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Poroshenko proposes Ukrainian parliament abolition of lawmakers’ immunity
Publish Time: 2017-10-17 14:56:00
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has submitted to the Verkhovna Rada an urgent bill on amendments to Article 80 of the Constitution of Ukraine, abolishing the immunity from prosecution for people’s deputies of Ukraine, - KyivPost reports.The draft law on amendments to Article 80 of the Constitution of Ukraine (concerning the immunity of people’s deputies of Ukraine) was submitted by the president on Oct. 17. According to information on the parliament’s website, at present it has been sent to the relevant committee.The comparative table attached to the bill says the legislative initiative proposes excluding from the Constitution the provision, according to which “people’s deputies of Ukraine are guaranteed parliamentary immunity”. Thus, the rule that “people’s deputies of Ukraine cannot be brought to criminal responsibility, detained or arrested without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will be withdrawn.”The new wording for Article 80 of the Constitution of Ukraine is proposed instead: “Article 80. People’s deputies of Ukraine do not bear legal responsibility for the results of voting or statements in Parliament and its branches, with the exception of responsibility for insult or libel.” If the bill is adopted, it will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2020.
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Catalan independence leaders jailed in Spain
Publish Time: 2017-10-17 01:56:00
Spain moved closer on Monday to imposing direct rule over Catalonia to thwart its independence push as Madrid's High Court signalled a hardening line by jailing the leaders of two of the largest separatist organizations.Marking the first time senior figures in the secessionist camp have been imprisoned since Catalonia's Oct. 1 independence referendum, the court ordered the heads of the Catalan National Assembly and the grassroots Omnium movement held without bail pending an investigation for alleged sedition.Prosecutors allege that the ANC's Jordi Sanchez and Omnium's Jordi Cuixart played central roles in orchestrating pro-independence protests that last month trapped national police inside a Barcelona building and destroyed their vehicles, CBC News reported.
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Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist
Publish Time: 2017-10-17 01:03:00
The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home.Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field.A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe’s smallest member state.Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.No group or individual has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack. Malta’s president, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgment and to show solidarity,” she said.After a fraught general election this summer, commentators had been fearing a return to the political violence that scarred Malta during the 1980s.In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”, saying he had asked police to reach out to other countries’ security services for help identifying the perpetrators, The Guardian reports.
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Iraqi forces launch Kirkuk operation
Publish Time: 2017-10-16 11:26:00
Iraqi security forces have launched a "major operation" in the Kurdish-held region of Kirkuk, advancing towards oil fields and a strategic military base, according to Kurdish and Iraqi officials.The army captured several positions south of Kirkuk, including the North Gas Company station, a nearby processing plant and the industrial district south of the city, an Iraqi military statement said on Monday."Forces are continuing to advance," it said.An Iraqi Kurdish commander said the fighting with Kurdish forces caused "lots of casualties".Bahzad Ahmed said the Iraqi troops have "burnt lots of houses and killed many people" in Toz Khormato and Daquq, south of the disputed city.The objective of the push early on Monday is to take control of the K1 airbase, west of Kirkuk, Lieutenant Colonel Salah el-Kinani, of the Iraqi army's 9th armoured division, told Reuters news agency.Source: aljazeera
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US, South Korea conduct joint Navy drills to counter North Korea threat
Publish Time: 2017-10-16 08:21:00
South Korea and the United States began week-long joint Navy drills in the waters around the Korean peninsula on Monday (Oct 16), amid high tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme.About 40 Navy ships from both countries, including the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, are taking part in the exercises on the east and west coasts of the peninsula from Oct 16 to Oct 20, a spokesman for the South's defence ministry said on Monday.North Korea has called joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea as a "rehearsal for war".On Sunday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that President Donald Trump had instructed him to continue diplomatic efforts to calm rising tensions with North Korea, saying "those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops".Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen sharply in recent weeks following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang, including its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3 and two missile launches over Japan, and a war of words between the United States and North Korea.North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile which it believes can reach the west coast of the United States, said a Russian lawmaker who returned from a visit to Pyongyang earlier this month.Source: channelnewsasia
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Early Results Show Jeenbekov Leading Vote Count In Kyrgyz Presidential Election
Publish Time: 2017-10-15 18:40:00
