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By Nnekule Ikemfuna KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen set off three bombs and opened fire on worshippers at the main mosque in north Nigeria's biggest city Kano on Friday, killing at least 81 people, witnesses and officials said, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamist Boko Haram militants. Blasts from the coordinated assault rang out as scores of people packed into the ancient building's courtyard for afternoon prayers. "These people have bombed the mosque. I am face to face with people screaming," said local reporter Chijjani Usman. ...

A pro-democracy protester takes a photo of the police near other protesters during a confrontation with the police at Mongkok shopping district in Hong KongBy James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands of pro-democracy activists clashed with police in running scuffles in Hong Kong's gritty Mong Kok district early on Saturday in a bid to reclaim part of one of the city's largest and most volatile protest sites. After a tense standoff lasting hours, chaos erupted as hundreds of riot police baton-charged demonstrators with shields, pepper spraying and wrestling a string of them to the ground. ...


Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou casts his ballot at a voting station during local elections in TaipeiTAIPEI (Reuters) - Voters in Taiwan began trickling into polling stations early on Saturday in a local election that could show support for the ruling party, the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), is waning less than two years before a presidential election. Saturday's poll is the first chance for the island, viewed as a breakaway province by giant neighbor China, to make known its views since March, when thousands of young people occupied parliament in an unprecedented protest against a planned trade pact calling for closer ties with Beijing. ...


Army soldiers take their positions during clashes with supporters of Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in the Cairo suburb of MatariyaCAIRO (Reuters) - Three people including an army general were killed and at least 28 wounded on Friday in militant attacks, some claimed by a group loyal to Islamic State, and clashes at Islamist protests around Egypt, security sources and health officials said. Police were out in force at the demonstrations, organized by a hardline Salafi group calling for removal of the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the ex-army chief who led the overthrow of elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013. ...


By Mohammad Stanekzai LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban militants have launched an offensive against Afghan forces at Camp Bastion, the huge base in southern Helmand province vacated by the British military a month ago, officials said. "Taliban attacked under the cover of darkness during the night, but our security forces fought against them well and prevented any damage to the camp," General Ghulam Farooq Parwani, deputy commander of Maiwand 215 military corps said on Friday. ...

A view shows debris at a school following what activists said were U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State, in RaqqaBEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's foreign minister said U.S.-led air strikes had failed to weaken Islamic State it in Syria and the jihadist group would not be tackled unless Turkey was forced to tighten border controls. A U.S.-led alliance started attacking Islamic State targets in Syria in September as part of a wider effort to destroy the al Qaeda offshoot that has seized large areas of the country and neighboring Iraq. ...


BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese social justice group says a prominent human rights lawyer has been released from six months in police custody.

Health workers wearing protective suits assist a patient suspected of having Ebola on their way to an Ebola treatment centre near Macenta in Guinea on November 21, 2014Conakry (AFP) - British scientists announced trials on a 15-minute Ebola test in Guinea as French President Francois Hollande became the first Western leader to visit a country devastated by the epidemic.


TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's relations with historic foe China are playing a key role in local elections on the self-ruled island Saturday as the ruling Nationalist Party meets increased resistance to forging stronger ties with Beijing. Voters on the island with a population of about 23 million will elect representatives to 11,130 local seats, including mayoral posts in major cities such as the capital, Taipei.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat first in the second one-day international against Sri Lanka at R. Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is unable to lift his ball out of the thick tussocks in the rough on the 9th hole during the third round of the Australian Open Golf championship in Sydney, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)SYDNEY (AP) — American Jordan Spieth shot a 2-under 69 to move into a three-way share of the lead at the Australian Open after Saturday's third round.


DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A senior United Arab Emirates official has held talks with the Qatari emir in Doha in the highest level meeting between the two Gulf neighbors since a diplomatic spat erupted earlier this year.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou casts his votes in the local elections including Taipei mayor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Taiwan's relations with historic foe China are playing a key role in local elections on the self-ruled island Saturday as the ruling Nationalist Party meets increased resistance to forging stronger ties with Beijing. (AP Photo/Central News Agency, Pool)TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's relations with historic foe China are playing a key role in local elections on the self-ruled island Saturday as the ruling Nationalist Party meets increased resistance to forging stronger ties with Beijing.


John Lobo, 29, performing as Venezuela's late president Hugo Chavez, performs in the star role of the "Ballet of the Spider-Seller to Liberator", at the Teresa Carreno Theater in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. Venezuela has found yet another way to honor the late leader who launched Venezuela’s socialist revolution 15 years ago. A state-sponsored ballet about his life premieres, with dozens of performers recounting Chavez’s life, from humble roots, to failed coup, to international fame. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)CARACS, Venezuela (AP) — In life, Venezuela's exuberant leader Hugo Chavez often captivated supporters by bursting into song, even the occasional dance. Now that he's gone, supporters are turning to the musical arts to help immortalize him.


