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August 14, 2016

Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

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Ukrainian troops on the Crimean border were put on full combat alert on Thursday, said Ukrainian officials, after tensions rose between Russia and Ukraine over the preceding several days.

Location of Crimea and Ukraine in Europe.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Wednesday to have captured over the preceding weekend a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices; amid Russian accusations of Ukrainian military actions in Crimea, an area Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A video on Russian state television allegedly showed one Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian military, in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. The FSB claimed in foiling the plot a Russian soldier and a secret service agent died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, put his own troops on high alert, suggesting the accusations were just preparing an excuse for further military actions against Ukraine.

Sergey Aksyonov, appointed head of Crimea by Russia, stated to Russian state media: “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea”, while Poroshenko compared Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Great Terror in which Stalin sent perhaps a million political dissidents to their deaths.



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August 11, 2016

Labour party uk members win right to vote in leadership contest

Labour Party UK members win right to vote in leadership contest

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

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On Monday morning the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled the UK Labour Party‘s National Executive Committee (NEC) has no right to bar the — reportedly — around 130,000 members who joined the party after January 12 from voting in the party’s leadership election this month.

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This comes after an NEC decision last month that people who had not been members for six months at the time of the leadership election would have to pay a £25 registration fee to vote. The case was instigated by five people who were told even though they belonged to the party the new rules meant they weren’t eligible to vote in this leadership election; they argued the decision to exclude them from the election was against labour party rules and a breach of contract. They have since announced they will appeal the ruling, despite Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell urging them not to.

The leadership contest is between incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn, who lost a vote of no confidence motion within the parliamentary wing of his party 172–40, and MP (Member of Parliament) Owen Smith. Both candidates have been running campaigns to encourage more people to join the party and vote for them.


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August 10, 2016

Manchester United signs Pogba, now costliest player in history

Manchester United signs Pogba, now costliest player in history

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yesterday, English football club Manchester United F.C. announced signing Frenchman Paul Pogba from Italian club Juventus F.C. Pogba rejoined The Red Devils on a five-year contract for €105 million making him the most expensive footballer of all time by breaking the previous fee record of Gareth Bale‘s transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Spanish capital club Real Madrid.

File photo of Paul Pogba, 2012.
Image: Станислав Ведмидь.

23-year-old midfielder Paul Pogba made his professional debut for United in 2011 after graduating from their academy. He played only seven games before leaving for Juventus the next year. Spending four years with the Old Lady, Pogba has won four Serie A titles, three Italian Super Cups, and two Coppa Italia trophies as well.

Pogba has played 38 games for the French side, netting six goals. Last month he collected a silver medal with the national team finishing runners-up at the UEFA Euro 2016, losing 1–0 to Portugal. This year, Pogba was named in the FIFA FIFPro team of the year as well as the UEFA team of the year.

After signing the five-year contract, Paul Pogba said, “I am delighted to rejoin United. It has always been a club with a special place in my heart and I am looking forward to working with [United manager] José Mourinho.” Mourinho praised Pogba and said Pogba “will be a key part of the United team”.

Pogba has been allotted the number 6 jersey. Previously, Manchester United signed Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Eric Bailly.



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August 7, 2016

Russian vice-consul reportedly shoots mugger dead in Rio

Russian vice-consul reportedly shoots mugger dead in Rio

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

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The Russian Vice-Consul for Rio de Janeiro — by reports disputed by the Russian Consul — shot and killed an attacker on Thursday , after two individuals attempted to commit a robbery.

As reported, Brazilian lawyer Marcos Cesar Feres Braga — so-named by the Daily Mail newspaper — working for the Russian Consulate, was driving with his family through the suburb of Barra da Tijuca near the main Olympic Park complex when the incident occurred. According to reports from the Rio newspaper O Globo, the 60-year-old man, his wife, and his daughter were stopped in traffic due to the Olympic torch procession in a nearby neighbourhood. Two individuals on motorbikes approached and used a gun to smash the car window. Braga, trained and considered an expert — according to reports — in jujutsu, took control of the attacker’s firearm and proceeded to shoot dead the alleged attacker, while the second suspect fled the scene.

Rio de Janeiro’s homicide branch has released a statement in relation to the incident. “The vice consul got into a physical struggle with the assailant and during the fight the aggressor’s weapon fired shots. The assailant died of his wounds on the spot.”

However, Russia’s Consul General Vladimir Tokmakov has released a statement claiming no Russian diplomats or employees of the consulate general were involved in the incident. “Information circulating in the Brazilian press about the alleged shooting […] of a Brazilian national by a Russian diplomat during an armed robbery does not reflect reality”.



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Paralympics bans Russian athletes from Rio Games after doping scandal

Paralympics bans Russian athletes from Rio Games after doping scandal

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has confirmed the ban on all Russian athletes from the games in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio today.

