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Chinese police remove church cross amid crackdown

Yahoo News -

In this photo taken July 16, 2014, a man stands near the razed remains of a Catholic church in a village in Pingyang county of Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. Across Zhejiang province, which hugs China’s rocky southeastern coast, authorities have toppled, or threatened to topple, crosses at more than 130 churches. (AP Photo/Didi Tang)BEIJING (AP) — Hundreds of police took down a church's cross Monday in a city known as "China's Jerusalem" for its many houses of worship amid a crackdown on church buildings in a coastal region where thousands of people are embracing Christianity.


South Korean teens tell how they were left to escape sinking ferry

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A man stands in front of an altar dedicated to missing and dead passengers on board capsized Sewol ferry, at port in JindoBy Ju-min Park ANSAN South Korea (Reuters) - Six teenagers who survived South Korea's worst maritime disaster in 44 years told on Monday how classmates helped them float free as water flooded their cabins despite crew instructions to stay put even as their ferry sank, killing more than 300 people. "Other kids who got out before us pulled us out." The ferry Sewol sank on April 16, killing 304 people, as many as 250 of them school children on a field trip. The ferry was on a routine trip from the port of Incheon south to Jeju island, carrying students and teachers from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul as well as other passengers and cargo. Another of the teenagers told how crew members had told passengers, "specifically the students of Danwon High School", to stay in their cabins.


Koala survives terrifying ride clinging to car

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Timberwolf the koala, who is lucky to be alive after surviving a 88-kilometre ride down a busy Australian freeway clinging to the bottom of a car, is pictured in Beerwah on July 26, 2014Timberwolf the koala was lucky to be alive Monday after surviving a terrifying 88-kilometre (54.5-mile) ride down a busy Australian freeway clinging to the bottom of a car. The Australia Zoo wildlife hospital said it latched onto the bottom of the car as it sped away, with the family inside not knowing they had a marsupial on board. Australia Zoo vet Claude Lacasse said it was amazing the koala, named Timberwolf by the rescuers who brought him in, was in such great health. Australia Zoo, set up by television personality and conservationist Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, treats an average of 70 koalas every month.


After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

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FILE - In this July 24, 2014, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Miller and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., scheduled a news conference Monday, July 28, to talk about a compromise plan to improve veterans' care. (AP Photo/File)WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.


Reporter recalls Soviet evasion in '83 jet downing

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 The Kremlin at the time dodged, weaved and obfuscated. Today, we still don’t know what exactly happened to Korean Airlines Flight 007. (AP Photo/Mikami, File)Those searching for the truth about what happened in the shoot-down of the Malaysia airliner over Ukraine can take little comfort from the history of another passenger jet that was blasted out of the sky over the Soviet Union more than three decades ago: The Kremlin at the time dodged, weaved and obfuscated. Today, we still don't know what exactly happened to Korean Airlines Flight 007.


Dutch, Australian police in fresh bid for MH17 site access

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Pro-Russia militants sit on a tank as they drive towards the front line on the outskirts of Donetsk, on July 27, 2014Dutch and Australian police will make a fresh attempt on Monday to reach the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17 in insurgent-held east Ukraine, after heavy fighting nearby scuppered their previous effort. The continuing unrest has also led Dutch authorities, who are leading a probe into the downing of the plane that killed all 298 on board, to conclude that it was unrealistic to send an armed mission to secure the site. Amid international recriminations over the chaos on the ground blocking access to the site, both sides in Ukraine's war traded blame, with Kiev accusing the rebels of "destroying evidence" and the insurgents saying Ukraine's army was targeting civilians. Washington released new photographs to bolster its claim that Russia, blamed by the West for abetting the insurgency by arming it -- including the missile that allegedly shot down MH17, was now taking a direct role in the conflict by firing into Ukraine, targeting the armed forces.


Relative lull in Gaza as UN calls for cease-fire

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Minarets from a mosque are seen in this view of Gaza city, early Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day by visiting cemeteries, to pay their respects to the dead, and then exchange family visits. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)JERUSALEM (AP) — A relative lull descended on the war-torn Gaza Strip at the start of a major Muslim holiday on Monday, as international efforts intensified to end the three-week war between Israel and Hamas and the U.N. called for an "immediate" cease-fire.


