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Iraqi Kurdish forces enter Syria to fight Islamic State

A convoy of peshmerga vehicles is welcomed by Turkish Kurds after crossing into Turkey near the Habur border gate in the southeastern city of SilopiBy Humeyra Pamuk and Omer Berberoglu SURUC Turkey (Reuters) - A first group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Thursday to help push back Islamic State militants who have defied U.S. air strikes and threatened to massacre its Kurdish defenders. Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been encircled by the Sunni Muslim insurgents for more than 40 days. Weeks of U.S.-led air strikes have failed to break their stranglehold, and Kurds are hoping the arrival of the peshmerga will turn the tide. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:16:52 -0400
Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting Jewish far-rightist

A Palestinian protester fires a homemade weapon towards Israeli security forces during clashes in east JerusalemBy Luke Baker JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police on Thursday shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to fierce clashes in East Jerusalem and fears of a new Palestinian uprising. The Al-Aqsa compound, or Temple Mount, a holy site at the heart of the latest violence, was shut down for almost an entire day to all visitors as a security precaution. It was the first full closure of the site, venerated by both Jews and Muslims, in 14 years. Late on Thursday Israeli police reopened the complex. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:47:49 -0400
Exclusive: Canada spy agency must improve information sharing - watchdog

The day's first posting of the sentries arrive at the National War Memorial in OttawaBy Mike De Souza OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's spy agency must have national standards to improve how its regional surveillance teams share information, the chairwoman of the agency's civilian watchdog said in the wake of the killings of two Canadian soldiers last week. The comments by Deborah Grey, chairwoman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), come after a report from her committee last week said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's (CSIS) regional teams "operate in total isolation from one another and communicate only sporadically with their HQ counterparts." "We need to make sure that each region knows exactly what the other regions are doing, under the umbrella of the headquarters, of course," Grey told Reuters on Thursday. "You need national standards right across the country because (criminals) are pretty mobile." The performance of Canadian police and security services is under scrutiny after a gunman last week killed a soldier in Ottawa, then stormed the country's Parliament building.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:50:32 -0400
Ukraine, Russia, EU likely to agree gas supply deal on Thursday: officials

Russian Energy Minister Novak arrives for gas talks between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine at the EU Commission headquarters in BrusselsBy Alastair Macdonald and Pavel Polityuk BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are likely to conclude an accord on Thursday that would see Moscow resume gas supplies to its ex-Soviet neighbor over the winter, EU and Ukrainian officials said. Russian negotiators, who broke off three-way talks overnight saying a deal depended on firmer EU commitments to Kiev to help it pay, were flying back to Brussels from Moscow to continue the trilateral discussions in the evening, Russian sources said. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:06:36 -0400
Kerry says reported U.S. slur of Israel's Netanyahu 'damaging'

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting in JerusalemWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The description of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "chickenshit" by an anonymous U.S. official as quoted in a U.S. magazine this week was disgraceful and damaging, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday. Netanyahu on Wednesday condemned the comment from an unnamed official in The Atlantic, which added to tensions between his government and the Obama administration, particularly over settlement building in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:26:16 -0400
East Ukraine separatists hold vote to gain legitimacy, promise normalcy

Zakharchenko, separatist leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, visits the Kholodnaya Balka mine in MakiivkaBy Thomas Grove and Gabriela Baczynska DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - On a campaign trip, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic lit candles at a Russian Orthodox Church and kissed icons of Jesus and the Virgin Mary before dashing off to meet about 100 voters in a local factory. There, the barrel-chested 38-year-old former mine electrician Alexander Zakharchenko assured voters that he wanted pensions to be "higher than in Poland". The elderly should have enough money to "travel to Australia at least once a year to shoot a dozen kangaroos on Safari", he said. ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:14:27 -0400
Central Europe, Britain oppose Ukraine rebel vote

Igor Strelkov, a former chief of pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine, holds a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Strelkov predicted that a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine wouldn’t last long and fighting will resume. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — The foreign ministers of four Central European countries and Britain have condemned a plan by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine to hold local elections.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:58:31 -0400
Brazilian cycling champ banned 2 years for doping
SAO PAULO (AP) — The Brazilian cycling federation says it has suspended national road race champion Marcia Fernandes for two years for doping, virtually ending her chances of competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:37:56 -0400
London stocks end broadly flat as US news takes centre stage