Preliminary results from Kyrgyzstan's presidential election indicate that Sooronbai Jeenbekov, a political ally of incumbent President Almazbek Atambaev, is leading with more than 50 percent of the vote.First official results are expected at 10 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), two hours after polls were closed.The vote could result in the first peaceful transfer of power from one popularly elected president to another in Central Asia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.While dirty tricks, arrests, and the alleged abuse of the levers of power cast a pall over the campaign, a smooth election and orderly succession would bolster Kyrgyzstan’s credentials as an island of democracy in the region’s authoritarian sea.A total of 11 candidates, including one woman, are vying to replace President Almazbek Atambaev, who is constitutionally barred from running for a second consecutive six-year term.The three leading contenders - Omurbek Babanov, Temir Sariev, and Jeenbekov -- were all prime ministers during Atambaev's term in office, raising expectations of policy continuity in a country that has to balance the often-competing interests between neighbors Russia and China.Source: www.rferl.org
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Bomb Attack in Mogadishu Kills 231
Publish Time: 2017-10-15 17:34:00
A huge truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has killed 231 people and injured 275, Abshir Abdi Ahmed, a Somali senator said Sunday, citing doctors at hospitals.It is believed to be the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.Doctors struggled to assist horrifically wounded victims, many burnt beyond recognition. Officials feared the toll would continue to climb from Saturday's truck bomb that targeted a busy street near key ministries.Ambulance sirens still echoed across the city as bewildered families wandered in the rubble of buildings, looking for missing relatives. "In our 10 year experience as the first responder in #Mogadishu, we haven't seen anything like this," the Aamin Ambulance service tweeted.Grief overwhelmed many. "There's nothing I can say. We have lost everything," wept Zainab Sharif, a mother of four who lost her husband. She sat outside a hospital where he was pronounced dead after hours of efforts by doctors to save him from an arterial injury.President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. "I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate," he said."The hospital is overwhelmed by both dead and wounded. We also received people whose limbs were cut away by the bomb. This is really horrendous, unlike any other time in the past," said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, the director of Medina hospital.Source: NBC News 
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Austrians are voting in a general election
Publish Time: 2017-10-15 16:10:00
Polling stations have opened in Austria, where voters will decide whether the country moves towards the right after decades of centrist policies.Three parties are vying for first place in Sunday's national election: the Social Democrats, the People's Party and the Freedom Party.The centre-left Social Democrats have campaigned on reducing social inequality. The other two have focused on concerns about immigration and Islam.Both the People's Party and the Freedom Party have called for securing Austria's borders and quickly deporting asylum-seekers whose requests are denied.Polls show the popularity of People's Party head Sebastian Kurz has put his party ahead. At 31, he would become Europe's youngest leader if his party wins and he can form a government.Source: Independent 
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Hillary Clinton: I personally continue to believe in the value of the European Union
Publish Time: 2017-10-15 12:37:00
Hillary Clinton has been visiting Wales, where she was awarded an honourary degree at Swansea University.With the Brexit negotiations deadlocked a few hours earlier, in a speech to the audience, she took the opportunity to give her views on Brexit, likening the public atmosphere in the UK to that of the US.I personally continue to believe in the value of the European Union, and more broadly of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. No small accomplishment. And Britain has always been a lynchpin of that vision. What’s missing in both of our countries (US and UK) at the moment it seems to me, and what we need more than anything else, is empathy.However, Brexit rolls on despite another round of seemingly fruitless negotiations, with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker saying again that Britain must commit to paying what it owes to the European Union before talks can begin about a future relationship with the bloc.Source: Euronews 
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Kyrgyzstan holds presidential vote
Update Time: 2017-10-15 12:02:00
Kyrgyzstan will choose its 5th president in its seventh presidential election.3,025,768 citizens of Kyrgyzstan are eligible to cast ballots - 2,908,453 in Kyrgyzstan and 18,580 outside the country.2,375 polling stations are open from 8 am to 8 pm GMT+6.37 polling stations opened in abroad, including Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Uzbekistan, Japan, Germany, the United States and other countries.Some 775 international observers are monitoring the ongoing presidential election in Kyrgyzstan. This information came from the press conference held today in Bishkek.Source: akipress
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Voting begins in early legislative elections in Austria
Update Time: 2017-10-15 12:00:00
Austrians are voting in a general election in which the frontrunner, conservative People's Party (ÖVP) leader Sebastian Kurz, is just 31.The far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) and Social Democrats are competing for second place, opinion polls suggest.The Social Democrats led the outgoing coalition with the ÖVP.Immigration has been a dominant issue in the campaign and the FPÖ is thought to have its best chance in years of returning to government.The party narrowly missed out on the presidency in December when Norbert Hofer was defeated by Alexander Van der Bellen, head of the Greens, who won with about 53% of the votes.Source: BBC
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Harvey Weinstein Ousted From Motion Picture Academy
Publish Time: 2017-10-15 11:37:00
