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Crunch time for Gaza truce talks as death toll passes 800
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed regional proxies to nail down a Gaza ceasefire on Friday as the civilian death toll soared, threatening to spread Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed to the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. With Israel and Hamas-led Islamist fighters setting seemingly irreconcilable terms for a truce that mediators hope will begin by a Muslim festival next week, Kerry worked the phones from Egypt, while aides made clear his patience was limited. The urgency was spurred on Thursday by the killing of 15 people as they sheltered at a U.N.-run school in the northern Gaza Strip, which local officials blamed on Israeli shelling. Israel said its forces had come under attack from Palestinian guerrillas in the area of the school and that they had shot back.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 05:52:09 -0400
Bad weather likely cause of fatal Air Algerie crash: French officials

An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in AlgiersBy Chine Labbé PARIS (Reuters) - Poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash of an Air Algerie flight in the West African state of Mali that killed all 116 people on board, French officials said on Friday. Investigators at the scene of the crash in northern Mali concluded the airliner broke apart when it hit the ground, the officials said, suggesting this meant it was unlikely to have been the victim of an attack. "French soldiers who are on the ground have started the first investigations. Sadly there are no survivors," French President Francois Hollande told reporters.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 05:40:33 -0400
China probes more than 25,000 people for graft in first half of year

China's President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro at Miraflores Palace in CaracasChina investigated more than 25,000 people for corruption in the first six months of 2014, state media said on Friday, amid a nationwide crackdown on graft. Nearly 85 percent of the cases investigators pursued involved bribes of more than 50,000 yuan ($8,000) or embezzlement of 100,000 yuan, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the country's top prosecutor, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP). China's leadership under President Xi Jinping has presided over an anti-graft campaign to shore up a ruling mandate shaken by suspicion that officials waste taxpayer money or use their positions for personal advantage. Xi has said graft threatens the survival of the ruling Communist Party.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 04:22:55 -0400
Islamic State tells Iraqi women: wear full veil or face harsh punishment
By Michael Georgy BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State, the al-Qaeda offshoot that seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment. The Sunni insurgents, who have declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria and have threatened to march on Baghdad, also listed guidelines on how veils and clothes should be worn, part of a campaign to violently impose their radical brand of Islam. "The conditions imposed on her clothes and grooming was only to end the pretext of debauchery resulting from grooming and overdressing," said the Islamic State in a statement. "This is not a restriction on her freedom but to prevent her from falling into humiliation and vulgarity or to be a theater for the eyes of those who are looking." A cleric in Mosul told Reuters that Islamic State gunmen had shown up at his mosque and ordered him to read their warning on loudspeakers when worshipers gather.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 05:16:31 -0400
Australia to send 100 extra police, troops to Ukraine: PM Abbott

A Malaysian air crash investigator works at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk regionBy Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will send 100 additional police and some defense force personnel to Europe to join a planned Dutch-led international security force to secure the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, some of whom will be armed, will join a contingent of 90 AFP officers already in London waiting for a deal with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to be approved by Ukraine's parliament. "This is a humanitarian mission, with a clear and simple objective," Abbott told reporters. "I expect the operation on the ground in Ukraine, should the deployment go ahead, to last no longer than a few weeks." Abbott announced on Thursday that 50 police officers had been deployed to London ahead of the mission, but a police spokeswoman said on Friday that the number was 90.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:58:38 -0400
Norway says Islamist militants planning attack in West have left Syria

Armed police officers patrol outside a terminal building at Oslo AirportA group of militant Islamists planning to carry out attacks in the West is on its way from Syria, possibly heading towards Norway, police said on Friday. Norwegian armed police were deployed for a second day at high-risk locations including airports and train stations, after the police's intelligence unit said on Thursday it received credible information that an attack might take place in the country in coming days. "We have received information that a group of fighters have left Syria with the aim of carrying out terror attack in the West and Norway was specifically mentioned among their targets," Jon Fitje Hoffmann, the chief analyst for the Police Security Service told TV2 in an interview on Friday. Hoffmann would not say if the fighters had a specific connection to Norway or if they were part of the country's Muslim community.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:03:10 -0400
Earthquake of magnitude 6.1 strikes off Alaska -USGS
LONDON (Reuters) - An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck on the coast of Alaska on Friday, the United States Geological Survey reported. The USGS said the quake's epicenter was 55 kilometers west-northwest of Elfin Cove and 35.4 kilometers deep. (editing by John Stonestreet)
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:13:27 -0400
UK economy grew 0.8% in second quarter, above pre-crisis level

