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Updated: 38 min 35 sec ago

Ebola forces Sierra Leone to relinquish home advantage for qualifier

1 September, 2014 - 15:11
Sierra Leone have relinquished home advantage for next week’s African Nations Cup qualifier against the Democratic Republic of Congo after failing to find a neutral venue following health fears over the Ebola virus. Sierra Leone, one of the epicentres of the outbreak of the contagious virus which has killed more than 1,550 people, were scheduled to host the Group D match in Freetown on Sept. 10 but they were ordered last month by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to move the match out of the country.
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Anti-Terror Plans To Seize Passports At Border

1 September, 2014 - 15:08

Police will be given temporary powers to seize passports at UK borders of Britons they suspect are travelling abroad to fight with terror groups. It is one of the new measures announced by the Prime Minister to deal with the threat to the UK from Islamist militant groups fighting in Iraq and Syria. David Cameron said IS was a direct threat to every European nation, and claimed around 500 British nationals had gone to the region to fight in the conflicts there. It is feared some could return to the UK with battlefield experience and try to carry out terror attacks at home.

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Investors look past Ukraine, focus on ECB

1 September, 2014 - 14:54

By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - World markets advanced on Monday despite the conflict in Ukraine, focusing on whether the European Central Bank will announce plans for economic stimulus when it meets this week. Ukraine reported its forces were under fire from Russian tanks again on Monday, as new signs emerged that the turmoil was damaging the European economy. Latin American stocks mostly rose, with Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index leading gains after an opinion poll showed declining re-election chances for President Dilma Rousseff, accused by investors of being excessively interventionist in the economy. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression", after warning over the weekend of a possible "full-scale war." European Union leaders were drawing up new sanctions against Moscow.

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Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town

1 September, 2014 - 14:50
By Isabel Coles AMERLI Iraq (Reuters) - Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shi'ite militiamen paraded through Amerli on Monday, a day after breaking the two-month siege of the northern town by Sunni Islamist militants. The scenes in Amerli and the surrounding area of Suleiman Beg offered a window into the teamwork among Kurdish fighters, the Iraqi army and Shi'ite militias and into Iran's role in directly assisting their campaign against Islamic State (IS) forces. The swift end to the Islamic State's encirclement of the Shi'ite Turkmen town of 15,000 came on Sunday amid a push by Kurdish peshmerga, Shi'ite militias and Iraqi troops, after U.S. Militia fighters spoke of a new alliance with the Kurds, who had been shaken by the Islamic State's offensive on Kurdish-controlled territories last month.
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Bid to block 'genetic engineering'

1 September, 2014 - 14:50

A Conservative MP has called on the Government to delay bringing forward regulations on a controversial genetic technique aimed at preventing the birth of children with incurable diseases.

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Brazil's Silva looks presidential, but not a shoo-in

1 September, 2014 - 14:46

By Brian Winter SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Popular environmentalist Marina Silva looks capable of winning Brazil's presidential election in October but a major campaign gaffe and mounting attacks from other candidates and the media suggest the race is still wide open. Polls have shown Silva with a lead of about 10 percentage points over President Dilma Rousseff if the Oct. 5 election goes to a runoff, as seems likely. Silva's meteoric rise has led Brazilian stocks to rally 10 percent in the last three weeks on hopes she would be more business-friendly than Rousseff and help stir a stagnant economy.

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Obama promoting economic gains as elections near

1 September, 2014 - 14:37

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Barack Obama says he'll press Congress to raise the minimum wage in the same way he courted his wife — never taking no for an answer.

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Dutch name emerges for EU post amid doubt about his chances

1 September, 2014 - 14:34

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans was due to meet the president of the European Commission on Tuesday about a senior role in the European Union's executive body, Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported on Monday. The Netherlands hoped that by sending Timmermans, a long-serving diplomat who has worked in the European Commission before, the Netherlands could secure a big portfolio. The reports said the Netherlands hoped Timmermans might be named the commision's first vice-president. The Netherlands is seeking a vice president commission post with for Timmermans, de Volkskrant daily said earlier on Monday, citing unnamed sources in Brussels.

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Pakistan: Protests Continue as PM Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Army Fail to End Deadlock

1 September, 2014 - 14:28

On the third day of renewed clashes between anti-government protesters and security officials in Pakistan's capital city Islamabad, the political deadlock continues while the army remains on the sidelines.

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Saudi court jails 17 for seeking to fight in Iraq - SPA

1 September, 2014 - 14:22
A Saudi Arabian court jailed 17 men for up to 26 years on Monday for seeking to fight in Iraq and funding militants, official media reported, part of a security crackdown in which scores have been imprisoned in recent weeks. Worried about potential threats from citizens who have travelled to join Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia has banned them from fighting abroad, donating money to any faction or sympathising with militant ideologies. The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the 17 were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 2-1/2 years to 26 years. The men were charged with following extremist ideology, disobeying the country's leadership by planning to fight in Iraq, coordinating the travel of some "misled" members of society and trying to turn public opinion against the state.
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Hollande, Draghi agree on threat of deflation - official

1 September, 2014 - 14:07

French President Francois Hollande and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi agreed on Monday that deflation and weak growth were threatening the European Union's economy, an official in the president's office said. Draghi called last week for greater emphasis on fiscal stimulus over austerity - comments that irritated German leaders but were welcomed in France because they hinted at a shift away from a current emphasis on budgetary austerity. "I think the diagnosis is a shared one," an advisor to Hollande told reporters after an hour-long meeting between the Socialist president and Draghi at the Elysee presidential palace. The two men shared the view that weak growth and a threat of deflation in the European Union were problems that needed to be addressed, the advisor added.