Hollywood’s de facto governing body, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to “immediately expel” Harvey Weinstein, breaking with 90 years of precedent and turning one of the biggest Oscar players in history into a hall-of-fame pariah.The academy’s 54-member board of governors made the decision at an emergency session after investigations by The New York Times and The New Yorker that revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against him going back decades.In a statement, the academy said the vote was well in excess of the required two-thirds majority.It added, We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.The academy said it would work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all academy members will be expected to exemplify.Source: NY Times
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Death toll rises to 40 as firefighters continue to battle massive California wildfires
Publish Time: 2017-10-15 11:21:00
As the death toll rose to 40, firefighters struggled Saturday to get the upper hand against several massive wildfires that have ravaged Northern California for almost a week.Strong winds kicked up overnight in the central Napa Valley region, causing some fires to spread and triggering evacuations in Sonoma and elsewhere, officials said.Fire officials feared that winds forecast for Saturday would be similar to those that stoked the first flames on Oct. 8 and that have since exploded to more than 15 fires that have scorched 220,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures and caused at least 40 deaths.Despite low humidity and red flag warnings throughout the region, however, the winds appeared to calm down Saturday afternoon, aiding firefighters who have been battling the fire around the clock, officials said.Officials warned that the biggest threat remains the low humidity, with the dry air continuing to transform grass and vegetation into fuel.Source: LATimes 
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100 IS fighters surrender in Raqa in 24 hours: US-led coalition
Publish Time: 2017-10-14 13:40:00
Dozens of Islamic State group fighters have surrendered over the past day in their one-time bastion Raqa, the US-led coalition backing the offensive on the Syrian city said Saturday."Within the past 24 hours, approximately 100 ISIS terrorists have surrendered in Raqa, and were removed from the city," the coalition said in an emailed statement to AFP. "Foreign fighters are not being allowed to leave Raqa," it said.Earlier on Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said all Syrian IS jihadists -- numbering around 200 fighters -- had left their former stronghold with their families. "All Syrian fighters from the Islamic State group left Raqa over the past five days," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman, saying they headed to unknown destinations.A Raqa official told AFP that Syrian IS members had surrendered overnight to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling to take full control of the city, without specifying how many. "They sent a message to the Raqa Civil Council and to the tribal mediators," the official said. "Those that surrendered are local, not foreigners -- the foreigners have not handed themselves in yet," he said.Members of the council -- a provisional administration for the city set up by the SDF -- had been working with tribal leaders throughout the week to try to secure safe passage for civilians.Hundreds of civilians have managed to flee the battle-ravaged city, which once served as the de facto Syrian capital of the jihadist group.According to Abdel Rahman, up to 150 foreign jihadists remain in the city and negotiations on their fate are still ongoing. "The foreign fighters are asking to leave in one group towards areas under IS control in Deir Ezzor province," in eastern Syria, he said.But a spokesman for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which spearhead the SDF, denied on Saturday that any discussions were taking place for the surrender of the city. "We completely deny any negotiations or deal for the exit of Daesh. Until this very moment, we are fighting Daesh," Nuri Mahmoud told AFP, using the Arabic acronym for IS.Backed by US-led coalition air strikes, the SDF's Arab and Kurdish fighters have recaptured around 90 percent of Raqa from IS.
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Northern California Wildfires: At Least 35 Dead, 90K Left Homeless
Publish Time: 2017-10-14 11:03:00
At least 35 people have died in what has been the deadliest week of wildfires in California history, and officials warned the toll could climb.The scale of the disaster also became clearer Friday as authorities said the fires had chased an estimated 90,000 people from their homes and destroyed at least 5,700 homes and businesses, the Associated Press is reporting.But a fifth day of desperate firefighting brought a glimmer of hope as crews battling the flames reported their first progress toward containing the massive blazes. "The emergency is not over, and we continue to work at it, but we are seeing some great progress," said the state's emergency operations director, Mark Ghilarducci.Over the past 24 hours, crews arrived from Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Oregon and Arizona. Other teams came from as far away as Canada and Australia.The Northern California infernos have killed more people than any single fire in state history, the AP reported. Officials originally cited the 1991 Oakland Hills fire as the deadliest single fire in California history, but it was actually the 1933 Griffith Park fire, which killed 29 people, that was the deadliest.Officials searching were searching burned areas of Sonoma and Napa counties with cadaver dogs Thursday night when they recovered more bodies, said Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano. 
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Iranian President responds to Trump's decision on nuclear deal
Publish Time: 2017-10-14 00:19:00
Within an hour of President Trump's announcement that he would not certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, Iran's president took to the air, pushing back hard, CBS News reports. President Hassan Rouhani called Mr. Trump's accusations "abusive" and "downright wrong." Mr. Trump, Rouhani said, doesn't understand that the U.S. can't change a multinational agreement all by itself. So for that reason, Iran will stay in the nuclear deal. However, he hinted Iran may escalate its conventional weapons program, possibly its development of ballistic missiles. 
