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Friday, Jul 01st

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Magnitude 6.7 earthquake reported in Ecuador

new aftershock in EcuadorA powerful magnitude 6.7 aftershock early Wednesday rattled Ecuador near the Pacific coast area where a devastating earthquake hit a month ago, knocking out power and scaring still-traumatized residents as they slept but only limited damage was reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday that the quake's epicenter was 35 kilometers (21 miles) from the town of Muisne. It struck shortly before 3 a.m. local time and had a shallow depth of 32 kilometers below the earth's surface.

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Over 200 families feared buried by landslides in Sri Lanka

landslides in Sri LankaSoldiers and police used sticks and bare hands Wednesday to dig through enormous piles of mud covering houses in three villages hit by massive landslides in central Sri Lanka, with hundreds of families reported missing.

By evening, rescuers had pulled 17 bodies from the mud and debris unleashed by several days of heavy rain across the island nation. Officials said the extent of the tragedy was still unclear, but the Sri Lankan Red Cross said at least 220 families were unaccounted for.

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Wave of bombings hits Baghdad Shiite areas, killing 69

Iraq bombs kill 69A wave of bombings struck outdoor markets and a restaurant in Shiite-dominated neighborhoods of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 69 people, officials said — the latest in deadly militant attacks far from the front lines in the country's north and west where Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State group.

In an online statement, IS claimed responsibility only for the deadliest bombing of the day, which took place in Baghdad's northeastern Shaab neighborhood and where at least 34 people were killed and 75 others were wounded.

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US, other powers want to arm Libyan government

US and others plan to arm Libyan governmentThe United States and other world powers say they are ready to supply Libya's internationally recognized government with weapons to counter the Islamic State and other militant groups gaining footholds in its lawless regions.

The world powers aim to push for exemptions to a U.N. arms embargo imposed on Libya to keep lethal arms away from Islamic extremists and rival militias vying for power. In a communique obtained by The Associated Press, the U.S., four other permanent U.N. Security Council members and the more than 15 other nations participating at the talks say they are "ready to respond to the Libyan government's requests for training and equipping" government forces.

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Duterte vows to kill criminals and reintroduce hanging in Philippines

DutertePhilippines’ president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces the power to “shoot-to-kill” criminals.

In his first press conference since winning the 9 May elections in a landslide, Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of the southern of Davao, warned his campaign threats to kill were not rhetoric.

“What I will do is urge Congress to restore (the) death penalty by hanging,” Duterte, 71, told a press conference in Davao on Sunday.

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Germany to overturn 50,000 convictions of gay men

Germany to overturn convictions of gay menSince 2002 Germany has been overturning convictions the Nazi regime imposed on gay men. But the initiative had excluded any convictions handed down after World War II.

More than 50,000 men who were convicted of homosexuality under a law that criminalized homosexuality in Germany will finally have their convictions overturned.

The government will start the rehabilitation process to correct the injustices which activists say has been long overdue. In other words, apart from overturning the convictions, the government will introduce efforts to erase the legal stigma imposed on the men, as well as compensate them for the injustice incurred.

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Netanyahu: I Oppose Peace Conference

Netanyahu opposes peace conferencePrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told France's foreign minister on Sunday that Israel remained opposed to a French initiative for an international conference to try to revive peace talks.

Palestinians welcomed the proposal but Israel is concerned that the conference that France seeks to hold in the autumn would try to dictate terms for a peace deal.

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