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Netanyahu vows to complete Gaza tunnels destruction
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing international alarm over a rising civilian death toll in Gaza, said on Thursday he would not accept any ceasefire that stopped Israel completing the destruction of militants' infiltration tunnels. The Israeli military estimated on Wednesday that accomplishing that task, already into its fourth week, would take several more days. "We are determined to complete this mission, with or without a ceasefire," Netanyahu said in public remarks at a meeting of his full cabinet in Tel Aviv. "I wont agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to finish this important task, for the sake of Israel's security." Leaving open the option of widening a ground campaign in the Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said it had called up an additional 16,000 reservists.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:36:13 -0400
Ukraine says suspends attacks to let experts reach crash site, rebels deny

An armed pro-Russian separatist looks next to an OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine vehicle, on the way to the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, outside DonetskKIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Thursday it had suspended offensive operations in its military campaign in east Ukraine to help international experts reach the downed Malaysian airliner's crash site but separatists were continuing to attack its positions. Kiev said on the Facebook website of what it calls its "anti-terrorist operation" (ATO) against pro-Russian rebels in the east that it was heeding calls by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stop fighting near the plane crash site. "But mercenary fighters of the Russian terrorists are not respecting any international agreements and requests." The rebels have accused Kiev of blocking access to the Malaysian MH17 flight crash site by fighting in the area. "Ukraine continued to violate the ceasefire in the MH17 crash area, not allowing OSCE observers and experts from the Netherlands and Australia to enter the area," said Sergei Kavtaradze, an aide to top rebel leader Aleksander Borodai.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:27:27 -0400
Kurdish oil cargo unloaded at sea, destination a mystery

File photo of the oil tanker SCF Byrranga, which was renamed the United Kalavrvta in March 2014By Keith Wallis SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Part of a Kurdish oil cargo has been offloaded from a Greek-managed tanker into another tanker in the South China Sea, but mystery surrounds the identity of the buyer and where the two tankers are headed. The United Emblem, which is carrying more than 1 million barrels of oil, is one of three tankers loaded with oil from the autonomous Kurdish region, which is trying to sell oil independently. Iraqi Kurdistan is locked in a bitter legal and diplomatic struggle with Baghdad over international oil sales. The Kurdistan Regional Government filed a letter with the Texas court arguing its sales are allowed under the Iraqi constitution.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:32:13 -0400
Heavy shelling, clashes resume in Libya's Tripoli

Destroyed vehicles are seen after fighting between Libyan special forces and ex-rebel fighters of the Benghazi Shura Council in BenghaziHeavy shelling resumed on Thursday in southern Tripoli where rival militia brigades were battling for control of the capital's main airport in some of the worst clashes since the 2011 revolt which ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Around 200 people have been killed since the clashes erupted two weeks ago in the capital and also in the eastern city of Benghazi, where a coalition of Islamist militants and former rebels have overrun a major army base in the city. Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's fragile government and nascent army has been unable to impose authority on heavily armed brigades of former rebels who have become the North African country's powerbrokers. Most of the fighting is limited to southern Tripoli where warring factions have exchanged Grad rockets, artillery shells and cannon fire between the airport controlled by Zintan brigade fighters and enclaves of their Misrata brigade rivals.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:43:38 -0400
EU adopts toughest Russian sanctions yet

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside MoscowBy Barbara Lewis and Martin Santa BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union formally adopted sanctions on Thursday curbing arms sales to Russia and cutting off financing for targeted banks over Moscow's support for rebels in Ukraine. Russia has denounced the measures, agreed by the 28 EU member states on Tuesday, as "destructive and short-sighted", while fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatists. EU officials say the sanctions aim to inflict maximum pain on Russia and minimum pain on the EU. "We will for sure have an effect and a very substantial and concrete effect on Russia," one EU official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:46:01 -0400
Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729

