Sunday, August 28, 2016

Turkish Airstrikes Kill 20 Civilians in Syria | Fighting Escalates on Turkey-Syria Border, Endangering U.S. Forces - WSJ

An injured man reacts in a damaged site after double airstrikes on the rebel held Bab al-Nairab neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 27, 2016.

Turkish Airstrikes Kill 20 Civilians in Syria

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Monitors from the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say Turkish air strikes Sunday have killed at least 35 civilians in northern Syria.
The watchdog says 20 people were killed in the village of Jub-al-Kousa.Fifty people were wounded in the attack in an area controlled by militia allied to the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The Observatory says another air strike killed 15 civilians and wounded 20 others near the town of al-Armana.
Use of barrel bombs
Elsewhere, the Observatory says Syrian government helicopters dropped two explosive-packed barrel bombs on a funeral Saturday just minutes apart in the Maadi district of eastern Aleppo, killing at least 23 people.
The first bomb landed near a tent where people were mourning the victims of a barrel bomb attack earlier in the week. The second bomb landed as emergency workers arrived.
This photo provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), shows Syrians carrying a victim after barrel bombs were dropped on the Bab al-Nairab neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 27, 2016.
This photo provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), shows Syrians carrying a victim after barrel bombs were dropped on the Bab al-Nairab neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 27, 2016.
The attack Thursday in a neighboring district of the once-vibrant city killed 15 people, including 11 children.
The Syrian government routinely denies using barrel bombs. But analysts point out that Damascus and Moscow command the only forces operating helicopters over Aleppo.
Call for cease-fire
Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special envoy for Syria, has called for a 48-hour truce in Aleppo. He said the world body has in place an emergency response plan to provide humanitarian relief to the besieged city, once a temporary cease-fire is in place.
In a statement, de Mistura said Russia has confirmed it will honor the proposed U.N. emergency response plan and is seeking the cooperation of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow's long-standing ally.
The U.N. plan is aimed at providing emergency aid to tens of thousands of people trapped in Aleppo and to restore electricity to the city that was once home to 2.3 million residents.
Elsewhere, Syrian rebels and their families continue evacuating the long-besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya as part of an agreement reached late Thursday with the government after four years of airstrikes and a siege that left the suburb in ruins.
Rebels and their families arrive from the Damascus suburb of Daraya following a forced evacuation deal struck with the Syrian government that ends a grueling bombing campaign and four-year siege, in Babiska, Idlib province, Aug. 27, 2016.
Rebels and their families arrive from the Damascus suburb of Daraya following a forced evacuation deal struck with the Syrian government that ends a grueling bombing campaign and four-year siege, in Babiska, Idlib province, Aug. 27, 2016.
Turkey vs. Kurds
Turkish-backed fighters skirmished Saturday with Kurdish forces in northern Syria, pushing the two U.S. allies in the war against Islamic State extremists closer to an all-out confrontation.
Turkey's Anadolu news agency says one Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded in a rocket attack by a Kurdish militia the Ankara government identifies as terrorists.
For its part, the Kurd-dominated U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said its fighters were hit by Turkish jets south of the border town of Jarabulus, which was stormed by Turkish forces Wednesday but is now reported in the control of the SDF. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Turkish troops head to the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey, Aug. 27, 2016.
Turkish troops head to the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey, Aug. 27, 2016.
The clashes bolster Western concerns that Turkey's military incursion into Syrian territory aims to target both Islamic State jihadists and the Kurdish military grouping known as the Kurdish People's Protection Units, the YPG militia.
U.S. officials have described the YPG as one of its most effective allies in the fight against Islamic State, while Turkey is demanding a YPG retreat from all border territory seized from IS jihadists.
Some material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.
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Can Israel and the Arab States Be Friends?

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Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal diplomatic relations. The Saudis do not even recognize Israel as a state. Still, there is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran. Better relations among these neighbors could put the chaotic Middle East on a more positive course. They could also leave the Palestinians in the dust, a worrisome prospect.
A recent case in point was a visit to Jerusalem last month by a Saudi delegation, led by a retired major general, Anwar Eshki, that included talks with Dore Gold, a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official. The meeting was notable because it was openly acknowledged. General Eshki and Mr. Gold reportedly began secret contacts in 2014; they went public last year by appearing together at an event in Washington.
Israel and the Sunni Arab states last fought a war in 1973. Now, after decades of hostility, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is seeking to engage his country’s former enemies. Meanwhile, since coming to power 18 months ago, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have shown a surprising willingness to take foreign policy risks.
The Israelis and the Saudis have reasons to work together. They share antipathy toward Iran, the leading Shiite-majority country. Both are worried about regional instability. Both are upset with the United States over the Iranian nuclear deal and other policies, including those dealing with Syria. For some time, Israeli and Saudi officials have been cooperating covertly on security and intelligence matters.
As an international boycott movement is seeking to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, Mr. Netanyahu is determined to expand the number of countries that recognize his state and to capitalize on the economic potential of trade between it and the Arab states. He also has repaired relations with Turkey and has sought to strengthen ties with Africa.
It’s hard to tell sometimes whether and through whom the Saudi royal family is speaking, and some analysts do not view General Eshki as a serious interlocutor. But his visit to Jerusalem, which included a meeting with members of Parliament, suggested a new Saudi openness to testing how the public in both countries would react to overt contacts. Significantly, Saudi Arabia has also begun a media campaign in the kingdom, apparently to prepare its citizens for better relations with Israel.
In recent years, Israelis and Saudis have encountered each other often at academic and policy forums. In addition, Israel has established separate official channels of communication with Saudi Arabia, as well as with the United Arab Emirates, and these channels are considered “real and significant,” according to Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project.
Egypt has also been pursuing warmer ties with Israel. A week before the Saudi delegation arrived, Sameh Shoukry became the first foreign minister of Egypt to visit Israel in nine years. Although the two countries signed a peace treaty in 1979, the relationship never fulfilled its promise. However, ties have improved since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi became Egypt’s president in 2014, enabling greater security cooperation against Hamas in Gaza and the militants battling Egyptian troops in the Sinai.
Where does this leave the Palestinians? Both the Saudi and Egyptian visits were ostensibly aimed at promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, who have relied on the Sunni Arab states to advance their interests. General Eshki, for instance, talked of reviving the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which promised Israel normalized relations with the Arab League countries as part of a deal to end the Palestinian conflict.
Unfortunately, neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians show interest in serious peace talks. And there are reasons to doubt that the Palestinians are the Arab countries’ real focus. Mr. Netanyahu, in fact, has made clear his preference for improving relations with the Arab states first, saying Israel would then be in a stronger position to make peace with the Palestinians later on.
Of course, improved relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors do not preclude a Palestinian peace deal. The danger is that these countries will find more value in mending ties with each other and stop there, thus allowing Palestinian grievances, a source of regional tension for decades, to continue to fester.
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A Novel Imagines Putin Is Retired and Has Dementia

