World

Australian spy agencies given greater powers
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Australia's intelligence agencies will have enhanced powers after tougher counter-terror legislation passed parliament on Wednesday, despite concerns the changes could hurt press freedom. The government argued the changes were needed to plug gaps in current law and equip agencies to deal with new potential threats, including from jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq. ...

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Japan volcano death toll hits 43
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seven more bodies have been found by rescuers combing the peak of a Japanese volcano that erupted at the weekend, officials said Wednesday, taking the death toll to at least 43.
 
The seven are in addition to the 36 already known to have died when Mount Ontake burst angrily to life during the busy hiking season.
 
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China calls Hong Kong protests illegal
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BEIJING -- September 30, 2014: China today called major pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong illegal, as state media insisted Beijing would not give in but would wait for public opinion to turn against the protests. Tens of thousands in the global financial hub have been vowing not to end their street blockades until Beijing authorities grant them fully democratic leadership elections....

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India's Modi orders bureaucrats to clean toilets on national holiday
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered his bureaucrats to come in to work to clean up their offices -- including toilets -- on this week's national holiday to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's birthday.
 
The move is part of a nationwide cleanliness drive to be launched by Modi on the holiday Thursday, with the premier himself expected to take a broom to the capital's notoriously dirty streets....

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Ebola-hit Liberia staring into the abyss
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MONROVIA -- September 30, 2014: With its collapsed health service, sick and poorly equipped security forces and broken economy, Ebola-hit Liberia finds itself on the brink of complete societal breakdown, experts warn.
 
The already impoverished west African state was on the slow road to recovery after 14 years of ruinous civil war ended in 2003, following the deaths of 250,000 people....

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IS closes in on key Syria border town
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DAMAS (Syria) - September 30, 2014: Islamic State group fighters closed in yesterday to within only a few kilometres of a key Kurdish town on Syria's border with Turkey, despite new air strikes by the US-led coalition.
 
NATO member Turkey deployed tanks to reinforce its side of the border and said parliament would this week debate joining the coalition against the jihadists operating on the country's doorstep....

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Bangladesh arrests Briton over 'IS jihad recruitment'
Monday, September 29, 2014

Bangladesh police said Monday they have arrested a British citizen suspected of entering the country to recruit militants for jihadist groups overseas such as the Islamic State organisation.
 
Officers said Samiun Rahman, a 24-year-old Londoner of Bangladeshi origin, was picked up from a railway station in the capital around midnight on Sunday.
 
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Hong Kong: A city divided
Monday, September 29, 2014

HONG KONG -- September 29, 2014: This territory has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover, as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage.
 
Why is the city so divided?
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Obama admits US under-estimated IS threat
Monday, September 29, 2014

WASHINGTON - September 28, 2014: President Barack Obama admitted today that the United States had underestimated the opportunity that a collapsing Syria would provide for jihadist militants to regroup and stage a sudden comeback. Speaking to CBS News, the president said that former Al-Qaeda fighters driven from Iraq by US and local forces had been able to gather in Syria to form the newly dangerous Islamic State group....

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Ex-rubber tapper Silva out to land Brazil presidency
Monday, September 29, 2014

BRASILIA -- September 28, 2014: Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva only learned to read at 16 and endured a tough childhood as a rubber tapper in the Amazon before considering whether to become a Catholic nun.
 
Instead, she became involved in politics, as a green campaigner, a senator and then a minister.
 
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