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War and Conflict

PALESTINE POLITICS: Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh in Egypt to Discuss Gaza Blockade

PALESTINE POLITICS: Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh in Egypt to Discuss Gaza Blockade

Chief of Palestinian group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh was elected Hamas leader in May. The group maintains a sizeable armed wing in Gaza since seizing the enclave from Fatah in 2007.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Because of Pyongyang Nuclear Test

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Because of Pyongyang Nuclear Test

An official at the Mexican Foreign Ministry said, however, that President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government was not breaking diplomatic ties with North Korea. The developments come amid high tensions over the North Korean missile and nuclear programs. South Korea, the US, and Japan have been worried by the North’s weapons programs, which Pyongyang has been defiantly advancing as countermeasures to their animosity.

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USA POLITICS: Dennis Rodman Offers to ‘Straighten things Out’ Between Trump & North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

USA POLITICS: Dennis Rodman Offers to ‘Straighten things Out’ Between Trump & North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman, who regularly visits North Korea and meets its leader Kim Jong-un while promoting sports, wants to “straighten things out” between Donald Trump and Kim. Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Rodman was asked about

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘US an Insolent Brigand’: North Korean Official claims

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘US an Insolent Brigand’: North Korean Official claims

Pyongyang was in fact pushed down the path of creating its own nuclear stockpile by the US hostility and constant “nuclear blackmailing,” Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and head of the North Korea delegation Kim Young-jae told reporters on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum claimed.

“To eradicate the hostile moves and nuclear blackmail on part of the US, which have been ongoing for over a decade, we’ve chosen the path of nuclear armament, and the recent hydrogen bomb to arm the ICBMs is a step to achieve the goal of … modernizing the state nuclear armed forces,” Kim Young-jae added.

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COLOMBIA POLITICS: Pope Francis to Urge Colombians to Come Together Around Peace Deal

COLOMBIA POLITICS: Pope Francis to Urge Colombians to Come Together Around Peace Deal

“Don’t let anyone steal your happiness, don’t let anyone steal your hope,” Pope Francis told young people outside the embassy, his residence during the trip.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Israel Hits Syria Target Reportedly Tied to Chemical Weapons: Syrian Army

SYRIA POLITICS: Israel Hits Syria Target Reportedly Tied to Chemical Weapons: Syrian Army

The Observatory reported a total of seven people killed and wounded in the strike. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, said the reported attack was not routine and targeted a Syrian military scientific centre.

“The factory that was targeted in Masyaf produces the chemical weapons and barrel bombs that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians,” Yadlin said in a tweet.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Government Forces Used Chemical Weapons More than Two Dozen Times: UN

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Government Forces Used Chemical Weapons More than Two Dozen Times: UN

“Government forces continued the pattern of using chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. In the gravest incident, the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, killing dozens, the majority of whom were women and children,” the U.N. report said, declaring the attack a war crime.

The Assad government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons. It said its strikes in Khan Sheikhoun hit a weapons depot belonging to rebel forces, a claim dismissed by the U.N. investigators.

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YEMEN POLITICS: UN Official to Saudis: ‘Stop War in Yemen, Fund 100% of Humanitarian Aid’

YEMEN POLITICS: UN Official to Saudis: ‘Stop War in Yemen, Fund 100% of Humanitarian Aid’

“Saudi Arabia should fund 100 percent of the needs of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme told Reuters, during a visit to Ethiopia. “Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them.”

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Putin: North Korea Sanctions ‘Useless’ and ‘Ineffective’

RUSSIA POLITICS: Putin: North Korea Sanctions ‘Useless’ and ‘Ineffective’

On Sunday, Donald Trump tweeted that the US was considering stopping all trade with countries that do business with North Korea, prompting a stern response from China.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday any such move would be unfair and unacceptable but added on Tuesday that the use of military force to resolve issues on the Korean peninsula was never an option.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang ‘Moving Missile Towards West Coast’

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang ‘Moving Missile Towards West Coast’

North Korea alarmed the region with its most powerful test to date on Sundayof what it claimedwas a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on to a long-range missile.

The US responded by saying that North Korea leader Kim Jong Un was “begging for war”.

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USA POLITICS: Why Does Trump Think We Need More Military Spending?

USA POLITICS: Why Does Trump Think We Need More Military Spending?