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By Michael Honig
329 pp. Pegasus Books. $24.95.
There’s a reason Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump seem to like each other: They both dislike reality. It takes a special dispensation, not to say freedom, from the facts to look at garbage and call it a garden, and vice versa; to — in Putin’s case — advocate against corruption while using political power for personal gain; to make a promise one day and the next do its opposite. Putin has so comprehensively transformed Russia (restored, some might say, after a flawed semidemocratic interlude under Boris Yeltsin) that he has transformed reality itself. Putinism seems as pervasive in that country as Soviet rule was, and all without the machinery of a totalitarian state. It’s phantasmagoric performance art on the world’s grandest stage, which makes it only more remarkable that Putin has spent so little time as the subject of fiction. (In the West, he tends to show up in spy novels; in Russia, in elaborate, surreal allegories.) Perhaps his reality doesn’t require artistic ­embellishment.
And yet Michael Honig’s “The Senility of Vladimir P.” makes for an essential entry in the field. Twenty or so years from now, after “he had been five times president and twice prime minister,” Vladimir, as the novel tends to refer to him, has finally retired because of creeping dementia. He spends his days on an estate near Moscow, tended by a staff of 40, breaking out of his mental murk to shadow-brawl with an imagined Chechen assailant until he’s tranquilized by his nurse, Nikolai Sheremetev. Sheremetev is our hero, and what a man: the last honest person in Russia. As a young soldier in the waning days of the Soviet Empire, he, along with the rest of his unit, was illegally hired out to a local builder; a fellow soldier had to explain what was happening and disabuse Sheremetev of his charming intention to complain to the captain. (The captain had bribed the colonel to look the other way.)
The rest of the staff does not have Sheremetev’s probity: There’s Stepanin, the promiscuous, boozing, talented cook, who dreams of running his own Moscow restaurant (“Russian Fusion! Minimalist décor!”); Barkovskaya, the terrifying new housekeeper, usually stalking somewhere offstage; Goroviev, the elusive gardener; and an array of security guards whose alliances and duties never become clear. These ambiguities not only urge the reader along but also cleverly animate the fact that in modern Russia the truth is always elsewhere. The only thing that’s clear is that everyone’s skimming, though in Honig’s portrayal, Sheremetev seems dark even to this.
Then Sheremetev’s nephew Pasha publishes an online screed against the ex-president, which lands him in detention, his release priced at $10,000 until the authorities learn that the young man’s uncle serves on Vladimir’s staff, which raises it to $300,000 — everyone knows the ­riches to which the estate staff has access; no one can imagine a man without his hand in the big pocket. Sheremetev’s wife died from kidney failure because he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, come up with the bribes to get her the right treatment; his brother’s family emptied its accounts trying to help. To save his nephew, the babe must enter the woods. What Sheremetev finds does not lead him to a happy ending.
One of the most refreshing things about Honig’s novel (apart from the fact, which feels revolutionary for a mainstream novel these days, that the central plot doesn’t get going until about a third of the way in, the author reveling in the details of his palace and its intrigues) is that it is neither satire nor polemic. While the system Putin has established seems to remain fearful to Americans (the parents of a friend of mine who spends half the year in Moscow won’t visit him because they expect to be shot in the streets), Putin himself has reached such extravagant, Kim Jong-il-level absurdity that he seems ripe for satire. But that would have been easy.
The novel is full of humor, even if an initially comic war between the cook and the housekeeper can’t help turning deadly. But Honig controls the tone so well that the high jinks never speak for the book. The rage and heartbreak are never unclear: Putinism restricts common dignity to those with money and power, and even they serve at the pleasure of one man; the ordinary person has no choice but to humiliate himself or suffer privation, or worse. Yet Honig regularly manages to elicit the reader’s sympathy for the travesty of a human mind in decline, even if it is Vladimir P.’s. “Whatever was left of Vladimir’s consciousness,” Sheremetev reflects, “he was still a person . . . who could feel, shout, cry, question, laugh.” And so Sheremetev tries to treat him “sensitively and gently,” with the dignity of a full human being. The irony can’t escape us.
Honig, a former doctor, fills the novel with expert medical detail, but fortunately, this and the author’s hailing from London (that beloved refuge of Russian oligarchs — one of the novel’s ironies is that everyone is trying to skim enough to get out of Russia) are almost all we learn from his book bio; no acknowledgments tempt us to distract ourselves by drawing links between the man and the story. Still, this is an author who understands the grotesque reality of a place where the honest man is the coward, and if he wants to fight the corrupt system, “it’s his own fault.” The smart people adjust: “If the world knows that I have a cousin who’s done what Pasha has done,” Sheremetev’s son, Vasya, a fixer without his father’s naïveté, says, “then the size of some of the commissions I have to pay has just doubled.” Honig knows the people, too: His introduction of Stepanin, the cook — he was “enraptured by cooking, ugly, crude, loud and fractious, and yet despite all those qualities . . . surprisingly attractive to women” — rises to a Chekhovian balance of precision and sweep.
Paradoxically, it’s the novel’s largest character who keeps tripping the story. For Sheremetev to remain as comprehensively naïve about the way Russia — and its microcosm, the estate — worked under Vladimir Vladimirovich, as the story wants him to, he would have to have been a hermit, or his innocence would have to have been the primary subject of the novel, a Russian “Candide.” As it is, Sheremetev’s scalded shock as he makes his bumbling way through the underworld feels jarring rather than tragic. A bit more worldliness from the start would have made him more credible without reducing the resonance of his moral descent.
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Fighting Escalates on Turkey-Syria Border, Endangering U.S. Forces

