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Air strikes hit Kobani as Kurdish peshmerga prepare to enter

An explosion following an air-strike is seen in the Syrian town of Kobani during heavy fightingBy Humeyra Pamuk SURUC Turkey (Reuters) - U.S.-led air strikes hit Islamic State positions around the Syrian border town of Kobani on Friday in an apparent bid to pave the way for heavily-armed Kurdish peshmerga forces to enter from neighboring Turkey. The predominantly Kurdish town, besieged for more than 40 days, has become the focus of a global war against the Sunni Muslim insurgents, who have captured expanses of Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic "caliphate" straddling the two. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:11:44 -0400
Muslim men over 50 pray at Jerusalem's Aqsa mosque amid tight security

Palestinians take part in an anti-Israel rally over the entry restrictions to the al-Aqsa mosque, in the West Bank city of HebronBy Luke Baker JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Muslim men over 50 prayed at the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday amid intense security, a day after Israel closed all access to the sacred compound for the first time in more than a decade following violence on the streets. More than 1,000 Israeli police were deployed around the Old City's cobbled streets and the ancient gates that lead to Al Aqsa, a spokeswoman said, in addition to undercover anti-riot units and observation balloons hovering in the sky. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:33:42 -0400
Europe won't recognize vote in eastern Ukraine, Merkel tells Putin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir PutinBERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone that Sunday's planned elections in eastern Ukraine were illegitimate and would not be recognized by European leaders, a Berlin government spokesman said on Friday. Merkel and Putin held a joint telephone conversation with French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Merkel's spokesman Georg Streiter said at a government news conference. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:06:55 -0400
Thousands denounce HSBC board member's likening of Hong Kong people to freed slaves

Pro-democracy protesters hold up umbrellas and chant slogans to mark the one-month anniversary of the Occupy civil disobedience movement at Mongkok in Hong KongBy Anne Marie Roantree and Lisa Jucca HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands have signed an online petition denouncing reported comments by an HSBC Holdings board member in which she likened Hong Kong protesters' demands for democracy to the emancipation of slaves. Laura Cha, who is also a member of Hong Kong's policy-making Executive Council, chairwoman of the city's Financial Services Development Council and a member of China's parliament, was quoted as making the comments at an event in Paris. "American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:35:48 -0400
Burkina Faso president resigns, calls for 90-day transition

People load goods looted from a building, which according to locals, belongs to Francois Compaore, the younger brother of Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore, in OuagadougouOUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore announced his resignation in a statement on Friday and called for a 90-day transition to "free and transparent" elections in the West African country, local radio and television said. "I declare a vacancy of power with a view to allowing a transition that should finish with free and transparent elections in a maximum period of 90 days," said the statement, read on local radio and television by presenters. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:54:49 -0400
Gazprom to resume gas supply after Ukraine pays $2.2 billion

Russian Energy Minister Novak shakes hands with Ukraine's Energy Minister Prodan after gas talks at the EU Commission headquarters in BrusselsBy Denis Pinchuk and Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia may restart gas supply to Ukraine as soon as next week if Kiev pays $2.2 billion worth of debt and pre-payments, gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Friday, under a deal that is also vital to ensure deliveries to Europe. Moscow, Kiev and the European Union clinched an agreement on Thursday to resume supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine over the winter and secure transit of gas via Ukraine to Europe, despite tensions over a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in east Ukraine. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:01:01 -0400
Italy confirms end of boat migrant rescue op Mare Nostrum

A handout picture released on August 18, 2014 by the Italian Navy shows migrants aboard a boat after being rescued as part of the "Mare Nostrum" operationRome (AFP) - Italy on Friday confirmed the end of its search and rescue operation "Mare Nostrum", which has saved the lives of tens of thousands of boat migrants in the Mediterranean.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:24:37 -0400
New search may locate grave of Spanish poet Lorca
MADRID (AP) — Archeologists will start inspecting the land in an area in southern Spain near where the acclaimed poet Federico Garcia Lorca is believed to have been executed and buried at the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:15:56 -0400
US, global stocks get big boost from Bank of Japan

