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Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Smoke rises following what witnesses said were Israeli air strikes in GazaBy Nidal al-Mughrabi and Yasmine Saleh GAZA/CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt hostilities and resume peace talks but both sides kept up attacks, including an Israeli air strike which destroyed a residential tower block in the centre of Gaza City. Hamas militants also fired rockets at Israel. Initial reports said 17 people were wounded in the attack on the 13-storey building, the Israeli army and Gaza health officials said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the building, which collapsed completely, contained a command centre by Hamas militants.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 14:51:59 -0400
Merkel says tightening Ukraine-Russian border is key to peace deal

Merkel looks on as Poroshenko gestures in KievBy Natalia Zinets and Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved but only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alleges, Russia has been funnelling arms to help a separatist rebellion. Merkel was visiting Kiev as a prelude to a meeting next week between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that diplomats say is the best chance in months of a peace deal in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels. NATO has alleged Russia's military is active inside Ukraine helping the rebels, and Moscow angered Kiev and its Western allies by sending an aid convoy into Ukraine against Kiev's wishes.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 11:27:58 -0400
China rejects U.S. criticism over jet encounter

File photo of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft taking off from Perth International Airport.China on Saturday called US criticism ofan approach by one of its jets to a US Navy patrol plane off the Chinese coast earlier this week "completely groundless" and said its pilot had maintained a safe distance from the US aircraft. The strongly-worded statement attributed to Ministry of National Defense spokesman Yang Yujun was a response to a diplomatic complaint the Pentagon filed with Beijing on Friday. The complaint concerned an August 19 encounter about 215 km (135 miles) east of China's Hainan Island in which a Chinese fighter jet came within meters (yards) of a US P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane and, the US claimed, performed acrobatic maneuvers around it. In its statement, the Chinese defense ministry said the J-11 jet was conducting routine checks and described the pilot's actions as professional.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 13:19:52 -0400
Canada's intelligence head says returning Islamist militants pose threat

Coulombe waits to testify before the Senate national security and defence committee in OttawaCanadians who go abroad to join militant groups such as Islamic State pose a threat on their return home and could use their foreign contacts to set up networks in Canada, the country's intelligence director said on Saturday. Michel Coulombe, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, wrote in a Globe and Mail article that "well over 100 Canadians," both men and women, have left the country to join groups such as al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab. "How many are coming back to Canada more radicalized than when they departed? "And, most importantly, will they use their terrorist training to attempt violent acts here in Canada?

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:48:36 -0400
Over a hundred migrants missing after boat sinks off Libyan coast

By Ahmed Elumami and Ayman al-Salhi TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A wooden boat carrying up to 200 migrants has sunk just one kilometer (half a mile) off the Libyan coast, the coast guard said on Saturday, and most passengers were feared drowned. The local coast guard said it had no boats of its own and had to commandeer fishing vessels in a rescue attempt after fishermen raised the alarm on Saturday morning. Many head for Italy, and so far in 2014, the total number reaching Italian shores has passed 100,000, the Italian government said this week. Libya is a major departure point for this journey, and human traffickers are exploiting the political chaos and lack of security that has blighted the country since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in an uprising in 2011.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:27:54 -0400
Bombs kill at least 35 across Iraq a day after mosque shooting

Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite volunteers patrol at Imam Wais village in Diyala provinceBy Ahmed Rasheed and Isabel Coles BAGHDAD/ARBIL Iraq (Reuters) - Bombings across Iraq killed at least 35 people in attacks that appeared to be revenge for an assault on a Sunni mosque that has deepened sectarian conflict. A bomb also exploded in the northern city of Arbil on Saturday, a rare attack unsettling the relative stability the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region has enjoyed. In Baghdad, a bomber rammed a vehicle into an intelligence headquarters, killing at least eight people, police and medical sources said. Near Tikrit, a suicide bomber driving a military Humvee packed with explosives attacked a gathering of soldiers and Shi'ite militias overnight, killing nine.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 12:44:18 -0400
Libya withdraws as host of 2017 African Cup

Violence-plagued Libya conceded it won't be able to host the African Cup of Nations in 2017 because of security concerns, throwing organizers into a frantic rush Saturday to find a new venue for the continent's top football tournament.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:05:02 -0400
Havana retro-Soviet restaurant a nod to nostalgia

In this Aug 20, 2014 photo, a waitress works during the pre-launch rehearsal at the new restaurant Nazdarovie where the reproduction of Soviet propaganda poster hangs over the bar area in Havana, Cuba. The new retro-Soviet restaurant serves minty mojitos, but they come mixed with vodka instead of the traditional white rum. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)HAVANA (AP) There's no rice, beans or fried plantains at Havana's newest private restaurant. You can order a minty mojito, but it'll come mixed with vodka instead of the traditional white rum.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:02:30 -0400
Malaga beats Bilbao 1-0 to kick off Spanish league

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Malaga held on to beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to kick off the Spanish league on Saturday and give new coach Javi Gracia a winning debut at La Rosaleda Stadium, although the game was marred by two red cards in the final minutes.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:02:27 -0400
Top Asian News at 7:00 p.m. GMT

SRINAGAR, India (AP) India and Pakistan traded gunfire in the disputed Kashmir region on Saturday, killing two villagers on each side and wounding several others, officials said. Dharmendra Pareek, a top official with India's paramilitary force, said Indian forces retaliated after Pakistani troops fired guns and mortar rounds on more than a dozen Indian border posts and at least three villages in the Ranbir Singh Pura region.

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:02:23 -0400
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