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“The Russian Paralympic Committee will not be able to enter athletes into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games”, IPC President Sir Philip Craven told a Rio de Janeiro press conference today. “It is our responsibility to ensure fair competition. That is vital to the integrity and credibility of Paralympic sport. I believe the Russian government has catastrophically failed its athletes. The medals over morals attitude disgusts me.” The international committee considered arguments from the Russian committee before confirming the ban.

This comes after the publication of the McLaren report, which described state-sponsored doping in the Russian team. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has also claimed the doping cover-up operation was sponsored by the state, with samples destroyed to eliminate evidence of doping. Drug test laboratory director turned whistleblower Dr Rodchenkov acknowledged the state security forces — in the words of the WADA report — “actively imposed an atmosphere of intimidation on laboratory process and staff”. He also claimed he was part of state-organised doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics, destroying urine samples and giving athletes banned drugs.

Russia has denied these allegations, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko calling WADA’s doping report, when it first came out, “unverified sources, on unverified facts”. According to Russian news agency Tass, Mutko said Russia would appeal today’s IPC ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Russian gold medal winner Yuriy Borzakovskiy expressed scepticism of the allegations, saying “The report itself contains a lot of allegations but not many facts […] The pressure [to expel Russia from the Olympics] is very much political”.


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August 3, 2016

United States launch air strikes against Islamic State in Libya

United States launch air strikes against Islamic State in Libya

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

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On Monday warplanes from the United States (US) launched strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in Sirte, Libya.

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The strikes were requested by the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) as they try to remove ISIL from the city. The militant group have held the city since last year, amidst the divisions in Libya following Muammar Gaddafi‘s removal as leader in 2011.

Libyan planes have previously bombed Sirte, but lack the capability to launch precision strikes. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said these were the targets which had been targeted by the US strikes.

Forces loyal to the GNA have been engaged with ISIL in Sirte since May; in mid-July the government claimed the compaign had made its greatest gains yet. These forces are reportedly mostly comprised of militia from Misrata.

This is the first time the US has coordinated strikes with the GNA, although they have previously conducted strikes against ISIL targets in Libya. The last targeted an ISIL training camp in February.

Western officials had estimated there were as many as 6,000 ISIL fighters in Libya some months ago. Mr Cook stated there are now less than 1,000.

US officials have said the air campaign is ongoing.



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August 2, 2016

Debut from Booker-winner, final Canadian appearance of Stan Lee among announced Fan Expo Canada programming

Debut from Booker-winner, final Canadian appearance of Stan Lee among announced Fan Expo Canada programming

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Toronto, Ontario‘s 2016 Fan Expo Canada, scheduled for September 1–4, includes farewells to some US icons, and the debut of a new work by a Canadian icon. The first batch of programming was announced in a media release late last week.

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Photograph of the Expo in progress, taken from a high vantage point, showing crowds of attendees among booths arranged in a grid.

File photo of The Expo floor in 2015.
Image: GabboT (flickr).

Saturday, September 3, acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood is to launch her graphic novel Angel Catbird, with illustrator Johnnie Christmas. The panel includes a question and answer session and an opportunity to purchase the book before its general release date. Other recent firsts from the 76-year-old Booker Award-winning Atwood include a chamber opera that debuted in 2014, participating in the Twitter Fiction Festival in 2015, and being the first writer included in the Future Library project, her Scribbler Moon not to be read until 2114.

Stan Lee, now 93, is in the midst of what he claims to be his final convention tour. As first announced in February, the Spider-Man, Iron-Man, and X-Men creator is to make his final Canadian convention appearance at Fan Expo. Also bidding adieu to the convention circuit are Adam West and Burt Ward, from the original Batman television series, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The remainder of the announced schedule includes various programs for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, including appearances by actors William Shatner, George Takei, and Nichelle Nichols, the four day long Geekfest Film Festival, and a live script reading of Ghostbusters by voice acting legends Rob Paulsen, Bill Farmer, Maurice LaMarche, and David Hayter. Panels include The Dark Knight III team, including a rare appearance by Frank Miller, the cast of Sailor Moon, and an exclusive panel of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.

The 750,000 square foot event projects “over 140,000” attendees this year to Toronto’s Metro Toronto Convention Centre.



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July 27, 2016

Higuaín leaves Napoli for Juventus

Higuaín leaves Napoli for Juventus – Wikinews, the free news source

Higuaín leaves Napoli for Juventus

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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Yesterday, Italian football club Juventus F.C. announced signing of Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín from their rival club S.S.C. Napoli. 28-year-old Higuaín signed a five-year contract with the Old Lady for a Italian record transfer fee of €90 million.

File photo of Higuaín, 2015.
Image: Илья Хохлов.

