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Hong Kong protest leaders: time to retreat

Hong Kong protestThe leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement, Occupy Central, called for an end to demonstrations Tuesday.

"Our young people have used their bodies to withstand the blows of police batons, their blood and broken bones have brought us the deepest sorrow. We three urge the students to retreat, to put down deep roots in the community and transform the movement," said Benny Tai, a University of Hong Kong law professor. Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming, the co-founders of Occupy Central, said they would turn themselves in to authorities Wednesday.


Officials: Wife of IS leader detained in Lebanon

isis leaderLebanese authorities detained a wife and suspected son of the leader of the Islamic State group several days ago, and she is being questioned, two senior Lebanese officials said Tuesday.

A military official said the woman and child were detained about 10 days ago while carrying fake identification cards.

Both officials refused to give further details about the woman who is believed to be one of the wives of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group's reclusive leader. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.


Palestinian woman shot by security forces after 'lightly' knifing Israeli man

palestinian woman shotIsraeli security forces were credited Monday with stopping a knife-wielding assailant near a cluster of Jewish settlements in the Gush Etzion junction.

The incident occurred when an unidentified young Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli citizen for unknown reasons. Israeli soldiers opened fire on the woman. "Security forces overcame the suspect and transferred her for further medical assistance," the IDF wrote via Twitter.


Hong Kong protesters force closure of government

Hong Kong protestersThousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists forced the temporary closure of government headquarters on Monday after clashing with police, defying orders to retreat after more than two months of sustained protests in the Chinese-controlled city.

The democracy movement represents one of the biggest threats for China's Communist Party leadership since Beijing's bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy student protests in and around Tiananmen Square.


Bilingual Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem torched

Arab-Jewish school torchedA fire broke out Saturday evening on the grounds of a dual Hebrew and Arabic language school in southern Jerusalem, sparking suspicion of politically motivated arson.

Firefighters gained control over the blaze at the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem’s Pat neighborhood. On the walls of the building, emergency responders found anti-Arab graffiti which said “death to Arabs,” “Kahane was right” and “down with assimilation.”


Islamists come out on top in new effort to unify Syrian rebel groups

Islamists dominate Syrian rebel coalitionSeventy-two Syrian rebel groups on Saturday announced a new coalition to battle the government of President Bashar Assad. But hopes that moderate rebels would dominate the meeting were dashed when extremists gained more of the 17 executive positions than had been expected.

Col. Muhammad Hallak, who represented a moderate faction attending the three-day organizational meeting, accused Islamists, especially Ahrar al Sham, which is known to work closely with al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, of capturing more positions than its influence in the rebellion deserved.


Egypt court drops charges against Mubarak

Mubarak murder charges droppedAn Egyptian court on Saturday dismissed criminal charges against former president Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his nearly three-decade reign.

Mubarak, 86, was also acquitted of corruption charges that he faced along with his sons Alaa and Gamal.  Mubarak was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2012, but the verdict was overturned on appeal the following year.


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