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Panic at central Paris train station as 'knife-wielding man threatens police'
Publish Time: 2017-04-22 18:46:00
A knife-wielding man has been arrested at Gare du Nord train station in Paris after waving a knife at police. Panicked commuters abandoned their luggage and fled in terror as the man was spotted walking around the French transport hub with the weapon.Footage shows the moment armed police swooped in on the man and bundled him to the ground. They then scramble to get him into handcuffs as they force him to lay on his front on the ground.Two other officers keep their weapons pointed at the man as he's put into handcuffs and hauled back to his feet.The man reportedly later told officers he had the knife in his hand "because he was afraid for his life," according to French channel BFMTV.A spokesman for French train network operator SNCF, said no one had been injured at the station, which welcomes Eurostar from London.The incident came just days after Karim Cheurfi shot cop Xavier Jugelé, 37, in the head at the Champs-Elysees.He also inured another officer and managed to blast another after stealing his pistol while in custody. Both victims survived.The French-born 39-year-old, who had a long history of violent crime, was found dead with a note backing Islamic State terrorism. The hardline militant group claimed the attack, which also wounded two other police officers.In 2001, Cheurfi was jailed for 20 years for shooting two police officers after being caught in a stolen car. An arrest warrant was issued for a second suspect - yet to be named publicly.French media reported yesterday morning that the second man being hunted has handed himself into a police station in Antwerp, Belgium.
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Chief UN investigator: most victims killed with conventional and not chemical weapons in Syria
Publish Time: 2017-04-22 16:28:00
Sarin gas was released during an attack in Syria earlier this month, the chief UN investigator has said. But Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said most of the victims in the attack were killed with conventional and not chemical weapons during an airstrike on a hospital.The Syrian government denies US accusations of a chemical attack in Idlib Province which killed dozens of people.The UN investigator told the press that more and more civilians were falling victim to military actions, as all sides of the Syrian conflict are vying for military advantages.While the terrorist group was losing grounds to the east of Aleppo, other armed groups are striving to grab more grounds only to expose local civilians to more life-threatening perils.Meanwhile the evacuation of civilians and fighters from four besieged towns in Syria has been completed. Thousands of civilians and pro-government fighters arrived in army-held Aleppo, a war monitor said, - foreign media reported. 
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French police have detained family members of Champs Elysees shooter
Update Time: 2017-04-21 19:02:00
French police have detained three family members of the attacker who was shot dead in Paris yesterday after killing a police officer on the Champs Elysees, - Euronews reported,A second suspect in the attack, which also left two other officers and a tourist injured, has handed himself into Belgian police after they alerted Paris of his possible involvement.The French have identified the man as a troubled 39-year old who had previously served time for the attempted murder of three police officers in 2001, and who was on the security service’s watch list.“Over the next few days more than 50,000 police officers and gendarmes will be mobilised to ensure a calm and peaceful election. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with a democratic moment fundamental to the life of our nation,” said Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.Police swept through the family home in Chelles in eastern Paris looking for evidence of links with ISIL, who claimed he was acting on their behalf. Neighbours expressed their shock.“He was a loner. Very solitary. Perhaps he had schizophrenia, I don’t know. But in any case, the guy was very solitary while he treated everyone properly. So to do this it means he lost his mind,” said one young man.Sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2005, state television France 2 reported he had recently been picked up on suspicion of buying firearms, but was released due to lack of evidence.
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Mikheil Janelidze expresses condolences to the French people
Update Time: 2017-04-21 12:15:00
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze expresses condolences to the French people. Janelidze responds to the attack that occurred yesterday.According to the Minister, it is very important for France to maintain stability in the pre-election period.According to Janelidze, Georgian citizens are not affected by the terrorist act.
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EU's Tusk says Polish intelligence probe part of 'smear campaign'
Update Time: 2017-04-19 20:56:00
European Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday he was under no doubt that Poland's right-wing government was trying to discredit him with a smear campaign.Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, was speaking as he was to testify in Warsaw as a witness in a military intelligence probe. "I have no doubt that this is part of a political smear campaign. Its authors do not really hide it," Tusk told local media.The 59-year old EU official is the ex-leader of Poland's largest opposition party, Civic Platform (PO), and arch-rival of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the ruling, euroskeptic Law and Justice (PiS) party that has brought prosecutors under direct government control.Tusk has been summoned to testify in an investigation against former heads of military counter-intelligence (SKW) suspected of co-operating with foreign intelligence services without the required authorisation of the prime minister, which was Tusk at the time.A former SKW head has said that Tusk was fully aware of secret services' co-operation with Russia and had authorised it, Reuters reports. 