People walk in the foyer of the London Stock Exchange in central London on March 7, 2013. The benchmark FTSE 100 index settled 9.68 points, or 0.15 percent, higher at 6,463.55 on October 30, 2014London (AFP) - London shares finished the day broadly flat on Thursday, with US news weighing on shares in lender Standard Chartered and miner Randgold Resources.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:30:17 -0400
Islamic State fighters kill 220 Iraqis from tribe that opposed them
By Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants executed at least 220 Iraqis in retaliation against a tribe's opposition to their takeover of territory west of Baghdad, security sources and witnesses said. Two mass graves were discovered on Thursday containing some of the 300 members of the Sunni Muslim Albu Nimr tribe that Islamic State had seized this week. The captives, men aged between 18 and 55, had been shot at close range, witnesses said. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:30:07 -0400
Sweden recognizes Palestinian state; Israel upset

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks during a news conference Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUTSTOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's new left-leaning government on Thursday recognized a Palestinian state — a move that comes during increased tensions between Arabs and Jews over Israel's plans to build 1,000 housing units in east Jerusalem.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:03:40 -0400
U.N. watchdog urges Israel to probe possible Gaza war crimes
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Israel should investigate all alleged violations committed by its forces during three recent wars in Gaza and ensure military commanders are brought to justice for any crimes, a United Nations human rights watchdog said on Thursday. A panel of independent experts urged Israel to halt construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, stop confiscating land for their expansion, prevent violence against Palestinians and take measures to withdraw all settlers. The U.N. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:26:24 -0400
Burkina president declares emergency, calls for end to protests
DAKAR (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore declared a state of emergency on Thursday and pledged to open talks with the opposition, local radio reported, in a bid to defuse protests sparked by his attempt to extend his 27-year rule. "A state of emergency is declared across the national territory. The chief of the armed forces is in charge of implementing this decision which enters into effect today," said the statement read by a presenter on Radio Omega FM. "I dissolve the government from today so as to create conditions for change. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:21:59 -0400
NATO vigilant amid spike in Russian flights

Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, left, shakes hands with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Stoltenberg said the alliance is increasing its readiness and air policing following a spike in airforce activity in eastern Europe by Russia, which he urged to end “destabilizing actions” in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Eurokinissi, Tatiana Bolaris) GREECE OUTATHENS, Greece (AP) — NATO is increasing its readiness and air policing following a spike in Russian air force activity in Eastern Europe, the alliance's new chief said Thursday.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:19:55 -0400
South Africans mourn sport deaths

Banners at a memorial service for three South African sports figures who died within days of each other at an indoor sports arena in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. South Africa's sport ministry organized a combined memorial service for fans of national soccer captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, Olympic silver medalist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and welterweight boxer Phindile Mwelase. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African officials on Thursday called for a strict new gun law as a tribute to a soccer star who was shot and killed earlier this week.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:15:39 -0400
Murray clinches ATP finals berth in Paris

Andy Murray of Britain, celebrates his victory after defeating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria after their third round match at the ATP World Tour Masters tennis tournament at Bercy stadium in Paris, France, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)PARIS (AP) — Andy Murray capped off his autumn comeback with a spot in the ATP Finals by reaching the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters in impressive fashion on Thursday.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:07:58 -0400
Celtic player banned for 7 games for racial abuse
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev was banned for seven games on Thursday for using racist language toward an opponent during a Scottish league match.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:07:50 -0400
France, South Korea bid for 2019 women's World Cup

10ThingstoSeeSports - United States midfielder Tobin Heath (17) heads the ball away from Mexico midfielder Liliana Mercado, right, in the first half during a CONCACAF semifinal soccer match in Chester, Pa., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz, File)ZURICH (AP) — Football delegates from France and South Korea have handed over their bid documents to FIFA for the 2019 women's World Cup.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:07:17 -0400
EU holds largest-ever cyber-security exercise

