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Snowden to take Norway to court to secure free passage

Snowden to sue NorwayEdward Snowden will take the Norwegian state to court in a bid to secure free passage there, a Norwegian law firm representing the former U.S. spy contractor said on Thursday.

Snowden has been invited to Norway to receive a freedom of speech award from the local branch of writers' group PEN International, but is worried that he would be handed over to the United States, his lawyers say.

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A frail Fidel Castro bids farewell in 'last speech'

Castro bids farewell to partyFidel Castro, Cuba’s longtime former president, has delivered a farewell speech to the Communist party Congress in the capital, Havana, and called for safeguarding communist ideals.

The leader of the 1959 revolution, which overthrew the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, emerged from seclusion on Tuesday to muse about death and provide encouragement to his followers in a rare speech.

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Hundreds feared dead in migrant shipwreck off Libya

Hundreds feared dead in refugee boat catastropheHundreds of people are feared to have drowned in the southern Mediterranean last week, in what would be the deadliest migrant shipwreck in months.

A repurposed fishing boat overloaded by smugglers with up to 500 Africans hoping to reach Italy from eastern Libya sunk as passengers from smaller boats were trying to board it, survivors told the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The survivors’ accounts described panicked passengers desperately trying to stay afloat by jumping between vessels.

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Terror victims win Supreme Court judgment against Iran

Beirut bombing of US Marine baseThe Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a judgment allowing families of victims of the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut and other terrorist attacks to collect nearly $2 billion in frozen Iranian funds.

The court on Wednesday ruled 6-2 in favor of more than 1,300 relatives of the 241 U.S. service members who died in the Beirut bombing and victims of other attacks that courts have linked to Iran.

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Sharp 6.1 tremor hits Ecuador; biggest post-quake aftershock

Ecuador aftershocksA fresh tremor rattled Ecuador before dawn Wednesday, a magnitude-6.1 magnitude jolt that set babies crying and adults pouring into the streets, fearful of yet more damage following a monster earthquake over the weekend.

It was the strongest aftershock yet following the magnitude-7.8 quake that killed more than 500 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor was centered offshore, 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of the devastated beach town of Muisne, at 3:33 a.m. local time (4:33 EDT; 0833 GMT).

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Obama lands in Saudi Arabia for potentially tense visit

Obama lands in Saudi ArabiaUnited States President Barack Obama landed in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in what is being billed as an effort to end wars in Syria and Yemen and ease tensions between Washington and Riyadh.

Obama will meet King Salman and will attend a summit on Thursday with leaders of six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, at which he will be joined by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry.

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Israeli convicted of murdering Palestinian teen

Israeli convicgted of killing palestinian teenAn Israeli court has convicted an Israeli man of kidnapping and killing 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir after it rejected the defendant's defence team plea of insanity.

The court ruled on Tuesday that Yosef Haim Ben David, 33, was sane and in control of his actions when he and accomplices kidnapped and murdered Abu Khdeir on July 2, 2014.

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