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Friday, Jan 30th

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Confusion, pressure around burial of Jewish Paris victims

Parisian Jews buried in JerusalemAmid reports of confusion over the burial of the four Jewish men killed in last week’s Paris terror attack, Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett overturned Tuesday evening the decision to charge the families NIS 50,000 ($12,500) for each burial.

Bennett and Deputy Minister Eli Ben-Dahan announced that the ministry would cover the costs.  But the decision came after days of confusion over the funerals, Haaretz reported.

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Nigeria's Horror in Paris's Shadow

Nigeria horrorAs many as a million people, joined by 40 world leaders, filled the streets of Paris on Sunday in solidarity after two separate terrorist attacks claimed 17 innocent lives last week. The day before, more than 3,000 miles to the south, a girl believed to be around 10 approached the entrance to a crowded market in Maiduguri, a city of some 1 million in Nigeria's Borno State.

As a security guard inspected her, the girl detonated explosives strapped to her body, killing herself and at least 19 others. Dozens more were injured.

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Egyptian judicial official: No legal grounds to detain Mubarak after court ordered retrial

MubarakEgyptian authorities have exhausted all legal grounds to keep deposed President Hosni Mubarak in detention after an appeals court on Tuesday ordered his retrial in a corruption case, officials said.

The corruption case was the only one still keeping the 86-year-old Mubarak behind bars. The autocratic former president has already been cleared over the killings of protesters during Egypt's 2011 uprising that toppled him.

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U.S. airstrike in Syria may have killed 50 civilians

50 civilians killed in US airstrike on SyriaA U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed at least 50 Syrian civilians late last month when it targeted a headquarters of Islamic State extremists in northern Syria, according to an eyewitness and a Syrian opposition human rights organization.

The civilians were being held in a makeshift jail in the town of Al Bab, close to the Turkish border, when the aircraft struck on the evening of Dec. 28, the witnesses said. The building, called the Al Saraya, a government center, was leveled in the airstrike. It was days before civil defense workers could dig out the victims’ bodies.

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Why Benjamin Netanyahu Attended Paris Anti-Terror March Over France's Objections

NetanyahuFrench President Francois Hollande asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to come to Paris for the march against terror on Sunday, but the Israel premier decided to attend anyway after hearing that political rivals were going to be there, according to an Israeli source who was involved in the contacts between the Elysees Palace and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. The fact that this message had been conveyed was first reported by Channel 2.

After the French government began to send invitations to world leaders to participate in the rally against terror, Hollande’s national security adviser, Jacques Audibert, contacted his Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen, and said that Hollande would prefer that Netanyahu not attend, the source said.

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Egypt acquits 26 men in trial over police raid on gays

Egypt acquite 26 menAn Egyptian court on Monday acquitted 26 men arrested in a televised raid last month by police looking for gays at a Cairo public bathhouse, a ruling that set off deafening cheers and jubilation inside the courtroom as some of the defendants uncovered their faces and wept openly in relief.

Others, however, kept their faces hidden behind jacket hoods and scarves, still traumatized by the humiliation they and their families had endured during the highly publicized case, which caught the public's attention after a pro-government TV network aired scenes of half-naked men being pulled from the bathhouse by police during the Dec. 7 raid.

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Afghanistan's $3.6 billion police problem: broken systems and corruption

Afghan police trainingShortly after the U.S.-led military invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the international community, together with the transitional Afghan government, set about standing up security forces to counter retreating Taliban forces and remaining Al-Qaeda fighters. Along with the Afghan National Army, in 2002 it established the Afghan National Police (ANP), which consisted of uniformed police, border police, anti-crime officers and civil order police.

Since then it has spent over $3.6 billion dollars on police salaries and payroll costs, with U.S. taxpayers paying $1.3 billion of that tally. The U.S. will continue to spend $300 million annually on ANP salaries while U.S. forces reduce their presence on the ground. It’s part of the ongoing U.S. commitment to Afghanistan’s security.

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