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New Zealand storms spark flooding and evacuations, mobilisation of troops
Publish Time: 2017-07-22 11:22:00
Rescue services and troops in New Zealand are working around the clock to help those affected by a severe storm that has sparked flooding and led to the evacuation of hundreds of homes.A state of emergency has been declared in the South Island cities of Christchurch, Otago, Timaru and Dunedin, the island's second-largest city.In Christchurch, the Heathcote River burst its banks and flooded southern parts of the South Island city this morning.The New Zealand Defence Force has deployed at least a dozen trucks and 140 personnel to provide emergency services and help rescue those trapped by rising floodwaters.Fire and rescue officer Mark Bradford said while flooding was the main issue in Christchurch, some houses were affected by landslides, ABC News reports. 
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Moldova Asks Russian Troops to Quit Transnistria
Publish Time: 2017-07-22 10:51:00
Moldova's parliament adopted a declaration on Friday, asking Russia to withdraw its troops from the breakaway region of Transnistria where they have been deployed for 25 years.The move came a day after the Moldovan Foreign Ministry warned Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, that the country would not allow him to land by military plane in Chisinau for a visit to mark the 25th anniversary of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Transnistria.Parliamentary speaker Andrian Candu, a member of the ruling Democratic Party, said the text of the declaration was drafted together with the Foreign Ministry.A majority of 61 MPs out of 65 MPs present at the session backed the motion after opposition Socialist Party deputies left the chamber in protest against the decision to include the document on the agenda without enough time for the MPs to evaluate its impact.“This is a serious violation of common sense. At least allow us to look at it properly,” Socialist MP Vlad Batrancea said in parliament. “We believe this is a geopolitical provocation,” he added, before he left the hall with his fellow party members.Moldova’s pro-Russian President, Igor Dodon, condemned the document in a message on his Facebook account, accusing the pro-EU dominated parliament of trying to “worsen relations with the Russian Federation and undermine all the breakthroughs in Moldovan exports to the Russian Federation, regional cooperation, education and humanitarian programs.”He also claimed that such a decision could only come from "outside Moldova", presumably referring to Romania.Romania's Prime Minister, Mihai Tudose, and several Romanian ministers were in Chisinau on Friday for a joint government meeting with the Moldovan executive. Dodon confirmed that Rogozin was due to arrive in Chisinau on Saturday and argued that adopting the declaration a day ahead of his visit would only fuel regional tensions. “I want to restate my position: I support a comprehensive dialogue with the Transnistrian representatives to solve all problems of, most of all for the ordinary people on both sides of the Dniester [river boundary],” he added.Parliament Speaker Candu confirmed that Rogozin was likely to land in Chi
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Interpol circulates list of 173 suspected members of Isis suicide brigade
Publish Time: 2017-07-22 08:57:00
Interpol has circulated a list of 173 Islamic State fighters it believes could have been trained to mount suicide attacks in Europe in revenge for the group’s military defeats in the Middle East, The Guardian reports. The global crime fighting agency’s list was drawn up by US intelligence from information captured during the assault on Isis territories in Syria and Iraq.European counter-terror networks are concerned that as the Isis “caliphate” collapses, there is an increasing risk of determined suicide bombers seeking to come to Europe, probably operating alone.There is no evidence that any of the people on the list, whose names the Guardian has obtained, have yet entered Europe, but the Interpol circulation, designed to see if EU intelligence sources have any details on the individuals, underlines the scale of the challenge facing Europe.The list, sent out by the general secretariat of Interpol on 27 May, defines the group of fighters as individuals that “may have been trained to build and position improvised explosive devices in order to cause serious deaths and injuries. It is believed that they can travel internationally, to participate in terrorist activities.”The data was originally collected by the US intelligence “through trusted channels”. The material was handed over to the FBI, which transmitted the list to Interpol for global sharing.A note appended to the Interpol list circulated in Italy explains how the terrorist database was constructed, putting together the pieces of the puzzle from hundreds of elements, mainly gathered when Isis local headquarters were captured. 
