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Netanyahu vows to complete Gaza tunnels destruction

Palestinians mourn outside a morgue in Gaza CityBy Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing international alarm over a rising civilian death toll in Gaza, said on Thursday he would not accept any ceasefire that stopped Israel completing the destruction of militants' infiltration tunnels. The Israeli military estimated on Wednesday that accomplishing that task, already into its fourth week, would take several more days. "We are determined to complete this mission, with or without a ceasefire," Netanyahu said in public remarks at the start of a meeting of his full cabinet in Tel Aviv. "I wont agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to finish this important task, for the sake of Israel's security." Leaving open the option of widening a ground campaign in the Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said it had called up an additional 16,000 reservists.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:11:33 -0400
Ukraine says suspends attacks to let experts reach crash site, rebels deny

An armed pro-Russian separatist looks next to an OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine vehicle, on the way to the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, outside DonetskKIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Thursday it had suspended offensive operations in its military campaign in east Ukraine to help international experts reach the downed Malaysian airliner's crash site but separatists were continuing to attack its positions. Kiev said on the Facebook website of what it calls its "anti-terrorist operation" (ATO) against pro-Russian rebels in the east that it was heeding calls by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stop fighting near the plane crash site. "But mercenary fighters of the Russian terrorists are not respecting any international agreements and requests." The rebels have accused Kiev of blocking access to the Malaysian MH17 flight crash site by fighting in the area. "Ukraine continued to violate the ceasefire in the MH17 crash area, not allowing OSCE observers and experts from the Netherlands and Australia to enter the area," said Sergei Kavtaradze, an aide to top rebel leader Aleksander Borodai.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:27:27 -0400
Kurdish oil cargo unloaded at sea, destination a mystery

File photo of the oil tanker SCF Byrranga, which was renamed the United Kalavrvta in March 2014By Keith Wallis SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Part of a Kurdish oil cargo has been offloaded from a Greek-managed tanker into another tanker in the South China Sea, but mystery surrounds the identity of the buyer and where the two tankers are headed. The United Emblem, which is carrying more than 1 million barrels of oil, is one of three tankers loaded with oil from the autonomous Kurdish region, which is trying to sell oil independently. Iraqi Kurdistan is locked in a bitter legal and diplomatic struggle with Baghdad over international oil sales. The Kurdistan Regional Government filed a letter with the Texas court arguing its sales are allowed under the Iraqi constitution.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:32:13 -0400
Heavy shelling, clashes resume in Libya's Tripoli
Heavy shelling resumed on Thursday in southern Tripoli where rival militia brigades were battling for control of the capital's main airport in some of the worst clashes since the 2011 revolt which ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Around 200 people have been killed since the clashes erupted two weeks ago in the capital and also in the eastern city of Benghazi, where a coalition of Islamist militants and former rebels have overrun a major army base in the city. Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's fragile government and nascent army has been unable to impose authority on heavily armed brigades of former rebels who have become the North African country's powerbrokers. Most of the fighting is limited to southern Tripoli where warring factions have exchanged Grad rockets, artillery shells and cannon fire between the airport controlled by Zintan brigade fighters and enclaves of their Misrata brigade rivals.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:43:38 -0400
Russia may restrict Greek fruit, U.S. poultry imports: reports
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) may restrict fruit imports from Greece next week, RIA news agency reported, citing the watchdog agency. VPSS may also suspend U.S. poultry imports next week, Interfax news agency said, citing the same service. The service could not be reached for immediate comment. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Maria Kiselyova)
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:53:49 -0400
Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over Ebola

Sierra Leone's President Bai Koroma attends a meeting of ECOWAS in YamoussoukroBy Umaru Fofana and Kwasi Kpodo FREETOWN/ACCRA (Reuters) - Sierra Leone declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine epicentres of Ebola on Thursday, joining Liberia in imposing tough controls to curb the worst ever outbreak of the virus amid fears it could spread beyond West Africa. Ebola has been blamed for 672 deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization. It has also reached Nigeria's biggest city Lagos, where authorities said on Friday a man had died of the virus. In a measure of rising international concern, Britain on Wednesday held a government meeting on Ebola, which it said was a threat it needed to respond to.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:09:54 -0400
Greek court ruling on migrant shootings causes outrage
By Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) - A Greek court acquitted two men accused over the shooting of migrant farm workers who were demanding unpaid wages and gave two foremen suspended sentences in a ruling that prompted outrage from unions and rights groups on Thursday. Twenty eight migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, were wounded when foremen at a strawberry farm opened fire on about 200 immigrant workers who were protesting for back pay in the southwestern town of Manolada in April last year.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:03:09 -0400
Blasts as experts reach MH17 crash site in Ukraine

