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Thursday, Apr 17th

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Mass ultra-Orthodox protests in Jerusalem against military service

Ultra orthodox protests in IsraelA massive ultra-Orthodox demonstration in Jerusalem today underscored deep opposition to the Israel’s efforts to integrate its fastest-growing community, which has for decades prized religious study over joining the military or the workforce.

“Our service is in Torah – that’s our way,” says Moshe, a 16-year-old yeshiva student with dark side curls, as loudspeakers project deafening prayers by various rabbis. He is one of hundreds of thousands of religious Jews who converged on Jerusalem this afternoon for the event, blocking the city’s main entrance and causing authorities to shut down the main highway to Tel Aviv, the central bus station, and the light rail line.

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Russian troops take over Ukraine's Crimea region

Russian troops in CrimeaRussian troops took over Crimea as the parliament in Moscow gave President Vladimir Putin a green light Saturday to use the military to protect Russian interests in Ukraine. The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react to the action by Russian troops based in the strategic region and more flown in, aided by pro-Russian Ukrainian groups.

Putin sought and quickly got his parliament's approval to use its military to protect Russia's interests across Ukraine. But while sometimes-violent pro-Russian protests broke out Saturday in a number of Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, Moscow's immediate focus appeared to be Crimea.

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Scotland ready to offer gay Ugandans asylum

Scotland offers gays asylumScotland has proposed a plan to offer asylum to “any Ugandan” persecuted by the country’s new anti-gay laws, Scottish daily The Herald reported on Friday.

Humza Yusuf, Scotland’s Minister for External Affairs, submitted a letter to U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague outlining the proposal and urging him "to offer asylum to any Ugandans who feel threatened or persecuted by the legislation.”

“Scotland will play her part in providing asylum for those seeking refuge from this draconian legislation,” Yusuf wrote.

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Polio vaccination teams attacked by Pakistani militants

Polio workers killedMilitants have attacked a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan, detonating a roadside bomb before opening fire on their convoy.

The attackers killed 12 members of the security escort for the team during the hour-long assault, and when rescuers approached the scene the gunmen also attacked them, according to Khan Faraz, a local official.

Around a dozen wounded were taken to hospital, but others died on the road waiting for help to arrive, he said.

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28 dead in knife attack at China train station

china train station attackAt least 28 people were killed in a "violent terrorist attack" at a train station in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming by a group of unidentified people brandishing knives, five of whom were shot dead, state media said on Sunday.

Another 162 people were injured, the official Xinhua news agency added. It said the attack had taken place late on Saturday evening.

"It was an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack," Xinhua said.  Police shot dead five of the attackers and were searching for around five others, it added.

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Russian ‘Blackwater’ Takes Over Ukraine Airport

Russian blackwaterPrivate security contractors working for the Russian military are the unmarked troops who have now seized control over two airports in the Ukrainian province of Crimea, according to informed sources in the region. And those contractors could be setting the stage for ousted President Viktor Yanukovich to come to the breakaway region.

The new Ukrainian government in Kiev has accused Moscow of “an armed invasion and occupation” in the Crimean cities of Simferopol and Sevastopol, where well-armed and well-organized troops with no markings or identification have taken control of the airports.

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Doctors Without Borders expelled from Myanmar

DWB expelled from MyanmarDoctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was "deeply shocked" by Myanmar's decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.

"Today for the first time in MSF's history of operations in the country, HIV/AIDS clinics in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states, as well as Yangon division, were closed and patients were unable to receive the treatment they needed," the group said in a statement, using the French acronym for its name.

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