Sierra Leone's President Bai Koroma attends a meeting of ECOWAS in YamoussoukroBy Umaru Fofana FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims on Thursday, joining neighboring Liberia in imposing tough controls as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said it was in urgent talks with donors and international agencies to deploy more medical staff and resources to one of the world's poorest regions. The WHO reported 57 new deaths between July 24 and July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Authorities in Nigeria, which recorded its first Ebola case last week when a U.S. citizen died after arriving on a flight from Liberia, said all passengers traveling from areas at risk would be temperature-screened for the virus.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:45:20 -0400
Irish bookmaker apologizes for 2010 data breach
DUBLIN (AP) — Irish betting company Paddy Power says it is notifying hundreds of thousands of customers that most of their profile information was stolen in 2010, but hackers did not gain their credit card details or log-in passwords.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:07:10 -0400
Evra: Juventus the right choice for me
TURIN, Italy (AP) — New Juventus defender Patrice Evra is confident he has chosen the right club after having to leave Manchester United for undisclosed personal reasons.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:04:36 -0400
Top Asian News at 3:00 p.m. GMT
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister on Thursday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Two weeks after the plane's destruction on July 17, the remains and personal possessions of many of the victims haven't been recovered — to the anguish of their relatives and friends.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:02:51 -0400
Under fire and out of cash, U.N. overwhelmed by Gaza crisis
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Noah Browning GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United Nations in Gaza is struggling to withstand a flood of almost a quarter of a million refugees into shelters that have repeatedly come under Israeli fire. Out of cash, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main U.N. body in the impoverished enclave of 1.8 million Palestinians, says it can barely handle the humanitarian crisis unleashed by more than three weeks of fighting between militants and Israel. Asked to explain the scale of the civilian suffering to an Arab news station, an UNRWA spokesman simply burst into tears. Mine pale into insignificance compared with Gaza's," Chris Gunness said.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:01:54 -0400
China says pro-government imam murdered in NW
BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday that a leading pro-government Muslim cleric in the volatile northwestern territory of Xinjiang was murdered, and police killed two suspects and captured another.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:01:11 -0400
Indian rescuers slog through waist-deep mud to dig out submerged village houses after landslide

A rescue worker searches for survivors at the site of a landslide at Malin villageBy Aman Shah MALIN VILLAGE India (Reuters) - Rescuers in India waded waist-deep through swirling sludge to dig their way into dozens of submerged homes on Thursday and find more than 100 people swallowed up by a landslide that flattened almost an entire village. Medical staff and residents tried to cremate the dead by a river flowing past the village, but the wood was too damp from incessant rain and did not burn. The head of rescue operations at the National Disaster Response Force said 125 people were feared trapped. "We have mapped the 46 houses and are trying to remove the mud from the most densely populated areas," said operations chief Alok Avasthy.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:54:55 -0400
Floods submerge parts of Balkans, 2 have died

A man uses a chainsaw to cut tree stumps to free a washed up car carried downstream by the recent flash flood, in Bascov city, Arges, Romania, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Over a thousand people were evacuated and 99 homes were destroyed as floods raged in the south eastern part of Romania. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUTBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A second person has drowned after rivers burst their banks in Romania, authorities said Thursday, and the flooding also caused damage across the Balkans, inundating a power plant in Serbia and causing landslides in Montenegro.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:54:37 -0400
Turks abroad begin voting in landmark presidential election

Supporters of Turkey's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Tayyip Erdogan react during an election rally in DiyarbakirBy Alexandra Hudson BERLIN (Reuters) - Turks in Germany streamed into Berlin's Olympic stadium on Thursday, seizing the chance to vote from abroad for the first time in an election Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan hopes will make him Turkey's first directly-elected president. Turkey itself goes to the polls on Aug. 10 to choose between Erdogan and two opposition candidates. Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade but is barred by party rules from standing for a fourth term as prime minister, has said the direct nature of the vote will imbue the presidency with far greater clout. Two surveys last month put him on 55-56 percent, a 20-point lead over his nearest rival, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:53:29 -0400
Poles protest Russian ban on their food with humor
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poles are posting photos of themselves with apples online along with mocking comments to protest a Russian ban on Polish food.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:51:10 -0400
Investigators make it to Ukraine jet crash site

The head of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) mission, acting Chief Observer Paul Picard, right, walks with Vadim Artyomov, deputy governor of Rostov region, left, while visiting the Gukovo border checkpoint at Russia-Ukraine border in a small town of Gukovo, 120 kms (75 miles ) from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The mission will be based in the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinskiy, in the Rostov-on-Don region. (AP Photo/Sergei Pivovarov)ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) — As fighting raged in eastern Ukraine, an international team of investigators on Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 and got a first look at where it was brought down by a missile two weeks ago.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:50:38 -0400
Hearing reset for suspect in UN soldier deaths
DETROIT (AP) — A federal immigration court judge delayed a hearing Thursday for a Lebanese-born man suspected by the Irish government in the deaths of two United Nations peacekeeping soldiers in Lebanon in 1980.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:42:14 -0400
Ebola-hit Sierra Leone declares state of emergency