A man stands at the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 26, 2014, near the village of Hrabove, in the Donetsk regionExplosions rang out near the crash site of downed flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on Thursday as international investigators arrived for the first time in nearly a week after Kiev announced a surprise one-day halt to its offensive against rebels. Lawmakers in Kiev ratified agreements with The Hague and Canberra that could see the two nations send some 950 armed personnel to secure the site where many of their nationals died.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:02:55 -0400
Spain evacuating embassy in Libya
Spain said on Thursday it was pulling its ambassador and embassy staff out of Libya temporarily as clashes among rival militia push the North African country further into chaos. On Tuesday, 29 Spanish residents and their families were evacuated from Libya. "All the information we have is that the situation in Libya will get much worse very quickly," Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo told parliament. Greece said on Thursday it was sending vessels to Libya to evacuate embassy workers and a few hundred Chinese and European nationals.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:52:16 -0400
'Russian involvement' central to UK inquiry into ex-KGB agent's death

Marina Litvinenko, the wife of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko who was murdered in London, speaks outside the Royal Courts of Justice in LondonBy Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Evidence which shows Russia was behind the 2006 murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London will mostly be given in secret, the chairman of a public inquiry into his death said on Thursday. Kremlin critic Litvinenko, 43, died after being poisoned with a radioactive isotope in November 2006, a crime which from his death bed he blamed on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Formally opening an inquiry into the killing at London's High Court, senior judge Robert Owen repeated his assertion that the British government held material which indicated the Russian state was responsible. Anglo-Russian ties fell to a post-Cold War low in the wake of Litvinenko's death, particularly after British prosecutors said there was enough evidence to charge former KGB agents Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun with murder.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:45:11 -0400
US immigration courts speed up children's cases

FILE - This June 18, 2014 file photo shows U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents working at a processing facility in Brownsville,Texas. Immigration courts are speeding up hearings for the tens of thousands of Central American children caught on the U.S. border after criticism that the backlogged system is letting immigrants stay in the country for years while waiting for their cases to be heard. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. immigration courts are speeding up hearings for the tens of thousands of Central American children caught on the U.S. border after criticism that the backlogged system is letting immigrants stay in the United States for years while waiting for their cases to be heard.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:41:21 -0400
Image of Asia: Weaving silk in Thailand

A Thai worker adjusts batches of dried silk thread after it was dyed in Bangkok on Thursday, July 31, 2014. A surge in silk yarn prices has attracted more silk farmers in the last two years, according to the Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture. Most Thai silk is used in the domestic market but plans are afoot to increase production. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)In this trio of photos, workers weave Thai silk and adjust batches of dried thread at a decades-old workshop that supplies silk material to upmarket stores in Bangkok. Thailand's share of world silk production is relatively modest at less than 1,000 tons a year compared with leader China, with well over 100,000 tons annually. But Thailand is noted for its hand-woven silk products, which add value and serve a luxury market separate from commercial, low-price products. American entrepreneur Jim Thompson revived the country's traditional silk-weaving industry in the 1950s, overseeing the process from raising silkworms to retail sales and promoting silk as a high-fashion item around the world.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:40:46 -0400
UEFA investigating Dnipro over crowd trouble
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has opened an investigation into the crowd trouble which marred Wednesday's Champions League match between Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and FC Copenhagen.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:38:18 -0400
Top Asian News at 12:30 p.m. GMT
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister on Thursday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Two weeks after the plane's destruction on July 17, the remains and personal possessions of many of the victims haven't been recovered — to the anguish of their relatives and friends.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:32:30 -0400
Top Filipino diplomat to oversee Libya evacuations
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top diplomat said Thursday he was on his way to arrange the evacuation from Libya of thousands of Filipino workers, one of whom was beheaded and a nurse gang-raped amid the worsening turmoil.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:31:54 -0400
Eurozone inflation down again but ECB seen on hold
BRUSSELS (AP) — The inflation rate in the 18-nation eurozone dropped again in July, official data showed Thursday, in a worrying sign that adds pressure on the European Central Bank to beef up its efforts to spur the economy.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:31:19 -0400
Chinese man brings gay conversion therapy lawsuit