The British economy is now 0.2 percent bigger than before its pre-crisis peak in early 2008, the ONS said, in a major boost to the coalition government before a general election due in May 2015Britain's economy grew strongly in the second quarter, overtaking the size it achieved before the global financial crisis, data showed on Friday in the latest sign of robust recovery. Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.8 percent between April and June from the first quarter, when it grew by the same amount, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed in a statement that matched market expectations. The data was published one day after the International Monetary Fund forecast Britain, a member of the European Union but not of the eurozone, would outpace the world's major advanced economies this year. The economy is now 0.2 percent bigger than before its pre-crisis peak in early 2008, the ONS added, lifting Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government, which has pursued austerity and tax-raising policies since it won power in 2010.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:12:25 -0400
Pakistani boy loses arms after row with landowner over cows: police
By Mubasher Bukhari LAHORE Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani police have arrested the son of a landowner for an assault on a 10-year-old boy which resulted in his injured arms being amputated, the latest case highlighting harsh treatment of villagers by so-called feudal families. A tiny number of families own huge tracts of land in Pakistan, in particular its bread-basket province of Punjab, and political parties woo the families, hoping to win the votes of the villagers working for them. Police said the injured boy's father, Muhammad Iqbal, had a long-running dispute with landowner Ghulam Ghaus who accused Iqbal of letting his cows gaze on his land in central Punjab. "Iqbal's son, Mohammad Tabassum, was grazing the cows near Ghaus's fields on Monday when one of the cows went on his land,” district police officer, Rai Ijaz Ahmed, said on Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:11:48 -0400
Top Asian News at 11:00 a.m. GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean news agency says the eldest son of the sunken ferry owner has been detained by police after two months on the run. Yonhap News Agency said Friday that Yoo Dae-gyun was picked up from an office south of Seoul, just three days after his billionaire father was found dead.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:02:44 -0400
Iraq Sunni militias pinched by jihadis, corruption

FILE - In this Saturday, March 28, 2009 file photo, Sahwa, or Awakening Council members stand guard in the Dora area of southern Baghdad, Iraq. Over the past month, militants led by the extremist Islamic State group overpowered the military and the Sahwa, seizing control of most of the Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq. The jihadis have systematically killed dozens of former Sahwa leaders, forced others to flee and recruited the remaining foot soldiers through intimidation. (AP Photo/Loay Hameed, File)BAGHDAD (AP) — Wisam al-Hardan's cellphone rang late into the night. He let it ring on and on. He couldn't bear to answer.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:55:40 -0400
Euro hurdles champ out of Comm Games for doping
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — European 400-meter hurdles champion Rhys Williams is out of the Commonwealth Games after becoming the second Welsh athlete suspended for a doping offense this month.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:55:25 -0400
No survivors from Air Algerie plane crash: French president

Picture taken on June 7, 2014 at the Arrecife-Lanzarote airport shows the Swiftair McDonnell Douglas MD-83 plane which crashed in Mali on July 24, 2014France announced on Friday there were no survivors among the 116 people on board the Air Algerie flight that crashed over Mali, saying bad weather was the likely cause of the disaster. "Sadly, there are no survivors," President Francois Hollande said on television, a day after flight AH017, carrying 51 French nationals, went down shortly after take-off from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The wreckage of the McDonnell Douglas 83 plane, operated by Spanish charter firm Swiftair on behalf of Air Algerie, was located 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of the Burkina Faso border in Mali's Gossi region.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:55:17 -0400
Air France to avoid Mali crash site as 'precaution'
Air France-KLM is to avoid flying over the site in northern Mali of the crashed Air Algerie airline as a "precautionary measure", a spokesman for the French group said on Friday. The spokesman said the company would continue to serve the Malian capital Bamako, but using other flight paths to the west of the crash site in northern Mali. French officials said earlier they believed poor weather was the likely cause of Thursday's crash of an Air Algerie flight between Burkina Faso and Algeria.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:54:37 -0400
Hannover signs Hiroshi Kiyotake from Nuremberg
HANNOVER, Germany (AP) — Hannover says it has signed Japan attacking midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake from relegated Bundesliga rival Nuremberg.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:52:19 -0400
Iranians tell Palestinians to fight against Israel-state TV
By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Iranians took part in huge rallies across the country on Friday to show solidarity with Palestinians, urging them to keep up their struggle despite the Israeli assault on Gaza, Iranian state television reported. They chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" and carried pictures of Palestinian children killed in Gaza. State media said "millions" of people joined the rallies nationwide, which were called to mark Iran's annual day of solidarity with Palestinians. The Iranian government has condemned Israel's offensive against Gaza, which has killed more than 800 people, most of them civilians.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:49:51 -0400
Stage 19 for sprinters has begun on Tour de France
MAUBOURGUET, France (AP) — Tour de France riders are heading northward on a mostly flat Stage 19 that's likely to end in a bunch sprint.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:49:18 -0400
Son of S.Korea sunken ferry owner detained
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean news agency says the eldest son of the sunken ferry owner has been detained by police after two months on the run.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:47:31 -0400
UK economy grows to surpass pre-crisis peak
LONDON (AP) — Britain's economy has grown to surpass the peak it reached in 2008, before the global banking crisis caused a deep recession, official figures showed Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:44:20 -0400
Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

