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Syria aid convoy was hit by an air strike: UN

Aid convoy hit in SyriaAnalysis of satellite imagery of a deadly attack on an aid convoy in Syria last month showed that it was an air strike, a UN expert said on Wednesday.

At least 20 people were killed in the attack on the UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy at Urm al-Kubra near the northern city of Aleppo, which destroyed 18 of 31 lorries, a warehouse and clinic.


Turkey suspends thousands of police, shuts down TV station as crackdown widens

Turkey suspends thousands of policeTurkish authorities suspended nearly 13,000 police officers, detained dozens of air force officers and shut down a TV station on Tuesday, widening a state-ordered clampdown against perceived enemies in the wake of July's failed coup.

The police headquarters said 12,801 officers, including 2,523 chiefs, had been suspended because of their suspected links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the attempt to overthrow the government.


United States Suspends Contact With Russia Over Syria Impasse

US suspends contact with RussiaIn a sharp deterioration of relations, the U.S. on Monday suspended diplomatic contacts with Russia over Syria, while Moscow halted cooperation on a joint program for disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.

The U.S. move followed a threat last week from Secretary of State John Kerry after new Russian and Syrian attacks on the city of Aleppo. The State Department said Russia had not lived up to the terms of an agreement last month to restore the cease-fire and ensure sustained deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged cities.


98 more homes for Jewish settlers in West Bank approved

98 more homes for west Bank settlers approvedIsrael approved plans for 98 new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, drawing criticism from those promoting a two-state solution.

The Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria advanced the plan for the homes, as well as one for an industrial park, near the West Bank capital of Ramallah. The practice of permitting settlers to occupy land destined, if a two-state solution becomes a reality, to become Palestinian territory is regarded as a stumbling block to the resumption of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

It is also viewed as illegal under international law, and has been criticized by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.


Women in Poland strike to protest proposal for abortion ban

Polish women strikePolish women donned black, waved black flags and took to Poland's streets on Monday, boycotting jobs and classes as part of a nationwide strike to protest a legislative proposal for a total ban on abortion.

Many men — public figures among them — also joined the thousands of women on the streets of Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and elsewhere across the largely Catholic nation, on what has been dubbed "Black Monday." The country already has one of Europe's most restrictive abortion laws and opinion surveys show very little support for an even stricter law, despite the nation's deep Catholicism and conservative political direction.


Suicide bombers target Shia processions in Baghdad

Iraq suicide bombingSuicide bombers attacked two Shia processions in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than 40, police and medical sources said.

A bomber targeted a market in the Amil neighbourhood of southern Baghdad on Monday, killing at least six people and wounding 16.

A similar attack hit a procession in the eastern Mashtal district, killing five and wounding 18, the sources added.


Colombia referendum rejects peace deal with Farc guerrillas

Farc deal voted down in ColombiaColombians have rejected a peace deal to end 52 years of war with Farc guerrillas, throwing the country into confusion about its future.

With counting completed from 98% of polling stations, the no vote led with 50.23% to 49.76%, a difference of 61,000 votes.

The verdict on the deal between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc reached after four years of intense negotiations means it cannot now be implemented.


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