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai KoromaSierra Leone declared a state of emergency on Thursday as countries across the world announced stringent new security measures to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic. The impoverished country, along with neighbouring Guinea and Liberia, is struggling to contain an epidemic that has infected more than 1,300 people, hit major west African cities and sparked alarm over its possible spread to western nations. "Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary measures. The Ebola virus disease poses an extraordinary challenge to our nation," Sierra Leone's leader Ernest Bai Koroma said in a televised address to the nation.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:39:31 -0400
UN rights chief slams Israel's 'defiance' of international law

Palestinian emergency personnel and civilians evacuate victims of an Israeli military strike on a market place in the Shejaiya neighbourhood near Gaza City, on July 30, 2014UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Thursday slammed what she said was Israel's "deliberate defiance" of international law during the Gaza conflict. Pillay lambasted the country's attacks on homes, schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities which are sheltering 250,000 civilians in Gaza. "There appears to be deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel," the South African told reporters. Israel has accused Palestinian Islamists Hamas and other militants of hiding out among the civilian population and using UN facilities and other sites to store weapons and launch rocket attacks.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:38:24 -0400
Sudan woman who faced death over faith heads to US
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, which was later overturned, left Europe on Thursday for the United States, where she will make her new home.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:35:41 -0400
W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

In this photo taken on Sunday, July 27, 2014, medical personnel work at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone where Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan died. A leading doctor who risked his own life to treat dozens of Ebola patients died Tuesday, July 29, 2014, from the disease, officials said, as a major regional airline announced it was suspending flights to the cities hardest hit by an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who was praised as a national hero for treating the disease in Sierra Leone, was confirmed dead by health ministry officials there. He had been hospitalized in quarantine. (AP Photo/ Youssouf Bah)DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The deadliest recorded Ebola outbreak surpassed 700 deaths across West Africa on Thursday as the World Health Organization announced dozens of new deaths reported in the last several days.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:35:12 -0400
Quakes strike Myanmar, India's Andaman Islands; no tsunami warning
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Earthquakes of magnitude 6.2 and 6.1 struck Myanmar and India's Andaman islands on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. No Tsunami warning was issued after the Andaman quake, an official at the India Meteorological Department said. The Myanmar quake struck 185 miles west of Mergui and was 19.3 miles deep, according to USGS. (Reporting by Aditya Kalra; editing by Malini Menon)
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:34:09 -0400
Top Asian News at 2:30 p.m. GMT
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister on Thursday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Two weeks after the plane's destruction on July 17, the remains and personal possessions of many of the victims haven't been recovered — to the anguish of their relatives and friends.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:32:33 -0400
China accuses 3 radicals of killing leading imam
BEIJING (AP) — China says a leading pro-government Muslim cleric in the volatile northwestern territory of Xinjiang was murdered and police killed two suspects and captured another.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:27:20 -0400
Fifth tanker of Iraqi Kurdish oil loading in Turkey
The fifth cargo of crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was loading at Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan on Thursday and was scheduled to set sail on Friday, Turkish energy officials said. The cargo was the first loading of Iraqi Kurdish oil from Ceyhan in over a month, as the central government in Baghdad, locked in a bitter dispute with the Kurds over oil exports, moved to block the unloading of Kurdish oil-laden vessels in foreign ports. It will be carrying one million barrels of crude oil. So far, most of the buyers of Kurdish oil remain anonymous while as the intensifying legal and political struggle with Baghdad could deter potential buyers, analysts say.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:25:39 -0400
Russia has case to answer in Litvinenko death: UK inquiry

Marina Litvinenko, the widow of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, speaks to the media outside the High Court in central London, on July 31, 2014Russia has a case to answer over the death of a former spy poisoned with radioactive tea in London, a British judge said Thursday as he opened a public inquiry into the highly sensitive affair. Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-agent in Russia's FSB intelligence agency who became a vocal Kremlin critic, died after ingesting polonium-210 at a London hotel in 2006. British police have named Russian spy-turned-lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi as the chief suspect along with fellow former secret agent Dmitri Kovtun but Moscow has refused to extradite them. Litvinenko accused President Vladimir Putin of being linked to his killing in a posthumous statement and the inquiry comes at a time of tense relations between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:22:14 -0400
Stocks slump as earnings disappoint