Street signs mark the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, in New York's Financial District, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Japan's stock benchmark surged 5 percent to the highest level since late 2007 and the yen slid against the dollar Friday Oct. 31, 2014 after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. and across the globe rose sharply Friday after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced a new stimulus package to boost the country's struggling economy. Japan's stock market jumped 4.8 percent to reach its highest level since 2007.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:14:11 -0400
After 40 years, a look at Hello Kitty's success

In this Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 photo, a model dressing as Japanese character Hello Kitty and a guest hug each other at Sanrio Puroland, a theme park featuring Hello Kitty in Tokyo. When she came to life in 1974, she was a kitty without a name, sitting sideways in blue overalls and a big red bow, on a coin purse for Japanese girls. Come Saturday, fans around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this global icon of “cute-cool.” That is, Hello Kitty. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)TOKYO (AP) — When she came to life in 1974, she was a kitty without a name, sitting sideways in blue overalls and a big red bow, on a coin purse for Japanese girls. On Saturday, fans around the world celebrate the 40th anniversary of this global icon of "cute-cool." That is, Hello Kitty.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:13:54 -0400
Burkina Faso military chief says he has taken over as head of state
OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's armed forces chief General Honore Traore said on Friday that he had taken charge of the West African state after former President Blaise Compaore resigned. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by David Lewis)
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:10:02 -0400
Uganda praises visiting North Korean official
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Uganda's president praised a visiting North Korean official at a state dinner, where he commended the Pyongyang government as a symbol of the fight against what he called Western imperialism.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:08:36 -0400
AP NewsAlert
FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Maine asks court to restrict movements of nurse who defied voluntary Ebola quarantine .
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:07:04 -0400
ATP tournament in Duesseldorf cut from schedule
DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — The ATP tournament in Duesseldorf has been canceled due to lack of funding.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:06:26 -0400
Nissan recalls Infiniti SUVs to fix air bags
DETROIT (AP) — Nissan says it's recalling more than 1,800 Infiniti SUVs in the U.S. for an air bag problem that could send shrapnel into the passenger compartment.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:06:17 -0400
Thai prime minister, an ex-general, is millionaire
BANGKOK (AP) — Asset disclosures by members of Thailand's military-dominated post-coup Cabinet reveal they are quite well-off, a trait shared with the civilian politicians they accused of corruption.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:05:47 -0400
Top Asian News at 2:00 p.m. GMT
KOSLANDA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan authorities warned of more landslides at a tea plantation where a deadly torrent of mud swept away scores of homes this week, but residents said Friday there was no room left at the shelters and no alternative housing for them to move to. Disaster officials estimate that at least 100 people were killed Wednesday when monsoon rains unleashed a cascade of muddy earth at the Koslanda plantation in Badulla district, about 140 miles (220 kilometers) east of Colombo. The death toll has yet to be confirmed, and many villagers believe the figure could exceed 200.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:03:06 -0400
Car bomb kills 10 at bus stop in northeast Nigeria: witness
By Isaac Abrak ABUJA (Reuters) - A car bomb exploded at a crowded bus stop in the northeast Nigerian city of Gombe, killing at least 10 people and wounding several others near the end of the morning rush hour on Friday, a source in the emergency services said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for a string of bomb attacks in the region this year. Gombe is close to Nigeria's northeast Borno state, the epicenter of the insurgency. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:55:37 -0400
Ukraine rebel vote drives further wedge between Russia and West

Prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, holds the Donetsk People's Republic's flag during its presentation in the eastern city of Donetsk on October 19, 2014Pro-Russian separatists controlling swathes of east Ukraine are set to hold leadership polls on Sunday that Moscow has backed despite condemnation from Kiev and the West. While insurgent leaders hope the first elections in their "republics" will show they have popular support, Ukraine and the West fear the ballot is being staged to drag the Russian-speaking industrial east further from the grip of Kiev's pro-Western government. "The elections will allow us to build a legitimate government," said rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko, the self-appointed prime minister of the separatist Donetsk People's Republic. Like his counterpart in neighbouring breakaway region Lugansk, Igor Plotnitsky, Zakharchenko is favourite to win the election in the fiefdom his armed fighters control.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:54:51 -0400
Convoy thought to contain Burkina ex-president approaches Ghana: sources
DAKAR (Reuters) - A heavily armed convoy believed to be carrying Burkina Faso's former president Blaise Compaore was seen traveling on Friday towards the southern town of Po, near the border with Ghana, two diplomatic sources and local media said. The sighting took place as Compaore's resignation statement was announced on local media after days of widescale protests. (Reporting by David Lewis and Bate Felix; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Emma Farge)
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:54:30 -0400
Burkina Faso leader steps down, vote in 90 days
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — President Blaise Compaore stepped down Friday after 27 years in power following a wave of protests against his rule. He said elections for a new leader will be held in 90 days.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:52:24 -0400
Peshmerga fighters leave Kobani to return later

