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Monday, Sep 01st

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Boko Haram suspected of abducting more than 50 Nigerian villagers

Boca HaramResidents of a Nigerian village on the shore of Lake Chad say at least 50 residents are missing after a raid by suspected Boko Haram militants.

A witness told the BBC that 26 people were also killed during the raid on the village of Doron Baga on Sunday.  The remote region has poor communication links, meaning news of the raid took days to emerge.

Nigeria has been plagued by attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist group in recent years, particularly in the north-east.

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Notre Dame investigates academic fraud, removes four players

Notre dame fraudNotre Dame has removed four likely starters from its football team in the midst of an investigation into academic fraud, a person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY Sports.

The players are receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive back KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore, the person said. It is unclear if their removal is permanent or whether they might be able to return to the team.

It also is unclear if the investigation is limited to football.

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Israel bans national service with human rights group B'Tselem in Gaza row

Israel bans service in human rights groupIsrael has banned young people from serving with one of its most prominent human rights groups because of its opposition to the war in Gaza. B'Tselem, which campaigns against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, was informed on Wednesday night that it has been blacklisted as a civilian alternative to military service.

The director of the body responsible for non-military options for Israelis who don't want to serve in the IDF, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, told Channel 2 TV that B'Tselem had "crossed the line in wartime [by] campaigning and inciting against the state of Israel and the Israel Defence Force, which is the most moral of armies".

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Government Invokes 'Privacy' Exemption To Conceal Secrets

Edward SnowdenWhen the National Security Agency wanted to block the public release of former contractor Edward Snowden's emails, it found an unlikely ally: His privacy.

The government cited a federal law protecting privacy rights to deny journalist Matthew Keys' request for Snowden's messages. Experts said Snowden is far from an exception. From Osama bin Laden to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, "privacy" claims are the government's latest excuse to keep its secrets secret.

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ISIS Baffling U.S. Intelligence Agencies

ISIS baffling US IntelIt’s been two months since ISIS took over Iraq’s second-largest city. But U.S. analysts are still trying to figure out how big the group is and the real identities of its leaders.

The U.S. intelligence community is still trying to answer basic questions about the jihadists who tried to wipe out Iraq’s remaining Yazidis and who now threaten to overrun the capital of the country’s Kurdish provinces.

In a briefing for reporters Thursday, U.S. intelligence officials said the government is re-evaluating an estimate from early this year that said the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) had only 10,000 members. These officials also said intelligence analysts were still trying to determine the real names of many of the group’s leaders from records of Iraqis who went in and out of American custody during the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

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WHO: Number affected by Ebola 'vastly' underestimated

Ebola crisisThere is evidence that the reported numbers of dead and sickened by Ebola in West Africa may "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak," the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.

With estimates of more than 1,060 deaths and 1,975 infected, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is already the deadliest ever.

It will take about six months for the epidemic to be controlled, Joanne Liu, head of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said Friday. She compared the Ebola outbreak to "wartime" and said that abating it would require greater leadership from the WHO.

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France passes sweeping gender-equality law

France passes gender equality lawFrance passed a sweeping gender-equality law this week that eases current restrictions on abortion, encourages paternity leave and promotes gender parity at home and in the workplace.

Under the new law passed on Tuesday, women can obtain an abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without any need to cite a reason. This amends France’s previous law, passed in 1975, that gave women the legal right to terminate a pregnancy only if they were in a situation of “distress.” The new law also bans any attempt to prevent women from obtaining information about abortion services.

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Ferguson Police Release Name Of Officer Who Shot Michael Brown

Ferguson officials release officer's nameFerguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last Saturday is Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who has no disciplinary actions on his record with the department.

The release of Wilson's name comes after Jackson said he wouldn't identify the man out of concerns for his safety, citing death threats made to Ferguson police and on social media. Jackson said that Wilson was treated for injuries he sustained Saturday.

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Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine as aid convoy stops short of border

Russian military vehicles enter UkraineThe white trucks of humanitarian aid rumbled through Russia in a convoy stretching for miles, moving slowly southwards on the M4 highway, amid a landscape of fertile fields and Ladas stopped at the roadside – their boots overflowing with watermelons for sale.

But, while the trucks came to a halt well short of Ukraine's border, a different Russian convoy did make the crossing into Ukrainian territory late on Thursday evening.

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