Andy Murray shares a joke with his coach Amelie Mauresmo during a practice session at the Queen's Club in west London, on June 12, 2014Manila (AFP) - Andy Murray has defended coach Amelie Mauresmo after former British number one Tim Henman said the Scot had not been "playing the right way" recently, questioning the partnership.


Police tape marks off the scene after authorities shot and killed a man who they say opened fire on the Mexican Consulate, police headquarters and other downtown buildings early Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Austin, Texas. In the distance, police cars surround the suspect's vehicle parked near the Interstate 35 overpass. (AP Photo/Jim Vertuno)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police have not released details on the criminal background of the gunman who allegedly attempted to set the Mexican Consulate in Austin ablaze and fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings before he died.


FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2007 file photo, the 6,010-meter Huayna Potosi is seen above La Paz. El Alto and its sister city of La Paz, the world's highest capital, depend on glaciers for at least a third of their water, more than any other urban sprawl. But that supply is in peril. Global warming has doomed the world's tropical glaciers. Negotiators from more than 190 countries will meet Dec. 1, 2014, in the Peruvian capital, for two weeks to work on drafts for a global climate deal that is supposed to be adopted next year in Paris. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri, File)LIMA, Peru (AP) — Energized by new targets set by China and the United States, the world's top climate polluters, U.N. global warming talks resume Monday with unusual optimism despite evidence that human-generated climate change is already happening and bound to get worse.


MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahraini voters are returning to the polls for a runoff election being boycotted by the opposition for the country's first new parliament since widespread Arab Spring-inspired protests nearly four years ago.

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson in a five-player blockbuster off-season trade with the Oakland A'sToronto (Canada) (AFP) - The Toronto Blue Jays acquired all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson in a five-player blockbuster off-season trade with the Oakland A's.


By Morag MacKinnon PERTH (Reuters) - Australia has intercepted a boatload of Sri Lankan asylum seekers off the coast of Indonesia, handing back all but one to Sri Lankan authorities, who arrested them for breaching immigration laws. The Sri Lankans are the first to be turned back in five months as Australia’s highest court hears a test case challenging the government’s right to intercept asylum seekers’ boats outside its territorial waters. ...

In this May 27, 2014, photo, Odilia Sintu holds a frame with photos of her late son Jose Miguel Ramirez, below, and other relatives at her home in Zacapa, Guatemala. Ramirez went hunting for iguanas on a melon farm, and paid for it with his life. What happened to Ramirez remains in dispute, though no one is pushing for answers any longer. The private security guards alleged to have killed the 19-year-old were never prosecuted. A witness who said he saw the shooting recanted. In a country that averages some 100 homicides a week, the killing barely drew headlines and public attention moved on. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)ZACAPA, Guatemala (AP) — Jose Miguel Ramirez went hunting for iguanas on a melon farm, and paid for it with his life. The 19-year-old's body was dumped by a stream near the property line, a bullet hole above his left eye.


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A bus has veered off a mountain road in west Nepal, killing at least 11 people and injuring more than 29.

A protester holds a sign outside a burning Walgreens drug store after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MissouriBy Daniel Wallis and Edward McAllister FERGUSON, Mo. (Reuters) - Demonstrators shut down a shopping mall near Ferguson, Missouri, at the start of the holiday shopping season on Friday as protests over the killing of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer turned on some retailers around the country. After a quiet Thanksgiving Day, protesters were out in force again to vent their anger at Monday's decision by a grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb. ...


Arsenal's French striker Yaya Sanogo (C) celebrates scoring a goal with teammates during their UEFA Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund, at the Emirates Stadium in north London, on November 26, 2014London (AFP) - Brendan Rodgers has challenged his Liverpool players to kick-start the club's spluttering campaign against Stoke on Saturday.


Wales' fly-half Dan Biggar (L) and New Zealand's lock Brodie Retallick fight for the ball during their Autumn International rugby union Test match, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on November 22, 2014Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Wales will seek to end a six-year wait for a southern hemisphere scalp when they take on South Africa on Saturday with one eye very much fixed on next year's World Cup.


England winger Jonny May (R) runs in to score a try during the Autumn International rugby union Test against Samoa at Twickenham on November 22, 2014London (AFP) - England's clash with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday may be a 'preview' of their World Cup pool fixture in just under a year's time, but there will be an immediate benefit to the winners of both sides' final Test of 2014.


