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Police vehicles are parked next to debris in the Anbar province town of HitBy Ahmed Rasheed, Saif Hameed and Ned Parker BAGHDAD (Reuters) - In recent weeks, the world has watched the battle to save Syria’s border town of Kobani from Islamic State. But the radical jihadists have for longer been engulfing another strategically more vital target - Iraq’s western Anbar province and its road to Baghdad. The vast desert region - where Sunni tribes rose up in 2006 and 2007 to drive out al-Qaeda with the Americans - has throughout 2014 been parcelled up, city by military camp, before the Iraqi government and U.S. forces could act. ...


Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, a member of the Joint Personnel Support Unit, Integrated Personnel Support Centre St-Jean, is pictured in this undated handout photoBy Allison Lampert SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU Quebec (Reuters) - Canadian police said on Tuesday they had arrested a suspected militant as he was leaving the country, took away his passport and talked to him several times but had no chance of preventing him from killing a soldier. Martin Rouleau, a 25-year-old who converted to Islam last year, rammed his car into two soldiers in the Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on Monday and was shot dead by police. A 53-year-old adjutant died in the attack. ...


Russia's President Putin shakes hands with Ukraine's President Poroshenko as he arrives for a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit in MilanBy Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine failed to reach an accord on gas supplies for the coming winter in EU-brokered talks on Tuesday but agreed to meet again in Brussels in a week in the hope of ironing out problems over Kiev's ability to pay. After a day of talks widely expected to be the final word, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told a news conference the three parties agreed the price Ukraine would pay Russia's Gazprom - $385 per thousand cubic meters - as long as it paid in advance for the deliveries. ...


Pro-democracy protesters watch formal talks between student protest leaders and city officials on a video screen near the government headquarters in Hong KongBy Donny Kwok and Diana Chan HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong protesters planned to march to the home of the city's Beijing-backed leader on Wednesday to push their case for greater democracy a day after talks between student leaders and senior officials failed to break the deadlock. Demonstrators have occupied main streets in the Chinese-controlled city for nearly a month to oppose a central government plan that would give Hong Kong people the chance to vote for their own leader in 2017 but tightly restrict the candidates to Beijing loyalists. ...


Britain's Prime Minister Cameron waits to greet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as he arrives at Number 10 Downing Street in LondonLONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron will announce plans on Wednesday to tighten the law to help stop charities being used as a front to raise funds for terrorist groups. Several individuals convicted of terrorism offences in Britain had raised funds in public, purportedly for charitable purposes, the majority of which the charities never received, the government said. Three British Islamists jailed last year for planning mass suicide attacks had tried to fund their plot by posing as street collectors for the Muslim Aid charity organization, raising 12,000 pounds ($19,360). ...


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Tuesday welcomed Vietnam's decision to release jailed blogger Nguyen Van Hai, who staged a hunger strike to protest treatment of political prisoners, and said he was set to travel to the United States. Hai, better known by the pen name Dieu Cay, was set to arrive in the United States on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a daily briefing. "We welcome the decision by Vietnamese authorities to release this prisoner of conscience," Harf told reporters. ...
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Andrew R.C. Marshall PHANG NGA Thailand (Reuters) - When Afsar Miae left his home near Teknaf in southern Bangladesh to look for work last month, he told his mother, "I'll see you soon." He said he expected to return that evening. Prayoon Rattanasenee, the acting governor of Phang Nga province, said that interviews conducted by police, rights groups and his own people revealed that the victims were “brought by force.

In this Oct. 16, 2014 photo Maria Guadalupe Orozco listens to a question during an interview with the Associated Press in Iguala, Mexico. Long before 43 teachers college students disappeared in an attack by police, Maria Guadalupe Orozco’s son went missing in the same southern Mexico city of Iguala. Orozco says Mexican soldiers took her son as he was ferrying equipment between a nightclub and the fairgrounds for a festival, an assertion based on witnesses and grainy security camera footage that day in March 2010. Now she wonders if he’s among the 28 bodies found in five burial pits at a clandestine mass grave uncovered during the all-out search mounted by authorities for the missing students. Given Mexico’s record on identifying the missing, Orozco may never know if her son is among them. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)IGUALA, Mexico (AP) — Long before 43 teachers college students disappeared in an attack by police, Maria Guadalupe Orozco's son went missing in the same southern Mexico city of Iguala.


Malala Yousafzai holds up her Liberty Medal during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Philadelphia. The honor is given annually to an individual who displays courage and conviction while striving to secure liberty for people worldwide. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pakistani teenager awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote girls' education brought her passion for learning to Philadelphia, where she received the Liberty Medal on Tuesday.


The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound sit atop the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a densely-populated Palestinian neighbourhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem's Old City, October 21, 2014Jerusalem (AFP) - By fair means or foul, Jewish settlers are notching up property gains in the heart of Arab east Jerusalem through a series of shady deals involving frontmen or straw companies.


WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea's reclusive government abruptly freed an American man Tuesday, nearly six months after he was arrested on charges of leaving a Bible in a nightclub, but Pyongyang refused to hand over two other U.S. citizens who are still being held. There was no immediate explanation for the release of Jeffrey Fowle, who was quickly whisked to the U.S. territory of Guam before heading back to his wife and three children in Miamisburg, Ohio. Relations between Washington and Pyongyang, never warm, are at a particularly low point, and the U.S. has sought unsuccessfully for months to send a high-level representative to North Korea to negotiate acquittals for all three men.

In this Oct. 18, 2014 photo, reserve soccer players from the Deportivo Capiata team prepare for a national league match against Cerro Porteno in Capiata, Paraguay. When Capiata, a soccer club formed six years ago in an Asuncion suburb, beat Boca 1-0 at its famed La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, it was a shocker for the ages. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)CAPIATA, Paraguay (AP) — They don't get much smaller than Paraguay's Deportivo Capiata — or bigger than Argentina's legendary Boca Juniors.


San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence watches his two-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's World Series Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants put a sudden stop to the Kansas City Royals' perfect postseason roll.


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Spanish striker David Villa's loan deal with Melbourne City will be cut short after four matches, with apparently no guarantee he will return to Australia's A-League.

Jeffrey Fowle is shown in this City of Moraine handout photoBy Roberta Rampton and Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea has freed Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans detained by the country, and he is being flown home to his family, Washington said on Tuesday, amid growing international pressure on Pyongyang over its human rights record. North Korea has been on a diplomatic campaign to counter charges by a U.N. body that highlighted widespread human rights abuses and a move by some U.N. members to refer the state to an international tribunal. ...


San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence watches his two-run home run during the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's World Series Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Madison Bumganer took a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning and Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer off James Shields in a three-run first as the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Tuesday night's World Series opener.


This Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 photo shows a giant steel Christmas tree lit up at the western mountain peak known as Aegibong in Gimpo, South Korea. South Korean military officials said they pulled down the tree near the country’s heavily-armed border with North Korea at a time when the countries are pursuing better ties after months of animosity. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Defense Ministry says it has pulled down a 43-year-old frontline Christmas tower that North Korea viewed as propaganda warfare.


South African bowler Ryan McLaren celebrates the wicket of New Zealand batsman Nathan McCullum during play during the ODI cricket match at Mt Maunganui in Tauranga, New Zealand, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Alan Gibson) NEW ZEALAND OUT, AUSTRALIA OUTWELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — South Africa is poised to take over the top ranking in international limited-overs cricket and allrounder J.P. Duminy says the Proteas are "comfortable" with the way they are tracking toward next year's World Cup.


A suspected jihadist struck two soldiers with his car in a Quebec parking lot -- a scenario which had been depicted only last month in IS propagandaOttawa (AFP) - Canada has raised its national "terrorism" alert, officials said, after a soldier run over by a suspected jihadist died in hospital.


A cook prepares skewers with vegetable-based meat, during the 'Vegan Fest' fair in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, on October 13, 2014Tel Aviv (AFP) - Israelis are flocking to veganism, to the point where even the army now has options for vegan soldiers and vegan militants woo converts by comparing meat eating to an animals' "Holocaust".


U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, a suspect in the gruesome killing of a transgender Filipino woman, arrives inside the compound of the Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. The Philippine military chief says Pemberton has been flown to the main Philippine military camp in the capital, easing a looming irritant with Washington over his custody, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The U.S. military turned over a Marine suspect in the gruesome killing of a transgender Filipino to the Philippine military's main camp in the capital Wednesday, easing a looming irritant over his custody, officials said.


BEIJING (AP) — Asia Pacific finance ministers are meeting Wednesday in Beijing to consider coordinated responses amid concerns over a slowdown in the regional economy highlighted by lower Chinese growth figures.

FILE - In this Friday, March 7, 2014 file photo, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim gestures as he leaves a courthouse in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Anwar said late Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 he expects Malaysia’s top court will dismiss his final appeal against a sodomy conviction next week and that he will be sent to prison. Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison in March on charges of sodomizing a male aide after the appeals court overturned an earlier acquittal. The Federal Court will hear his appeal Oct. 28-29. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin, File)KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he expects Malaysia's top court will dismiss his final appeal against a sodomy conviction next week and that he will be sent to prison for the second time in a decade. Anwar was sentenced to five years in prison in March on charges of sodomizing a male aide after the appeals court overturned an earlier acquittal. The Federal Court will hear his appeal Oct. 28-29.


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has recently deployed troops with diagnosed mental illnesses and on multiple tours of duty, but not because of any shortage of elite combat troops, senior officers said Wednesday.

In this Oct. 8, 2014 photo, a man walks to work on Wall Street, near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Stocks are opening higher Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 after several big companies reported results that pleased investors. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Hopes for fresh stimulus from the European Central Bank and China's steady growth bolstered Asian stock markets Wednesday after the S&P 500 had its best day of the year.


FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2008 file photo from video frame grab from a TV screen set up in a media room in courthouse, Vietnamese journalist Nguyen Van Hai of Tuoi Tre is seen during his trial in Hanoi,Vietnam. The State Department says a prominent Vietnamese dissident has been freed and will arrive Tuesday in the US. Spokeswoman Marie Harf welcomed the release of Nguyen Van Hai, a blogger who had been serving a 12-year prison term for conducting "propaganda against the state." (AP Photo/Vu Tien Hong, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department welcomed Tuesday the release of one of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents, as the U.S. urges the authoritarian government in Hanoi to improve its human rights record and smooth the way for stronger relations.