Trump feels we need to re-invest in nuclear weapons, while at the same time insisting he wants to be the first president to reside in an age where no country has them. That’s an entirely farcical statement for a leader with a guaranteed four-year term to make, both because it’s not enough time for the world to disarm, and because adding to our nuclear arsenal only provokes other nuclear powers.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Two-Stage Hydrogen Bomb Possible ‘Game Changer’ for North Korea

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Two-Stage Hydrogen Bomb Possible ‘Game Changer’ for North Korea

“That scale is to the level where anyone can say (it is) a hydrogen bomb test,” said Kune Y. Suh, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University.

“North Korea has effectively established itself as a nuclear state. This is not just a game changer, it’s a game over,” Suh said.

Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of nuclear test ban watchdog CTBTO, said: “The physics of the event that we’re talking about today seems to indicate a much larger event than the one from 2016 and before.”

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Russia Dismisses Israeli Concerns of Iranian Expansion in Syria

ISRAEL POLITICS: Russia Dismisses Israeli Concerns of Iranian Expansion in Syria

“Whatever area of cooperation between Iran and Syria, my position is that if their cooperation in whichever field does not violate the basic provisions of international law, it should not be cause for question,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press briefing in the Qatari capital Doha on Wednesday.

“We do not have any information that someone is preparing an attack on Israel,” Lavrov added.

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COLOMBIA POLITICS: Pope Francis Visits Colombia to Boost Peace Process After 50 Years of War

COLOMBIA POLITICS: Pope Francis Visits Colombia to Boost Peace Process After 50 Years of War

The Argentine pope had delayed accepting a government and Church invitation to visit Colombia, where about 80 percent of the population is Catholic, until a viable peace process was under way.

“He had wanted to go for a long time. Now the moment has come,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Successfully Tested Advanced H-Bomb

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Successfully Tested Advanced H-Bomb

North Korea said in an announcement on state television that a hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un was a “perfect success” and a “meaningful” step in completing the country’s nuclear weapons programmes.

“All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes … were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un In as saying.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Forces Fired Live Bullet at 60-Year-Old Palestinian Woman

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Forces Fired Live Bullet at 60-Year-Old Palestinian Woman

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the ongoing tensions since October 2015.

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MYANMAR POLITICS: Break ‘Worsening Cycle of Violence’ in Rakhine: United Nations Expert

MYANMAR POLITICS: Break ‘Worsening Cycle of Violence’ in Rakhine: United Nations Expert

“I am saddened to receive reports that, while the authorities are helping Rakhine and other communities living in affected townships evacuate to safer locations, this assistance is not being extended to the Rohingya Muslims,” Special Rapporteur said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: ‘Unacceptable Price for Civilians’: UN Says US-Led Coalition Airstrikes May Breach International Law

SYRIA POLITICS: ‘Unacceptable Price for Civilians’: UN Says US-Led Coalition Airstrikes May Breach International Law

“Given the extremely high number of reports of civilian casualties this month and the intensity of the air strikes on Raqqa, coupled with ISIL’s use of civilians as human shields, I am deeply concerned that civilians – who should be protected at all times – are paying an unacceptable price and that forces involved in battling ISIL are losing sight of the ultimate goal of this battle,” Zeid said in a statement on Thursday.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinians Vie With Israel Over Muslim Pilgrims to Jerusalem

PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinians Vie With Israel Over Muslim Pilgrims to Jerusalem

At the height of tensions in Jerusalem last month over Israeli controls on access to Al-Aqsa, Turkey’s Islamist-rooted president, Tayyip Erdogan, urged his compatriots to flock there in solidarity with the Palestinians.

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INDIA POLITICS: End of Border Standoff With China Satisfies India, But It Will Not Lower its Guard

INDIA POLITICS: End of Border Standoff With China Satisfies India, But It Will Not Lower its Guard

For India, the lesson is that even though the standoff has been resolved, future flare-ups cannot be ruled out.

“The problem is essentially the aggressive stance that China has adopted on all territorial matters with all countries and here the manner in which it has tried to alter the status quo on the ground by building this road, which we have stopped,” said Jayadeva Ranade, a former China specialist at the Indian government’s National Security Advisory Board. He warned that they might repeat Doklam next year or try something else.

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