Udo Helmbrecht, the director of the European Network and Information Security Agency, speaks to the Associated Press in an interview in Athens on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The agency coordinated Europe's largest ever cyber-security exercise, based in Athens, on Thursday. (AP Photo/Derek Gatopoulos)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The European Union on Thursday carried out its biggest exercise to prevent cyber-attacks on Europe's public utilities and communications networks.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:06:54 -0400
Top Asian News at 5:00 p.m. GMT
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea announced Thursday it will quarantine foreigners for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus, even though no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country, or anywhere in Asia, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter. North Korea is always on guard against outside influences, but now that it perceives the deadly disease to be a threat, its anxiety has reached a new level. It has banned tourists, put business groups on hold and is looking even more suspiciously than usual at every foreign face coming across its borders.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:02:59 -0400
Central Costa Rica volcano erupts, ash sprinkles capital
SAN JOSE Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rica's Turrialba volcano staged its most powerful eruption in years overnight, belching a plume of gas and ash that was reported to sprinkle the capital San Jose some 50 kilometers (30 miles) away, emergency services said on Thursday. Some people were being evacuated from the surrounding area as a precaution, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. Television footage showed ash falling like snow against the night sky onto the backs of cows. "We saw fiery explosions. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:57:26 -0400
Malala donates prize money to rebuild Gaza school

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2013 file photo, Malala Yousafzai poses for photographs in New York. The U.N. agency that assists Palestinian refugees says Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has donated $50,000 to rebuild a U.N. school that was damaged during the recent war between Israel and Hamas militants. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.N. agency that assists Palestinian refugees says Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has donated $50,000 to rebuild a U.N. school in Gaza damaged during this summer's Israel-Hamas war.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:55:24 -0400
Film tells horrifying tale behind Louvre painting

In this photo taken Saturday, May 3, 2014, French actor Nathan Gabily, performing in the role of Theodore Gericault, left, makes a sketch of a model performing the role of Eugene Delacroix for the Raft of the Medusa in his studio, during the filming of The Raft of the Medusa documentary, in Rochefort, western France. It’s one of the most viewed works in the Louvre, yet few visitors know the horrifying real-life story behind “The Raft of the Medusa.” Now, a French documentary is to explore for the first time the little-known story behind the masterpiece that’s been hanging in the Louvre for nearly two centuries. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)PARIS (AP) — It's one of the most viewed works in the Louvre, yet few visitors know the horrifying real-life story behind "The Raft of the Medusa."

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:52:29 -0400
Family of held Egypt activists on hunger strike

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, surrounded by plainclothes policemen, prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, left, with his sister Sanaa Seif, speaks to the crowd after attending their father's funeral in Cairo, Egypt. On Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, an Egyptian court ordered the detention of one of the country's most prominent pro-democracy activists, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, at the start of his retrial along with 24 others for breaking a draconian law on demonstrations. Abdel-Fattah's detention comes one day after his younger sister Sanaa was imprisoned for three years, also for breaking the demonstrations law. The siblings come from a family of prominent activists. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)CAIRO (AP) — The mother and sister of two jailed pro-democracy Egyptian activists are on hunger strike to press demands for their release and show solidarity with other activists detained for breaking a draconian law on street protests.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:51:30 -0400
Sri Lanka court sentences 5 Indians to death
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lankan court has sentenced five Indian fishermen and three locals to death for smuggling narcotics.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:46:04 -0400
Rains hamper Sri Lanka mudslide tragedy search effort

A road damaged after a landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains in Koslanda village in central Sri Lanka on October 30, 2014Heavy rains disrupted a massive search Thursday for scores of people feared buried in a landslide on a Sri Lankan tea estate, further dimming prospects of finding anyone alive. An estimated 100 people are still listed as missing, according to the national Disaster Management Centre (DMC), a day after dozens of tin-roofed homes were buried under tonnes of mud, with only a handful of bodies recovered so far. Hundreds of troops suspended their work with rains threatening more mudslides at the plantation in central Sri Lanka. "We are suspending the search operation because it is not safe to work in this rain," the region's top military officer, Major General Mano Perera, told reporters.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:44:57 -0400
Thousands flee as Boko Haram seizes northeast Nigerian town
By Lanre Ola and Imma Ande MAIDUGURI/YOLA Nigeria (Reuters) - Islamist Boko Haram militants have seized control of the northeast Nigerian town of Mubi, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands to flee, witnesses said. The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in the town ever since, witnesses told Reuters. A security source on Thursday confirmed the town had fallen to the insurgents. Witnesses said they hoisted their black flag over the palace of the traditional ruler. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:41:00 -0400
Lebanese army detains 50 in north after weekend clashes
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese troops detained 50 people in raids on towns and Syrian refugee camps in the north of the country, the army said on Thursday, part of a security crackdown after battles with Islamist gunmen over the weekend. The army has mounted several raids since Islamist militants clashed with soldiers in and around the northern city of Tripoli from Friday to Sunday, some of the worst fighting to spill over to Lebanon from the Syrian civil war. Soldiers moved on the towns of al-Minya, Mashta Hassan, Mashta Hammoud and refugee camps in the town of Behneen on Wednesday. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:40:01 -0400
Situation in Syria is 'appalling,' getting worse: U.N.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The humanitarian crisis in Syria is getting worse as all parties to the war, including forces aligned with the government and Islamic State militants, show "callous disregard" for millions of suffering civilians, the United Nations said on Thursday. The comments from Kyung-wha Kang, U.N. assistant secretary-general and deputy emergency relief coordinator, came during a monthly briefing for the Security Council on compliance with U.N. demands for greater aid access across Syria, now in its fourth year of civil war. ...
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:39:31 -0400
UK's opposition Labour faces collapse in support in Scotland: poll

