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Friday, Oct 31st

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Judge: Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide

PistoriusA South African judge on Friday found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and declared him not guilty of murder and premeditated murder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said Friday that the double-amputee athlete was not guilty of murder, as prosecutors had alleged. She ordered Pistorius to stand before she delivered the verdict.

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Israeli military opens its own probe into Gaza war

IDF investigatedThe Israeli military says it has opened criminal investigations into two high-profile cases involving Palestinian civilian casualties in this summer's Gaza war.

Wednesday's announcement is likely an attempt to head off international investigations into the military's conduct during the 50-day conflict.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, three-quarters of whom were civilians, were killed in the fighting, according to Palestinian and U.N. estimates.

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Death toll in India, Pakistan floods reaches 400

floods in IndiaThe death toll from floods in Pakistan and India reached 400 on Tuesday as armies in both countries scrambled to help the victims and authorities in Islamabad warned of more flooding in the days ahead.

The flash floods, which began on Sept. 3, have put more than half a million people in peril and rendered thousands homeless in the two neighboring states.

Pakistani and Indian troops have been using boats and helicopters to drop food supplies for stranded families and evacuate victims.

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Former US ambassador to the UN in alleged money laundering scheme

khalilzad investigatedZalmay Khalilzad, who served as US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN under President George W Bush, is being investigated by American authorities for suspected money laundering, Austrian officials said Monday.

State prosecutor Thomas Vecsey confirmed a report in the Austrian weekly Profil about the investigation of Khalilzad, who played a key role in the political transition in Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion and the fall of the Taliban.

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Gambia passes bill imposing life sentences for some homosexual acts

Gambia gay death penaltyGambia has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa's most vocal anti-gay leaders.

The bill amending the criminal code was passed last month and brings life sentences for "aggravated homosexuality", minority leader Samba Jallow said. The charge is levelled at repeat offenders and people living with HIV/Aids.

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World leaders urge decriminalization of drug use, regulation of markets

Decriminalize drugsOtto Pérez Molina, the president of Guatemala, floated an audacious idea last December. His government was considering legalizing the production of opium poppy — heroin’s main ingredient — as an alternative to combating drug-fueled bloodshed in Central America, where the number of violent deaths today mirror those of the 1980s, when the region was entangled in civil wars.

That seemingly fanciful proposal gained steam on Monday with the release of a pioneering report titled “Take Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work.” In the report, a group of global luminaries calls for the decriminalization of all drug use and the legal regulation of psychoactive substances. The Global Commission on Drugs — headed by the likes of former U.N. secretary general Kofi Anan, Reagan-era U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, and former presidents of Latin America — represents the most distinguished group of leaders to call for drastic drug policy alternatives.

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Missing radioactive material reignites debate on dirty bomb threat

radioactive materialLast week authorities in Kazakhstan announced that a container holding cesium-137, a radioactive material, disappeared, possibly after falling off a truck.

Details of the incident are sparse. The Kazakh government says it is searching for the container, which weighs over 100 pounds, but would not or could not say where it came from or where it might be headed.

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