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Death toll from Northern California fires jumps to 31; names of 10 victims released
Publish Time: 2017-10-13 07:50:00
Fire crews began to make slow progress against wildfires that have killed at least 31 people in Northern California’s wine country as officials continued the grim search for more bodies amid the ashes.In Santa Rosa, the hardest hit by the fires, officials said they were stunned by the scale of the destruction. An estimated 2,834 homes were destroyed in the city of Santa Rosa alone, along with about 400,000 square feet of commercial space, Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey said in a news conference Thursday afternoon.Flames left entire neighborhoods and commercial districts in ruins and even destroyed the city’s newest fire station, on Fountaingrove Parkway.Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano told reporters that another person was found dead in his county as search crews and cadaver dogs began sifting through debris for the first time Thursday.Later Thursday, officials confirmed the discovery of several more bodies. Of the 31 deaths, 17 were in Sonoma County, eight were in Mendocino County, four were in Yuba County and two were in Napa County, according to Sonoma County, Cal Fire and Yuba County officials.Taken together, the death toll from the wildfires in the wine country has now exceeded that of the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which totaled 25. The Cedar fire, which swept through San Diego County in 2003, killed 15 people and destroyed more than 2,800 structures.Late Thursday, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office identified 10 people who died in that county. 
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Presentation of “Tasting Georgia” in US
Publish Time: 2017-10-11 18:28:00
A presentation of book “Tasting Georgia,” book by Carla Capalbo, Italian Photographer and traveler was held at the Embassy of Georgia in US. The book tells about Georgian food and wine traditions. It includes recipes, photos and maps. The idea for Tasting Georgia, food and wine journey in the Caucasus was born in June, 2013, when the author visited the country for the first time.
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Poroshenko answered President of Czech Republic for a proposal to sell Crimea
Publish Time: 2017-10-11 15:38:00
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko categorically rejected the proposal of Czech President Miloš Zeman that the Crimea is a "completed business", so you can bargain. He stated this at a meeting of the PACE."I firmly reject the statement of those who speak of the Crimea as a" completed case ". This rostrum was created not for appeals for appeasement, nor for appeals to bargain with territories for money, oil or gas. This has never happened, "Poroshenko said, as reported by Front News.On Tuesday, October 10, Czech President Miloš Zeman during a speech at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said that the annexation of the Crimea is a completed matter and offered Ukraine to receive compensation either financially or by oil and gas.The Crimean Peninsula and the city of Sevastopol were illegally annexed by Russia in March 2014. No civilized country in the world has recognized this annexation. Ukraine poses the question of the return of the Crimea on all international venues.
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At least 13 dead after police use force to end Mexico prison riot
Publish Time: 2017-10-11 08:35:00
At least 13 inmates have died in a prison riot in northern Mexico that authorities ended with lethal force, a state security official has said.Spokesman Aldo Fasci said the riot occurred at the state prison in Cadereyta and the death toll could climb because eight people were in a critical condition.The battle began overnight in the prison, just outside the city of Monterrey. All afternoon, desperate families battled authorities outside the prison gates, demanding information about their relatives inside as black smoke poured from several points inside the facility.Several hours of attempted negotiations failed and police using non-lethal force were unable to quell the riot, Mr Fasci said, so it was decided lethal force would be necessary to protect the lives of guards and prisoners.Authorities could see through video monitors that at least one prisoner had already been killed and guards had been taken hostage, Mr Fasci said, as reported by ABC News. The guards were being held and beaten on the roof. "If they had not taken these decisions right now we would be talking about many more dead," Mr Fasci said.The trouble started Monday night (local time) when one of the half-dozen gangs that is normally kept apart inside the prison protested.The protest died down, but early on Tuesday morning fighting broke out and a prisoner was killed and his body burned, according to Mr Fasci.When police first went in trying to take control, they were met by about 150 prisoners who attacked them with metal tools and rubble from work that was being carried out inside the prison.No guards were killed in the violence, but a police officer was gravely wounded with a punctured lung. It is 4,000 inmates against 300 guards, Mr Fasci said, adding the facility was not designed for that many prisoners or prisoners of the risk level it holds. "It's very difficult to keep them in order," he said.He said autopsies would be required to determine how many were killed by other inmates and how many by authorities.At least two appeared to have died from bullet wounds. In March, four inmates in the same prison died after they took control of a prison pharmacy and apparently overdosed.
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