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Chester Bennington, Linkin Park Singer, Is Dead at 41
Publish Time: 2017-07-21 12:37:00
Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 41.Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death, in Palos Verdes Estates, and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide after law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m.Mr. Bennington, who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish, released seven albums with Linkin Park. The most recent, “One More Light,” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The band was scheduled to start a tour with a concert on July 27 in Mansfield, Mass.Mike Shinoda, one of Linkin Park’s founders, spoke on behalf of the group in a tweet. “Shocked and heartbroken,” he wrote, adding that the band would issue a statement, as reported by New York Times. 
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Venezuela strike erupts into violence leaving 2 dead
Publish Time: 2017-07-21 12:35:00
A nationwide strike against plans to rewrite the constitution shut down much of Venezuelan’s capital Thursday before erupting into sporadic violence that left at least two young men dead.President Nicolas Maduro pledged to forge ahead with reshaping Venezuela’s government despite the protests and a U.S. threat to levy economic sanctions if he continued. A coalition of opposition groups called what it described as a “great march” for Saturday, returning to a strategy of direct confrontation with the government after a week of alternative tactics like organizing a nationwide protest vote against the constitutional rewrite.In New York, a senior diplomat resigned from the Venezuelan delegation to the U.N. in what he called a protest of the Maduro’s administration’s widespread human rights violations, The Washington Post wrote.Isaias Medina told The Associated Press he could no longer tolerate working for a government that advocates for human rights at the U.N. and violates them at the same time. He is among the few members of Venezuela’s government outside the opposition-controlled National Assembly to have broken ranks with it. Medina called on Maduro to resign immediately. “He needs to respond now before the international community,” Medina said.U.N. Ambassador Rafael Ramirez said on Twitter that Medina had acted dishonestly and been removed from his post. The issue is certain to be raised when Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada goes to U.N. headquarters in New York Friday to meet U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. 
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2 dead, 100 hurt in magnitude-6.3 earthquake near major Turkish and Greek tourist stops
Publish Time: 2017-07-21 09:56:00
A powerful earthquake killed at least two people and injured scores when it struck near major Turkish and Greek tourist destinations in the Aegean Sea early on Friday, officials said.Local officials said 100 people were injured on the Greek holiday island of Kos, a destination favored by British holidaymakers. The identity of the victims was not immediately known.Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority, AFAD, said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3, with its epicenter 11 km (7 miles) from the nearest settlement, the village of Camlik. Other reports put the quake magnitude at 6.7.Across a narrow Aegean Sea waterway in Turkey’s Bodrum, about 70 people were admitted to hospital, with injuries suffered in their attempts to flee the overnight tremor, which struck at 1.31 a.m. (2230 GMT).It was the second quake of magnitude exceeding 6.0 in the broader region this year, a level that can cause considerable damage. A hospital official said 100 people were injured, most slightly, Global News reported.
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French Senate passes new anti-terror bill
Publish Time: 2017-07-19 12:27:00
Lawmakers in France’s conservative-dominated Senate have approved controversial legislation to further strengthen France’s anti-terror laws by a majority vote.The French senators passed the draft bill by a vote of 229 to 106 on Tuesday. The document would now proceed to the lower house of the National Assembly for a vote in October.The new security laws, which were a campaign pledge of the country’s new President Emmanuel Macron, would replace a state of emergency imposed after November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.Under the state of emergency measures, authorities have the power to place suspects under house arrest, order house searches, and ban public gatherings without the prior approval of a judge.The emergency state has been extended six times, most recently under Macron on July 6. Under the proposed legislation, some of emergency state practices would become permanent law.The move has been slammed by rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which have described it as draconian.France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, however, has defended the new bill, referring to it as essential for combating what he described as the “ever present” terror threat. “We want to come out from the state of emergency, but we can’t do so without counter-terrorism controls in place,” he has said.