Trader James Dresch, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, June 30, 2014. European stocks were lower Wednesday July 30, 2014 ahead of U.S. economic data while cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. boosted Asian markets.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell in early trading Thursday as investors reacted to some disappointing earnings reports and assessed the implications of the approaching end to economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve. That stimulus has underpinned gains in the stock market for years.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:21:43 -0400
Israel vows to crush Gaza tunnels, snubs UN

An Israeli army officer walks on July 25, 2014 through a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip for cross-border attacksIsrael said Thursday it would not pull troops from Gaza until they finish destroying a network of cross-border tunnels, despite sharp United Nations criticism over the Palestinian civilian death toll. Speaking at a special cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not accept any ceasefire that did not allow troops to continue destroying tunnels used by militants to attack Israel. "So I will not accept any (truce) proposal that does not allow the IDF (army) to complete this work for the security of Israel's citizens." Israel does not say how many troops are currently fighting inside the Gaza Strip.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:15:02 -0400
Flash flooding shuts Serbian power plant unit
Serbia's second largest power plant, Kostolac, shut down its 181-megawatt unit due to heavy rainfall and floods in the area, the state power utility EPS said in a statement on Thursday. Serbia's energy sector is under severe strain due to damage inflicted by heavy flooding in May, forcing the Balkan country to turn to imports. Another 348.5 megawatt block in the 1,000-Megawatt Kostolac plant is offline for maintenance until December 1. "Flash floods from the surrounding hills are threatening the power plant's work," the utility said in a statement adding that the unit was switched off on Thursday morning.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:14:36 -0400
China denies hacking Canadian tech research group
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese official said Thursday that Canada should withdraw its accusation that China was behind the hacking of Canada's top technology development organization.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:14:16 -0400
Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign in the densely-populated territory.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:09:13 -0400
Afghan electoral officials to restart vote audit
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — In the latest setback to the Afghan presidential election, officials said Thursday that they will resume an audit of millions of votes this weekend to resolve disputes between the presidential candidates over how to disqualify ballots amid allegations of massive fraud.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:08:30 -0400
Libya Islamic militias declare control of Benghazi
CAIRO (AP) — Islamic hard-line militias are claiming to have taken control of Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, after defeating army units, taking over military barracks and seizing tanks, rockets and hundreds of boxes of ammunition.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:06:20 -0400
Top Asian News at 2:00 p.m. GMT
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister on Thursday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Two weeks after the plane's destruction on July 17, the remains and personal possessions of many of the victims haven't been recovered — to the anguish of their relatives and friends.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:05:38 -0400
Villumsen wins road cycling time trial gold

New Zealand's Shea McAleese, right, vies for the ball with Malaysia's Faiz Helmi Jali, left, during the men's field hockey match at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014, at the National Hockey Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/ Scott Heppell)GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Denmark-born New Zealand road cyclist Linda Villumsen finally has a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:01:00 -0400
Jude Law: With maturity comes complication

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 file photo, Actor Jude Law pauses, during the press conference for the film Side Effects at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin. Law feels his work options are widening as he gets older and there’s “less emphasis on playing romantic leads”. The 41-year-old British actor _ best known for his roles in ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’, ‘Cold Mountain’ and more recently ‘Sherlock Holmes’ _ adds, “You get over certain age, and you’re more complicated anyway. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)LONDON (AP) — Jude Law feels his work options are widening as he gets older, and he revels in the complications.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:52 -0400
Eurozone inflation down again but ECB seen on hold
BRUSSELS (AP) — The inflation rate in the 18-nation eurozone dropped again in July, official data showed Thursday, in a worrying sign that adds pressure on the European Central Bank to beef up its efforts to spur the economy.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:45 -0400
Argentina slides into second default as talks fail

An activist holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Homeland or vultures, be strong Argentina"NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:26 -0400
West Ham's Morrison charged with assault

West Ham United's Ravel Morrison shoots during his side's English Premier League match against Manchester City at Upton Park in London, on October 19, 2013West Ham United midfielder Ravel Morrison was on Thursday remanded in custody after being charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend and her mother. The 21-year-old former Manchester United player is accused of punching and slapping his former girlfriend Reah Mansoor, 19, and her mother, 39-year-old Parveen Mansoor, in the early hours of Sunday morning. The England Under-21 international, who was arrested on Wednesday, was remanded until August 7 after appearing before Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court to face two counts of common assault. Morrison, who wore a white T-shirt and white tracksuit bottoms, did not enter a plea and spoke only to confirm his name and age.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:00:18 -0400
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