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Monday, Sep 01st

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Ukraine claims troops crossed border from Russia

Ukrarine claims troops crossed borderThe Ukrainian military said Monday it was fighting a column of armored vehicles that recently crossed the Russian border into southeast Ukraine.

It added the vehicles of the pro-Russian separatist movement were stopped at the town of Novoazovsk, on their way to a purported opening of a second front at the southeastern city of Mariupol.

The majority of the fighting between the Ukrainian military and rebels thus far has been in the northeastern part of Ukraine.

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Defense rests in Blackwater trial

blackwaterFour Blackwater security guards have rested their defense in the shootings that killed or wounded over 30 Iraqis seven years ago in Baghdad.

Closing arguments will be later this week in the prosecution of the four guards. Three are charged with voluntary manslaughter and attempted manslaughter — Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty. A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, is charged with first-degree murder.

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Japan to provide experimental Ebola drug

Japan offer ebola drugJapan is ready to provide an unapproved, anti-influenza drug to help treat the deadly Ebola virus, the Japanese government announced on Monday, a day after the Democratic Republic of Congo declared an Ebola outbreak in its northern Equateur province on Sunday caused by a strain different from the West Africa one, according to the health ministry.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Japan could offer the drug any time at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO) and was willing to make an international contribution to help control the epidemic that has claimed at least 1,427 lives — mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and neighboring Guinea. There have been six outbreaks of Ebola in DRC since the disease was discovered there in 1976, with a total of more than 760 deaths.

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State of emergency declared after Calif. quake

California state of emergencyThe magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck around 3:20 a.m., and for some awakened residents the temblor revived memories of the last big quake to strike the San Francisco Bay Area 25 years ago, which did major damage.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Schools in Napa Valley were ordered closed Monday.

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For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad

Jozef WesolowskiThe case is the first time that a top Vatican ambassador, or nuncio — who serves as a personal envoy of the pope — has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. It has sent shock waves through the Vatican and two predominantly Catholic countries that have only begun to grapple with clergy sexual abuse: the Dominican Republic and Poland, where Mr. Wesolowski was ordained by the Polish prelate who later became Pope John Paul II.

It has also created a test for Pope Francis, who has called child sexual abuse “such an ugly crime” and pledged to move the Roman Catholic Church into an era of “zero tolerance.” For priests and bishops who have violated children, he told reporters in May, “There are no privileges.”

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Netanyahu warns Gaza civilians after Israel destroys apartment block

Netanyahu warns Gaza citizensPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel flattened a 13-story apartment block in Gaza.

Israeli aircraft fired a non-explosive rocket at the building as a signal to residents to get out before attacking it on Saturday. Seventeen people were wounded in the strike on the structure, which Israel said had housed a Hamas command center.

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Actor and director Richard Attenborough dies aged 90

Richard AttenboroughOscar-winning British film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90, his son has said.  Lord Attenborough was one of Britain's leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director.

In a career that spanned six decades, he appeared in films including Brighton Rock, World War Two prisoner of war thriller The Great Escape and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park.

As a director he was perhaps best known for Gandhi, which won him two Oscars.

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Peter Theo Curtis, U.S. Journalist Missing Since 2012, Freed By Kidnappers In Syria

peter Theo Curtis releasedKidnappers in Syria have freed a U.S. journalist missing since 2012, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, following what Qatari-owned Al Jazeera said were efforts by the Gulf Arab state to win his release.

Kerry said in a statement announcing the release of Theo Curtis that the United States was using "every diplomatic, intelligence and military tool" at its disposal to secure the release of other Americans held hostage in Syria.

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'Incredible' rate of polar ice loss alarms scientists

Ice loss 'incredible'The planet's two largest ice sheets – in Greenland and Antarctica – are now being depleted at an astonishing rate of 120 cubic miles each year. That is the discovery made by scientists using data from CryoSat-2, the European probe that has been measuring the thickness of Earth's ice sheets and glaciers since it was launched by the European Space Agency in 2010.

Even more alarming, the rate of loss of ice from the two regions has more than doubled since 2009, revealing the dramatic impact that climate change is beginning to have on our world.

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