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ISTANBUL—Tensions are escalating between Turkish armed forces and Syrian Kurdish rebels after the death of the first Turkish soldier along the newest battlefront of the Syrian war, a development that could further endanger U.S. forces in the area and complicate their mission to vanquish Islamic State.
The Turkish soldier died on Saturday and three others were wounded when their tank unit came under attack by Kurdish units from the YPG around 4 miles inside Syria during a continuing Turkish operation with rival Syrian Arab rebels to expand their control over villages south of the border town of Jarablus, according to the state news agency Anadolu.
Meanwhile, Syrian activists said that Turkish airstrikes killed at least 11 civilians Sunday in the same area where Turkish-backed rebels were operating. Anadolu reported that Turkey had conducted airstrikes on Saturday, but said that Turkish planes had hit “terrorist” targets. Turkish officials didn’t comment on the reports of civilian deaths. There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials on the report. It was unclear whether the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, of which Turkey is a member, was informed of Turkey’s military maneuvers.

The clashes underscore the complexity of the U.S.-led international coalition campaign to reverse Islamic State’s territorial hold in Syria and the dangers faced in that mission. American special operations forces are embedded with the YPG and earlier this month helped them oust Islamic State from the town of Manbij, less than 20 miles from Saturday’s hostilities. In general, those U.S. special operations forces have close contact with their Turkish counterparts, and they rely on Turkey for their rear supply lines, according to people familiar with the situation.
The U.S. also supports the Turkish-led campaign launched last week aimed at clearing Jarablus of Islamic State positions and mop up any fighters that escaped Manbij, approximately 20 miles further south from the Turkish border.
Turkish officials have said the timing of Operation Euphrates Shield was related to the fact that the YPG had broken a promise given to the Americans and Turks that the group’s units would withdraw from Manbij once it was liberated from Islamic State and allow local Arab-majority inhabitants to control the area. Instead of retreating to the east side of the Euphrates River outside Manbij, YPG in recent weeks has moved to expand westward in a new land grab, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.
Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist group and has a declared national security objective to prevent the YPG from linking up its disparate territorial holdings in Syria into a larger autonomous region. Turkey sees the YPG as an armed affiliate of its own domestic Kurdish militant group known as Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been fighting Turkish security forces for decades with the aim of achieving its own autonomous ethnic state.
Turkey wants to install the friendly Arab rebels fighting in its current operation along the Manbij-Jarablus corridor as a buffer against Kurdish groups.
Turkey now has at least 380 soldiers and 40 tanks inside Syria as part of the operation that approximately 1,000 Syrian rebels are also involved.
On Saturday, some of those Syrian Arab units said they seized a number of villages south of Jarablus when clashes with YPG units broke out. Social media posts from those Arab rebels said clashes were fiercest around the village of Amarneh, around 5 miles south of Jarablus.
Turkey’s armed units were supporting Saturday’s push when two tanks came under attack with antitank rockets around 4 miles, south of Jarablus, according to Anadolu, citing unnamed military sources. One soldier was killed and three others wounded, it said. It didn't give any more details about the location.
—Thomas Grove and Yeliz Candimir contributed to this article.
Write to Margaret Coker at
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Russian Doping Whistleblowers Fear for Their Lives After Cyber Attack -

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Russian Doping Whistleblowers Fear for Their Lives After Cyber Attack
Yuliya Stepanova, an 800-meter runner, and husband Vitaly, a former doping officer in Russia, have been living in hiding, first in Germany and now in America, for the past two years. But a few days ago Stepanova's accounts were hacked and the couple's ...
Russian rewards 'make me sick' - former Wada chiefNew Zealand Herald

