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Turkey in cross-border operation to free IS-held Syrian town

Turkey in cross-border operation to free IS-held Syrian townAfter a pre-dawn barrage of heavy artillery and airstrikes, Turkey sent tanks and special forces into Syria on Wednesday to help clear a border town of Islamic State militants, marking the NATO member's ...


Powerful 6.8 magnitude quake hits Myanmar: USGS

The quake, which the US Geological Survey said struck at a depth of 84 kilometres (52 miles), caused high-rise buildings in the Thai capital of Bangkok to sway, AFP journalists reportedA powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Myanmar Wednesday, the US Geological Survey reported, just south of the ancient city of Bagan, a major tourist destination. The quake, which the agency said struck at a depth of 84 kilometres (52 miles), swayed high-rise buildings in the Thai capital of Bangkok, AFP journalists reported. "Services of the underground railway have been suspended fearing aftershocks of the quake," Kolkata Metro Railway spokesman Indrani Banerjee told AFP.


Laziz the tiger and friends leave Gaza for new life

A tiger evacuated from a zoo in the Gaza Strip is checked by members of the "Four Paws" organization and vets from the Israeli Hebrew University veterinary teaching hospital in Beit Dagan on August 24, 2016, before being transported to South AfricaGaza's last tiger left the war-ravaged Palestinian enclave Wednesday with monkeys, emus, a porcupine and other animals from a zoo dubbed the "world's worst", heading for a new life in South Africa and elsewhere. Laziz (Cutey in Arabic) the tiger and the 15 other remaining animals from the Khan Yunis zoo were driven on a trailer in cages to the Erez crossing before dawn, an AFP journalist said. The animals crossed the border en route to sanctuaries and zoos in South Africa, Jordan and Israel "to provide them a better quality of life", the Israeli army said in a statement.


Deaf driver's shooting death by trooper under investigation

Deaf driver's shooting death by trooper under investigationThe North Carolina Highway Patrol is urging people not to jump to conclusions as state agents investigate how a deaf driver with a history of minor offenses ended up dead after leading a trooper on a 10-mile ...


Leaked DCNS documents 'neither critical nor confidential': source
PARIS (Reuters) - Leaked documents about French naval contractor DCNS' Scorpene submarines appear to be neither critical nor confidential, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday. "It seems to be sensitive information but appears neither critical nor confidential," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; writing by Michel Rose; editing by Richard Lough)

The Latest: Quake-hit Italian city famed for spaghetti dish

A man walks amid rubbles after an earthquake struck in Amatrice Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)AMATRICE, Italy (AP) ? The Latest on the earthquake in central Italy (all times local):


Pro-independence Basque leader*s election candidacy blocked

FILE - A Saturday, March 5, 2016 file photo of Arnaldo Otegi, a prominent Basque separatist politician, gesturing as he receives a tribute during a political meeting, in San Sebastian, northern Spain. Basque authorities say the prominent regional leader who was jailed for his links with the outlawed armed group ETA canīt stand as candidate in upcoming elections because his sentence bans him from holding office until 2021.(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, File)MADRID (AP) ? Basque authorities say a prominent regional leader who was jailed for his links with the outlawed armed group ETA can*t stand as candidate in upcoming elections because his sentence bans him from holding office until 2021.


Clinton proposes new federal fund to combat Zika virus
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) ? As the Zika virus continues to spread, Hillary Clinton is proposing a new fund to improve the federal government's response to major public health crises.

Recordings of tiger sounds aim to help save wild population

In this May 11, 2016, photo, a tiger roars as he sits in a nonpublic area at the Milwaukee County Zoo. The zoo is one of at least 20 nationally who are helping The Prusten Project capture audio of tigers. Organizers are building a computer program with the zoo audio to be used to build a computer program that will be used when they start recording tigers in the wild next year. The program is expected to identify tigers by their voices, which will help determine more accurate population numbers so organizations know where to focus protection efforts. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)MILWAUKEE (AP) ? Tigers use a grunt-like snort called chuffing as a greeting, short roars for intimidation and long roars to find mates.


North Korea's sub-launched missile flew at high angle: Yonhap
SEOUL (Reuters) - The North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile fired on Wednesday flew at a high trajectory and has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) at a normal angle, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said, without citing a source. The missile traveled about 500 km, South Korean officials said. The Yonhap report also said North Korea used solid fuel and succeeded in separating first and second stages of the rocket. South Korea's Defense Ministry was not immediately available to comment. (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Nick Macfie)

"Voices under the rubble" after quake hits Italy; at least 38 dead

People stand by a road following a quake in AmatriceBy Steve Scherer ACCUMOLI, Italy (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake devastated a string of mountainous towns in central Italy on Wednesday, trapping residents under piles of rubble, killing at least 38 people and leaving thousands homeless. A family of four, including two boys aged 8 months and 9 years, were buried when their house in Accumoli imploded. At the Vatican, Pope Francis cancelled part of his general audience to pray for the victims.


