept up an assault on rebels who have occupied key buildings there since April, when the separatist rebellions erupted.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:05:59 -0400
Pakistan cleric's supporters attempt to blockade parliament, but MPs escape

Supporters of Mohammad Tahir ul-Qadri, Sufi cleric and leader of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), sleep at the entrance of the parliament house in IslamabadBy Katharine Houreld and Syed Raza Hassan ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Thousands of Pakistani protesters tried to blockade parliament on Wednesday after an anti-government cleric told them not to allow anyone in or out, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inside at the time, but the lawmakers left by a back entrance. The protesters have taken to the streets of Islamabad for five days, led by cricket star turned opposition leader Imran Khan and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, who runs a network of Islamic schools and charities. The Supreme Court summoned both to appear before the court on Thursday. Its civilian government is struggling to assert its authority after decades when the country swung between democracy and military rule.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:52:22 -0400
Kurdish ministers rejoin Iraqi government: foreign minister

Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari attends the preparatory meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers in Kuwait CityBAGHDAD (Reuters) - Kurdish ministers who suspended their participation in the government of outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have rejoined the administration, Iraq's outgoing foreign minister said on Wednesday. "I am back in Baghdad as foreign minister," Hoshiyar Zebari, a Kurd, told Reuters. Maliki infuriated Kurdish leaders by accusing them of harboring terrorists after Islamic State militants swept through northern Iraq in June. (Reporting by Michael Georgy, editing by John Stonestreet)

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 03:37:52 -0400
Landslides hit Japan's Hiroshima, killing at least 36
By Toru Hanai HIROSHIMA (Reuters) - At least 36 people, including several children, were killed in Japan on Wednesday, when landslides triggered by torrential rain slammed into the outskirts of the western city of Hiroshima, and the toll could rise further, police said.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:36:06 -0400
France urges Israel, Palestinians to talk after ceasefire ends
French President Francois Hollande called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume truce talks after a Gaza ceasefire collapsed and said the demilitarization of the enclave and a lifting of a blockade should be part of a deal. Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, in what the group said was an attempt to assassinate him after the failure of Egyptian-brokered negotiations. France supports the Egyptian mediation," Hollande told Le Monde in an interview.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:16:06 -0400
Palestinian president due in Doha to meet Emir and Hamas leader
DOHA (Reuters) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will meet the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Gaza and more aid for Palestinians, diplomatic sources told Reuters. A ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets at Israel and Israel launching air strikes. Abbas's visit to Qatar, a close ally of Hamas, will be his second since the hostilities in Gaza began on July 8. ...
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:20:31 -0400
UEFA investigates Italian soccer head over racism

Italian national soccer team's new coach Antonio Conte, left, flanked by Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) President Carlo Tavecchio, speak during a press conference for his presentation, in Rome, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)LONDON (AP) — The Italian football federation's new president is being investigated by UEFA over an alleged racist comment and could be banned for three months.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:12:34 -0400
Liberian security forces seal slum to halt Ebola

Liberia security forces in riot gear, blockade an area near the West Point Ebola center as the government clamps down on the movement of people to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Security forces deployed Wednesday to enforce a quarantine around a slum in the Liberian capital, stepping up the government’s fight to stop the spread of Ebola and unnerving residents.(AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Security forces blocked off a seaside slum in Liberia's capital Wednesday, stepping up the government's fight to stop the spread of Ebola, unnerving residents and reportedly sparking a protest.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:12:06 -0400
UK's Cameron returns to London to discuss Islamic State video
British Prime Minister David Cameron will interrupt his holiday and return to London on Wednesday after Islamic State released a video that appeared to show the beheading of a man identified as a U.S. "He will meet with the Foreign Secretary and senior officials from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the agencies to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by ISIL terrorists," a statement from Cameron's office read. Britain said earlier it would also be working closely with the United States to identify the man shown in the video holding a knife, who appeared to have a British accent.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:10:28 -0400
Germany says prepared to send weapons to Iraq's Kurds
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is prepared to send arms to Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq fighting Islamic State militants, Germany's foreign and defence ministers said on Wednesday. Military equipment such as helmets and security vests would be sent immediately, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, adding that Berlin had agreed also to send weapons. "We can imagine providing further equipment, including weapons. Great Britain, Italy and France have decided to send such goods and we are prepared to do so too," he told reporters. ...
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:10:28 -0400
Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps trains ahead of the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Michael Phelps got a reminder of just how challenging his return to international competition may be when he was asked whether he was good enough to even reach a final at the Pan Pacific Championships this week.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:09:46 -0400
British fighter appears to have role in beheading