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The Embrace of Life: A Story of 2 Sisters in Italy's Quake - New York Times

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ABC News

The Embrace of Life: A Story of 2 Sisters in Italy's Quake
New York Times
ASCOLI PICENO, Italy — In the chaos of Italy's devastating earthquake, an older sister's embrace allowed a young girl to survive. The heartbreaking story of 9-year-old Giulia Rinaldo and her younger sister Giorgia was recounted Saturday by the bishop ...
Italy Begins Burying Earthquake Dead: 'An Event Like This Weakens You'TIME
Italy Earthquake Survivors Bury Loved Ones; Rescue Efforts ContinueWall Street Journal
The Latest: Quake funeral underway; bishop urges courageAppeal-Democrat -Watertown Public Opinion -Vatican Radio
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Clinton receives first intelligence briefing as nominee

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- Hillary Clinton received her first national security briefing Saturday as the Democratic presidential nominee, meeting with intelligence officials for an overview of the major threats facing the nation around the globe....

US allies clash as Turkish and Kurdish forces battle in northern Syria 

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France's Ayrault urges Russia to back U.N. resolution on Syria

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PARIS (Reuters) - A U.N. report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a chance to push Russia to accept a resolution condemning the Syrian regime and resume political negotiations, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.

Trump aide's ex-wife claims he made anti-Semitic remarks - CNN

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CBS News

Trump aide's ex-wife claims he made anti-Semitic remarks
Washington (CNN) Donald Trump's new campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, once told his ex-wife he didn't want his daughters attending a girls school under consideration because of the number of Jews who attended it, she said in a court statement. "He said he ...
Trump campaign CEO faces fresh scrutiny over anti-Semitic remarksUSA TODAY
Trump's Campaign CEO Accused Of Anti-Semitic RemarksCBS Local
New Trump campaign chief faces scrutiny over voter registration, anti-SemitismWashington Post
AOL News -Newsmax -TPM (blog)
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Thanks to the EU's bungling, Russia will inevitably win in Ukraine 

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More than 10,000 migrants are 'smuggled into Britain each year'

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Donald Trump new campaign chief accused of anti-Semitisim in latest shock hire 

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Fire Sweeps Through Russian Warehouse, Killing 17 Workers

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(MOSCOW) — A fire swept through a Moscow printing plant warehouse on Saturday, killing 17 migrant workers from Kyrgyzstan, Russia’s emergency services said. A representative of the Kyrgyz community said the victims were all young women trapped in a dressing room while changing into their work clothes.
The fire was caused by a faulty lamp on the first floor of the warehouse, where many flammable liquids and paper products were stored, and it spread quickly through an elevator shaft to the room where those who died, said Ilya Denisov, who heads the Moscow branch of the emergency services.
He said firefighters found the bodies of 16 workers and sent four injured workers to the hospital, where one later died.
Denisov, whose statements were carried by Russian news agencies, said the dead were all from Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, and were believed to be working legally in Russia.
Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that 14 of the dead were Kyrgyz citizens.
Abdygani Shakirov, who heads an organization representing the Kyrgyz community in Moscow, said all of the dead were young women.
“Most of them were in Moscow to earn money,” he told Russian news agencies. “They were in the dressing room and were unable to get out. The smoke had blocked the exit.”

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Venezuelan Police Jail Top Activist in Pre-Dawn Transfer - New York Times

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Venezuelan Police Jail Top Activist in Pre-Dawn Transfer
New York Times
BOGOTA, Colombia — A prominent Venezuelan opposition leader has been jailed again after intelligence agents picked him up at his home before dawn, a brazen move that the government said was necessary to prevent acts of violence but which has ...
Venezuelan former opposition mayor Ceballos jailed againFox News Latino
Venezuelan opposition leader, Daniel Ceballos, hauled off to prison before dawn in new crackdownThe Independent 

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 Business Standard-Crossmap-Bloomberg-Reuters
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Yemen's exiled government welcomes U.S. plan for restart of peace talks

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ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Yemen's Saudi-backed exiled government said on Saturday it welcomed a plan agreed by the United States, Gulf Arab states and the United Nations to restart peace talks with a goal of forming a unity government.

More Airstrikes in Syria, One Day After Lengthy US-Russia Talks - Voice of America

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Voice of America

More Airstrikes in Syria, One Day After Lengthy US-Russia Talks
Voice of America
Men inspect a damaged building after airstrikes on a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 27, 2016. Share. Share on Facebook · Share on Twitter · Share on Google+ · Email to a Friend. Print. The U.N.'s special envoy for Syria said Saturday ...

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The make-up wars: how millions of Britons secretly judge fellow passengers 

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Merkel 'underestimated migrant integration challenge'

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Trump talks to a white crowd about black voters - Politico

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Trump talks to a white crowd about black voters
DES MOINES— Donald Trump made a direct pitch to Iowa's farmers in a speech here Saturday—and then pivoted back to his appeal for support from African-Americans, even though there were virtually none in the audience. The GOP nominee referenced ...
Inside debate prep: Clinton's careful case vs. Trump's 'WrestleMania'Washington Post
In heartland Iowa, Trump vows to help farmers, urban minorities alikeFox News
***2016 LiveWire*** Trump: Immigration Enforcement Civil Rights Issue for Blacks, HispanicsBreitbart News
Bloomberg -Wall Street Journal -The Hill (blog) -Reuters
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First Turkish death in Syrian campaign

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Turkey suffers its first loss of life in an intensifying campaign in northern Syria, when a soldier is killed in a Kurdish attack on a tank unit.

