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World - Fuel tanks hit in clashes near Libyan airport

Fuel storage tanks that supply Tripoli were hit on Wednesday in clashes between rival Libyan militias, igniting a huge blaze near the international airport. More than 40 people have been killed in some of the worst violence in the capital since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, as rival brigades of former fighters battle with rockets and mortars for control of the airport. Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi have faced days of heavy street fighting among armed brigades and militias who once battled Gaddafi and now want to claim what they see as their rightful share of power in post-war Libya. A twin suicide bombing at a Libyan army base in Benghazi killed at least four solders on Tuesday, in an escalation of clashes between Islamist militants and regular forces battling to oust them from the eastern city.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  13:08


World - Young Islamic State robs al Qaeda of militant prestige

By William Maclean DUBAI (Reuters) - In hiding, targeted by drone strikes and unable to land a blow in the West, al Qaeda`s ageing leaders are losing a power struggle with ultra-radical young militants in Iraq and Syria who see themselves as the true successors to Osama bin Laden. Western officials insist the network is still a top threat, in part because turmoil in Arab states gives it scope to organize: Its affiliates in Syria and Yemen include experienced guerrillas and expert bomb makers. Supporters of the so-called Islamic State admire its sectarian attacks on Shi`ites in Iraq and government forces in Syria, confident such violence is part of a broader war with the West advocated by bin Laden, killed by U.S. troops in 2011.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  10:28


World - Tunisia faces dilemma in anti-jihadist campaign

Tunisia has hit back at a deadly jihadist attack on troops by closing mosques and media outlets seen as sympathetic to extremists, raising fears of a return to the censorship of the old regime. In the wake of a July 16 attack which left 15 soldiers dead in Mount Chaambi near the Algerian border, the authorities have laid down a `red line` against criticism of the army and police. It has also decided to shut down unlicensed media outlets which had `turned into platforms for takfiris and jihad,` referring to apostasy charges against fellow Muslims. Hailed as the poster boy of the Arab Spring -- the wave of uprisings that swept the region from 2011 -- the authoritarian regime of Tunisia`s longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in a popular uprising that year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014  12:02


Sports - Ferry tragedy gives Koreans extra drive for Crown

South Korea`s women golfers dedicated their efforts at this week`s inaugural LPGA International Crown team matches to lifting their homeland`s spirits after April`s ferry disaster that killed nearly 300 people. The Seoul ferry sank on April 16 with 476 people on board, including 325 high school children, and 294 were confirmed dead in a mishap that stunned South Korea after learning incompetence, corruption and greed contributed to the tragedy. Everybody still thinks about that and all the young kids and feels really sad,` ninth-ranked Ryu So-Yeon, the 2011 US Women`s Open champion, said Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  23:11


Middle East - At War Blog: Returning to Service, and Iraq, With Blackwater

Iraq veteran Matt Pelak returned to the country via a job with Blackwater. He writes that it`s hard to square that experience, and his respect for his colleagues, with the recent coverage of the Blackwater employees on trial for shooting Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  15:53


Top Stories - 4 more charged in 2011 hate crime

Victim targeted by white teens, harassed and beaten, then run down by a pickup truck

Thursday, July 17, 2014  09:11


World - Norway honors victims of 2011 terror attacks

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Tuesday the best way to honor the 77 people who died in terror attacks in her country three years ago is to `fight for openness, tolerance and diversity.`

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  16:19


World - U.S. judge tosses FDA panel report on menthol cigarettes

By Mica Rosenberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Monday in favor of two tobacco companies that challenged a 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee report on menthol cigarettes, finding three of the panel`s members had conflicts of interests. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the FDA reconstitute the committee and barred the agency from using the panel`s findings, which said removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health. Lorillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc`s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co unit filed the lawsuit in 2011 arguing the panel`s members were biased against the industry. `The presence of conflicted members on the Committee irrevocably tainted its very composition and its work product,` Leon wrote in ruling filed at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. He called the panel`s findings and recommendations `at a minimum suspect, and, at worst, untrustworthy.` Leon has sided with the tobacco companies in the past.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  01:32


World - Somalia facing new famine threat, aid agencies warn

Three years to the day since a famine that eventually killed more than a quarter of a million people was declared in Somalia, aid agencies warned Sunday the country faced a new catastrophe without urgent aid. A joint statement issued by a group of charities and aid agencies said there were more than 300,000 malnourished children in Somalia and a total of 2.9 million people in need of life-saving help. `Aid agencies today caution, again, that the signs of a drought are re-emerging in Somalia and urge for these not to be ignored in order to avoid a relapse into the conditions of the 2011 catastrophe,` the statement said, warning that without funding, aid programmes were likely to be forced to shut down. `Most affected people are still recovering from the massive losses of the 2011 drought and famine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014  13:03


World - Sri Lanka court sentences four for murder of Briton, rape of fiancée

By Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan court convicted on Friday four men, including a ruling party town council member, of the murder of a British aid worker and the rape of his Russian fiancée and sentenced them to jail with hard labor for 20 years. Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker based in Gaza, was shot and stabbed to death on Dec. 25, 2011, at a hotel while on holiday. His fiancée was beaten unconscious before being sexually assaulted, according to hospital and police records. Colombo High Court sentenced the four, including Sampath Vidanapathirana, a ruling party supporter and head of the council in Tangalle town, where the two were staying, to `rigorous imprisonment` for 20 years.

Friday, July 18, 2014  10:53

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