Ed Miliband, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, sings "Jerusalem" as his party's conference is closed in ManchesterBy Kylie MacLellan and Alistair Smout LONDON/EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour party could be almost wiped out in Scotland at a UK-wide election next year, a poll showed on Thursday, raising questions about its ability to defeat Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives. The poll, by Ipsos MORI, showed Labour could lose 90 percent of its lawmakers in Scotland with just 23 percent of voters planning to back the left-leaning party, which has been hurt by the rising popularity of the Scottish National Party (SNP). ...

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:38:32 -0400
Ebola: Danger in Sierra Leone, progress in Liberia

A Ebola health worker removes rubbish including plastic bottles from the Island Clinic Treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The rate of new Ebola infections in Liberia appears to be declining and could represent a real trend, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, but the epidemic is far from over. (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Liberia is making some progress in containing the Ebola outbreak while the crisis in Sierra Leone is going to get worse, the top anti-Ebola officials in the two countries said.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:35:15 -0400
Top Asian News at 4:30 p.m. GMT
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea announced Thursday it will quarantine foreigners for 21 days over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus, even though no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country, or anywhere in Asia, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter. North Korea is always on guard against outside influences, but now that it perceives the deadly disease to be a threat, its anxiety has reached a new level. It has banned tourists, put business groups on hold and is looking even more suspiciously than usual at every foreign face coming across its borders.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:32:59 -0400
Jerusalem on edge after police kill Palestinian gunman

Masked Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in the mostly Arab east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Abu Tor on October 30, 2014Clashes raged in east Jerusalem Thursday after Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian accused of trying to kill a Jewish hardliner, as Al-Aqsa mosque compound was closed for the first time in decades. Israel said its closure of the flashpoint shrine, which is holy to Jews and Muslims alike, was a temporary measure aimed at calming tempers. Wednesday night's shooting incident and the subsequent killing of the suspected gunman sent tensions soaring to a new high, following months of almost daily clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the occupied eastern sector of the Holy City. Officials from the Islamic Waqf, which administers the esplanade, confirmed it was the first time such a measure had been taken since Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:29:59 -0400
Spain OKs 'Google Tax' demanded by news publishers
MADRID (AP) — Spain's parliament has approved new intellectual property laws that allow news publishers to charge aggregators each time they display news content in search results.
Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:27:17 -0400
US stocks are mixed in midday trading

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2014 file photo, a Wall Street address is carved in the side of a building in New York. U.S. stocks are drifting in early trading Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, as a parade of big companies turn in quarterly results. A strong gain for Visa pulled the Dow Jones industrial average higher. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks drifted in Thursday trading as a parade of big companies turn in quarterly results. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed more than 100 points, almost entirely thanks to a strong gain for Visa, the Dow's highest-priced stock.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:21:51 -0400
Sweden recognises Palestinian state, draws Israeli anger

Sweden has officially recognised the state of Palestine, Stockholm's foreign minister saysSweden on Thursday officially recognised the state of Palestine, becoming the first major European country to do so, in a move hailed as "historic" by Palestinians but denounced by Israel. "Today the government takes the decision to recognise the state of Palestine," Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem wrote in the mass-circulation Dagens Nyheter daily, less than a month after Sweden's new government announced the plans to make the controversial move. Sweden's move comes as Israeli-Palestinian tensions soar in Jerusalem following months of almost daily clashes in the city's occupied eastern sector. "All countries of the world that are still hesitant to recognise our right to an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, (should) follow Sweden's lead," his spokesman quoted him as saying.

Date Posted : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:12:11 -0400
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