US government buys 11 million pounds of cheese to tackle dairy mountain 

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US elections: Trump details plans to track illegal immigrants

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US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he will develop a "tracking system" to remove illegal immigrants who outstay their visas.

Obama, Hillary, Biden, Trump—They’re Just Like Us

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If the past week has reminded us of anything, it is that world-historical politicians are people just like you and me, except they are on live television.

They struggle to open jars

Jimmy Kimmel Live
Jimmy Kimmel Live

They get haircuts Pence Hair Cut

They laugh, they cry, they get sick, and they die.
In the interest of humanizing the men and women who lead the country, the Washington Free Beacon checked in with other notable politicians to see what they were up to.

Tim Kaine Vacuums the Carpet

Kaine Vacuuming
“You know what the Romans say, Anne?” Tim Kaine asked with an impish glimmer in his eye as he blew into the kitchen of his Richmond, Virginia, home on Saturday morning.
“What do they say?” said Tim’s long-suffering wife, looking up from the morning paper.
“Carpet diem, seize the day!” Kaine chortled merrily, snagging a slice of toast from the table on his way to the utility closet. Kaine derived great satisfaction from the mundane tasks of homeownership.
“After I’m done in here, I’ll get some yard work done,” Kaine shouted to Anne over the whine of the vacuum cleaner. “Oops. Sucked up a dime.”
Later in the afternoon, Kaine could be seen on a ladder in the backyard, cleaning leaves out of the gutter and intermittently blasting the neighbor children with the high-pressure hose.

Donald Trump Trims His Fingernails

Trump Cuts His Fingernails
Donald Trump sat on the porcelain throne and admired his hands. He flexed and unflexed the fingers. Radiant, powerful, gentle—and sooo long, Donald, an Eastern European voice in his head cooed.
They were the luxurious, bronze digits of a god.
The fingernails had grown unsightly long, however. Trump’s face hardened from childlike wonder into a Churchillian glower. Dirt had accumulated under the nails despite frequent buffing and filing; one fingernail had chipped from pounding the podium at his large and energetic rallies.
How could such perfect fingers create such imperfection? Trump wondered, unwittingly stumbling on the omnipotence paradox that had puzzled philosophers since Ibn Rushd—a Muslim, if you’d believe it—in the 12th century.
Then the moment passed, and a feeling of relief surged through him as he picked up the fingernail clippers. He had come dangerously close to introspection.

Elizabeth Warren Orders Pizza

Warren Orders a Pizza
“I’m sorry, ma’am, this coupon is expired.”
Elizabeth Warren’s mouth tightened into a prim rictus.
“This isn’t the last you’ll hear from me, Papa John,” she said, seizing the pies and slamming the door in the delivery boy’s face.
She hated capitalism.

Bernie Sanders Picks Up His Dry Cleaning

Sanders Dry Cleaning
This can’t be right.
“Excuse me,” Bernie Sanders said. “My kimono is not in here.”
The dry cleaning lady turned to him and shrugged.
“This is important,” Sanders stressed in his most belligerent Brooklyn tone. “That kimono is very dear to me, it holds great sentimental value.”
“I’m sorry, someone must have taken it,” the lady said. “Sometimes you get home and you have something that isn’t yours, and sometimes something of yours gets taken. That’s the unwritten rule of dry cleaning.”
Sanders glasses fogged slightly. Without a more robust theory of property, it was hard to argue with her.
He slinked out of the dry cleaners, inwardly mourning the loss of his memento from that psychedelic summer of ‘69.
“Now what am I going to lounge around in on lazy Sundays?” he spat.

Barack Obama Ties His Shoes

Obama Ties His Shoes
“That was fun, gang. Come back soon,” President Obama panted to the assembled elementary schoolers after a Let’s Move publicity event featuring light calisthenics.
Need to lay off the cowboy killers, he thought as he walked off the exercise mat, vowing to hit the gym the next day for dumbbell rows and elliptical training.
He indulged in jaunty small talk with the assembled press as he slipped back into his cap-toe oxfords, custom made by Johnston & Murphy for a sleeker, European silhouette.
“You can’t just lace ‘em any way,” he said, wincing inwardly at the sneaker-dress shoe hybrid worn by the schlubby Reuters stringer. “You gotta lace ‘em up so the laces go straight across the eyeholes. That’s what they do in Italy.”
He caught a glimpse of himself in the window as he stood up, and buttoned his jacket. Cigarettes or no—he looked damn good.

Joe Biden Tries to Tie His Shoes

Biden Tries to Tie His Shoes
During the course of Joe Biden’s late-night ramblings around Washington, D.C., the laces of his Reebok Freestyle high-tops came undone. After fumbling with the laces for several fruitless minutes, Biden sank to the curb, regretting his decision to shake off his Secret Service tail in Farragut Square.
“Awfully chilly,” Biden chuckled to himself, shivering despite the retro windbreaker he had snagged at Salvation Army for $5.
Somewhere in the distance, a dog let out a mournful howl. Biden took a dozen determined steps away from the curb before losing a shoe and descending again to the curbside.
“Aw geez,” he said. “I’m gonna die out here.”
Early-morning commuters found Joe hours later, curled on the sidewalk with one shoe on. A seamstress, taking pity on the confused senior, found his other high-top and secured them snugly on his feet.
“Are you going to be OK?” she asked.
“I’m gonna be OK,” Biden said, breaking down into grateful sobs.
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FBI: Missing NY teenage girl abducted, raped, thrown into SC swamp - New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV

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New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV

FBI: Missing NY teenage girl abducted, raped, thrown into SC swamp
New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV
CHARLESTON, S.C. — An FBI agent, citing a statement from a prison inmate, says a teenage girl who disappeared from Myrtle Beach seven years ago was abducted, gang-raped, shot to death and thrown into an alligator-infested swamp. Agent Gerrick ...
FBI agent: Missing teen Brittanee Drexel was kidnapped, shot and dumped in alligator pitCharleston Post Courier
Report: FBI says Brittanee Drexel was abducted, raped, killed, fed to gatorsWYFF Greenville
Missing Teen Brittanee Drexel: FBI Agent Reports She Was Gang Raped, Murdered, Dumped In Swamp [Video]The Inquisitr
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Navy likely to face further Iranian provocations in Persian Gulf

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U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf can expect increased harassment by Iranian vessels as Iran’s hard-liners seek to bolster their position ahead of next year’s Iranian election
and the U.S. is absorbed in its own electoral campaign.

Turkey's offensive into Syria opening up a hornet's nest

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Turkey's incursion into Syria is deepening tensions between two major U.S.-backed groups, potentially setting up a conflict that could undermine Washington's efforts to eradicate the Islamic State's presence in Syria.

Clinton receives first intelligence briefing as nominee

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Hillary Clinton received her first national security briefing Saturday as the Democratic presidential nominee, meeting with intelligence officials for an overview of the major threats facing the nation around the globe.

Little precedent for $400 million cash payment to Iran

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A $400 million cash delivery to Iran to repay a decades-old arbitration claim may be unprecedented in recent U.S. history, according to legal experts and diplomatic historians, raising further questions about a payment timed to help free four American prisoners in Iran.

Battle for Mosul appears to be entering final stage

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A sniper lurks among desolated buildings of an abandoned village just over the hillside where Kurdish soldiers are dug in behind a berm, but Serbest Tivanisi, the Kurdish sector commander, doesn’t flinch as he peers over the sandbags.
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Page 6

China ramps up competition with the United States - The Hill (blog)

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The Hill (blog)

China ramps up competition with the United States
The Hill (blog)
Little do the American people know that Chinese officials are intent on expanding China's “soft power” by acquiring our cultural assets. President Xi Jinping has vowed to “strengthen China'ssoft power” and “build its capacity in international ...
China to prosecute former statistics bureau chief for corruptionReuters
China provincial legislator expelled from party, officeShanghai Daily (subscription)

all 15 news articles »

Hillary Clinton receives first national security briefing as Democratic nominee

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Presidential candidate meets intelligence officials in White Plains, New York, for more than two hours to discuss worldwide threats faced by US
Hillary Clinton has received her first national security briefing as the Democratic presidential nominee, meeting intelligence officials on Saturday for an overview of the major threats facing the US around the globe.
Continue reading...

Newly Released CIA Reports Detail How Agency Missed Portents of Yom Kippur War - Haaretz

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Newly Released CIA Reports Detail How Agency Missed Portents of Yom Kippur War
The CIA would be happy to bury the next lines forever. A surprise from an unexpected direction is one thing — it happens. But seeing the reality and denying the alternative that will soon take place is an embarrassment to the professionals who are ...

and more »

US intelligence indicates a weaker Islamic State

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The revised assessment comes after surprisingly swift and relatively bloodless victories this summer near Syria’s border with Turkey and in the Sunni heartland of Iraq, two areas where Islamic State had appeared entrenched.

Syrian airstrike in east Aleppo hits funeral being held for at least 13 people

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The attack on Bab al-Nayrab took place in waves, activists said. The first barrel bomb hit a funeral procession, the second landed as rescue workers arrived. Doctors said the preliminary death count was 25.

Man fatally shot by FBI agent serving search warrants in Compton - Los Angeles Times

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NBC Southern California

Man fatally shot by FBI agent serving search warrants in Compton
Los Angeles Times
An FBI agent fatally shot a man while serving warrants at a Compton residence this week, an agency spokeswoman said Saturday. An FBI SWAT team arrived at the residence in the 14600 block of South White Street about 9:30 p.m. Thursday to serve the ...
Family Demanding Justice, Answers After Man Fatally Shot by FBI Agent in ComptonNBC Southern California
FBI Agent Fatally Shoots Man While Serving Search WarrantsLAist 
Man shot, killed by FBI agent serving warrant in ComptonLong Beach Press Telegram 

all 6 news articles »
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Page 7

Пешеходный мост рухнул на трассу, соединяющую Лондон с Евротоннелем - Комсомольская правда

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Комсомольская правда

Пешеходный мост рухнул на трассу, соединяющую Лондон с Евротоннелем
Комсомольская правда
Как сообщает телеканал Sky News, мост, расположенный между третьим и четвертым съездами с автострады в районе городка Уэст-Мэллинг, рухнул после того, как его опору протаранил грузовой автомобиль. По свидетельствам очевидцев, при падении мост придавил еще два ...
Рухнувший мост в Великобритании расплющил автомобилиРосбалт.RU
В английском графстве Кент после наезда грузовика рухнул пешеходный мостРИА Новости
Рухнувший мост расплющил машины на автостраде, соединяющей Лондон с ЕвротуннелемВести.Ru
ТАСС -НТВ.ru -Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ -Федеральное агентство новостей No.1
Все похожие статьи: 48 »