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Protests in Turkey, Erdogan tells European observers to ‘know your place’
Update Time: 2017-04-18 16:39:00
Thousands of people took to the streets of Istanbul to protest the results of the referendum that extended powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Meanwhile, Erdogan celebrated his anticipated victory, telling international observers not to interfere. The crowd of angry demonstrators chanting “No, we won,” numbering some 1,000 people, marched through Istanbul’s neighborhood of Besiktas on Monday evening. As the activists proceeded through narrow alleys the locals cheered at them, with some hurling flowers in support, Russia today reports.A large banner reading “No has won” was spread by the activists, who claim the referendum was effectively rigged by the government, which introduced changes to the voting procedure as the referendum was about to commence.The fraud allegations stem from a decision by the board on Sunday to count as valid some 1.5 million ballots with no official stamp thus inciting anger of the opposition and drawing criticism from the international observers.  The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which oversaw the referendum, lambasted the decision to change the rules last-minute, arguing that it had “significantly changed the ballot validity criteria, undermining an important safeguard and contradicting the law.”Meanwhile, the Turkish leader, who embarked on celebratory rallies as soon as the preliminary results were unveiled, brushed off the criticism, saying that he “did not see, hear or acknowledge” OSCE reports and advised them to not meddle into Turkish internal matters.“First, know your place. We won’t see or hear the politically motivated reports you prepare,” Erdogan said on Monday, lambasting the OSCE’s unfavorable estimate of the referendum’s conduct by the government.
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Theresa May calls for UK general election on 8 June
Publish Time: 2017-04-18 16:38:00
Theresa May has said she wants to hold a snap general election on 8 June, despite repeatedly claiming that she was against the idea of an early vote.In a surprise statement outside Downing Street on Tuesday morning, the prime minister claimed that opposition parties were jeopardising her government’s preparations for Brexit. “We need a general election and we need one now,” she said. “I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion but now I have concluded it is the only way to guarantee certainty for the years ahead.”May claimed the decision she would put to voters in the election, the announcement of which was a tightly guarded secret known only by her closest aides, would be all about “leadership”.The prime minister may have been swayed by recent polls that placed the Conservatives 21 points ahead of Labour despite a policy blitz by Jeremy Corbyn’s party. She will hope to boost a slim working majority of 17 in order to help pass both domestic and Brexit-linked legislation.Theresa May has said she wants to hold a snap general election on 8 June, despite repeatedly claiming that she was against the idea of an early vote.In a surprise statement outside Downing Street on Tuesday morning, the prime minister claimed that opposition parties were jeopardising her government’s preparations for Brexit. “We need a general election and we need one now,” she said. “I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion but now I have concluded it is the only way to guarantee certainty for the years ahead.”May claimed the decision she would put to voters in the election, the announcement of which was a tightly guarded secret known only by her closest aides, would be all about “leadership”.The prime minister may have been swayed by recent polls that placed the Conservatives 21 points ahead of Labour despite a policy blitz by Jeremy Corbyn’s party. She will hope to boost a slim working majority of 17 in order to help pass both domestic and Brexit-linked legislation.In her statement, May said her government was trying to deliver on last year’s referendum result by making sure Britain regained control and struck new trade deals, The Guardian reports.
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Hackney nightclub acid attack leaves at least 12 injured
Publish Time: 2017-04-18 12:47:00
At least 12 people suffered burns after a man sprayed acid inside a club in east London. Hundreds of revellers were evacuated from Mangle E8 in Sidworth Street, Hackney, after police were called at about 01:10 BST.Officers believe a man threw acid at two men after a dispute between two groups inside the venue. Two men in their 20s remain in a serious but stable condition in hospital. Ten other people were treated for minor injuries, the Metropolitan Police said.  
