Friday, Oct 09th

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Refugee boat sinkings claim at least 100 off Libya, hundreds more missing

Lybia migrants drownThe bodies of scores of refugees have been recovered by Libyan authorities responding to two off-coast sinkings of smuggling ships thought to be carrying hundreds of people.

A Red Crescent official told the Associated Press that 105 people have so far been confirmed dead, but it is feared that the total could rise as hundreds are still missing. On Friday, Libyan authorities were observed removing bodies from the waters off the coastal city of Zuwara — a launch pad for overcrowded refugee ships heading to Europe.


65 Pounds of Diamonds Vanish in Russia

diamonds vanish in russiaRough diamonds worth millions of dollars have reportedly disappeared from Russia's supposedly impenetrable repository created by the Bolsheviks to store the tsar's jewels.

The state-owned Severalmaz company handed diamonds weighing a combined 150,000 carats — or 66 pounds — to the Gokhran repository for inventory purposes, according to respected business daily Kommersant.


UN Report: Israeli Weapons Fueling South Sudan Civil War

Sudanese with Israeli made rifleSouth Sudan has been in the midst of a civil war for the past 18 months, and the United Nations has reported in the past on extensive human rights violations there during the fighting, including the drafting of child-soldiers and the burning of villages.

According to the current report, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army has been implementing a scorched-earth policy, and has been involved in indiscriminate killing, rape, pillaging, destruction of infrastructure and uprooting of civilians from their homes.


Iranian Human Rights Defenders Coming Out Massively in Support of the Iran Deal

Iranian democracy movement The Obama administration is clearly winning the battle over the Iran deal. Momentum is so strong in its favor that Obama may even be able to prevent a resolution rejecting the deal from coming to a vote in the Senate. Indeed, despite spending $20-40million on ads disparaging the deal, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and its allies have thus far only managed to win over two Democratic lawmakers to its side.

The entire affair is turning into a massive embarrassment for a lobby that previously was believed to be invincible.


Palestinians ordered to pay $10m to terror victims while appealing lawsuit

Palestinians orderd to pay millionsPalestinian authorities found liable in a high-profile lawsuit over Americans killed in terrorist attacks must pay $10m in cash – and an additional $1m monthly payment while the case is on appeal – to secure the hundreds of millions awarded by a jury, a US judge said on Monday.

In ordering the security payment, Manhattan federal Judge George B Daniels said he had given significant thought to a motion filed this month by the US State Department, which intervened in the case via the Department of Justice to argue a high bond could threaten the stability of the region by straining the cash-strapped Palestinians.


France train shooting: Hollande awards Legion d'honneur

France honors heroesThree Americans and a Briton who foiled a suspected terror attack on a train have received France's top honour from President Francois Hollande.

Mr Hollande presented Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Briton Chris Norman with the Legion d'honneur at the Elysee Palace.

Two other unnamed passengers will receive the honour at a later date.


Palmyra's Baalshamin temple 'blown up by IS'

Temple of Baalshamin blown up by ISISIslamic State militants have destroyed Palmyra's ancient temple of Baalshamin, Syrian officials and activists say.

Syria's head of antiquities was quoted as saying the temple was blown up on Sunday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that it happened one month ago.

IS took control of Palmyra in May, sparking fears the group might demolish the Unesco World Heritage site.  The group has destroyed several ancient sites in Iraq.


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