FILE - In this Monday, July 21, 2014 pool file photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia. Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. The U.S. and EU are still playing something similar to “good cop, bad cop” with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, but it remains to be seen whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer for Russia’s economy. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service, File)MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:36:58 -0400
Black box found at site of Air Algerie crash

An arrival information screen shows the delayed Air Algerie flight 5017PARIS (AP) — French soldiers on Friday secured one of the black boxes from the Air Algerie plane that went down in restive northern Mali with the loss of at least 116 people, French President Francois Hollande said Friday. Terrorism has not been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely cause is bad weather.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:35:37 -0400
Tourist shot dead in Kenya was German: police

File picture shows a young resident walking past an armed police officer on July 6, 2014 at the scene of an attack on three Russian nationals while they were touring Mombasa's old-town districtKenyan police said Friday a female tourist shot dead in the coastal city of Mombasa was from Germany, the second such killing of a foreign visitor by gunmen there this month. The woman, who has not been named but was in her late 20s, was with her Ugandan companion when they were shot by attackers on Thursday, senior police commander in the port city Geoffrey Mayek said. "The German lady and the Ugandan man arrived in Mombasa on Thursday, they were to stay for two days," Mayek said. No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting, but Kenya has been hit by a recent wave of attacks blamed on Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, as well as local armed gangs.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:35:04 -0400
Top Asian News at 10:30 a.m. GMT
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia is close to finalizing a deal with Ukraine to send police and a small number of troops to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a multinational team, the Australian prime minister said Friday. Australia has 90 federal police officers in Europe ready to be deployed to the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. Some of the officers could be armed, and would be accompanied by members of Australia's defense force, he said.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:32:58 -0400
Sri Lanka grab early wickets to seize control of Colombo Test

Sri Lanka batsman Niroshan Dickwella (R) is congratulated by teammate Mahela Jayawardene in Colombo on July 25, 2014Sri Lanka spinners Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera launched an early assault to have South Africa down on the mat on the second day of the series-deciding second Test on Friday. The spin duo got rid of South African openers Dean Elgar (one) and Alviro Petersen (two) after Sri Lanka's first innings folded up on 421 shortly into the second session. At tea, South Africa were 23-2 with Faf du Plessis batting on 17 and new Test skipper Hashim Amla on two.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:31:17 -0400
China pork giant WH Group makes 2nd IPO attempt
HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese pork giant WH Group is taking a second run at going public with a scaled-back share offering after abandoning its first IPO attempt because of sagging investor demand.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:30:33 -0400
Japan inflation eases in June under tax hike blow
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's inflation rate eased slightly in June as a sales tax hike stunted demand, the government reported Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:29:02 -0400
South Korea news agency says police detain eldest son of sunken ferry owner
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea news agency says police detain eldest son of sunken ferry owner.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:26:35 -0400
Jordan shoots down 'aerial target' near Syria
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's air force shot down an "aerial target" near the Syrian border on Friday, a Jordanian military official said, while eyewitnesses said the object was a drone.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:26:25 -0400
German business confidence drops for 3rd month
BERLIN (AP) — German business confidence fell for a third consecutive month amid ongoing concerns about the economic impact of the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, though consumer confidence in Europe's largest economy remained robust, surveys showed Friday.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:21:09 -0400
McNuggets pulled from sale in HK after meat scare

An "Out of Stock" sticker is displayed on a menu picture of chicken nuggets at a McDonald's store in Hong Kong Friday, July 25, 2014. McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong have taken chicken nuggets and chicken filet burgers off the menu after a U.S.-owned supplier in mainland China was accused of selling expired meat. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)HONG KONG (AP) — McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong have taken chicken nuggets and chicken filet burgers off the menu after a U.S.-owned supplier in mainland China was accused of selling expired meat.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:20:37 -0400
Jadeja fined for incident involving Anderson