Debuting at the age of 17 in 2005, Higuaín has made 329 league appearances and scored 191 goals. He joined Spanish capital club Real Madrid in 2006. Spending six-and-half seasons with Los Blancos, Higuaín has won the La Liga title there.

Higuaín — nicknamed Pipita — joined Napoli in 2013. While there he broke the goal scoring record set by Gunnar Nordahl of the Italian Serie A, netting 36 goals in 35 appearances. He helped Napoli qualify for the UEFA Champions League as the club finished second in the league.

In remarks to Gazetta World following Higuaín’s agreement to the contract, AS Roma captain Francesco Totti said, “Footballers today are a bit like nomads[…] They follow money and not their hearts.” 40-year-old Totti has played 25 years for Roma, signing a one-year contract extention last month.

Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis said, “Some believe that talking of a betrayal is an exaggeration, but I think differently. In this move there is the full meaning of a betrayal, which includes ingratitude.”((it))

Former Agrentine captain and Napoli legend Diego Maradona said, “This Higuain affair is hurting me because he is going to a direct rival like Juventus. But we cannot blame the player either. A player has a responsibility to himself and it is those fat cats of business that are grinning the most in this case. Nobody thinks of the fan.”((es))

Higuaín has been assigned the number 9 jersey.



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July 22, 2016

Three suicide bombings in Yemen kill security personnel

Filed under: Archived,Yemen — admin @ 5:00 am

Three suicide bombings in Yemen kill security personnel

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Friday, July 22, 2016

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On Wednesday, in Aden, Yemen, a suicide bomber killed by varying reports from three to five policemen and injured as many as six others. No militant group claimed responsibility. Two days earlier at Mukalla, Yemen, as many as ten people were reported killed in two car explosions near two army check posts. A local al-Qaeda group claimed responsibility for that attack. Various statements from officials said fifteen to eighteen soldiers were injured, five critically.

The Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebel group announced on Tuesday they had launched a missile targeting the Yemeni-Saudi border.

General Faraj Salemine informed Agence France-Presse at least five Yemeni soldiers were killed in the incidents on Monday. al-Qaeda identified Abu Tariq al-Sana’ani and Amir Tariq al-Sana’ani as the attackers who attacked southwest of the city near al-Burum and west in al-Ghaber. Previously, Mukalla was a stronghold of group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Mukalla is the capital of Yemen’s Hadramaout province. AQAP controlled the city for a year. Yemen faced attacks from Houthis in the northern and central areas. In April, pro-government troops took control over the city with the help of Saudi and Emirati military forces.

While this has gone on, al Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant groups have attacked the Yemeni army. Last month, suicide bombers claimed by ISIL killed at least 38 people in Mukalla.

In the last fifteen months, over 6,400 people reportedly were killed in fighting in the country. The civil war began in 2014, and has included competition between al Qaeda and ISIL. The fighting reportedly has displaced more than 2.5 million civilians.



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July 15, 2016

More than 80 people killed in Nice, France attack on Bastille Day

More than 80 people killed in Nice, France attack on Bastille Day

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Friday, July 15, 2016

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Yesterday at about 10:30 pm local time (2030 UTC) in the French city of Nice, a truck killed at least 84 people and more than 100 people were injured, at least 18 critically, who were watching fireworks on Bastille Day evening, French officials reported. The attacker was later shot dead by the police.

The attacker drove for some distance — by one report as much as 2 km (more than a mile) — through the crowd along the Promenade des Anglais. The owner of the Le Queenie Restaurant near the seaport told  France Info, “People went down like ninepins”.

Agence France-Presse reported police had discovered identity papers of a 31-year old Tunisian-Frenchman along with, according to one source, fake weapons including rifles and an “inactive” grenade.

20-year-old eyewitness Fanny told Reuters the fast-approaching truck was moving in a zigzag manner, driving in the pedestrian area. Another survivor described sheltering with others in a restaurant. An eyewitness named Nader told BFM TV he thought the driver had lost control of the truck. Later, he also saw the driver taking out a gun.

European Council President Donald Tusk said, “Tragic paradox that the subject of the Nice Attack was people celebrating liberty, equality, and fraternity((fr)).

French president François Hollande tweeted, “France is tearful, sorrowful, but she is strong and will always be more than the fanatics who now want to smite her.”((fr))

A few hours before the incident, Hollande had announced the state of emergency would be lifted on July 26 after November’s Paris attack, but after this incident, he announced extending the state of emergency into October. Condemning the incident, he said, “We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria.” He also said “operational reserves” will be called up to support the armed forces in France.

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France Flag Helpline numbers:

  • 04 93 72 22 22 (Public information((fr)))
  • 01 43 17 56 46 (Interministerial aid to victims((fr)))



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