ECHR expected to announce decision on Yukos claim on Thursday: Yukos

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg is expected on Thursday to announce a decision on Yukos' multi-billion dollar claim against Russia, ruling on 'just satisfaction' or compensation, a Yukos spokeswoman said. Yukos’ application in the ECHR, which is on behalf of all Yukos shareholders, is separate from the claim made by the GML group of shareholders in the Hague. The case in the ECHR argued that Yukos was unlawfully deprived of its possessions by the imposition of bogus taxes and a sham auction of its main asset. An interim ruling by the ECHR in 2011 found partly in favor of the Russian Federation but invited a claim for 'just satisfaction' from Yukos.

It's all over but the arguing in Sterling trial

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FILE - In this June 15, 2009, file photo, Richard Parsons, then Chairman of Citigroup, speaks at Time Warner's headquarters in New York. Parsons, the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, is is expected to be called as a witness Tuesday, July 22, 2014, to support Shelly Sterling's bid to sell the NBA basketball team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.


More than 50 killed in Benghazi, Tripoli clashes

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Black plumes of smoke is seen in the vicinity of Camp Thunderbolt, after clashes between militants, former rebel fighters and government forces in BenghaziBy Feras Bosalum and Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least 36 people were killed in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi where Libyan Special Forces and Islamist militants clashed on Saturday night and Sunday morning, medical and security sources said. The government said more than 150 people have died, many of them civilian, in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi in two weeks of fighting as clashes forced U.S. and foreign diplomats to pull out of the country. Since the clashes erupted a fortnight ago, 94 people have died in the capital, and more than 400 have been injured as militias exchanged rocket and artillery fire across southern Tripoli, the health ministry said. Another 55 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Benghazi since the clashes have intensified over the last week between regular forces and Islamist militants who are entrenched in the city.


U.S. diplomats' return to Libya could be more hazardous than exit

Yahoo News -

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If evacuating U.S. embassy staff from Libya was perilous - three F-16 fighters and Marines in Osprey aircraft flew overhead a road convoy from Tripoli to Tunisia - sending them back in could be politically hazardous for President Barack Obama. U.S. diplomats work in dangerous places such as Baghdad and Kabul, but the ghosts of Benghazi hang over the U.S. presence in Libya after an attack on a U.S. mission in the eastern Libyan city in 2012 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.     Republicans, preparing to battle Obama's Democrats in mid-term elections in November, have been quick to characterize the chaos in Libya as further evidence of the administration's weak foreign policy.     The eight or so U.S. diplomats who had been in Libya and a security staff numbering 200 or more drove out of the country on Saturday under a heavy escort, amid the worst violence in the capital and in Benghazi since Washington and its NATO allies helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.     The State Department said embassy staff would return to Tripoli once it was deemed safe.

Boko Haram kidnaps wife of Cameroon's vice PM, kills at least three

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By Tansa Musa YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Nigerian Boko Haram militants kidnapped the wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister and killed at least three people on Sunday in a cross-border attack involving more than 200 assailants in the northern town of Kolofata, Cameroon officials said. A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town's mayor, and five members of his family were also kidnapped in a separate attack on his home. Boko Haram, an Islamist group which made international headlines with the abduction of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in April, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks. Cameroon has deployed troops to its northern region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.

Australian police to renew bid to access Ukraine crash site

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A woman takes a photograph of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo)A joint Australian-Dutch probe team will renew efforts on Monday to gain access to the crash site of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, Australian Federal Police said, after fierce fighting kept them away the previous day. Evidence could be lost if fighting continued, said Deputy Commissioner of National Security Andrew Colvin, and the chances of finding the remains of all 298 dead grew slimmer as time passed.


China profits boost Asian stock markets

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday, shrugging off jitters about stiffer Western sanctions against Russia, after China reported strong corporate profits.

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