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Sunday, Mar 29th

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Slovenian lawmakers approve same-sex marriage, adoption

SloveniaSlovenian lawmakers have approved same-sex marriage and child adoption by gay couples amid opposition from conservative groups and the Catholic Church.

Parliament voted 51:28 Tuesday to pass changes to the family law allowing homosexual couples to marry and adopt children. Slovenia in the past allowed same-sex partnership union, but without the right to child adoption.

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Villarica volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee

Chile volcano eruptsOne of South America’s most active volcanos erupted early Tuesday in southern Chile, spewing heavy smoke into the air as lava surged down its slopes, prompting authorities to evacuate thousands of people.

The Villarica volcano erupted around 3 a.m. local time, according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations. Local media showed images of the volcano bursting at the top, glowing in the dark amid heavy smoke and rivers of lava.

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Palestinians confiscate Israeli goods in boycott campaign

Palestinians boycott israeli goodsPalestinians urging a boycott of Israeli products have begun confiscating goods in the West Bank, a movement leader said Tuesday, after activists dumped a truckload of Israeli milk and yogurt in a main square to the cheers of supporters.

Activists will visit shops and target products from six major Israeli food companies in the coming days, boycott leader Abdullah Kmail said.

"We entered the second phase of the campaign which is confiscating and damaging these goods," he said, adding that Monday's stunt was meant to show Palestinians that "the campaign is serious."

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Iraq launches major offensive to recapture Tikrit from ISIL

Iraq offensiveGovernment forces backed by allied Shia and Sunni fighters have begun a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The offensive is part of the biggest military operation in the Sunni-majority province of Salahuddin since last June, when ISIL fighters, exploiting sectarian resentments of the Shia-led government, seized vast swaths of northern Iraq and advanced towards the capital, Baghdad.

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Algerians suffering from French atomic legacy, 55 years after tests

Algerians suffer atomic test legacyAhmed el-Hadj Hamadi was huddled into a building with the rest of his community by French soldiers early in the morning. They were instructed to lie down, close their eyes and cover their ears. He then remembers a sound like “the world coming to an end” and the windows turning white. A cord above their prone bodies swung erratically until the light bulb it held shattered.

“I thought it was the apocalypse. We all did,” he said. “We all thought we might die.” Later, the French military began tasking out labor to residents in the isolated desert region of Algeria. “They had built a kind of village at the explosion area, and even put animals in it,” Hamadi added. “After the blast we were sent out to gather all the rubbish. The ground was all burned, white, liquid.”

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Many South Sudan boys 'kidnapped to be child soldiers'

Ssudanese boy soldiersHundreds of boys in South Sudan have been kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers, the United Nations children's agency says.
The figure is a big increase on the 89 child abductions reported by Unicef last month.

Their latest statement blamed a militia group allied to the government.

South Sudan is in a state of civil war with forces loyal to President Salva Kiir pitted against rebels led by former Vice-President Riek Machar.

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UN: Iraq violence kills at least 1,100 in February

Iraqi deathsThe U.N. mission to Iraq said Sunday that violence claimed the lives of at least 1,100 Iraqis in February, including more than 600 civilians.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement that 611 civilians were among 1,103 people killed last month, with the rest hailing from the security forces. It said at least 2,280 people were wounded, including 1,353 civilians. January's death toll was at least 1,375.

The most violent city was the capital Baghdad, with 329 civilians killed and 875 wounded, it said.
The U.N. numbers do not include the third of the country held by the Islamic State extremist group.

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