A Turkish soldier climbs on an armored vehicle outside the gate of a staging area where Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters are stationed on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, across from the Syrian town of Kobani, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Ten Iraqi peshmerga fighters entered the northern Syrian border town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, crossing over from Turkey on Thursday, the first from among a group of 150 Kurdish troops on their way into the embattled city.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)SURUC, Turkey (AP) — The 10 peshmerga fighters from Iraq who entered the embattled northern Syrian town of Kobani one day earlier returned to Turkey Friday to prepare for their forces' full deployment, a Kurdish official in Kobani said.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:52:21 -0400
Iraq's top Shi'ite calls on Baghdad to help Sunni tribes after killings
By Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's most senior Shi'ite cleric called on the government on Friday to rush to the aid of Sunni tribes battling Islamic State, after the militant group executed at least 220 tribesmen west of Baghdad this week. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by Islamic State, which follows an ultra-hardline version of Sunni Islam, has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:51:06 -0400
Fearing uprising, Iraq militants hunt ex-police

FILE - In this file photo taken Monday, June 23, 2014, militants from the Islamic State parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle on a main street in Mosul, Iraq. The Islamic state group has accelerated killings of former policemen and army officers, apparently fearing they might join a potential internal Sunni uprising against its rule. Such killings, including the deadly attack on police Col. Mohammed Hassan and his son in mid October, have accelerated in recent days, as the extremists' opponents - Kurdish fighters and Shiite militias, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes - have made some gains, taking back several towns that the militants had overrun. (AP Photo, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group is conducting a purge, killing dozens of former policemen and soldiers living in areas of Iraq under its control, in a campaign apparently aimed at preventing any uprising against its extremist rule.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:50:26 -0400
France's Hollande 'sure' Burkina president will act soon to bring calm
PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois President Hollande said on Friday he believed Burkina Faso's president would take "the right decisions" within hours to bring calm to his country, where parliament has been dissolved after mass protests. "I am sure that President (Blaise) Compaore in the coming hours will take the right decisions to bring about this essential appeasement," Hollande told journalists in Paris after meeting with his Turkish counterpart. Hollande did not elaborate on what steps he expected Compaore to take. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:49:26 -0400
Burkina Faso army colonel says president has left power: TV
OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore has left power, a colonel in the presidential guard announced on Friday, according to television channel Burkina24. Lieutenant-Colonel Issaac Zida made the announcement in the central Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou when tens of thousands of people had gathered to demand Compaore's resignation after a day of violent protests on Thursday. Omega radio also separately reported that Compaore had issued a statement announcing his resignation and saying that the head of state's position was now vacant. ...
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:49:13 -0400
Burkina Faso president steps down, calls for elections
Ouagadougou (AFP) - Burkina Faso's embattled President Blaise Compaore announced on Friday that he was stepping down following violent protests demanding an end to his 27-year rule.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:47:22 -0400
Fire ravages iconic French radio building

Firefighters trucks are parked in a street near the Maison de la Radio building as smoke billows from the building in Paris which hosts the Radio France stations during a fire on October 31, 2014A fire broke out on Friday on the seventh floor of the "Maison de la radio" ("Radio house"), a vast circular building in Paris housing several media operations. Firefighters said the blaze started on the seventh floor, which is currently under reconstruction, and employees were quickly evacuated from the building. Two radio stations, France Info and France Inter, stopped transmission due to the blaze but restarted shortly afterwards. Fire service chief Gabriel Plus told reporters: "I can confirm that at the moment I'm speaking, there are no victims of the blaze."