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Lukashenko, Poroshenko to discuss Donbas, trans-border cooperation
Publish Time: 2017-07-19 11:13:00
Political, humanitarian, trade and economic cooperation will be on the agenda of meeting of the two presidents, Petro Poroshenko and Aleksandr Lukashenko. The Belarusian leader will arrive in Ukraine with an official visit on July 20-21.Lukahsenko’s press service reports that the two presidents are going to talk through latest developments in Donbas combat area and deeper trans-border cooperation. Other topics will include interaction in trade, investments, industrial area, petrochemical complex, power sector, agricultural industry and logistics and transport.The two leaders will also sign bilateral documents on cooperation in economy, science, technologies and culture.    
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Trump, Putin held a second, undisclosed meeting at G20 summit
Publish Time: 2017-07-19 03:45:00
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a second, previously undisclosed conversation during a dinner for G20 leaders at a summit earlier this month in Germany, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday, as reported by Reuters.The two leaders held a formal two-hour bilateral meeting on July 7 in which Trump later said Putin denied allegations that he directed efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.The White House official did not say how long the second meeting took place or what was discussed. The second conversation between Trump and Putin took place during a dinner for the Group of 20 heads of state and their spouses in Hamburg, said Ian Bremmer, the president of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, who was first to report the meeting in a note to clients.Television coverage of the dinner showed that first lady Melania Trump was seated next to Putin. Bremmer said Trump got up from his seat halfway through dinner and spent about an hour talking "privately and animatedly" with Putin, "joined only by Putin's own translator."The lack of a U.S. translator raised eyebrows among other leaders at the dinner, said Bremmer, who called it a "breach of national security protocol."Trump is under intense scrutiny by Congress and a special counsel investigating Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election, and probing whether Trump's campaign had ties to the activity. Trump has denied collusion between his campaign and Moscow.
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Firefighters battle forest fire in Croatia
Publish Time: 2017-07-18 09:52:00
Croatian firefighters are battling to control a forest fire along the Adriatic coast that has damaged and destroyed buildings in villages around the city of Split, reaching the Split suburbs late this evening.           Local media reported that the blaze, which started late last night, has spread across 20km and first threatened the villages of Srinjine, Sitno Gornje and Sitno Donje.One death has been reported, although it was not clear whether the cause was a heart attack or smoke inhalation. By the evening hours the blaze had reached eastern suburbs of Split. Some parts of the city were without water or electricity.Visitors were asked to leave two shopping malls as the smoke entered ventilation systems. The fire has also reached the city's waste dumping site.          Authorities prepared places for some 250 people inside a Split sports hall in case there were evacuations. Citizens were warned not to go near petrol stations threatened by fire on some roads approaching Split.           Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that if necessar yCroatia might consider asking for help from its European Union partners.           Earlier in the day several houses and around a dozen cars were burnt. A church in one of the villages was saved when firefighters extinguished flames heading towards the building.           Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said 100 troops from the Croatian army joined firefighters in the village of Zrnovnica, east of Split, where children and elderly people were evacuated from an area engulfed by heavy smoke. Army personnel were also helping firefighters in Split suburbs.            Zrnovnica is the site of an underground army missile compound, but Mr Krsticevic said he did not expect it to be damaged. Electricity and water supplies have been affected and several local roads have been closed.           
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Turkey arrests local Amnesty International leader
Publish Time: 2017-07-18 09:49:00
A court in Istanbul ordered six human rights activists — including Amnesty International's Turkey director — formally arrested Tuesday pending a trial over accusations that they aided an armed terror group, adding to concerns over rights and freedoms in the country, foreign media say.Four others activists were released from custody pending the outcome of a trial. They have been barred from traveling abroad and have to report regularly to police.The group was detained earlier this month in a police raid at a hotel on Buyukada Island where they were attending a training workshop on digital security. They are suspected of "committing crime in the name of a terrorist organization without being a member."Amnesty International described the court decision as a "crushing blow for rights in Turkey." "This is not a legitimate investigation, this is a politically motivated witch-hunt that charts a frightening future for rights in Turkey," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's secretary general. Shetty said: "Today we have learnt that standing up for human rights has become a crime in Turkey. This is a moment of truth, for Turkey and for the international community." 
