International News

US lifts Israel flight ban

US airlines lifted a flight ban to Israel yesterday as Washington's top diplomat cited progress in ending 17 days of bloodshed in Gaza which has killed 718 Palestinians.
The ban was lifted just hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah and returned to Cairo to continue pushing regional efforts to ink a ceasefire.
Hamas had hailed the suspension of Tel Aviv flights by US and European airlines as a "great victory for the resistance."
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Taiwan plane crash toll hits 48

Taiwanese officials yesterday defended flight clearance given to a plane which crashed in torrential rain, killing 48 people, as angry relatives blamed authorities for the worst air disaster in a decade.
The domestic TransAsia Airways flight was carrying 54 passengers and four crew members when it crashed in Magong in the Penghu island chain, with 10 survivors.
Two French medical students were among the dead, the foreign ministry in Paris said.
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Air Algerie plane has crashed

An Air Algerie flight crashed yesterday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.
There were few clear indications of what might have happened to the aircraft, or whether there were casualties, but Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 01:38 GMT because of a storm in the area.
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Israel detains WhatsApp leakers

The Israeli military said on Wednesday it had detained several soldiers and a civilian on suspicion of leaking Gaza casualty figures over social media before families of the dead or wounded could be formally informed.
A week into ground fighting with Hamas that has killed at least 32 soldiers, some Israelis complain of first learning their relatives were dead through WhatsApp, or of being misled by erroneous messages into believing they were among the toll.
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Gaza rocket halts Israel flights

Airlines blocked flights to Israel yesterday after a Gaza rocket struck near airport runways, as the UN chief urged an end to a conflict that has killed 639 Palestinians and 31 Israelis.
As the violence entered its 16th day, neither Israel nor Islamist movement Hamas appeared willing to end hostilities, despite days of diplomatic efforts to coax them into a truce.
Palestinian emergency services said that at least six people were killed early yesterday during prolonged shelling of the southern town of Khan Yunis and 20 more were wounded, most of them seriously.
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Netherlands in mourning

Wooden coffins were being brought out on the tarmac of a Ukrainian airport as the first plane carrying corpses recovered from the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17 readied to leave for the Netherlands yesterday.
Grieving families and Dutch royals are due to receive the bodies as flags fly at half mast on a day of mourning across the nation, which lost 193 citizens in the flight that was allegedly blown out of the sky by a missile, turning civilians from a dozen nations into casualties of a remote conflict raging in eastern Ukraine.
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Legalising sex work would slash HIV toll

Scrapping laws that ban sex work would slash the number of HIV infections over the next decade, according to a study presented at the world AIDS forum yesterday.
Female sex work is one of the big vectors of the world HIV pandemic, sometimes being the bridge between infected drug users and heterosexual men who buy sex from them.
But policymakers have squabbled about how best to deal with the question.
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Nigeria school offers hope to children caught in Islamist strife

Aisha Abubakar was at home two years ago when Boko Haram Islamists stormed through the door. She watched as they executed her father.
Children in Nigeria's deeply impoverished north face immense challenges in accessing education, and for the fatherless like 13-year-old Aisha the obstacles are even tougher.
But by far the most daunting roadblock standing between Aisha and a diploma is that she lives in Maiduguri, the epicentre of a brutal insurgency being waged by a group that has declared war on education, especially for girls.
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World pushes for truce

The UN chief and Washington’s top diplomat were in Cairo yesterday to push for an end to two weeks of violence in Gaza that has killed 583 Palestinians.
As the conflict entered its 15th day, neither side showed any sign of willingness to end the violence, with Israel pursuing a relentless campaign of shelling and airstrikes, and militants hitting back with rocket fire and fierce attacks on troops operating on the ground.
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'Shambolic' MH17 crash site blasted

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday hit out at the "shambolic" situation at the MH17 crash site as he demanded Russian President Vladimir Putin back up assurances with action.
Abbott and Putin spoke by telephone overnight in their first conversation since the Malaysia Airlines plane, carrying 298 people, crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, apparently shot down by pro-Russian rebels with a surface-to-air missile.
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