Gay rights campaigners act out electric shock treatment to protest outside a court where the first court case in China involving so-called conversion therapy is held in Beijing, China, Thursday, July 31, 2014. A gay Chinese man said Thursday he was suing a psychological clinic for carrying out electric shocks intended to turn him straight, as well as the search engine giant Baidu for advertising the center. Words on banners from left read: "Gays, no need to be treated," "Support Haidian Court, Against twisted treatment," and "Ms. Baidu promotes gay treatment by Li Yanhong (Chairman of Baidu)." (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)BEIJING (AP) — A gay Chinese man said Thursday he was suing a psychological clinic for carrying out electric shocks intended to turn him straight, as well as the search engine giant Baidu for advertising the center.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:26:52 -0400
French wrestler Steeve Guenot risks 2-year ban
PARIS (AP) — Former Olympic wrestling champion Steeve Guenot of France faces a possible two-year ban for flouting doping relegations and could miss the 2016 Games.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:22:05 -0400
Expat Turks begin voting in presidential elections

Election assistants prepare a polling station for the Turkish presidential elections at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, July 31, 2014. About 1.4 million Turkish immigrants in Germany were allowed to participate in the elections in their country of origin, even though many of those holding Turkish passports belong to second or third generations of immigrants in Germany and have never lived in Turkey. Seven polling stations were set up across the country. (AP Photo/dpa, Maurizio Gambarini)ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turks living abroad began voting Thursday to choose Turkey's first directly elected president. It is also the first time expatriate Turks are voting in their countries of residence for Turkish elections.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:19:50 -0400
Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail

An activist holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Homeland or vultures, be strong Argentina"NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:18:40 -0400
Goffin beats top-seed Kohlschreiber in Kitzbuehel
KITZBUEHEL, Austria (AP) — David Goffin of Belgium won the last five games to complete a 6-3, 7-5 win over top-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round of the Bet-at-Home Cup on Thursday.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:17:52 -0400
Villumsen wins road cycling time trial gold
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Denmark-born New Zealand road cyclist Linda Villumsen finally has a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:16:19 -0400
World powers must hold Israel accountable: U.N. rights boss
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations' senior human rights official said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes. Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, and U.N. premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said. "Therefore I would say that they appear to be defying... deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel," Pillay told a news briefing.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:16:13 -0400
Czech Republic, Austria oppose German car toll

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, left, smile as they talk prior to their meeting in Prague, Thursday, July 31, 2011. (AP Photo/CTK, Michal Dolezal) SLOVAKIA OUTPRAGUE (AP) — The Czech and Austrian leaders say they oppose a plan by Germany to introduce a car toll targeting foreign drivers.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:15:31 -0400
Ex-Senegal leader's son starts corruption trial
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The son of Senegal's president is going on trial after more than a year in jail, accused of illegally amassing some $248 million.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:14:53 -0400
Under fire and out of cash, U.N. overwhelmed by Gaza crisis
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Noah Browning GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United Nations in Gaza is struggling to withstand a flood of almost a quarter of a million refugees into shelters that have repeatedly come under Israeli fire. Out of cash, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main U.N. body in the impoverished enclave of 1.8 million Palestinians, says it can barely handle the humanitarian crisis unleashed by more than three weeks of fighting between militants and Israel. Asked to explain the scale of the civilian suffering to an Arab news station, an UNRWA spokesman simply burst into tears. Mine pale into insignificance compared with Gaza's," Chris Gunness said.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:14:05 -0400
Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally to mark Jerusalem Day or Al-Quds day, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, July 25, 2014. Nasrallah said that the "resistance" in Gaza became victorious after the Zionists and all their backers worldwide failed in achieving any of their goals. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)BEIRUT (AP) — Officials say a commander with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was killed in Iraq.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:13:59 -0400
Floods submerge south Romania, 2nd person drowns

A man uses a chainsaw to cut tree stumps to free a washed up car carried downstream by the recent flash flood, in Bascov city, Arges, Romania, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Over a thousand people were evacuated and 99 homes were destroyed as floods raged in the south eastern part of Romania. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUTBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Authorities in Romania said a second person has drowned after rivers burst their banks and the flooding has also damaged around 2,200 houses in the south of the country.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:13:14 -0400
Amputee jumper won't contest team exclusion