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Key Issue Of Returning UK Jihadists Unresolved

1 September, 2014 - 13:47

The UK's police and security services will broadly welcome the package of new anti-terror measures announced by the Prime Minister. But one of the key issues over what to do about returning jihadists from Iraq and Syria remains unresolved. David Cameron has been keen to emphasise the British Government’s response to the emerging threat from the terror group Islamic State should be a considered one and not knee-jerk. So in the House of Commons, we got news of a rather modest clutch of targeted measures which the Government believes will help the security services address some of the gaps in national security when it comes to British nationals fighting in Iraq and Syria.

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Obama notifies Congress of ordering air strikes in Iraq's Amerli

1 September, 2014 - 13:44
President Barack Obama formally notified the U.S. Congress on Monday that he had authorized air strikes and humanitarian airdrops over the weekend in the Iraqi Shi’ite town of Amerli where Islamic State militants had trapped the civilian population. Iraqi security forces backed by Shi'ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli and entered the northern town after the U.S. Obama said in a letter to congressional leaders he was notifying Congress of his decision under the long-standing War Powers Resolution, which gives presidents authorization for temporary military action.
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U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq

1 September, 2014 - 13:44

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on "an unimaginable scale", with a view to holding perpetrators to account. "We are facing a terrorist monster," Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, told the U.N. Human Rights Council which adopted a resolution tabled by Iraq and France at an emergency sitting of the 47-member state forum in Geneva. The Council aims to send 11 investigators, with a total budget of $1.18 million, to report back by March 2015.

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Ireland demands review of U.N. Golan Heights mandate

1 September, 2014 - 13:39
Ireland may not replace its 130-person rapid response force in the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants, until the United Nations reviews its mandate for its forces there, the defence minsiter said on Monday. Islamist fighters involved in Syria's three-year-old civil last week overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Ireland's contingent, which is the most heavily armed element of the 1,200 strong multinational U.N. mission, was due to be replaced by new Irish troops next month, but Ireland is to freeze the rotation, Defence Minister Simon Coveney said. "I have made it very clear, that if the UN wants Ireland to continue to support this mission...then we need a full review and we have to get assurances about how the mission will change to adapt to the new realities," Coveney told state broadcaster RTE.
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Ukraine Crisis: Kiev Defence Minister Warns of 'Great War' with Russia

1 September, 2014 - 13:10

Ukraine's defence minister has stated that a "great war" has broken out between the country and Russia, one which could claim the lives of "tens of thousands". "A great war has arrived at our doorstep - the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II. Unfortunately, the losses in such a war will be measured not in the hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands," Valeriy Geletey wrote on his Facebook page. Geletey said Kiev was ready to "immediately mount defences against Russia, which is trying not only to secure positions held by terrorists before but to advance on other territories of Ukraine". His comments come as Ukrainian troops retreated from the strategic Luhansk airport and representatives from Kiev, Moscow and the separatists held negotiations in the Belarussian capital of Minsk.

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Contador changes mind on Tour of Spain victory hopes

1 September, 2014 - 13:06

Alberto Contador, who fractured a shin bone at the Tour de France in July, said on Monday that he had changed his mind and would now be targeting victory in the Tour of Spain. A late attack in Sunday's ninth stage lifted the Tinkoff-Saxo rider to second in the overall standings, three seconds behind Colombian Nairo Quintana. Quintana's Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde of Spain, who started the day in the red leader's jersey, dropped to third, eight seconds off the pace. "I am now able to say I will try to win the Vuelta, another thing is if I have the legs or not," Spaniard Contador told a news conference on the rest day.

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Tottenham's Holtby joins Hamburg on loan

1 September, 2014 - 13:04

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby, who spent some of last season on loan at Fulham, returned to the Bundesliga on Monday, joining Hamburg SV in another one-year loan deal. The 23-year-old, who joined Tottenham from Schalke 04 in January 2013, failed to hold down a regular starting spot with Spurs and was loaned out to Fulham in the January transfer window. Holtby, a former Germany international, has also played for German clubs VfL Bochum and Mainz 05, scoring 16 goals in 99 Bundesliga games.

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Tottenham sign French midfielder Stambouli

1 September, 2014 - 13:03

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur have signed defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said in a statement on Monday. Stambouli, 24, was a member of the team that won the Ligue 1 title in 2012. He made 14 appearances for the French under-21 team and played 137 league games for Montpellier, scoring three goals. (Reporting by Tim Collings, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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U.S. asks North Korea to release its citizens 'out of humanitarian concern'

1 September, 2014 - 12:52
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Monday requested that the North Korean government release three U.S. citizens currently detained there "out of humanitarian concern" and grant one of them special amnesty to seek medical care. Three U.S. citizens - Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller - asked the American government for help returning home on Monday in rare interviews with CNN set up by the North Korean government. Bae is serving a 15-year sentence, others are awaiting trial. "There is no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad ... ...
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