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Ugandan constitutional court strikes down anti-homosexuality law
1 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
Uganda's constitutional court struck down on Friday an anti-homosexuality law that punishes gay sex with long jail sentences, citing procedural irregularities in the way the legislation was enacted. Under the Anti-Homosexuality Act, those convicted of "aggravated homosexuality" faced punishments of up to life in prison and seven years for "aiding and abetting homosexuality". The law, which came into effect in February, drew widespread protest from western countries, some of which responded by cutting aid to Uganda. Homosexuality is a taboo issue in much of Africa and illegal in 37 countries on the continent, but the punishments laid out in Uganda are among the harshest.
Iberia turnaround lifts IAG airlines group
1 Aug 2014 | 6:40 am
International Airlines Group announced on Friday increases to quarterly profit thanks to improvement at its Spanish carrier Iberia, while its other main operator British Airways landed a solid performance. “Iberia's restructuring continues to have a positive impact," said IAG chief executive Willie Walsh. IAG also announced that Iberia would be taking delivery of a fleet of new long-haul Airbus planes after signing a purchase proposal last year. "These orders demonstrate our commitment to make Iberia competitive," Walsh said.
Kerry challenges India's Modi over WTO stance
1 Aug 2014 | 6:39 am
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Narendra Modi that India's stance on a key WTO trade deal sent the wrong message, as he met the country's new prime minister for the first time on Friday. Kerry has expressed optimism about expanding cooperation between the world's two largest democracies during a first visit aimed at reviving a relationship clouded by mistrust. During the meeting -- aimed at breaking the ice with a leader once shunned by Washington -- Kerry told Modi India's stance on the deal was at odds with his desire to open up the country's economy. "We note that the prime minister is very focused on his signal of open to business and creating opportunities and therefore the failure of implementing TFA (Trade Facilitation Agreement) sends a confusing signal and undermines that very message that he is seeking to send about India," a US official quoted Kerry as saying.
U.N. urges Palestinians to re-commit to Gaza truce
1 Aug 2014 | 6:39 am
The United Nations urged Palestinian parties to reaffirm their commitment to a 72-hour Gaza ceasefire that came into force earlier on Friday. U.N. Special Coordinator Robert Serry said an incident in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip, in which two Israeli soldiers and a number of Palestinians were reportedly killed, would if corroborated constitute a serious violation of the ceasefire by Gazan militant factions. Serry "urges the Palestinian parties to last night's understanding to urgently reaffirm their commitment to the humanitarian ceasefire" a statement said.
Scientific Games to buy rival Bally Technologies for $3.27 billion
1 Aug 2014 | 6:36 am
(Reuters) - Scientific Games Corp , which makes slot machines for casinos, will buy larger rival Bally Technologies Inc for about $3.27 billion. The $83.30 per-share cash offer represents a 38 percent premium to Bally's Thursday closing price of $60.17 on the New York Stock Exchange, the companies said in a joint statement. Including debt, the deal value is $5.1 billion, the companies said. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)
Kenyan president orders government to repossess contested land on volatile coast
1 Aug 2014 | 6:35 am
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the government to repossess large areas of land in Lamu County, which has been hit by recent attacks, saying land grabbing was helping fuel instability on the north coast. Kenyatta, speaking late on Thursday, said a government audit showed the land, covering an area the size of the island of Mauritius, had been acquired unlawfully by companies in 2011-2012. Lamu County borders war-torn Somalia and about 100 people have been killed in raids in the area since mid-June as attacks became more frequent.
Usher 'overwhelmed' by supporters of foundation
1 Aug 2014 | 6:34 am
Ukraine fighting rages as experts search MH17 crash site
1 Aug 2014 | 6:34 am
Dutch and Australian experts finally arrived at the site of downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in east Ukraine on Friday, after clashes between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian rebels killed 14 combattants. The 70 police investigators "will conduct search operations in several places at the crash site," a Dutch government statement said. Although the Dutch and Australian officers made it there Friday, Ukraine's months-long conflict still raged around the zone. Ukraine's army has pledged not to fight in the immediate vicinity of the insurgent-held site.
Experts start work at Ukraine crash site despite new fighting
1 Aug 2014 | 6:34 am
By Natalia Zinets and Gabriela Baczynska KIEV (Reuters) - International experts started recovery work at the wreckage site of a downed Malaysian airliner in east Ukraine on Friday despite clashes nearby between government forces and pro-Russian rebels. In the latest clashes, the rebels killed at least 10 Ukrainian paratroopers in an ambush after midnight near Shakhtarsk, one of the closest towns to the wreckage site, the Ukrainian military said. The rebels said they had pushed back government forces around Shakhtarsk, where fighting has raged for several days. The recovery mission included 70 experts from Australia and the Netherlands, whose countries suffered a big loss of life in the shoot-down, as well as representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Police: Costumed girl injured at Comic-Con fell
1 Aug 2014 | 6:32 am
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Police say a costumed teenager who was found bloody and unconscious during Comic-Con was likely the victim of a fall, and the injuries weren't caused by an assault.
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