In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)LONDON (AP) — The black-clad Islamic militant fighter who appears in a video beheading American journalist James Foley appears to be British, the U.K. foreign minister said Wednesday — a development that underscores the insurgents' increasingly sophisticated use of Western fighters to mobilize recruits and terrorize enemies.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:09:27 -0400
Top Asian News at 12:00 p.m. GMT
TOKYO (AP) — Rain-sodden slopes collapsed in torrents of mud, rock and debris Wednesday in the outskirts of Hiroshima, killing at least 36 people and leaving seven missing, police said. Public broadcaster NHK showed rescue workers suspended by ropes from police helicopters pulling victims from the rubble. Others gingerly climbed into windows as they searched for survivors in crushed homes.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:02:55 -0400
AP PHOTOS: Peruvian nurse cares for 175 sick cats

In this Aug. 2, 2014 photo, Maria Torero, plays with a group of 175 cats with leukemia in her home in Lima, Peru. Torero says caring for cats with feline leukemia is her responsibility. Anybody else can care for healthy animals. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)LIMA, Peru (AP) — At her job, Maria Torero cares for sick human beings. At home, she lavishes love on slowly dying cats — 175 of them at last count.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:57:11 -0400
Ukraine asks IMF to combine two aid tranches for total of $2.2 billion: IFX
Ukraine wants the International Monetary Fund to combine the expected third and fourth tranches of a $17 billion dollar bailout package for a total of around $2.2 billion, Interfax quoted Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak as saying on Wednesday. Ukraine is already expecting the disbursement of a second slice of $1.4 billion from the IMF under the program on August 29. "We want to combine the third and fourth tranches. Writing by Alessandra Prentice;
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:53:59 -0400
Cameron breaks holiday after apparent US journalist execution

US freelance reporter James Foley (L) is seen at work in Sirte, Libya, on September 29, 2011British Prime Minister David Cameron broke off his holiday Wednesday for talks on the threat posed by Islamic State jihadists following the "shocking and depraved" apparent beheading of US journalist James Foley. Cameron was returning to his Downing Street office in London to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria as experts worked on trying to identify the executioner in the beheading video, who spoke with a British accent. "If true, the murder of James Foley is shocking and depraved.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:51:12 -0400
Pakistan anti-government protesters blockade parliament

Pakistani supporters of Canada-based preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri gather in front of the Parliament during the 'Revolution March' protest in the capital Islamabad on August 20, 2014Protesters demanding the fall of the Pakistani government blockaded parliament and key ministries Wednesday in the latest round of a week-long political drama that has shaken the restive nuclear-armed nation. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri had Tuesday led followers in a late-night march on the parliament building, the culmination of a week-long standoff with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Khan and Qadri say last year's general election that swept Sharif to power by a landslide was rigged, and they are demanding his resignation. Qadri repeated his demand for Sharif to quit and install a "national government", and ordered his followers to stop lawmakers leaving a national assembly sitting called to debate the crisis.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:50:20 -0400
Iran's parliament dismisses moderate minister

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, right, welcomes Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano for their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammad Berno, Iranian Presidency Office)TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — In a move led by hard-line lawmakers, Iran's parliament dismissed the country's science minister on Wednesday over his alleged support for pro-Western voices at universities, dealing a blow to moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:49:09 -0400
Germany prepared to send arms to Kurds in Iraq

An internally displaced Iraqi woman holds her sister during a sandstorm at a new camp outside the Bajid Kandala camp in Feeshkhabour town, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Some 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting in Iraq since the Islamic State's rapid advance began in June, and thousands more have died. The scale of the humanitarian crisis prompted the U.N. to declare its highest level of emergency last week. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)BERLIN (AP) — Germany says it is prepared to arm the Kurdish fighters battling Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:47:14 -0400
Ukraine flag unfurled on top of Moscow skyscraper