North Korean submarine missile launch shows improved ability

A man watches a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. North Korea on Wednesday fired a ballistic missile from a submarine into the sea in an apparent protest against the start of annual South Korea-U.S. military drills, Seoul's military said. The letters read "North Korea fired a missile during UFG, Ulchi Freedom Guardian." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) ? A ballistic missile fired from a North Korean submarine on Wednesday flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles), the longest flight ever by the North for such a weapon, Seoul officials said, and range that can place all of South Korea, and possibly parts of Japan, within its striking distance.


Pro-Ankara Syrian rebels 'take village near Jarabulus from IS'

Turkish army tanks and pro-Ankara Syrian opposition fighter trucks pictured two kilometres west of the Syrian town of Jarabulus, in an image taken from the Turkish border city of Karkamis on August 24, 2016Pro-Ankara Syrian rebels on Wednesday seized a village inside Syria from Islamic State (IS) jihadists as part of the Turkey-led operation against the extremist group, Turkish state media said. The Syrian fighters took the village of Keklijah five kilometres (three miles) west of the IS-held main regional town of Jarabulus and three kilometres (two miles) from the border, Anadolu agency said, in the first reported military success of the operation launched before dawn. The agency published images of the forces walking into the village looking relaxed and facing no resistance.


Syrian government condemns Turkish incursion
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned Turkey's military incursion against an Islamic State-held Syrian town near its border, aided by aircraft from a U.S.-led coalition, as a breach of its sovereignty, Syrian state television reported. It added that any counter terrorism operations inside its borders had to be conducted in coordination with Damascus and accused Ankara of launching the incursion to replace Islamic State with "other terrorist groups", a reference to rebels. (Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Source of submarine document leak 'from overseas': Indian defense ministry
India's defense ministry said on Wednesday that the source of secret documents detailing the capabilities of the French-designed Scorpene submarine being built for the Indian navy appeared to be "from overseas and not from India". Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said earlier the security breach appeared to have been the work of hackers. The leak, first reported in The Australian newspaper, contains more than 22,000 pages outlining the secret combat capability of six submarines that DCNS of France has designed for the Indian Navy.

The Latest: Syrian denounces Turkey's incursion into Syria

A Turkish army tank and an armored vehicle are stationed near the border with Syria, in Karkamis, Turkey, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. Turkish media reports say Turkish artillery on Tuesday launched new strikes at Islamic State targets across the border in Syria, after two mortar rounds, believed to have been fired by the militants, hit the town of Karkamis, in Turkey's Gaziantep province. Hurriyet newspaper and other reports said the mortar rounds were fired from IS-held Jarablus, Syria.(IHA via AP)ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ? The Latest developments in the civil war in Syria (all times local):


Long Island artist paints Pokemon mural
HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (AP) ? A Long Island artist has captured all the Pokemon critters ? on a 25-foot-high wall of his studio, that is.

France's DCNS says assessing if leak of submarine data harms clients
PARIS (Reuters) - French naval contractor DCNS on Wednesday said it was working to determine if harm had been caused to its clients by a massive leak of secret documents about its Scorpene submarines published in Australian media. "We're going to determine ... if harm was caused to our clients and establish action plans," a company spokesman said. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; writing by Michel Rose; editing by Richard Lough)

Syria operation will be turning point in fight against Islamic State: Turkey minister
The operation to cleanse Islamic State militants from the northern Syrian town of Jarablus will be a turning point in the fight against the hardline group, Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday. Mevlut Cavusoglu also said on his official Twitter account that the Jarablus operation will accelerate the removal of Islamic State from Syria's northern Aleppo region. "We don't need to fight against mosquitoes, our aim is to eradicate the swamp and remove threats against Turkey," he said.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of aggression in Syria
ISTANBUL/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian Kurdish officials attacked Turkey's military intervention in Syria as "a blatant aggression" and warned that Ankara was entering a "quagmire" after it deployed tanks and troops against an Islamic State-held border town on Wednesday. Turkish forces and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have crossed the border to take the town of Jarablus from Islamic State in an operation described by Ankara as aimed at securing its frontier against both the jihadist group and Kurdish fighters. Saleh Muslim, head of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), wrote in a tweet that "Turkey is in Syrian quagmire", adding that it "will be defeated as Daesh", using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

Ahead of the Bell: US existing-home sales

Ahead of the Bell: US existing-home salesThe National Association of Realtors reports on July sales of existing homes Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern. SALES DIP: Economists expect that sales fell 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate ...


Zimbabwe abolishes 8,000 jobs in agriculture ministry to cut wages

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at the United Nations Headquarters in New YorkZimbabwe's government plans to abolish about half the jobs in the agriculture department, a government official said on Wednesday, as President Robert Mugabe's administration struggles to pay public service wages. Zimbabwe, which spends 82 percent of its national annual budget on wages, said on Monday it would no longer hire new public workers as it struggles to pay soldiers, police, teachers and other employees.


