International News

Israel mobilises extra troops

Israel mobilised 16 000 additional reservists yesterday to bolster forces fighting in Gaza as Washington gave its ally the go-ahead to raid stocks of emergency US weapons stored on Israeli soil. The call-up, which raised the total number of Israeli reservists to 86 000, came shortly after Washington said it had agreed to restock Israel’s dwindling supplies of ammunition, despite rising concern over the death toll in Gaza, where more than 1 360 people have been killed. Read more about Israel mobilises extra troops

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Libya Islamists seize key Benghazi army base

Islamist groups have seized the army special forces headquarters in Libya’s Benghazi after days of fighting left at least 35 soldiers dead and plunged the country deeper into lawlessness. An Islamist and jihadist alliance announced the capture of the main military base in the eastern city in a statement Wednesday, which was confirmed by an army official. Ansar al-Sharia, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, posted photos on Facebook of dozens of weapons and crates of ammunition it claimed its jihadists had seized from the base. Read more about Libya Islamists seize key Benghazi army base

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Flights to Ebola hit countries suspended

Pan-African airline ASKY suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone over the worsening Ebola health crisis, as the Liberian football association said it halted all activities in the country.
The LFA decided "to cease operations of football activities considering that football matches are contact sports and Ebola is spread through body contacts with an infected person", LFA chief Musa Bility said in a statement Tuesday.
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Interpol offices burgled in South Africa

Thieves broke into Interpol's offices in the South African capital twice last weekend and stole computers with data that could compromise investigations into international crime, according to police and local media.
Police spokesman Solomon Makgale confirmed the weekend burglary at the International Police offices in Pretoria.
"We have registered a case of robbery," he told AFP in a text message, adding that "several laptops and other items" had been taken.
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China security chief’s fall cements Xi’s grip on power

China’s Xi Jinping is emerging as the country’s most powerful leader in decades, analysts said, after the declaration of a probe into the country’s former security chief, as state media yesterday hailed the groundbreaking move.
Zhou Yongkang wielded control of China’s police, courts, jails and domestic surveillance until his retirement from the elite Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) in 2012.
But the ruling Communist Party’s internal watchdog finally made public its long-rumoured investigation into him on Tuesday.
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Three Jewish youths arrested over Palestinian beatings

Three youths were in custody over the savage beating of two Palestinians by a Jewish mob in the east Jerusalem settlement of Neve Yaakov, Israeli police announced yesterday.
“A Jerusalem court has to decide whether to extend the detention of the three Jewish men suspected of attacking two east Jerusalem residents on July 25,” a statement said.
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Violence soars in Gaza

Bloodshed in and around Gaza surged yesterday with strikes killing 13 Palestinians, a day after five Israeli soldiers died, shattering hopes for an end to three weeks of violence.
It was a bloody start to the three-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr which began on Monday, with international demands for an end to the fighting falling on increasingly deaf ears.
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EU readies new Russia sanctions

The EU was set to approve punishing sanctions against Russia yesterday over its role in the Ukraine crisis, as fighting in the strife-torn east again prevented international experts from reaching the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17.
For the third day running, an unarmed team of Dutch and Australian police ditched plans to travel to the scene of the disaster as "there is currently too much fighting on and around the road to the crash site," said the Dutch justice ministry.
The Ukrainian military confirmed early yesterday that violence was still raging.
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Two frontline soldiers commit suicide in S. Korea

South Korea's military confirmed yesterday the apparent suicides of two army privates, raising fresh questions over the deployment of young conscripts in frontline units after a deadly shooting spree last month.
The two privates, identified by their surnames Shin and Park, were both found hanged in their barracks on Sunday in separate locations near the heavily militarised border with North Korea, an army spokesman said.
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Ethnic hate speech reveals roots of Kenya violence

Kenya takes pride in being a union of "42 tribes", but a string of attacks in towns on its volatile Indian Ocean coast has exposed bitter and explosive ethnic tensions linked to politics.
The series of killings in which around 100 people have died in recent weeks have provoked warlike political speeches, alarmist headlines, and offensive and inflammatory messages on social media.
"There has been a surge of dangerous speech," said 26-year-old Nanjira Sambuli, a project leader of Umati, an online project monitoring hate speech, based in Nairobi's sleek iHub offices.
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