A worker repaints a star yellow at the top of a Stalin-era skyscraper in Moscow blue, on August 20, 2014. The star was painted in yellow and blue, the Ukrainian national colors, by unknown peopleA Ukrainian flag was unfurled on the top of a Moscow skyscraper within sight of the Kremlin on Wednesday, officials said, as fighting in eastern Ukraine has frayed bilateral ties. The Soviet star crowning the Stalin-era skyscraper, located just a kilometre (half a mile) from the Kremlin, was also painted in the yellow and blue colours of the national flag. "The flag was attached by unidentified criminals to the top of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment skyscraper," a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry, Roman Kilkeyev, told AFP. Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have soared since Viktor Yanukovich was chased from power in Ukraine and replaced with a pro-Western government in February.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:45:08 -0400
Jackie Chan expressed shame over son's drug arrest
BEIJING (AP) — Action star Jackie Chan says he's ashamed and saddened over his son's arrest on drug charges and has apologized to the public.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:43:18 -0400
Iran parliament dismisses minister in setback for Rouhani

Iran's President Rouhani attends a news conference in AnkaraIran's parliament voted to dismiss the minister of science on Wednesday, removing an official viewed with distrust by conservatives and dealing a blow to moderate President Hassan Rouhani's liberalization program.    An impeachment motion passed by the assembly accused Reza Faraji-Dana, the Minister of Science, Research and Technology, of allowing students expelled from university following anti-government unrest in 2009 to return to campus. The vote, reported by official media, marks the first major ousting from office of a government minister since Rouhani's landslide election victory in 2013.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:40:55 -0400
Thai junta chief tipped to become PM

Thai coup leader General Prayut Chan-O-Cha pictured in Bangkok on August 7, 2014Thailand's coup leader is expected to be picked as prime minister by the kingdom's new army-dominated national assembly, junta sources said Wednesday, cementing the military's hold on power in the politically turbulent nation. Army Chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha is likely to be the sole candidate for the premiership when the 197-strong appointed assembly convenes on Thursday to select a new leader for the Southeast Asian country, the sources told AFP. "It was difficult to find people to become prime minister other than General Prayut. If it's not him, who else should it be?" one junta official said on condition of anonymity.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:38:37 -0400
Egypt says it will end blackouts in 4 months
CAIRO (AP) — Top officials in Egypt have promised to end the rolling blackouts hitting the country in four months, blaming the outages on a fuel shortage, hot weather and poor maintenance of power plants.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:38:12 -0400
Hamas leader Deif 'deserves to die': Israeli minister

Then Israeli Education Minister Gideon Saar pictured at a press conference at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on February 1, 2012An Israeli cabinet minister on Wednesday justified an air strike on Gaza that killed the wife and child of Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif, saying he was a legitimate target. "Mohammed Deif deserves to die just like (the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden. He is an arch murderer and as long as we have an opportunity we will try to kill him," Interior Minister Gideon Saar told army radio. It was not immediately clear whether Deif had been killed or injured in the strike, which levelled a six-storey house in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood late on Tuesday.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:35:42 -0400
Pakistan lawmakers meet amid mass protests

A supporter of Pakistani religious cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, sleeps inside a vehicle parked next to the parliament building, after tens of thousands of protesters entered Islamabad's high-security Red Zone the night before, five days after arriving in the capital from the eastern city of Lahore in convoys, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Jubilant anti-government demonstrators in Pakistan are claiming victory after tearing down barricades and occupying a key road outside Parliament, where they are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani lawmakers met Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters thronged outside the assembly calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged voting fraud.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:35:29 -0400
Top Asian News at 11:30 a.m. GMT
TOKYO (AP) — Rain-sodden slopes collapsed in torrents of mud, rock and debris Wednesday in the outskirts of Hiroshima, killing at least 36 people and leaving seven missing, police said. Public broadcaster NHK showed rescue workers suspended by ropes from police helicopters pulling victims from the rubble. Others gingerly climbed into windows as they searched for survivors in crushed homes.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:32:53 -0400
36 dead, 7 missing in Hiroshima landslide

