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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Shia militias 'killing Iraqi Sunnis in reprisal attacks'

Shia now killing SunnisShia militias in Iraq have kidnapped and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months, a report by campaign group Amnesty International has said.

The killings were in apparent revenge for attacks by Islamic State (IS). Amnesty said the militias had been supported and armed by the Iraqi government and operated with impunity.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who took office last month, has admitted to previous "excesses" by security forces and vowed to govern for all Iraqis.

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UK MPs pass motion to recognize Palestine as a state

UK MP's pass two state solutionThe British parliament voted in favor of a symbolic move to recognize Palestine as an official state, answering impassioned pleas by pro-Palestinian ministers and activists.
The vote, which took place on Monday evening, saw 274 MPs come out in support of the motion, while 12 voted against.

"This House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution," the motion reads.

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North Korea leader makes 1st appearance in 40 days

Korean leaderAfter more than six weeks of global speculation, the people of North Korea can at last relax: their beloved leader has finally been seen in public once more. State media reported early on Tuesday local time that Kim Jong-un visited a newly built residential district and the Natural Energy Institute of the State Academy of Sciences.

“Our scientists are patriots who are devoting all their lives to building a rich and powerful nation,” he was quoted as saying.

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Airbase Falls to Islamic State as U.S. Warns of Baghdad Threat

Airbase falls to ISISIslamic State came closer to gaining full control of Iraq’s strategically key province of Anbar after it seized a military base to the west of Baghdad that had been one of the government’s few remaining outposts.

Militants took the base after heavy fighting with soldiers, according to Ahmed al-Dulaimi, a Sunni tribal leader. The capture of the facility, located near a major highway that stretches from the Iraqi capital to the border with Syria, increases the threat to another military base known as Ayn al-Asad. That installation controls the approach to Iraq’s second-largest dam and Ramadi, Anbar’s capital.

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Hong Kong pro-democracy activists reinforce barricades at protest site

Hong Kong protestsPro-democracy demonstrators in central Hong Kong have used cement to reinforce the barricades defending a protest site after being attacked by counter-protesters on Monday afternoon, raising the stakes in a student-led movement which has paralysed huge swaths of the city for the past 16 days.

Hours after police began removing barricades across the city on Monday morning, hundreds of men – some of them wearing surgical masks to hide their faces – stormed various protest sites, assaulting protesters and dragging away remaining barricades themselves. Some were armed with crowbars and cutting tools, according to media reports. “Open the roads,” they chanted. Police at one point formed a human barrier to keep the two sides apart.

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Work on 'taming' firms wins Frenchman economics Nobel

Jean TiroleFrench economist Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize for economics for work that has shed light on how governments can "tame" the big businesses that dominate once-public monopolies like railways, highways and telecommunications.

"This year's prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms," Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, told a news conference after awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

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Turkey opens its bases for US and coalition forces in fight against Isis

KobaniAs Kurdish defenders held off Islamic State militants in Syria’s border town of Kobani, US defence officials said that Turkey will let US and coalition forces use its bases, including a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border, for operations against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria and Iraq.

As night fell on Sunday, the town centre was under heavy artillery and mortar fire, Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kobani defence council, said by Skype from inside the town. Heavy clashes were under way in the east and south-east, he said, with neither side gaining ground.

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