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Flood damaged nearly seven thousand houses in Illinois State
Update Time: 2017-07-15 16:20:00
Nearly seven thousand houses in the American State of Illinois are damaged as a result of flood, Associated Press agency reports with reference to local authorities. Officials estimate that the number of flooded houses can increase. As it is reported, the governor of the state Bruce Royner announced three districts as natural disaster areas. He also promised to provide any necessary help for these regions. According to the agency, heavy rains have fallen upon the state on Wednesday and have led to interruptions in power supply and closing of some sections of roads. 
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Iran police fatally shoot knife attacker in Tehran metro
Update Time: 2017-07-15 16:19:00
Tehran police shot dead a man who attacked a clergyman and other people with a knife at a metro station on Saturday, Iranian state television reported. Hadi Tamhidi, deputy governor of the Shar-e Rey district in south Tehran, said the unidentified man attacked the clergyman with a knife after a dispute, and injured another man.Police shot and wounded the assailant, who later died of his injuries, Tamhidi said, adding that the assailant was mentally "unbalanced".A spokesman for the metro said traffic at the Shar-e Rey station had returned to normal after the incident.
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Nicolas Maduro has compared himself to Saddam Hussein
Update Time: 2017-07-15 16:18:00
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday compared himself with former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein. “I’m similar to Saddam Hussein live Saddam Hussein,” said Maduro on state television. At these words, spoken before a huge audience hall in Caracas, he was dressed in camouflage uniform and red airborne beret.Hussein was ousted in April 2003 after the invasion of Iraq, coalition troops led by the US and Britain. The Supreme court of Iraq has charged him with the death in 1982 of 148 villagers of al-dujayl. He was sentenced to death, the sentence was executed in late December 2006.
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8 dead, 1 missing in NE China downpours
Update Time: 2017-07-15 12:23:00
Eight people died and another went missing due to rainstorms in Northeast China's Jilin province, local authorities said Saturday.Torrential rain battered central and eastern Jilin on Thursday and Friday, forcing relocation of more than 120,000 people as of 8 AM of Saturday, according to provincial flood control authorities.In Yongji County, which saw record-breaking daily precipitation, five people died in the disaster. The rainstorms have affected lives of nearly 320,000 people in 13 counties, damaging homes, roads, bridges and dikes, Xinhua news agency reports.
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No Georgians injured as tourists in Hurghada were assaulted by knifeman
Update Time: 2017-07-15 12:21:00
No Georgian citizens among those injured as a result of an assault on Egypt resort Hurghada’s hotel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. As reported, Georgia’s Ambassador to Egypt has already had a conversation with a representative of Egypt’s Interior Ministry. According to the Ministry, two people have been killed and four – injured as one of Hurgada’s hotels was attacked by a knifeman. The deceased were Ukrainian citizens. According to Egyptian media, the knifeman assaulted and stabbed tourists at the beach. 
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NATO bristles at ‘unsafe behavior’ by Russian pilots
Publish Time: 2017-07-12 15:49:00
Increasingly angry NATO allies will tell the Kremlin on Thursday of their objection to aggressive and dangerous maneuvers by Russian military pilots over the Baltic Sea, including “unsafe behavior by Russian pilots on intercepts,” an alliance official said, as reported by POLITICO.NATO’s frustration over what it views as unnecessary provocations by Russian military aircraft will be conveyed at a meeting in Brussels of the NATO-Russia Council, a forum in which Western allies and Russia maintain dialogue even amid heightened tensions.NATO’s rising concerns come after a series of confrontations between allies and Russian aircraft in the crowded airspace over the Baltic Sea, including an incident last month in which a Russian Su-27 fighter jet came within several feet of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane. The Pentagon released dramatic photos of that incident.The NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the actions by Russian pilots would be among several concerns raised by allies in Thursday’s meeting. Allies are also bristling over plans by Russia for a large-scale military exercise, called Zapad, or West, which NATO officials say should be reported under a 2011 international accord known as the Vienna Document.The Vienna Document, agreed by members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes Russia and NATO allies, calls for official notice of exercises exceeding 9,000 troops and allows OSCE states to observe any exercises involving more than 13,000 soldiers.