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Five killed in plane crash near supermarket in Lisbon
Update Time: 2017-04-18 12:43:00
A small plane crashed Monday beside a supermarket near Lisbon, killing four people on board the aircraft and one on the ground. Four people were slightly injured, emergency services said.The dead included the Swiss pilot, three French passengers on the plane and a Portuguese truck driver, emergency services operational commander Miguel Cruz told The Associated Press.The Swiss-registered plane crashed shortly after a noon (1100 GMT) takeoff from the small Tires airfield, 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the Portuguese capital, Cruz said. Officials said that the crash happened amid clear skies and a light wind. "It was around five minutes to midday when I saw an airplane that appeared to be performing aerobatics but it was very close to the houses and I thought it was a bit weird. Suddenly I lost sight of it for just about 4 or 5 seconds and then it exploded, it looked like the missiles in Iraq and Syria," Vitor Ferreira, an eye witness said.The Tires airfield said the plane was a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft. The airfield was closed as authorities opened an investigation.Andre Fernandes, a spokesman for the local emergency services, said the plane was headed for Marseilles in France. "We can confirm a fifth victim, there are five mortal victims, four from the airplane and one victim that was in the car park," Fernandes said.The truck driver was offloading his cargo at the supermarket's rear cargo bay, about 2 kilometers (just over 1 mile) from the runway, when the plane crashed near him. His truck was set ablaze.President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa went to the site of the crash. There were more than 50 rescue workers at the site.Authorities declined to identify those killed in the plane until their identities could be compared with the flight manifesto.The injured were shopping inside the supermarket, which is located in a residential neighborhood, and were treated for shock and smoke inhalation. The crash occurred about 150 meters (yards) from an elementary school.About three dozen firefighting vehicles rushed to the scene, arriving within six minutes, according to officials. Nearby houses were blackened by smoke, with nine people forced to move out of their homes.
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Syrian army retakes Soran
Publish Time: 2017-04-18 12:36:00
Backed by Russian air strikes, the Syrian army has recaptured the strategic town of Soran in the central part of western Syria.Most of the rebels have retreated from the town after troops stormed it, following dozens of strikes believed to be from Russian jets in the early hours of the morning.Soran is a key point on the army’s route to the city of Hama, Euronews reported. The fighting comes after more than 120 Syrians were killed in a bombing targeting a convoy of evacuees. The explosion hit buses carrying residents from the northern towns of al-Foua and Kefraya as they waited at a transit point in rebel-held Rashidin, west of Aleppo.At least 68 children were among those killed in the blast on Saturday. Footage uploaded to social media purported to show some of the children injured in the blast being treated at a hospital in Idlib.Thousands of people have been evacuated from besieged areas in recent months under deals between the regime and rebels, joining the more than 6 million internally displaced people who live from day to day with the threat of death and little hope of returning to the place they called home.
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Fourteen Wine companies presented at Tokyo International Exhibition
Update Time: 2017-04-18 12:28:00
Fourteen wine companies were presented at Tokyo International Exhibition with support of National Wine Agency and Georgian Embassy in Japan. Wine testing “Georgia – 8 thousand vintages” took place within the framework of the exhibition. Professional sommeliers from all over the world were invited to the event. 
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Trump Calls to Congratulate Erdogan
Publish Time: 2017-04-18 09:53:00
US President Donald Trump became the first Western leader to call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his victory in Sunday's referendum, a vote that grants the executive a major expansion of power even as it came under criticism from international monitors.Sources at the Turkish presidential palace told Reuters that Trump called Erdogan on Monday. A written statement was expected to follow. Turkish election authorities said the preliminary results of Sunday's referendum showed the "yes" vote approving 18 changes to the constitution won just over 51 percent.Campaigners on the "no" side immediately called the result into question, moving to challenge up to 60 percent of the votes after a last-minute decision to count ballots that had not been stamped by election officials.The result means Turkey is set to implement the most sweeping reforms of its government since the establishment of the republic in 1923. Among the changes sought by the referendum are the elimination of the prime minister position, putting the power to appoint the cabinet and some senior judges in the president's hands, reducing the power of the parliament to make laws and resetting the term limits, which could allow Erdogan to stay in office until 2029.International election monitors criticized the result in a blistering statement. Among the factors contributing to an "unlevel playing field," the Council of Europe's 47-member election board said, was a lack of impartial information about the measures on the ballot.Under the ongoing state of emergency, following a failed coup in July, "fundamental freedoms essential to genuinely democratic process were curtailed," the watchdog said in its preliminary report. "The dismissal or detention of thousands of citizens negatively affected the political environment.""The referendum took place in a political environment in which fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed under the state of emergency, and the two sides did not have equal opportunities to make their case to the voters," said Tana de Zulueta, head of the watchdog group under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. "Our monitoring showed the 'Yes' campaign dominated the media coverage and this, along with restrictions on the media, the arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets, reduced voters
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Turkey referendum grants President Erdogan sweeping new powers
Publish Time: 2017-04-17 12:00:00
With 99.45% of ballots counted, the "Yes" campaign had won 51.37% and "No" 48.63%, and the electoral board called victory for "Yes", the BBC reports. Erdogan supporters say replacing the parliamentary system with an executive presidency will modernise the country.Turkey's two main opposition parties said they would challenge the results.The Republican People's Party (CHP) demanded a recount of 60% of votes. They criticised a decision to accept unstamped ballot papers as valid unless proven otherwise.As jubilant Erdogan supporters rallied in the big cities, pots and pans were banged in Istanbul by opponents of the referendum, in a traditional form of protest.Three people were shot dead near a polling station in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir, reportedly during a dispute over how they were voting.The European Commission called on the Turkish authorities in a statement to "seek the broadest possible national consensus" when implementing the constitutional reforms, the BBC says.
