BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber hit an Interior Ministry building in central Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 11 people, as an investigation was underway into a deadly attack on a Sunni mosque that has heightened sectarian tension amid a fragile political transition.
ATLANTA (AP) — Leaders of the Democratic Party are preparing to approve a plan that sets the 2016 presidential calendar.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas leaders said on Saturday they had given their consent for the Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), a move that could open up both Israel and the militant group to war crime probes over the fighting in Gaza. Moussa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas leader based in Cairo, said he had signed a document Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says all factions must endorse before he proceeds with the ICC push. If the Palestinians were to sign the ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, the court would have jurisdiction over crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone voted to pass a new amendment to its health act, imposing possible jail time for anyone caught hiding an Ebola patient, a practice the World Health Organization believes has contributed to a major underestimation of the current outbreak.
By Natalia Zinets and Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved but only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alleges, Russia has been funnelling arms to help a separatist rebellion. Merkel was visiting Kiev as a prelude to a meeting next week between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that diplomats say is the best chance in months of a peace deal in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels. NATO has alleged Russia's military is active inside Ukraine helping the rebels, and Moscow angered Kiev and its Western allies by sending an aid convoy into Ukraine against Kiev's wishes.
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — The second coming of Michael Phelps gained momentum with another gold medal at the Pan Pacific championships on a night when U.S. teenager Katie Ledecky set yet another world record.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan coast guard official says a boat carrying over 250 migrants has capsized off the coast near the capital Tripoli.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening on Saturday, said organizers of an event that has become a rare and influential venue for the showing of films that could be critical of the government.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Yasmine Saleh GAZA/CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume ceasefire talks, but violence continued unabated with Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip and Hamas militants firing rockets at the Jewish state. A senior Egyptian diplomat said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had informed Sisi that Hamas was prepared to come to Cairo for further talks, but Hamas did not immediately confirm the report. Israel also had no immediate comment.
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday, after talks with Germany's Angela Merkel, that he was ready to work with Europe to bring peace in his country but he said Ukraine would never sacrifice territory or give up its independence. Speaking at a joint news conference with Merkel, he said peace could come quickly to his country once armed separatist fighters and "foreign mercenaries" - meaning from Russia - were removed. ...
By Ahmed Rasheed and Alexander Dziadosz BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers in Iraq killed at least 17 people in apparent revenge attacks after a major assault on a Sunni mosque heightened sectarian tensions. In Baghdad, a bomber rammed a vehicle into an intelligence headquarters on Saturday, killing at least eight people, police and medical sources said. Near Tikrit, a suicide bomber driving a military Humvee packed with explosives attacked a gathering of soldiers and Shi'ite militias on Friday night, killing nine. Shi'ite militiamen machinegunned 68 worshipers at a village mosque in Diyala Province on Friday as politicians try to form a power-sharing government capable of countering Islamic State militants.
By Steve Holland EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) - The United States is considering taking the fight against Islamic State militants into Syria after days of airstrikes against the group in Iraq and the beheading of an American journalist, the White House signaled on Friday. President Barack Obama, soon to end a two-week working vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, has not yet been presented with military options for attacking Islamic State targets beyond two important areas in Iraq, said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
Unidentified war planes attacked positions of an armed faction in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday, residents and local media said. Ten people were killed and dozens wounded, said a spokesman for Operation Dawn, an umbrella of Islamist-leaning forces mainly from Misrata which has been trying to expel brigades from Zintan, also located in western Libya. Local channel al-Nabaa said the planes had attacked four positions of Operation Dawn. Buildings of state oil firm al-Waha located near the airport road were also hit, said Mohamed Gharyani, spokesman for Operation Dawn.
By Ahmed Elumami and Ayman al-Salhi TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A wooden boat with around 170 African migrants on board trying to reach Europe has sunk in rough seas off the Libyan coast, a spokesman for the Libyan navy said on Saturday. So far in 2014, the total number reaching Italian shores has passed 100,000, the Italian government said this week. "The coast guards have rescued 17 of the illegal migrants," navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem said. Local coast guard official Mohammad Abdellatif told Reuters Television they had been alerted to the sinking by local fishermen at dawn on Saturday morning.
Ivory Coast has closed its land borders with Ebola-affected West African neighbours Guinea and Liberia in an attempt to prevent the world's deadliest outbreak of the virus from spreading onto its territory, the government announced. A number of African nations have defied advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and put in place restrictions on travel to and from the countries where Ebola has appeared, which also include Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The Philippines on Saturday ordered 115 troops to return home from peacekeeping operations in Liberia due to the outbreak there. Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa's largest economy, had previously imposed a ban on flights to and from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
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