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Russia: U.S. prohibited from flying over Syrian 'de-escalation zones'

Russia: US not allowed ove rsafe zoneRussia said aircraft in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State will be prohibited from operating above the planned "de-escalation zones" in Syria.

Alexander Lavrentyev, the head of Russia's delegation in peace talks and Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Syria, said the issue of whether aircraft can operate in the safe zones is "off the table."

"The case is that in the de-escalation zones, the work of aviation, especially the coalition forces, is absolutely not envisaged, with or without notification," Lavrentyev said.


North Korea accuses CIA of plot to murder Kim Jong-un

North Korea accuses CIA of plot to murder Kim Jong-unNorth Korea has accused the US and South Korean spy agencies of an unsuccessful assassination attempt against leader Kim Jong-un involving biochemical weapons.

In a statement carried on state media, North Korea's ministry of state security on Friday said that a "hideous" group sanctioned by the CIA and South Korean Intelligence Service (IS) had infiltrated North Korea "on the basis of covert and meticulous preparations to commit state-sponsored terrorism against the supreme leadership".


Regional powers agree on Syria 'de-escalation zones'

Regional powers agree on Syria de-escalation zonesRussia, Iran and Turkey have signed a deal calling for the setup of so-called de-escalation zones in war-torn Syria during talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.
Syria: Residents of besieged Ghouta fear it is time to flee

The signing ceremony on Thursday was briefly interrrupted as some members of the Syrian armed opposition's delegation stormed out in protest against Iran's participation in the deal.



Germany: Was a Fake Syrian Refugee a Real Right-Wing Terrorist?

German fake refugee found with cache of weaponsLast Thursday morning, police officers caught up with a 28-year-old German lieutenant now known as Franco A. at a military installation near Hammelburg, a tiny city in Bavaria, where he was in the middle of a commando exercise. They pulled him out of a hole in the ground. The training course for lone fighters brags about the ability of its obstacle course to “bring participants to their physical and psychological limits”—and even before questioning, the lieutenant was, according to the officers, “physically exhausted.”

In fact, there was more going on than that. One can hardly wonder that Franco A. was worn out. He had been leading an extraordinary double—or one might say triple—life. Part of his time was spent as a model soldier, part as a right-wing extremist, and part as a bogus Syrian refugee under the alias of “David Benjamin,” who applied for asylum in Germany with nothing but a beginner’s course in Arabic and a stubble beard.


U.S. Supreme Court sides with Venezuela over oil rigs claim

Oil rig decision by SCOTUS favors VenezuelaThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled against an American oil drilling company that claimed Venezuela unlawfully seized 11 drilling rigs in 2010.  Siding with Venezuela, the justices ruled 8-0, with Justice Neil Gorsuch not participating.


Famed Swiss Climber Ueli Steck Killed In Fall Near Mount Everest

Swiss climber dies in fall near Mt. EverestAn experienced Swiss climber died on Sunday after he fell in the Everest region of Nepal during preparations to climb the world’s highest mountain, the first to perish in the current climbing season, officials said.

Ueli Steck, 40, died after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, said Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summits Treks company that organized Steck’s expedition.


Despite Trump demand, U.S. will pay THAAD costs

S. Korean THAAD to be paid for by USThe deployment has drawn protests from China, which says the powerful radar which can penetrate its territory will undermine regional security, and from local residents worried they will be a target for North Korean missiles.

About 300 residents rallied on Sunday as two U.S. Army trucks tried to enter the THAAD deployment site. Video provided by villagers showed protesters blocking the road with a car and chanting slogans such as “Don’t lie to us! Go back to your country!”

Police said they had sent about 800 officers to the site and two residents were injured during clashes with them.


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