French President Francois Hollande has his temperature measured upon his arrival at the Donka hospital in Conakry, Guinea, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, as part of a one day visit in Guinea focused on Ebola situation. Hollande is set to become the first Western head of state to visit one of the west African countries worst hit by Ebola as he flies into Guinea for a brief stopover.(AP Photo/Alain Jocard,Pool)CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — French President Francois Hollande brought a message of hope to Guinea on Friday, where thousands of residents lined the roads while clapping, drumming and dancing to catch a glimpse of the first Western leader to visit a country hard hit by Ebola.


BEIJING (AP) — A leading Chinese rights activist who organized rallies for media freedom pleaded not guilty to charges of disturbing public order in an all-night trial in which the judge rejected his requests for food, a lawyer said.

A service was being held in Glasgow Saturday to mark one year since a helicopter crashed into the city's Clutha Bar, killing ten peopleGlasgow (AFP) - A service was being held in Glasgow Saturday to mark one year since a helicopter crashed into the city's Clutha Bar, killing ten people.


People gather at the site of a bomb explosion in Kano, Nigeria, Friday Nov. 28, 2014. An explosion tore through the central mosque in Nigeria's second-largest city on Friday, and officials feared the casualty toll would be high. Capt. Ikechukwu Eze said the Friday blast occurred at the main mosque in the city of Kano. Hundreds had gathered to listen to a sermon in a region terrorized by attacks from the militant group Boko Haram. (AP Photo/Muhammed Giginyu)KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Multiple explosions tore through the central mosque in Nigeria's second-largest city on Friday, killing 35 people, police said.


Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers at Miraflores Palace in CaracasBy Deisy Buitrago CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he and other government officials should take salary cuts as part of budget reductions in response to the lower price of oil. The South American member of OPEC derives 96 percent of its export revenues from oil, so the drop in prices to multi-year lows on the global market has hit hard, exacerbating a national economic decline, foreign currency shortage and scarcity of basic goods. ...


CORRECTS NAME OF CHARACTER PORTRAYED - In this undated photo released by the television network Televisa on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolanos known as Chespirito poses for a photo as his famous character El Chapulin Colorado. According to Televisa, where he worked, the famed comedian died Friday. He was 85. (AP Photo/Televisa)MEXICO CITY (AP) — Roberto Gomez Bolanos, the iconic Mexican comedian who wrote and played the boy television character "El Chavo del Ocho" that defined a generation for millions of Latin American children, died Friday at age 85.


US actor Mickey Rourke, right, holds up his guard against his opponent Elliot Seymour of the United States, during their professional boxing match, at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow,Friday, Nov, 28, 2014. Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke returned to the boxing ring Friday at the age of 62, defeating a fighter less than half his age in an exhibition bout. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)MOSCOW (AP) — Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke returned to the boxing ring Friday at the age of 62, defeating a fighter less than half his age in an exhibition bout.


Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke is emotional while making a statement at the Sydney Cricket Ground following the death of Australian cricket player Phil Hughes in Sydney, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Hughes was 63 not out when he was struck by the ball on Tuesday, and that number has become symbolic in the tributes. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)SYDNEY (AP) — Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke wiped away tears as he spoke Saturday of the effect Phillip Hughes' death has had on the team, as speculation continued as to whether next week's first test against India will be called off.


People walk past an HSBC branch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Argentina’s top cable TV operator, a former professional soccer player and a lawmaker are among the owners of some 4,000 secret Swiss bank accounts used to evade taxes, the Argentine tax agency said on Friday. The agency charged HSBC bank Thursday with helping Argentines evade taxes by stashing about $3 billion in the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's top cable TV operator, a former professional soccer player and a lawmaker are among the holders of some 4,000 secret Swiss bank accounts used to evade taxes, the Argentine tax agency said Friday.


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro is ordering a cut in government spending as Venezuela grapples with a plunge in world oil prices that threatens to bring more hardship for the petroleum-dependent economy.

A relative of a inmate cries while waiting for information outside the David Viloria prison in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. At least 13 prisoners have died of drug overdoses and a further 145 are being treated for intoxication after inmates at an overcrowded prison facility in Venezuela stormed an infirmary during protests demanding better living conditions. (AP Photo/Dedwison Alvarez)CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Pressure is building on Venezuela's government to fully investigate a rising number of deaths at an overcrowded prison, with human rights activists questioning authorities' claim of a mass drug overdose by dozens of inmates who stormed an infirmary.


Police tape marks off the scene after authorities shot and killed a man who they say opened fire on the Mexican Consulate, police headquarters and other downtown buildings early Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Austin, Texas. In the distance, police cars surround the suspect's vehicle parked near the Interstate 35 overpass. (AP Photo/Jim Vertuno)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A gunman attempted to set the Mexican Consulate in Austin ablaze and fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings early Friday before he died, authorities said.


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