FILE In this Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 file photo Germany's Markus Rehm makes a world record jump of 7.14 meters in the men's long jump F42/44 final during the athletics competition at the 2012 Paralympics, in London. The German athletics federation has excluded an amputee long jumper from its squad for the upcoming European Championship, saying his carbon-fiber prosthesis gives him an unfair advantage it was reported Wednesday July 30, 2014. Paralympics champion Markus Rehm won the long jump competition at the German nationals last weekend with an effort of 8.24 meters. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A German amputee long jumper will not contest the decision by his national federation to exclude him from the upcoming European Championships.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:12:32 -0400
England beats India in 3rd test to square series

England's Moeen Ali celebrates bowling out India's Mohammed Shami during the fifth and final day of the third cricket test match of the series between England and India at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — England Moeen Ali took six wickets to lead the hosts to a 266-run win over India in the third test on Thursday, squaring the series and ending almost a year without a test victory.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:07:59 -0400
China trial of Uighur scholar within weeks, imam reported killed

Guzailai Nu'er, the wife of Ilham Tohti, speaks as she has an interview with Reuters by a phone from window of her house in BeijingBy Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - A prominent ethnic Uighur professor from China's Xinjiang could be tried on separatism charges within weeks, his lawyer said on Thursday, as a senior pro-government Islamic leader was reported killed in turmoil in the region. China on Wednesday formally indicted Ilham Tohti, an economist who has championed the rights of the Muslim Uighur community in the western region, which has been beleaguered by violence and ethnic tension. The case has attracted high-level concern in the United States and European Union and is seen by rights groups as part of a crackdown on dissent in Xinjiang, where tension between Uighurs and majority Han Chinese has led to violence. Hundreds of people have been killed in Xinjiang over the past year, including some police, according to state media.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:05:56 -0400
Top Asian News at 12:00 p.m. GMT
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister Wednesday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. "The conflict in eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved, but the people on board that plane had no part in it," Najib Razak said shortly before investigators succeeded in reaching the crash site.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:02:34 -0400
Malaysian prime minister: stop fighting in Ukraine

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, right, pause, prior to their talks in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Razak is making his first official visit to the Netherlands in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster, in which an ill-fated passenger jet bound from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down in eastern Ukraine. Razak and Rutte are expected to discuss plans for the repatriation of the remains of the 43 Malaysian victims. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis, Pool)AMSTERDAM (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister on Thursday called on Ukrainian and pro-Russian separatists to agree to a cease-fire in the area surrounding the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:02:04 -0400
Russia ordered to pay another $2.5 bln for Yukos
PARIS (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ordered Russia to pay out another 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to a group of shareholders of Yukos, the oil company the government dismantled over a decade ago.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:58:57 -0400
Aussie weightlifter arrested for alleged assault

In this image taken Sunday July 27, 2014 Australia's Francois Etoundi bronze medal winner, left, stands on the podium with gold medal winner India's Sathish Sivalingam following the men's 77kg weightlifting final at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 in Glasgow Scotland. Etoundi, was stripped of his games accreditation Thursday July 31, 2014 after being arrested over an alleged assault during an altercation in the athletes' village in Glasgow. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUTGLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Australia's Commonwealth Games team was reeling Thursday after an alleged assault by one of its medalists and a rift within the track and field squad — just as the country's 20-year domination of the competition could be coming to an end.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:58:44 -0400
Aussie weightlifter Etoundi thrown out over altercation

Australia's Francois Etoundi competes in the men's weightlifting 77kg class during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, on July 27, 2014Australian weightlifter Francois Etoundi had his Commonwealth Games accreditation revoked on Thursday after an alleged assault at the athletes' village in Glasgow, organisers announced. Etoundi, who won a bronze medal in the 77kg category, was detained by police after an early-morning disturbance on Wednesday and was due to appear before a court on Thursday. "We do not want the gentleman returning to the village and as a consequence of that, we have worked with the Australian team and we fully support the question posed to us to withdraw his accreditation," Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper told Thursday's daily media briefing. Etoundi, 29, represented Cameroon at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, finishing fourth in the 69kg category, but now represents Australia after seeking asylum to remain in the country.

Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:58:39 -0400
UK judge opens inquiry into Litvinenko killing
LONDON (AP) — A British judge has opened an inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, saying the central question is whether the Russian state ordered the killing.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:57:31 -0400
England wins 3rd test vs. India, squares series
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — England won the third test against India at the Rose Bowl by 266 runs to square the series at 1-1.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:55:42 -0400
Dad of jailed reporter: Son a victim of injustice
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The father of an Australian Al-Jazeera journalist jailed in Egypt said Thursday that he respects the integrity of Egypt's courts but knows his son is the victim of injustice.
Date Posted : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:51:24 -0400

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