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Nepal blizzards and avalanches claim many lives

Nepal blizzardA blizzard and several avalanches in the Himalayas in central Nepal are reported to have killed at least 26 trekkers and three farmers.

The highest number of deaths - two Israelis, two Poles and eight Nepalese - happened when a blizzard hit a point on the Annapurna Circuit.
Many trekkers returning from the circuit remain out of contact.


Hong Kong Police Dismantle Protesters’ New Blockade

Hong Kong protestsScores of Hong Kong police officers moved in on pro-democracy protesters who blockaded a road near the city government’s headquarters early this morning, using pepper spray and taking away some demonstrators.

The clashes are the most serious since the police used tear gas two weeks ago as they tried to disperse crowds that are occupying key roads in the city. A group of more than 100 demonstrators had seized the Lung Wo Road underpass yesterday evening, initially forcing outnumbered police to retreat.


US security contractor shot dead in Saudi Arabian capital

US contractor s killed in Saudi ArabiaAn American defence contractor was shot dead and another injured in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, the State Department said.

The two US citizens were employees of Vinnell Arabia, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, the Virginia-based defence and security giant.

They were shot at a gas station and store about half-a-mile from the Vinnell Arabia base, where contractors working with the Saudi Arabian national guard military programs operate, according to Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman. The base is about 20 miles from the US embassy.


Shia militias 'killing Iraqi Sunnis in reprisal attacks'

Shia now killing SunnisShia militias in Iraq have kidnapped and killed scores of Sunni civilians in recent months, a report by campaign group Amnesty International has said.

The killings were in apparent revenge for attacks by Islamic State (IS). Amnesty said the militias had been supported and armed by the Iraqi government and operated with impunity.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who took office last month, has admitted to previous "excesses" by security forces and vowed to govern for all Iraqis.


UK MPs pass motion to recognize Palestine as a state

UK MP's pass two state solutionThe British parliament voted in favor of a symbolic move to recognize Palestine as an official state, answering impassioned pleas by pro-Palestinian ministers and activists.
The vote, which took place on Monday evening, saw 274 MPs come out in support of the motion, while 12 voted against.

"This House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution," the motion reads.


North Korea leader makes 1st appearance in 40 days

Korean leaderAfter more than six weeks of global speculation, the people of North Korea can at last relax: their beloved leader has finally been seen in public once more. State media reported early on Tuesday local time that Kim Jong-un visited a newly built residential district and the Natural Energy Institute of the State Academy of Sciences.

“Our scientists are patriots who are devoting all their lives to building a rich and powerful nation,” he was quoted as saying.


Airbase Falls to Islamic State as U.S. Warns of Baghdad Threat

Airbase falls to ISISIslamic State came closer to gaining full control of Iraq’s strategically key province of Anbar after it seized a military base to the west of Baghdad that had been one of the government’s few remaining outposts.

Militants took the base after heavy fighting with soldiers, according to Ahmed al-Dulaimi, a Sunni tribal leader. The capture of the facility, located near a major highway that stretches from the Iraqi capital to the border with Syria, increases the threat to another military base known as Ayn al-Asad. That installation controls the approach to Iraq’s second-largest dam and Ramadi, Anbar’s capital.


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