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EU is wasting Turkey’s time, Erdoğan says
Publish Time: 2017-07-12 12:33:00
Turkey does not see the EU as indispensable, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview published Wednesday.Speaking to BBC, Erdoğan said that Turkey would remain "loyal to its word" reiterating the country's wish to join the union. "If the EU, bluntly says, 'We will not be able to accept Turkey into the EU' this will relax us. We will then initiate our plan B, and C. The European Union is not indispensable for us... We are comfortable," Erdoğan said.The European Parliament adopted the annual report of Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri, suggesting the suspension of accession talks with Turkey Thursday. Ankara said the vote, which is not legally binding, is an attempt to sabotage the recent positivity surrounding talks between the bloc and Turkey.Erdoğan recalled his first term as prime minister, saying that the EU praised Turkey for accomplishing a "silent revolution" during leaders' summits. "But now the same EU not only doesn't invite us to the leaders' summits any more – they also waste our time. This is the situation right now," the president said.According to Erdoğan, most Turks do not want to join the EU anymore, believing that the union treats Turkey "insincerely." "Despite all this we will continue being sincere with the EU for a little more time. We will see what that brings for us," Erdoğan added.Speaking about the ongoing crisis involving Qatar and four Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, Erdoğan said that Turkey was not a part of the rift and that the country wanted to promote dialogue and peace in the Gulf region. "We are in a hurry to find a solution here. Turkey is never in favor of Muslim killing Muslim in this region. We don't want to see Muslim fighting with Muslim. We are fed up with this," Erdoğan said.The president added that Turkey was paying a heavy price because the happenings in Yemen, Libya, Palestine, and Syria, that was why the country did not accept the blockade on Qatar.Starting from June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen's internationally backed government and one of Libya's three governments have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Gulf nation funds militant groups – charges Doha calls baseless.Several other Muslim
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Turkish Police kill 5 Islamic State militants in Konya
Publish Time: 2017-07-12 11:44:00
Turkish police killed five Islamic State militants in a raid on a house in the city of Konya on Wednesday and four police were slightly wounded, the Dogan news agency said.Special forces police launched the operation at the house in the Meram district of Konya, in central Turkey, at 5:15 a.m. (3.15 a.m. BST) because they believed the militant cell was planning an attack, the agency said.Police sealed off the area and approaching vehicles were searched after the clash, which occurred during raids conducted by the police on 10 different addresses in Konya, it said.
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Turkey's failed coup: Warrants issued for 105 tech experts
Publish Time: 2017-07-11 15:06:00
Turkish authorities have issued detention warrants for 105 information technology experts suspected of aiding last year's failed coup, the state-run news agency reported.The warrants were issued Tuesday as Turkey kicked off a week of events commemorating the July 15 anniversary of the thwarted coup and remembering about 250 people who were killed.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim visited a graveyard in Istanbul where some of the victims were buried, while special prayers were to be recited in honor of the dead at mosques across the country.Anadolu Agency says 52 of the suspects, who include ex-employees of Turkey's scientific research council and of the telecommunications authority, have been detained so far. They are accused of providing technical support to the coup plotters.Turkey has blamed U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen for the coup and is seeking his extradition. Gulen has denied involvement.Turkey declared a state of emergency following the attempt and embarked on a sweeping crackdown, arresting some 50,000 people for alleged links to the coup and dismissing over 100,000 from government jobs. 
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