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Turkey votes in historic referendum on presidential powers
Publish Time: 2017-04-16 09:43:00
Turkey has been going to the polls in the long-awaited referendum that would give Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, - Euronews reported. The president cast his ballot in Istanbul on Sunday morning along with his wife and two grandchildren, amid tight security.He and his supporters argue the changes, described as the most radical in Turkey’s modern history, are needed to guarantee political stability.Prime Minister Binali Yildirim cast his vote at a school in Izmir province, saying the result would be respected whatever the outcome.If a “yes” vote prevails, his office is set to be abolished – with the president being given the authority to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees without parliamentary approval.The main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) cast his vote in Ankara. He has accused Erdogan of seeking a “one-man” regime under changes that would put the country in danger.In turn he has been ridiculed by the president, who has equated a “No” vote with support for terrorism.Erdogan’s opponents fear a “Yes” will lead to more repression. Last July’s failed coup sent shockwaves through Turkey, bringing bad memories of military rule.But the president has been accused of using it to silence opponents. Media outlets have been closed, and many journalists and others sacked and often imprisoned.
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Turkish referendum polls show 'Yes' vote above 51 percent
Update Time: 2017-04-15 20:35:00
A narrow majority of Turks will vote "Yes" in Sunday's referendum on changing the constitution to grant President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, two opinion polls showed on Thursday.The April 16 vote will decide on the biggest change in Turkey's system of governance since the modern republic's foundation almost a century ago, potentially replacing its parliamentary system with an executive presidency.Polling company Konda said the number of "yes" voters stood at 51.5 percent, but said its survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percent, Reuters reports.A narrow majority of Turks will vote "Yes" in Sunday's referendum on changing the constitution to grant President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, two opinion polls showed on Thursday.The April 16 vote will decide on the biggest change in Turkey's system of governance since the modern republic's foundation almost a century ago, potentially replacing its parliamentary system with an executive presidency.Polling company Konda said the number of "yes" voters stood at 51.5 percent, but said its survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percent.
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Syria car bombing kills at least 24 evacuees
Publish Time: 2017-04-15 18:54:00
A suicide car bombing killed at least 24 people in an attack near buses for Syrians evacuated from two besieged government-held towns, a monitor said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack in Rashidin, west of Aleppo, targeted residents evacuated from the northern towns of Fuaa and Kafraya under a deal reached between the regime and rebels.A reporter in rebel-held Rashidin saw several bodies, body parts and blood scattered on the ground. "The suicide bomber was driving a van supposedly carrying aid supplies and detonated near the buses," the Observatory said. It warned that the death toll was likely to rise given the "several dozen wounded" at the blast site.State television said the car bombing had been carried out by "terrorist groups", a term the regime applies to all armed opposition groups. It was not immediately clear if rebels at the transit point were among the dead.The attack took place as thousands of evacuees from Fuaa and Kafraya waited to continue their journey to regime-controlled Aleppo, the coastal province of Latakia, or Damascus.More than 5,000 people who had lived under crippling siege for more than two years left the two towns, along with 2,200 evacuated from rebel-held Madaya and Zabadani, yesterday.Thousands of evacuees from Fuaa and Kafraya were stuck on the road in Rashidin when the bomb went off. The evacuation, brokered by regime ally Iran and rebel backer Qatar, is set to see more than 30,000 people evacuated in two stages.
