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Israel premier orders review of status for east Jerusalem

east JerusalemPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a review of the status of certain Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, an official confirmed Monday, a decision that could potentially strip tens of thousands of Palestinians of their Israeli residency rights.

Such a move is unlikely to overcome Israeli legal hurdles, but the very prospect has unnerved Palestinians in the city. The review comes after weeks of Israeli-Palestinian violence, much of it concentrated in east Jerusalem, the section of the city claimed by the Palestinians for their future capital. Many of the Palestinian attackers involved in deadly assaults came from east Jerusalem neighborhoods. Any move to change the status of the city's Palestinians would threaten unleashing new unrest and draw international condemnations.


Belgian Scientologists go on trial for fraud and extortion

Belgian ScientologyThe Belgian branch of the Church of Scientology has gone on trial and faces a possible ban for fraud and extortion, charges it claims are meant to ruin its reputation.

The case opened in a packed Brussels courtroom on Monday where the prosecution demanded that the church, known internationally for celebrity members including Tom Cruise and John Travolta, explain where it got its financing.


Canada whale-watching boat disaster: All 5 dead confirmed to be Britons

Whale watching boat overturnsThe Foreign Office has confirmed the five people who died when a whale-watching boat sank off the coast of Canada were all British. One person is still missing after the 20m Leviathan II, carrying 27 people, sank off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, on 25 October.

Emergency services confirmed 21 people have been rescued and taken to hospital, many of who are said to be in a stable condition. An investigation is under way to determine how the boat sank, with conditions said to be "not too unusual" for the whale-watching company to deal with.


Indonesia fire: Sulawesi karaoke parlour blaze kills 12

Karaoke fire in IndonesiaAt least 12 people died when a fire broke out in a packed karaoke parlour in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, police say.

Panicked people smashed windows to flee as black smoke spread through the Inul Vizta building in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province. But others were trapped in the building, which reportedly had only one access door

Most of the victims are said to have died from smoke inhalation. About 70 others are in hospital.


Jordan proposes TV cameras to defuse Jerusalem tensions: Kerry

Jordan proposes TV cameras at holy siteU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday sketched out steps, including Israeli-Jordanian video surveillance, he hopes may ease tensions over a Jerusalem site holy to Muslims and Jews, after weeks of violence in which dozens have died.

Speaking in Amman after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah, Kerry said Israel had given assurances it had no intention of changing the status quo at the site, the third holiest in Islam.


Deadly blast hits Shia Ashura procession in Pakistan

Shia processionAt least 16 people have been killed during a procession to mark a Shia religious holiday in the Pakistani province of Sindh.

The blast on Friday, which struck worshipers marking Ashura in the city of Jacobabad, also wounded 30 people.

A police official told the AFP news agency that the procession was targeted by a suicide bomber.


Israeli settler attacks rabbi protecting Palestinian farmers

Israelu attacks rabbiA knife-wielding Israeli settler on Friday attacked a peace activist in the West Bank, where the activist was volunteering to protect Palestinian farmers from such assaults during the ongoing olive harvest season. The attack, captured on video, underscores longtime complaints by Palestinians of harassment and assaults by Israeli settlers.

Rabbi Arik Asherman, president of Rabbis for Human Rights, was returning from helping farmers in the Palestinian village of Awarta, near the Israeli settlement of Itamar, when he spotted settlers stealing olives and burning groves that belong to local villagers. After he confronted the settlers, one of them assaulted him with stones and a knife.


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