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Sunday, May 01st

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Damning report reveals Church of England's failure to act on abuse

Church of England covered up abuseThe Church of England is to make far-reaching changes to the way it deals with cases of sex abuse following a damning independent report that details how senior church figures failed to act upon repeated disclosures of a sadistic assault.

The first independent review commissioned by the church into its handling of a sex abuse case highlights the “deeply disturbing” failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on the survivor’s disclosures over a period of almost four decades. The church acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable”.

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Obama administration loosens rules on Cuba travel, dollar

Obama loosens travel rules to CubaThe U.S. is loosening rules on travel to Cuba and the Cuban government's use of the dollar, removing obstacles to closer ties between the two countries five days before President Barack Obama makes a historic trip to Havana.

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that Americans can now take "people-to-people" trips to Cuba on their own instead of on expensive group tours.

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Suu Kyi loyalist and friend elected Myanmar's president

Aung San Suu KyiMyanmar's parliament elected Htin Kyaw as the country's new president Tuesday in a watershed moment that ushers the longtime opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi into government after 54 years of direct or indirect military rule.

The joint session of the two houses of parliament broke into thundering applause as the speaker Mann Win Khaing Than announced the result: "I hereby announce the president of Myanmar is Htin Kyaw, as he won the majority of votes." Immediately, the state-run Myanmar TV's camera zoomed in from above on a beaming Suu Kyi, sitting in the front row, clapping excitedly, for a live nationwide audience.

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Russia to begin withdrawing troops from Syria

Russia to pull troops from Syria Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his defence minister to begin pulling out "the main part" of Russian troops in Syria.

The announcement came just hours after peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition got under way in the Swiss city of Geneva on Monday.

"The task presented to the defence ministry and the armed forces has been completely fulfilled," Putin told Sergei Shoigu, according to the state news agency TASS.  "Thus, I order the defence minister to begin withdrawing the main part of our troops from the Syrian Arab Republic."

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Serbian Authorities Probe Hellfire Missiles Bound For Portland

Hellfire missiles bound for OregonSerbian authorities have found two U.S.-made guided Hellfire missiles inside wooden crates at Belgrade airport bound for Portland, Oregon, in the United States and are investigating them, a source at the prosecutor's office said on Monday.

The missiles had arrived on an Air Serbia flight from the Lebanese capital Beirut and had been due to be transferred to another plane. They were discovered by bomb-sniffing dogs at Belgrade airport on Saturday, the source said.

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Turkish Airstrikes Hit Kurds After Bombs

Turkish airstrikes hit KurdsTurkey's state-run news agency says the military has carried out airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq hours after a deadly bombing in the Turkish capital.

The Anadolu Agency says nine F-16s and two F-4 jets raided 18 positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in the northern Iraq, including in the Qandil mountains where the group's leadership is based.  Targets hits consisted of ammunition depots, bunkers and shelters.

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ISIL attacks kill 47 Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi

ISIL kills 47 soldiersAt least 47 Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a series of attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters near the strategic city of Ramadi, military sources said.

The first attack took place overnight on the headquarters of the 3rd rapid deployment force and other military barracks in the villages of Qutainiyah and Zuwaiyah, near Zankurah town, the sources told Al Jazeera on Monday morning.

At least 22 soldiers were killed and a further 16 security personnel were injured in the attack.

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