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German newspaper Tagesspiegel receives letter suggesting attack might occur on April 22
Publish Time: 2017-04-15 16:18:00
Three identical letters printed in German found near the scene of Tuesday's attack in Dortmund had stated it was carried out "in the name of Allah", broadcaster ARD reported, citing other media. The letters referred to the use of Tornado reconnaissance planes in Syria, which Germany has deployed as part of the military campaign against Islamic State.German newspaper Tagesspiegel said on its website later on Friday it had received an anonymous far-right email claiming responsibility for Tuesday's attack. It said the email referred to Adolf Hitler, railed against multiculturalism and suggested another attack might occur on April 22.Koehler said prosecutors had received a copy of the letter but she could not comment further. 
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British woman stabbed to death in Jerusalem
Publish Time: 2017-04-15 12:34:00
A British student stabbed to death by a Palestinian man in Jerusalem has been named as 20-year-old Hannah Bladon.Ms Bladon, a student at the University of Birmingham, had been on an exchange programme with the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University of Jerusalem since January. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the man attacked her as she travelled on the light rail near Jerusalem’s Old City, The Independent reports.She was rushed to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center but died soon after arrival. Israel's Shin Bet intelligence service said the Palestinian attacker had recently tried to kill himself in hospital by swallowing a razor blade and that he was convicted of sexually abusing his daughter in 2011. In a statement, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem expressed its "deep sorrow over the murder of a British student, Hannah Bladon, in today's attack". 
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More than 2,000 migrants rescued in dramatic day in Mediterranean
Publish Time: 2017-04-15 12:29:00
More than 2,000 migrants trying to reach Europe were plucked from the Mediterranean on Friday in a series of dramatic rescues and one person was found dead, officials and witnesses said.An Italian coast guard spokesman said 19 rescue operations by the coast guard or ships operated by non-governmental organizations had saved a total of 2,074 migrants on 16 rubber dinghies and three small wooden boats, Reuters reports.The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a tweet that one teenager was found dead in a rubber boat whose passengers were rescued by its ship Aquarius. "The sea continues to be a graveyard," MSF said in a Tweet.The coast guard spokesman confirmed that one person had died but gave no details. MSF said two of their ships, Aquarius and Prudence, had rescued about 1,000 people in nine boats.Desperate refugees struggled to stay afloat after they slid off their rubber boat during a rescue operation by the Phoenix, a ship of the rescue group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).Video footage showed rescuers jumping into the water off the coast of Libya to help them. "In 19 years of covering the migration story, I have never experienced anything like today," said Reuters photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi, who was aboard the Phoenix. In one operation, the Phoenix rescued 134 people, all from sub-Saharan counties, he said.Those rescued by the MOAS and MSF ships were transferred to Italian coast guard ships, which had rescued other migrants, to be taken to Italian ports.According to the International Organisation for Migration, nearly 32,000 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year. More than 650 have died or are missing.  
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North Korea vows to respond to US aggression with 'nuclear attack'
Publish Time: 2017-04-15 12:20:00
North Korea has paraded its intercontinental ballistic missiles in a military display celebrating the state's founding. The isolated communist nation said it would respond to any US aggression with an "all out war."The North Korean communist regime on Saturday used the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's "eternal president," to exhibit its military strength and signal to the United States its readiness for war, Deutche Welle reported.With the US Navy deployed near the Korean Peninsula, and experts speculating that Pyongyang was preparing another nuclear test, the tensions have been rising in recent days.The huge military parade on Saturday showed off what appeared to be the country's increasingly sophisticated military hardware, including ballistic missiles, to the accompaniment of marching music and a large audience."We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of nuclear attack," Choe Ryong Hae, a top North Korean officer, said. Choe is considered by outside analysts to be the country's most powerful official after the leader Kim Jong Un.US President Donald Trump's recent bombings in Syria and Afghanistan have stoked fears about a possible US attack on North Korea. The communist country has been regularly conducting nuclear and missile tests defying United Nations' resolutions and sanctions.Previously, the North Korean military threatened to unleash a "merciless" response against American targets, including the naval task force the US recently deployed."The closer such big targets as nuclear powered aircraft carriers come, the greater would be the effect of merciless strikes," according to the statement carried by the KCNA news agency. At the same time, the army urged Washington to "come to its senses" and find a "proper" solution to the current stand-off.  
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