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Monday, Nov 24th

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Hostage Alan Henning's family make desperate plea for mercy

Alan Henning held by ISISThe family of British hostage Alan Henning made a dramatic appeal last night for his release.

It follows rumours on social networking sites that the 47-year-old taxi driver from Manchester had become the latest hostage to be killed by Islamic State (IS).

His wife Barbara Henning said: "Alan is a peaceful, selfless man who left his family and his job as a taxi driver in the UK to drive in a convoy all the way to Syria with his Muslim colleagues and friends to help those most in need.

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Turkey secures release of hostages held by Islamic State

Hostages released to TurkeyTurkish intelligence agents brought 46 hostages seized by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq back to Turkey on Saturday after more than three months in captivity, in what President Tayyip Erdogan described as a covert rescue operation.

Security sources told Reuters the hostages had been released overnight in the town of Tel Abyad on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey after being transferred from the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, Islamic State's stronghold.

Officials declined to give details of the rescue operation.

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Obama refuses to grant Ukraine special non-NATO ally status

PoroshenkoThursday was likely a disappointing day for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose requests for lethal aid and special security status as a non-NATO ally were both denied by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Poroshenko delivered an impassioned plea for both at a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday.

When asked whether the U.S. would grant the request for special non-NATO ally status, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday, "I'm not familiar with that specific request."

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CIA curbs spying in Europe after Germany catches official selling secrets to U.S.

CIA curbsThe CIA has curbed spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States and the Edward Snowden revelations of classified information held by the National Security Agency, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The pause in decades of espionage, which remains partially in effect, was designed to give CIA officers time to examine whether they were being careful enough and to evaluate whether spying on allies is worth running the risk of discovery, said a U.S. official who has been briefed on the situation.

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France strikes Islamic State group's depot in Iraq

France strikes ISISJoining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, French fighter jets struck Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot, Iraqi and French officials said.

A pair of Rafale fighter jets accompanied by support planes struck in northern Iraq on Friday morning, and the target was "entirely destroyed," President Francois Hollande said. Four laser-guided bombs struck the Iraqi military installation that had been overrun by the militants, and hit a munitions and fuel depot, a French military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss operational details.

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Hundreds of Gaza children permanently disabled by this summer’s conflict

gazan children disabledAfter being declared dead earlier this summer, 9-year-old Louay is fortunate to be back home with his father and older brother, Odai, 13. But with their friends back in school this month, both boys are confined to the small, dark apartment where they live in al-Zaitun, a suburb of Gaza City, dealing with permanent disabilities from their recent injuries.

This summer’s 51 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas took a heavy toll on Gaza’s children, killing 501, according to U.N. figures. It injured an additional 3,374, and though the bombs have stopped, hundreds of those children, just like Louay and Odai, face an uncertain future as disabled.

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Scottish referendum: Scotland votes 'No' to independence

Scottish referendumScotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.  With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and urged the unionist parties to deliver on more powers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and that commitments on extra powers would be honoured "in full".

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