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Rockets Kill 30 in Ukrainian City as Rebels Launch Offensive

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Indiscriminate rocket fire slammed into a market, schools, homes and shops Saturday in Ukraine’s southeastern city of Mariupol, killing at least 30 people, authorities said. The Ukrainian president called the blitz a terrorist attack and NATO and the U.S. demanded that Russia stop supporting the rebels. ABC News – By PETER LEONARD Associated Press Ukrainian officials rushed to defend the strategically ... Read More »

Brazil’s most populous region facing worst drought in 80 years

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Brazil’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira has said the country’s three most populous states are experiencing their worst drought since 1930. ( BBC ) The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais must save water, she said after an emergency meeting in the capital, Brasilia. Ms Teixeira described the water crisis as “delicate” and “worrying”. Industry and agriculture ... Read More »

DRC Protests: The Government’s Election Law Must be Revised – or Withdrawn

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The adoption on 17 January 2015 by the Congolese National Assembly of a law, proposed by the government of President Joseph Kabila, that could lead to the extension of Kabila’s term in office has triggered violent protests in the capital of Kinshasa and several other cities. ICG – Brussels Before protests escalate further, Kabila’s government needs to revise the law and ... Read More »

David Hicks terrorism charges: US admits he is innocent

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The US government has admitted that former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks is innocent and his conviction in 2007 for providing material support for terrorism is invalid. The Age – Natalie O’Brien Mr Hicks’ appeal case against the “invented” crime had been told that the US government does not dispute that he is innocent of any offence and his conviction ... Read More »

Australian economists urge Greek debt forgiveness as Syriza election win looks likely

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Greeks are heading to the polls on Sunday after a snap election was called late last year to break political deadlock. ABC – BY BUSINESS REPORTER MICHAEL JANDA The latest polls are showing that left-wing anti-austerity party Syriza is likely to have the biggest block in the new parliament. Investors fear Syriza’s promise to have half of Greece’s international debt written ... Read More »

Sudanese army bombs MSF hospital in S. Kordofan

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(KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese army (SAF) has bombed a hospital in South Kordofan state run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), forcing the organization to suspend its medical activities. Sudan Tribune   In a statement released on Friday, MSF said Tuesday’s incident marks the second time the Sudanese air force has targeted its hospital in the rebel-held village of Frandala since ... Read More »

Manus Island: What will it take to shock us?

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The reports coming out of Manus Island right now should be enough to shock us, but they aren’t. What will it take? Barrister Julian Burnside has some ideas. TheDRUM – By Julian Burnside * Reports about what is happening on Manus Island are mixed. According to inside sources, hundreds of asylum seekers are on a hunger strike, many have sewn their lips ... Read More »

Is society becoming more extreme?

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In the face of anti-Islamification rallies in Germany and the gruesome terror attacks in Paris serious question are being raised about social cohesion within European societies. OnLineOpinion – Mal Fletcher Questions are being asked about whether Western societies are becoming more extremist in general, as opposed to militant, terms. Are we beginning to see unusual numbers of people holding trenchant positions at ... Read More »