In this aerial photo, a rescue helicopter hovers over an area devastated by a massive landslide in Hiroshima, western Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. A several people died and at least a dozen are missing after rain-sodden hills in the outskirts of Hiroshima gave way early Wednesday in several landslides. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDITTOKYO (AP) — Rain-sodden slopes collapsed in torrents of mud, rock and debris Wednesday in the outskirts of Hiroshima, killing at least 36 people and leaving seven missing, police said.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:29:03 -0400
Four protesters fly Ukrainian flag from Stalin-era Moscow landmark
Four people who climbed a Moscow skyscraper on Wednesday and attached a Ukrainian flag to its spire have been charged with vandalism by Russian police and may face three years in jail. The protesters also managed to paint half a massive yellow star at the top of the spire with blue paint, so it resembled the yellow-and-blue national colors of Ukraine. After the four were arrested, maintenance crews quickly removed the flag from the Stalin-era building, which towers over the Moscow River and houses businesses and apartments, and were starting to remove the blue paint. Moscow and Kiev are locked in a bitter stand-off: Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March and Kiev says Russia is arming separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:25:54 -0400
Rebel city: 34 killed in fighting in 24 hours

People carry a stretcher with a dead man after shelling by the Ukrainian forces in Makiivka, 25 km (16 miles) from Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Government troops on Tuesday pressed attacks in the two largest cities held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, as Kiev also pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict that has killed more than 2,000. (AP Photo/Antoine E.R. Delaunay)KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Fighting in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk has killed 34 residents and wounded 29 others in the past day, authorities said Wednesday.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:25:51 -0400
Turkish soldier killed in clashes with Kurdish militants
At least one Turkish soldier was killed and another wounded in clashes with Kurdish militants in eastern Turkey as tensions escalated, local media reported, potentially undermining government efforts toward direct peace talks. A group of fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fired at a military border patrol unit near the Iran border in the eastern province of Van. A Turkish lieutenant was killed, and another soldier was injured in the clash late on Tuesday, according to Turkish media. A Kurdish protester was shot dead and two others were wounded in southeastern Turkey earlier on Tuesday as they clashed with security forces dismantling a newly erected statue of a prominent Kurdish militant.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:21:30 -0400
111-year-old from Japan recognized as oldest man

Sakari Momoi, a 111-year-old Japanese retired educator, poses for a photo after receiving a certificate from Guinness World Records, in Tokyo Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Momoi was recognized as the world’s oldest living man on Wednesday, succeeding Alexander Imich of New York, who died in April at the age of 111 years, 164 days. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORYTOKYO (AP) — A 111-year-old retired Japanese educator who enjoys poetry has been recognized as the world's oldest living man.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:17:23 -0400
Japanese police say death toll from landslides in Hiroshima has risen to 36; 7 people missing
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese police say death toll from landslides in Hiroshima has risen to 36; 7 people missing.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:14:27 -0400
FIFA rejects Barcelona appeal against transfer ban

FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez, from Uruguay, center, poses with Barcelona's sports director Andoni Zubizarreta, left, and Barcelona's vice-president Jordi Mestre during a press conference of his presentation at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Barcelona unveiled Suarez on Tuesday, an event delayed for over five weeks since his transfer from Liverpool due to his latest suspension for biting an opponent at the World Cup. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)ZURICH (AP) — Barcelona will be barred from signing any players in 2015 after FIFA rejected the club's appeal against a one-year ban for breaching transfer regulations.

Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:13:25 -0400
At least 36 dead as Japan landslides engulf homes
Huge landslides in western Japan killed at least 36 people and left rescuers scrambling to find another seven still missing, authorities said Wednesday, after a wall of mud smashed into their homes. Dozens of houses were buried when hillsides collapsed after torrential downpours in Hiroshima, television pictures showed, leaving rescuers to pick through the devastation for any signs of life. A spokesman for Hiroshima Police told AFP the death toll was still climbing. Among the dead was a 53-year-old rescuer, who was killed by a secondary landslide after he had pulled five people to safety, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
Date Posted : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:09:08 -0400
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