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Kabul blast at Afghan Voice, Tebyan centre kills dozens

Kabul cultural center bombing kills 40

At least 40 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a blast in Kabul at a compound comprising a news agency, Shia cultural centre and religious school, the interior ministry has said.

The explosion early on Thursday struck an area close to the Afghan Voice news agency and Tebyan cultural centre, local media reported.

People gathered at Tebyan were marking the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan.


Is God is beyond gender? Swedish church challenges traditional perception

Church of Sweded drops gender when referring to GodThe Church of Sweden has urged its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to God, refraining from using terms like "Lord" and "He" in favour of the less specific "God".

The move is one of several taken by the national Evangelical Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects.

The decision was taken at the end of an eight-day meeting of the church's 251-member decision-making body, and takes effect from May 20 on the Christian holiday of Pentecost.


Report: FBI Fingerprint Software Contains Russian-Made Code

FBI code made in Russia

The fingerprint-analysis software used by the FBI and more than 18,000 other US law enforcement agencies contains code created by a Russian firm with close ties to the Kremlin, according to documents and two whistleblowers. The allegations raise concerns that Russian hackers could gain backdoor access to sensitive biometric information on millions of Americans, or even compromise wider national security and law enforcement computer systems.

The Russian code was inserted into the fingerprint-analysis software by a French company, said the two whistleblowers, who are former employees of that company. The firm — then a subsidiary of the massive Paris-based conglomerate Safran — deliberately concealed from the FBI the fact that it had purchased the Russian code in a secret deal, they said.


America is on the brink of a historic break with Europe, thanks to Trump

Trump's historic break with Europe

The Trump administration’s newly unveiled national security strategy lists reinforcing America’s alliances as a major objective. Yet in the first year of his embattled presidency, Donald Trump has so undermined our ties to Europe that we could be on the verge of a break in the seven-decade trans-Atlantic alliance.

Trump is the first U.S. president since World War II who does not seem to consider himself the leader of the democratic West. His populist America First platform has opened deep fissures in his relations with European leaders.


Putin rival formally barred from running in election

Alexei Navalny

Russia’s central election commission decided Monday to formally bar opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running in the presidential election next year.

Navalny had already been implicitly barred from running for office because of a fraud conviction, which Navalny has claimed was aimed at stifling his presidential ambitions. He could have still entered the race if he was given a special dispensation or if the conviction was canceled, according to the Associated Press.


Palestine slams Israeli plan for new settlement units

Palestine slams Israeli plan for new settlements

The Palestinian foreign ministry has denounced a new Israeli settlement construction plan, which includes the building of 300,000 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the ministry on Sunday held US President Donald Trump responsible for "Israeli arrogance" that has endorsed the annexation of East Jerusalem.

"The ministry affirms that this Israeli colonial arrogance would not have happened without US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital," the statement read.


Dozens Killed in Philippine Shopping Mall Fire

Dozens killed in Philippine shopping mall fireFire swept through a shopping mall in the Philippines killing at least 37 people, most of them workers at a call center, city government officials said on Sunday.

The vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, Paolo Duterte, said the chance of survival for any of the 37 people missing at the NCC Mall was “zero”.

“Let us pray for them,” said Duterte, the eldest son of President Rodrigo Duterte.


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