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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Kurdish oil tanker 'vanishes' with $100M cargo off Texas

Kurdish oil tankerThe U.S. Coast Guard has lost track of a Kurdish tanker carrying $100 million in disputed oil off the coast of Texas, the Independent reports.

Headed for Galveston, the United Kalavyrvta was anchored at least 60 miles off-shore when it vanished from radar screens. The ship's haul fell under legal dispute when Iraq filed a lawsuit in U.S. courts, urging American officials to grab the ship's oil in Galveston because it belongs to Iraq, not the Kurdish National Government.

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Islamic State siege of Amerli, Iraq, broken

Iraqi soldierAfter a two-month siege by Islamic State militants, the town of Amerli, Iraq, received some relief as the Iraqi military entered the town and the United States carried out airstrikes nearby.

IS fighters had surrounded the town of about 17,000 ethnic Turkmen Shiites, leaving the residents without power, food, water and other supplies.

The Sunni militants, also known as ISIS or ISIL, had taken control of strategic locations throughout Iraq and Syria, including several villages surrounding Amerli.

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Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced: U.N.

Syrian refugeesThree million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance of Islamist militants or are having difficulty in reaching open border crossings, the United Nations said.

Syrians desperate to leave their war-engulfed homeland are forced to pay hefty bribes at armed checkpoints proliferating along Syria's borders, or to smugglers, the U.N. refugee agency said.

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Militants In Syria Detain 43 UN Peacekeepers

Syrian warAn armed group detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers during fighting in Syria early Thursday and another 81 peacekeepers are trapped, the United Nations said.

The peacekeepers were detained on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during a "period of increased fighting between armed elements and the Syrian Arab Armed Forces," the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. It said another 81 peacekeepers are "currently being restricted to their positions in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah."

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Arab East Jerusalem seethes with protests and raids

Arab est JerusalemViolent protests in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem have been raging nightly beyond the spotlight on the Gaza war, leading to a crackdown by Israeli police in which hundreds of Palestinians have been detained.

Street clashes with police in riot gear, military-style raids on homes late at night and stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles have marked the most serious outbreak of violence in Jerusalem since a Palestinian uprising a decade ago.

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Russia 'directly involved' in Ukraine fighting, widens assault

Russia invades UkraineRussian forces have seized the coastal town of Novoazovsk and several villages near the border in Ukraine, and are now openly involved in the fighting, Kiev said Thursday.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on the United Nations to convene an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council and the European Council to address was he said was a Russian invasion.

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Third doctor in Sierra Leone dies from Ebola as death toll rises to 1,400

Doctor dies of EbolaA senior adviser to Sierra Leone's president says a third doctor has died from Ebola, marking a setback in the country's fight against the virulent disease.

Presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday that Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working in a clinic in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted the virus.

News of his death came as a Senegalese epidemiologist working in Sierra Leone was evacuated to Germany for medical treatment. He had been doing surveillance work for the World Health Organization.

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