Plants Clear Indoors of Pollutants, Study Finds

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Polluted air is a public health problem, not only outdoors, but indoors as well. Experts say it can be even worse inside because of the variety of household chemicals that emit fumes and irritating particulates. Researchers, however, have found that plants, as part of their carbon exchange cycle, can take up these pollutants, clearing the air in homes.   It makes sense in a way since we could not live without plants. They absorb the carbon dioxide that we exhale, and release the oxygen we need to breathe. And we depend on plants to produce an enormous amount of oxygen, according to Vadoud Niri from the State University of New York at Oswego. “Each of us breathes over 3,000 gallons of air every day. And also, we can’t go without air over three minutes. So it means that air quality is extremely important and we need clean air to breathe every day.” Scientists say air pollution, caused by chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), is three to five times greater inside our homes. VOCs include cancer-causing benzene and formaldehyde, which are given off by paints, upholstery, printers and stored fuel. Indoor air pollution can be the source of “sick building syndrome,” which can cause dizziness, asthma and allergies. New approach to ‘scrubbing’ air The traditional way of removing indoor air pollutants is through filtration methods that remove harmful air from the house while pumping in cleaner air from outdoors. “But we thought maybe we could use an easier and simpler and even cheaper way to get rid of these VOCs,” said Niri. He said the idea to look into plants for filtration came from a 1984 report by the U.S. space agency NASA, which was investigating putting plants on the space station to clean the air. In a specially designed chamber, Niri and colleagues tested five different plants that are commonly found in central New York homes: the jade plant, spider plant, a bromeliad, Caribbean tree cactus and dracaena. They were exposed to eight different VOCs. Niri says that each plant absorbed many of the different chemicals, some specific to a particular species.   The bromeliad, for example, took up six of the eight volatile organic compounds it was exposed to. Eighty percent of each chemical was absorbed by the bromeliad plant in just 12 hours. The researchers thought it could not absorb the other VOCs, such as chlorine, because its atoms are too big. All five plants were effective at removing acetone, the smelly compound in nail polish, from the air, taking up around 94 percent of the chemical.  For this reason, scientists are anxious to see how well the plants perform in nail salons. “We would recommend that instead of having one plant, five of one plant, we chose one of each to make sure that we uptake all types of VOCs from our air,” Niri said of greenery's chemical-absorbing properties. Niri discussed the air cleansing properties of plants at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.   He said the next step is to place plants in actual rooms to see how well they perform.

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· · ·

More Airstrikes in Syria, One Day After Lengthy US-Russia Talks 

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At least 15 civilians were reportedly killed in barrel bomb attacks by suspected government helicopters on a rebel-held district of Aleppo Saturday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government aircraft had dropped two explosive-packed barrel bombs minutes apart on the Maadi district of eastern Aleppo. According to the group, the strikes hit near a tent where people were mourning those killed in a barrel bomb attack Thursday in the neighboring district of Bab al-Nayrab, where 15 people, among them 11 children, lost their lives. The Syrian government and its ally, Russia, are the only ones operating helicopters over Aleppo, the Observatory said. The government denies it uses barrel bombs.   Also Saturday, Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria said Turkish airstrikes hit their bases near Jarablus, a border town seized by Turkey-backed rebels earlier this week.   The Syrian Observatory confirmed the airstrikes, but Turkey has not yet made any statement about any incursion Saturday. Turkey has said in the past, however, that the Kurds must withdraw to the east of the nearby Euphrates River. Meanwhile, Syrian rebels and their families continued evacuating the long-besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya as part of an agreement reached late Thursday with the government, after four years of airstrikes and a prolonged siege left the suburb in ruins. US-Russian diplomacy U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a lengthy meeting Friday in Geneva in efforts to restore a truce in Syria Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Kerry said the two sides agreed that there is no military solution to the Syrian civil war, adding the past few weeks of talks have been "fair, diligent and productive." He said the remaining "technical issues" will be worked out in the next few days, to "overcome the deep mistrust on all sides."   Kerry said the situation in the country had "dramatically deteriorated" since the "brief oasis of calm" that followed a cease-fire agreement in February, but promised that the U.S. and Russia are close to a new, more durable agreement. "The conflict will not end without a political solution," Kerry said. "It is really the only viable path towards peace and security and normalcy that the Syrian people deserve." Like Kerry, Lavrov promised that just a few details remain before an agreement can be announced, saying "a couple of dots should be placed in correct places." Lavrov said he believes "everyday dialogue" is key for solving the Syrian problem. He also said he is convinced that the United States and Russia should have normal relations in order to move forward on the Syrian situation. The conflict in Syria, which is complicated by U.S. and Russian support for opposite sides has killed more than 290,000 people and had forced millions from their homes in more than five years.

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· ·

RAF Typhoons hunt for Russian 'bandits' as Nato protects Baltic skies -

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RAF Typhoons hunt for Russian 'bandits' as Nato protects Baltic skies
Over the next half hour, Wing Commander Roger Elliott and his wingman would make three separate interceptions of Russian military aircraft. “You do have adrenalin pumping and when you launch, you don't know what's out there,” said Wg Cdr Elliott.

