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Friday, Jan 30th

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Swedish mosque set ablaze in second suspected arson attack in a week

Swedish mosque set on fireSpecial security forces in Sweden are hunting suspected arsonists after fires at two mosques. The blazes follow a period of increased tension in the country, as politicians struggle to stem the rise of the anti-immigrant far right.

The Säpo were called in after a blaze at a mosque in the southern town of Eslöv in the early hours of Monday morning. It followed a similar incident on Christmas Day in Eskilstuna, near Stockholm, in which five people were injured when a fire broke out during prayers.

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Greek Coast Guard: 432 people rescued from ferry fire

Ferry rescueFighting high winds and stormy seas, helicopter rescue crews on Monday evacuated the last of the hundreds of people trapped aboard a Greek ferry that caught fire off Albania. The death toll climbed to seven as survivors told of a frantic rush to escape the flames and pelting rain.

The evacuation was completed in the early afternoon and the captain was the last to leave the ferry, the Italian and Greek coast guards said.

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Israeli army kills Palestinian teen near West Bank checkpoint

Palestinian teen killed by IDFIsraeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager on Monday near a checkpoint in the West Bank after he reportedly threw rocks at drivers.

A Palestinian news network identified the teen as Iman Jamil Dweikat, a resident of Beita. His exact age was not immediately clear.

The incident occurred south of the village of Nablus in the occupied West Bank near the Tappuah checkpoint, which Palestinians call Zaatara, according to Palestinian news website Maan News.

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Jerusalem high school grads urge students to dodge draft

Jerusalem HS grads urge draft dodgersSeveral dozen graduates from the Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem on Sunday published a letter addressed to students currently enrolled in their former high school urging them to become conscientious objectors and refuse to enter the IDF.

The letter called on students to withstand social pressure to join the army. Israeli military service is a requirement for the majority of Jewish citizens and men from certain minority groups who are deemed fit for service.

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Kidnapped Mexican priest, who spoke out against drug gang, found shot dead

priest kidnapped, killed in MexicoA Mexican priest who was kidnapped on Monday has been found shot dead.  Officials said the body of Father Gregorio Lopez was discovered near the southwestern city of Ciudad Altamirano, reports the BBC.

Father Lopez had been seized by gunmen from a seminary where he taught. It is unclear why he has been killed.

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Hamas prevents Gaza orphans visiting Israel

Gaa orphan trip barredThirty-seven children whose parents were killed in the recent Israel-Gaza conflict have been prevented by Hamas from visiting Israel on a trip organised by peace activists.

Hamas said they would have had to visit "settlements and occupied towns". The children, aged between 12 and 15 and accompanied by five adults, were turned back at the Erez crossing.

More than 2,100 people, mostly Palestinians, died in the 50-day July-August conflict, the UN said.

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In U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap, mystery surrounds the unnamed 53

US-Cuba priosner swapCuba's most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba.

For years, dissident leaders have told the United States which opponents of Cuba's communist government were being jailed or harassed, but they say they were not consulted when the list of prisoners to be freed was drawn up or even told who is on it.

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