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Israel passes law meant to draft ultra-Orthodox

ultra orthodoxxIsraeli lawmakers passed a contentious law on Wednesday meant to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military, culminating a reform drive that generated mass protests by the religious community in Israel and beyond.

The issue of conscription of the ultra-Orthodox is at the heart of a cultural war in Israel. The matter featured prominently in elections last year that led to the establishment of the center-right government, which has pushed for the new legislation.


Israeli troops kill Jordanian judge at West Bank crossing

Jordanian judge killedIsraeli troops shot and killed a Jordanian judge of Palestinian descent at a West Bank-Jordan crossing after he allegedly tried to grab a gun from a border guard, causing new frictions with the Palestinians and Jordan.

The military said the judge, 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, lunged toward the Allenby Bridge terminal yelling, ''Allahu Akbar,'' or God is Great, and tried to wrest a weapon from an Israeli soldier. Soldiers opened fire at his legs to try to restrain him, at which point he tried to strangle a soldier and was shot to death, the military said. The crossing is under overall Israeli security control.


Student leader killed in Venezuela

Venezuela student leader killedA student leader was fatally shot Monday night in the western university city of San Cristóbal after a long day of street clashes in which Venezuelan security forces attacked and dismantled barricades at key intersections, the city’s mayor said.

The slain student leader, Daniel Tinoco, was shot in the chest after dark, San Cristóbal Mayor Daniel Ceballos said via Twitter. The opposition politician did not say who might have killed Tinoco but tweeted that armed paramilitaries allied with the government known as "colectivos" had battled protesters along with the National Guard. The death of Tinoco brought the number of fatalities to at least 22 in five weeks of unrest.


New details on last known location of missing Malaysia Airline flight 370

Kuala Lampur airportMalaysia Airlines flight 370 was reportedly hundreds of miles off course before it disappeared, authorities revealed Tuesday.

The last contact flight controllers had with flight 370 was over Pulau Perak, a small island in the Straits of Malacca. That location is hundreds of miles from the planned flight path between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

A senior Malaysian Air Force official spoke to CNN about the investigation on the condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to discuss the case with the media.


Arab envoys say no to Israel as Jewish state

Arab LeagueArab foreign ministers on Sunday rejected Israel's demands that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state, saying such a move would undermine the rights of Palestinian refugees.

In a resolution released at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, the foreign ministers called the issue of Palestinian refugees an integral part of a comprehensive and just peace. It blamed Israel for the floundering of peace negotiations.


Nuns kidnapped in Syria have been freed, officials say

Nuns freedAbout a dozen nuns held in Syria for more than three months have been released and are on their way to Damascus via Lebanon, a Lebanese security source and church officials said on Sunday.

The security source said the nuns had been transferred to the Lebanese town of Arsal earlier in the week and were on their way to Syria on Sunday.

The nuns went missing in December after Islamist fighters took the ancient quarter of the Christian town of Maaloula north of Damascus.


Debris seen in water is not from missing plane, Malaysia says

missing planeMalaysia's Department of Civil Aviation said Sunday debris found near Vietnam's Tho Chu Island was not part of the airliner missing since Saturday morning.

Director-General Datuk Azhauruddin Abdul Rahman said authorities confirmed the objects found in the Gulf of Thailand did not match the missing aircraft.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, disappeared over the South China Sea about an hour after departing for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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