India's Ravindra Jadeja, left, shakes hands with England's James Anderson after running him out to win the test match on the fifth day of the second cricket test match between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London, Monday, July 21, 2014. India won the match by 95 runs. The International Cricket Commission (ICC) has set next Tuesday as the date for a disciplinary hearing against James Anderson for shoving India's Ravindra Jadeja during the first test. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)India allrounder Ravindra Jadeja has been found guilty of "conduct contrary to the spirit of the game" in an incident with England bowler James Anderson during the first test at Trent Bridge.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:19:07 -0400
Jihadist assault on Syria regime territory kills 74: monitor

Syrian pro-government soldiers move in the village of Dahret Abed Rabbo in al-Layramun area in Aleppo province on May 26, 2013Buoyed by their capture of swathes of western and north-central Iraq last month launched multiple attacks on army positions across northern and northeastern Syria on Thursday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was the first time that IS, accused by rival rebel groups of focusing its formidable firepower more on them than on the Damascus regime, had launched such coordinated assaults on army positions. The jihadists went on the offensive near the main northern city of Aleppo, in Hasakeh province in the northeast and in Raqa province around their Euphrates valley stronghold, the Observatory said. The Britain-based Observatory said at least 74 people were killed in clashes in 24 hours, mainly in Hasakeh and Raqa.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:18:49 -0400
Forensic exam of Korea ferry owner's body inconclusive

A wanted poster for Chonghaejin owner Yoo Byung-Eun is displayed in a window in Jindo harbour, where families of the victims of the Sewol ferry still unaccounted for continue to wait, July 6, 2014South Korean forensic experts said Friday they were unable to determine a cause of death after examining the body of a fugitive tycoon at the heart of the inquiry into April's ferry disaster. The body of Yoo Byung-Eun, 73, was found June 12 in a fruit orchard in an extremely advanced state of decomposition. At first, local police had no idea it was Yoo's body and a nation wide manhunt for the reclusive billionaire continued for six weeks before DNA and fingerprint evidence revealed the corpse's identity. Yoo was the patriarch of the family that owned and operated the Sewol ferry that sank April 16 with the loss of around 300 lives -- mostly schoolchildren.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:17:07 -0400
Taiwan plane survivor crawls out, phones dad

A relative, center, of a victim in the TransAsia Airways flight GE222 crash is consoled during a funeral service on the Taiwan island of Penghu, Friday, July 25, 2014. Stormy weather on the trailing edge of Typhoon Matmo was the likely cause of the plane crash that killed more than 40 people, the airline said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)XIXI, Taiwan (AP) — The 10 survivors of Taiwan's worst air disaster in more than a decade include a 34-year-old woman who called her father after scrambling from the wreckage and seeking help at a nearby home.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:15:36 -0400
McDonald's Japan halts sales of chicken from China over meat scandal

A pedestrian walks past a McDonald's restaurant in Tokyo, on July 23, 2014McDonald's said Friday that all of its Japanese restaurants had stopped selling products made with chicken from China, in the wake of a scandal that saw expired meat sold to fast food giants. More than 3,000 restaurants across Japan had also halted imports of chicken products from the country, the chain said, adding that it had switched to distributors in Thailand "to address the concerns of our customers". "We made this decision in view of the growing concern over McDonald's chicken products made in China," the Japanese unit's chief executive Sarah Casanova said in a statement.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:14:50 -0400
Russia raises key rate amid Ukraine concerns
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's central bank has unexpectedly raised its key interest rate in a bid to stem inflation and support the currency as the country faces increasing economic pressure over its policies in Ukraine.
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:14:27 -0400
Iraq's top cleric calls on political leaders to break deadlock
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on political leaders on Friday to refrain from clinging to their posts, in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has defied demands that he step aside. Speaking through an aide who delivered a sermon after Friday prayers, Sistani said leaders should be flexible so that political deadlocks can be broken and Iraq can confront dangers and terrorism. (Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Larry King)
Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:13:31 -0400
Israel hits 30 Gaza homes, kills senior militant

Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. An Israeli defense official says the Israeli Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, as Israel's Security Cabinet was to meet later in the day to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:12:03 -0400
Britain's Lloyds bank says expects fine over Libor

The Financial Times reported that next week LBG will announce it is paying fines of up to £300 million ($509 million, 379 million euros) to British and US regulators after it was allegedly found to have manipulated inter-bank lending ratesBritain's Lloyds Banking Group said on Friday that it expects to be fined for its role in the Libor rate-rigging scandal. LBG said in statement that it had noted media coverage regarding potential settlements with a number of government agencies "around the setting of Interbank Offered Rates and other benchmarks". It added: "The settlements remain to be agreed and LBG expects they will include the payment of penalties." The Financial Times reported that next week LBG will announce it is paying fines of up to £300 million ($509 million, 379 million euros) to British and US regulators after it was allegedly found to have manipulated inter-bank lending rates.

Date Posted : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:10:23 -0400
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