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Nigeria faces new rift over alleged Shi'ite massacre
11 Feb 2016 | 3:53 am
By Ulf Laessing ZARIA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Piles of rubble are all that remain of the residence of Nigeria's most prominent Shi'ite Muslim leader after it was demolished by bulldozers in the northern city of Zaria. Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky's compound was leveled after three days of clashes between the army and Shi'ite residents of the city in December in which rights groups say hundreds of Shi'ites were killed. The violence and its repercussions could further fracture a country battling a northern insurgency by hardline Sunni group Boko Haram, a secessionist movement in the southeast, militancy in the oil-rich Delta, as well as a growing economic crisis.
Coe 'won't accept' Nestle split with scandal-hit IAAF
11 Feb 2016 | 3:52 am
World athletics chief Sebastian Coe on Wednesday angrily hit back at Nestle's move to terminate its sponsorship of the scandal-hit IAAF, insisting he will not accept the decision. It's the kids who will suffer," said International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Coe in a brief statement. "I confirm that we have decided to end our partnership with the IAAF Kids Athletics programme with immediate effect," Nestle spokeswoman Lydia Meziani told AFP in an email.
94 year old former Auschwitz guard goes on trial in Germany
11 Feb 2016 | 3:51 am
DETMOLD, Germany (AP) — A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard went on trial Thursday on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder in western Germany, accused of serving in the death camp at a time when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were gassed.
Russia ready to discuss ceasefire in Syria: foreign ministry
11 Feb 2016 | 3:49 am
Russia is ready to discuss the possibility of a ceasefire in Syria, deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said Thursday as foreign ministers gathered in Munich in a bid to restart peace talks. "We are ready to discuss the modalities of a ceasefire," Gatilov told journalists in Moscow, quoted by TASS state news agency. International talks to end the five-year civil war that has killed more than 260,000 people broke down earlier this month amid accusations from the West and Syrian regime opponents that Russia's air strikes in Aleppo were targeting opposition groups and civilians.
UK's far-reaching surveillance plans need significant work - lawmakers
11 Feb 2016 | 3:43 am
The British government has significant work to do to justify allowing the authorities to spy on the public's internet use, one of the main planks of a new planned surveillance law, lawmakers said on Thursday. Ministers must also spell out their plans on encryption to ensure that they will not force tech firms to provide a "back door" for spies, the parliamentary committee set up to scrutinise the proposed legislation said. "There is much to be commended in the draft Bill, but the Home Office has a significant amount of further work to do before Parliament can be confident that the provisions have been fully thought through," Paul Murphy, the committee chairman said.
Russia says U.S. planes bombed Syria's Aleppo on Wednesday
11 Feb 2016 | 3:42 am
Russia's Defence Ministry said on Thursday that two U.S. aircraft had bombed the Syrian city of Aleppo on Feb. 10, and that Russian planes had not been operating in the area. A Pentagon spokesman had accused Russian and Syria government forces on Wednesday of destroying Aleppo's two main hospitals with air strikes, though he did not specify when the strikes were alleged to have taken place. The Syrian army has made rapid advances near Aleppo in recent weeks with the help of Russian air strikes.
North Korea expels all South Koreans from joint industrial zone
11 Feb 2016 | 3:41 am
North Korea on Thursday ordered the immediate expulsion of all South Koreans from the jointly run Kaesong industrial zone and the seizure of their factory assets in response to Seoul's decision to shut down the complex. The measures mark a significant escalation of cross-border tensions that have been elevated since North Korea carried out a nuclear test last month and a long-range rocket launch on Sunday. In a statement published by the official KCNA news agency, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said it was closing Kaesong and declaring it a military area.
North Korea feels global pressure but not completely ostracized
11 Feb 2016 | 3:41 am
By Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - From building statues and training police in Africa to trading with India and Thailand, North Korea is managing to maintain business ties and friendly diplomatic relations with a dwindling number of Cold War-era friends. Indeed, Pyongyang has been squeezed by layers of U.N. sanctions since 2006 targeting its once-lucrative arms trade and the flow of money that financed its weapons program. China, North Korea's most important ally, as well as Russia have signed up to U.N. Security Council sanctions over the missile and nuclear tests.
North Korea says South's pulling out of industrial zone 'declaration of war'
11 Feb 2016 | 3:41 am
By Ju-min Park PAJU, South Korea (Reuters) - North Korea said it was kicking out all South Koreans from the jointly run Kaesong industrial zone on Thursday, calling the South's move to suspend operations, in retaliation for Sunday's rocket launch by the North, a "declaration of war". The North declared the industrial park, run by the rivals as a symbol of cooperation for more than a decade, a military control zone, the agency that handles its ties with Seoul said, according to the official KCNA news agency. Dozens of South Korean trucks were already returning across the border earlier in the day, laden with goods and equipment, after the South said it was pulling out.
FBI surrounds last four protesters in Oregon standoff
11 Feb 2016 | 3:39 am
The FBI surrounded the last protesters holed up at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon amid reports they will surrender on Thursday, suggesting the weeks-long armed siege is approaching a climax. The remaining four said they will peacefully turn themselves in, local media including The Oregonian newspaper reported, after negotiations between the occupiers and FBI agents Wednesday on what was the 40th day of the tense standoff. The siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge began on January 2 when protest leader Ammon Bundy and 30 armed followers, most of them from other US states, took over the site to demonstrate against federal land policies.
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