No Deal Yet Between US, Russia on Ending Hostilities in Syria - Newsweek

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No Deal Yet Between US, Russia on Ending Hostilities in Syria
The United States and Russia failed on Friday to reach a breakthrough deal on military cooperation and a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria, saying they still have issues to resolve before an agreement could be announced. U.S. Secretary of ...
US and Russia 'close' to reaching Syria peace 

Despite progress, US-
 Russia fall short on truce for SyriaMilitary Times
Syria ceasefire draws closer after US-Russia talksThe Guardian
Wall Street Journal -Common Dreams (press release)
all 310 
news articles »

Russia: Moscow warehouse fire kills 17 Kyrgyz workers -

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Russia: Moscow warehouse fire kills 17 Kyrgyz workers
A fire has killed 17 people in a Moscow printing warehouse, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has confirmed. "Sixteen bodies were found in a room, four injured were brought to hospitals in Moscow," a ministry spokesman said. According to the ...
Firefighters tackle blaze which killed 16 migrant workers in Russia – videoThe Guardian
Fire Sweeps Through Russian Warehouse, Killing 17 Workers New York Times

all 74
 news articles »
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Page 8

France's Ayrault urges Russia to back UN resolution on Syria - Reuters

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France's Ayrault urges Russia to back UN resolution on Syria

It has set the stage for a Security Council showdown between the five veto-wielding powers, likely pitting Russia and China against the United States, Britain and France over whether sanctions should be imposed in the wake of the inquiry. Ayrault said ...
French FM Urges Russia to Promote Political Settlement of Syrian ConflictSputnik International

all 2 news articles »

Thanks to the EU's bungling, Russia will inevitably win in Ukraine -

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Thanks to the EU's bungling, Russia will inevitably win in Ukraine
For this, the West was happy to see an elected pro-Russian Ukrainian president ousted in a coup d'état by an unelected stooge favourable to the EU. It was wholly predictable that theRussian-speakers of Crimea and eastern Ukraine would prefer to be ...

Russia to Conduct Military Drills Amid Ukraine TensionsWall Street Journal
Putin Orders Army Drills as Merkel Accuses Russia on UkraineBloomberg
Russian private military company 'spotted' in SyriaRussia Beyond the Headlines
RT-Sputnik International
all 146 news articles »

Iranian Official Admits Executions Haven't Slowed Drug Trafficking

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A top Iranian judiciary official says the death penalty hasn’t deterred drug trafficking, which is in fact on the rise.

Корабли КФл провели учения по уничтожению минного заграждения в Каспийском море

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Минеры выполнили мероприятия контрольно-разведывательного поиска и уничтожили минные заграждения, используя контактные и неконтактные тралы, обеспечив вывод кораблей в район выполнения учебно-боевых задач.

Moscow Warehouse Fire Kills at Least 17 Migrant Workers

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Most of the warehouse’s workers were from Kyrgyzstan, and a Kyrgyz representative in Moscow said all of the victims were young women.

Посол Украины в Польше обвинил РФ в напряженности между Киевом и Варшавой - РИА Новости Украина

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РИА Новости Украина

Посол Украины в Польше обвинил РФ в напряженности между Киевом и Варшавой
РИА Новости Украина
Андрей Дещица заверил, что постановление польского сейма о признании 11 июля Национальным днем памяти жертв геноцида, совершенного украинскими националистами против жителей II Польской Республики в 1943–1945 годах, не вызвало охлаждения в отношениях между ...
Шухевич обвинил Польшу в колониальных амбицияхКорреспондент.net
«Заробитчан» попросят из ЕвропыРамблер Новости
Украинский посол: Отношения с Польшей испортились из-за РоссииРосбалт.RU
ФОКУС -Цензор.Нет (Сатира) -bigmir)net -ЮГ - новая общественная газета
Все похожие статьи: 48 »
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Page 9

Clinton Foundation Raises Billions to Help People Worldwide

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Criticism about Clinton Foundation donors' access to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state has put a spotlight on the multibillion-dollar private charity. VOA's Chris Simkins has a closer look at what the foundation does.

Special Ops' Black Daggers descend swiftly, silently to kick off game

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Three dots suddenly came out of the helicopter, they quickly became three people and they sprouted distinctive black and red parachutes. They descended in a corkscrew course, flying with precision and touching down one by one on the football field. Three members of the Black Daggers, the U.S. Army’s Special Ops Parachute Demonstration Team, had arrived.

Lawyers: 3 Salvadoran military officers released

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Lawyers say three former Salvadoran military officers who Spanish courts wanted to put on trial for their alleged roles in the killing of six Jesuit priests have been freed from prison after the Supreme Court denied their extradition.

В мероприятиях внезапной проверки задействована учебно-боевая авиация ВКС

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Самолеты из состава учебных авиабаз Воздушно-космических сил будут задействованы в проверке системы противовоздушной обороны (ПВО) ЮВО в качестве контрольных целей для сил и средств ПВО.

Bangladesh Police Kill Man Suspected of Planning Dhaka Bakery Attack 

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Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen, was believed to have organized the July assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery, which left 22 dead.

The Latest: Turkey claims strikes on Syria 'terror groups'

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BEIRUT (AP) - The Latest developments in the Syrian civil war (all times local):
5:15 p.m.
Turkey's state news agency says the Turkish Military Joint Special Task Forces and coalition airplanes have targeted the bases of suspected "terror groups" south of the Syrian town of Jarablus.
The Saturday statement, citing ...

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