Australia's coach Ewen McKenzie watches his team warm up during their Bledisloe Cup rugby match against New Zealand in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)SYDNEY (AP) — Michael Cheika has taken over as Wallabies head coach on a three-year contract and allowed to remain in charge of the New South Wales Waratahs next season in a deal rushed through before the Australian squad leaves on a five-match European tour this week.


TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit edged higher in September though exports rose more than expected as the yen weakened to a near six-year low, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has injured his right knee in training, forcing him out of his title defense against Fabricio Werdum on Nov. 15.

Chelsea'’s Loic Remy (R) grimaces after getting injured during their UEFA Champions League match against Maribor, at Stamford Bridge in London, on October 21, 2014London (AFP) - Jose Mourinho insisted he was not worried by the prospect of running short of forward options ahead of Sunday's visit to Manchester United after confirming Loic Remy and Diego Costa will both miss Chelsea's trip to Old Trafford.


Smoke and flames rise following an explosion in the Syrian town of Kobane, as seen from the southeastern Turkish border village of Mursitpinar, on October 20, 2014Mursitpinar (Turkey) (AFP) - Kurdish defenders of the strategic Syrian border town of Kobane awaited reinforcements Wednesday after weathering another onslaught by Islamic State jihadists.


What appears to be a United States Air Force passenger jet, right, is parked on the tarmac of Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. The State Department says Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans being held in North Korea, has been released. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Fowle was on his was home Tuesday after negotiators left Pyongyang. She said the U.S. is still trying to free Americans Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea's reclusive government abruptly freed an American man Tuesday, nearly six months after he was arrested on charges of leaving a Bible in a nightclub, but Pyongyang refused to hand over two other U.S. citizens who are still being held.


An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 11, 2014 allegedly shows militants of the jihadist group Islamic StateDENVER (AP) — Three teenage girls from suburban Denver may have been trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria after stealing their parents' money and flying to Germany, authorities said Tuesday.


File photo of a man walking near a damaged power pole in WatariTOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese prosecutors must decide this week whether to charge Tokyo Electric Power Co executives for their handling of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, in a process that could drag the operator of the stricken nuclear plant into criminal court. The judicial review is unlikely to see Tepco executives go to jail, legal experts say, but rehashing details of the meltdowns and explosions that followed an earthquake and tsunami will cast a harsh light on the struggling utility and will not help Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's unpopular effort to restart Japan's nuclear reactors. ...


The first members of a team of 165 Cuban doctors and health workers unload boxes of medicine and medical material from a plane upon their arrival at Freetown's airport to help the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone, on October 2, 2014Havana (AFP) - Cuba's contribution of hundreds of doctors and nurses to fight Ebola puts the island at the forefront of the international response and is even thawing relations with a sworn enemy the United States.


(Reuters) - Paul Cantlie, the father of British Islamic State hostage John Cantlie, has died of "complications following pneumonia", his family said, according to several media sources. Earlier this month, speaking from a hospital bed through a voice box, 81-year-old Paul Cantlie called on IS to allow his son to return home safely. The group has already beheaded two American journalists and a British aid worker. John Cantlie, a photo journalist, was captured in northern Syria in November 2012. His father said the family had tried to contact his abductors but had received no response. ...

Mexico's Teresa Noyola (8) heads the ball against Jamaica's Donna-Kay Henry (4) during the first half of a CONCACAF soccer match at RFK Stadium, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON (AP) — Mexico advanced in Women's World Cup qualifying Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Jamaica, setting up a semifinal match against the United States in similar circumstances to four years ago — when the Americans suffered one of the most stunning losses in program history.


FILE - In this July 3, 2014 file photo, bullet holes and blood stains cover a wall above papers marking where bodies were found in an unfinished warehouse that was the site of a shootout between Mexican soldiers and alleged criminals on the outskirts of the village of San Pedro Limon, in Mexico state, Mexico. At least 12 and probably 15 of the 22 people killed by soldiers at the rural warehouse last summer were executed, the president of the governmental Human Rights Commission said Tuesday, contradicting both the army’s and prosecutors’ versions of the mass killing in southern Mexico. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)MEXICO CITY (AP) — Soldiers executed at least 12 and probably 15 people at a warehouse in southern Mexico last summer, the government Human Rights Commission said Tuesday in a sweeping indictment of attempts by the military and civilian prosecutors to cover up the crimes.


Ben Bradlee, a former Washington Post executive editor discusses about the Watergate Hotel burglary and stories for the Post at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba LindaBy Bill Trott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ben Bradlee, the hard-driving editor who reigned over the Washington Post newsroom with the style of a well-dressed swashbuckler and the profane vocabulary of dockworker as the newspaper helped topple President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal, died on Tuesday at age 93. Bradlee's death at his Washington home of natural causes was announced by the Post, which reported late last month that its former editor had begun hospice care after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past several years. ...


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