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Monday, Mar 02nd

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'Jihadi John' from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner

Jihad JohnInvestigators believe that the "Jihadi John" masked fighter who fronted Islamic State beheading videos is a British man named Mohammed Emwazi, two U.S. government sources said on Thursday.

He was born in Kuwait and comes from a prosperous family in London, where he grew up and graduated with a computer programming degree, according to the Washington Post.

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Jamaica Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Pot

Jamaica decriminalizes potMarijuana has been pervasive but illegal in Jamaica for decades, consumed as a medicinal herb, puffed as a sacrament by Rastafarians and sung about in the island's famed reggae music.

After many years of dialogue about the culturally entrenched drug, and emboldened by changes to drug laws in U.S. states, Jamaica's Parliament on Tuesday night gave final legislative approval to an act decriminalizing small amounts of pot and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry.

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ISIL kidnapping underlines 'grave peril' of Assyrian Christians

Asyrian ChristiansThe kidnapping of up to 150 Assyrian Christian men, women and children by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marked the latest tragedy to strike the region’s long-persecuted Assyrian community, which has been unable to shield itself from the region’s sectarian violence as its ancestral homeland across Syria and Iraq is pillaged.

At dawn on Monday, residents of about 10 lightly guarded Assyrian villages south of the Khabur River in northeastern Syria awoke to ISIL fighters sweeping through the area, burning homes and churches, and taking hostages, activists told Al Jazeera. The roughly 3,000 residents who were able to escape from the captured villages and from those nearby have mostly taken refuge at Assyrian churches in the nearby Kurdish towns of Qamishli and Hassakah, many boarding crammed buses organized by relatives outside the ISIL strike zone.

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Israeli cable reveals S Africa missile theft cover-up

anti tank missileA Mossad secret service document leaked to Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit reveals that in 2010 Israel obtained stolen South African anti-tank missile technology.

South African intelligence covered it up. Years later, when two men charged with stealing the plans were put on trial in South Africa, prosecutors failed to release the full information of Israel's involvement.

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Leaked cables show Netanyahu’s Iran bomb claim contradicted by Mossad

Israeli lie about Iran leakedBinyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document.

It is part of a cache of hundreds of dossiers, files and cables from the world’s major intelligence services – one of the biggest spy leaks in recent times.

Brandishing a cartoon of a bomb with a red line to illustrate his point, the Israeli prime minister warned the UN in New York that Iran would be able to build nuclear weapons the following year and called for action to halt the process.

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Phased US-Iran nuclear deal taking shape

US and iran negotiationsThe United States and Iran are working on a two-phase deal that clamps down on Tehran's nuclear program for at least a decade before providing it leeway over the remainder of the agreement to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make weapons.

Officials from some of the six-power talks with Iran said details still needed to be agreed on, with U.S. and Iranian negotiators meeting Monday for the third straight day ahead of an end-of-March deadline for a framework agreement. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined the negotiations after arriving Sunday.

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Egypt imprisons pro-democracy activist, blogger for 5 years

Egyptian activist jailedAlaa Abdel Fattah, a pro-democracy activist and blogger, was sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Egyptian court for allegedly organizing a protest without permission and for assaulting a police officer.

Abdel Fattah is a member of the "No to Military Trials for Civilians" movement and the charges relate to a protest the group held in November 2013 demanding that a provision allowing military trials for civilians be removed from the constitution.

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