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:43:03 -0400
Diego Costa available for Chelsea against QPR
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says striker Diego Costa will be available for Chelsea's home match against Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League on Saturday following a hamstring injury.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:39:58 -0400
U.N. talks of tough global climate targets, vague on national action

UNEP Executive Director Steiner is pictured after a news conference on "Rio +20" in Rio de JaneiroBy Alister Doyle COPENHAGEN, Oct 31 (Reuters) - - A draft U.N. guide for slowing climate change says world greenhouse gas emissions may have to fall to a net zero this century but is vague about what each nation should do now. About 500 delegates, including scientists and government experts, are meeting in Copenhagen to edit the report, which is meant to guide policymakers in setting national goals for a global climate deal at a U.N. summit in Paris in late 2015. The draft synthesis report by the U.N. ...

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:39:17 -0400
Fire causes evacuation of French state radio

Police officers and rescue worker stand by the burning state radio headquarters, known as Maison de la Radio, in Paris, France, Friday, Oct.31, 2014. The massive building was undergoing renovations when the fire began. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)PARIS (AP) — A fire at the Paris headquarters of French state radio is sending columns of thick black smoke out of more than a dozen windows.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:36:51 -0400
Top Asian News at 1:30 p.m. GMT
KOSLANDA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan authorities warned of more landslides at a tea plantation where a deadly torrent of mud swept away scores of homes this week, but residents said Friday there was no room left at the shelters and no alternative housing for them to move to. Disaster officials estimate that at least 100 people were killed Wednesday when monsoon rains unleashed a cascade of muddy earth at the Koslanda plantation in Badulla district, about 140 miles (220 kilometers) east of Colombo. The death toll has yet to be confirmed, and many villagers believe the figure could exceed 200.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:33:06 -0400
Controversial French dam halted after protester death

A protester holds a placard, reading "Dam of Sivens: Death of Remi, Permanent abandonment!" during a demonstration against a controversial dam project in Albi, in the Tarn region of southwest France, on October 31, 2014Local French authorities Friday decided to suspend work on a controversial dam after the death last week of an activist protesting against the project that sparked uproar in the country. It was "impossible" in light of the tragedy to "continue any work on the site" of the Sivens dam project, said Thierry Carcenac, head of the Tarn's executive council. The already unpopular government of President Francois Hollande has come under more pressure for a perceived slow response over the death as well as allegations that police mishandled the riots.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:31:15 -0400
Australia reaches 22-1 at stumps of day 2
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Australia reached 22-1 at stumps on day two Friday after Pakistan declared at 570-6 in the second test.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:30:34 -0400
Royal Bank of Scotland sets aside £400m for forex probes

Britain's state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has set aside £400 million ($639 million, 509 million euros) to settle allegations of price-rigging in foreign exchange marketsLondon (AFP) - Britain's state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has set aside £400 million ($639 million, 509 million euros) linked to global probes into alleged price-rigging in foreign exchange markets, it said Friday.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:29:40 -0400
Abuse inquiry chief faces resignation calls

Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf prepares to welcome guests arriving for a banquet at the Guildhall in central London on October 22, 2014London (AFP) - The head of a government inquiry on child sex abuse faced mounting pressure to step down Friday over her links to a former minister at the centre of allegations of an establishment cover-up.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:28:43 -0400
David Silva out for 'around 3 weeks' for Man City

Manchester City's Edin Dzeko, left, and Stevan Jovetic stand over an injured David Silva during the English League Cup soccer match between Manchester City and Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Wednesday Oct. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)LONDON (AP) — Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says attacking midfielder David Silva will be sidelined for "around three weeks" with a knee ligament injury, missing the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:25:29 -0400
Heavy security as Israel reopens Jerusalem site

Palestinian youths clash with Israeli border police after Moatez Higazi was shot in east Jerusalem, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Israeli police shot and killed Higazi suspected of trying to kill a hard-line Jewish activist in Jerusalem, an incident that quickly sparked clashes between masked stone throwers and Israeli riot police, threatening to further enflame the already high tensions in the city.(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel reopened a contested Jerusalem holy site on Friday and deployed more than 1,000 security personnel following clashes the previous day between Palestinians and Israeli riot police that had ratcheted up already heightened tensions in the city.

Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:22:15 -0400
Chinese official allegedly hides $33M in bribes
BEIJING (AP) — Investigators in China have found more than 200 million yuan ($33 million) in cash at the home of an energy official accused of receiving bribes, in the country's largest cash seizure ever, a senior prosecutor said Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:14:38 -0400
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