France's DCNS does not rule out 'economic war' after documents leak
French naval contractor DCNS said on Wednesday that it could not rule out that leaked documents on submarines built for India were part of an "economic war" by competitors after the firm won a tender in Australia earlier this year. "For now we don't know if the information is correct," a DCNS spokeswoman said. "The competition is more and more hard and all means can be used in this context." "There is India, Australia and other prospects, and other countries could raise legitimate questions over DCNS.

Qatari state fund buys stake in NY's Empire State Building
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) ? Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has made an iconic purchase in America ? a stake in the company that owns New York's Empire State Building.

Major earthquakes in Italy since start of 20th century
ROME (Reuters) - A strong earthquake brought down buildings in mountainous central Italy early on Wednesday, trapping residents and sending others fleeing into the streets. A preliminary count hours after the quake struck put the death toll at more than 10. Here is a list of major earthquakes in Italy since the start of the 20th century: - Dec 28, 1908 - More than 82,000 people are killed in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which reduces Sicily's second largest city Messina to rubble and damages the city of Reggio Calabria across the straits on the mainland. ...

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels capture village 3 km inside Syria - Anadolu
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces have captured a village outside the town of Jarablus and 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) inside Syria, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday. Free Syrian Army fighters liberated the village of Keklice, Anadolu said. They are part of an operation aimed at clearing Islamic State from Jarablus. Turkish tank units earlier on Wednesday crossed the border and entered into Syria as part of the operation, which is backed by jets and U.S.-led coalition warplanes. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan)

China says opposes anything that causes Korean tensions
BEIJING (Reuters) - China opposes North Korea's nuclear missile program as well as any words or deeds that cause tension on the Korean peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Wednesday. The comments were carried on the website of China's foreign ministry. They follow North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine earlier on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (310 miles) towards Japan. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)

At least 38 dead as strong earth quake rocks central Italy

At least 38 dead as strong earth quake rocks central ItalyAMATRICE, Italy (AP) ? A devastating earthquake rocked central Italy early Wednesday, collapsing homes on top of residents as they slept. At least 38 people were killed in hard-hit towns where rescue crews raced to dig survivors out of the rubble, but the toll was likely to rise as crews reached homes in more remote hamlets.


In dry, windy West, crews target flames in several states

Smoke fills the sky in a view north toward Yellowstone National Park from Leeks Marina in Moose, Wyo., on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. Visitors headed north are being stopped at Leeks. In neighboring Yellowstone, a fire grew near West Entrance Road. A team of fire managers was being brought in to help, although the fire was not yet being actively suppressed. (AP Photo/Dave Zelio)YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) ? Growing wildfires stoked by windy, dry conditions have destroyed buildings and forced evacuations in California, Washington, Montana and elsewhere.


Dozens dead as Italy struck by powerful quake

Rescuers search among damaged buildings in Arquata del Tronto after a strong earthquake hit central Italy on August 24, 2016A powerful pre-dawn earthquake devastated mountain villages in central Italy on Wednesday, leaving at least 38 people dead and dozens more injured, trapped or missing. Italy's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll there had been 38 deaths in and around the villages of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto. "There are still so many people under masonry, so many missing," said Immacolata Postiglione, the head of the unit's emergency department.


Indian submarine data leaked from French shipbuilder
PARIS (AP) ? Sensitive data on submarines designed for India's navy have leaked from a leading French shipbuilder with military customers around the world.

Floods in Ethiopia displace hundreds of thousands as more rains forecast - U.N.

The United Nations logo is displayed on a door at U.N. headquarters in New YorkBy Katy Migiro NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 600,000 Ethiopians have fled their homes since March, largely due to flooding, the United Nations said on Wednesday, with more rain predicted up to December. Ethiopia was hit in 2015 by one of the worst droughts in decades, with 10 million requiring emergency aid, which ended when the spring rains arrived in March. Almost 300,000 people were displaced between March and June due to floods, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its latest update.


Turkish-backed Syrian rebels capture village three kilometers inside Syria: Anadolu
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces have captured a village outside the town of Jarablus and 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) inside Syria, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday. Free Syrian Army fighters liberated the village of Keklice, Anadolu said. They are part of an operation aimed at clearing Islamic State from Jarablus. Turkish tank units earlier on Wednesday crossed the border and entered into Syria as part of the operation, which is backed by jets and U.S.-led coalition warplanes. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan)

Turkish tanks, special forces launch first major push into Syria to battle IS

Turkish army tanks and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters make their way in the Syrian border town of Jarablus as it is pictured from the Turkish town of KarkamisBy Ayla Jean Yackley and Umit Ozdal ISTANBUL/KARKAMIS, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by planes from the U.S.-led coalition launched their first co-ordinated offensive into Syria on Wednesday to try to drive Islamic State from the border and prevent further gains by Kurdish militia fighters. Turkish tank units and Syrian rebels backed by the NATO member crossed into northern Syria to push Islamic State out of the border town of Jarablus, military sources said. A Reuters reporter at the border counted six Turkish tanks inside Syria and witnessed intense bombardments.


MPs push for ban on plastic microbeads
Britain should ban the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and toiletries, a group of lawmakers has recommended, saying companies' voluntary efforts to phase them out were not enough. Microbeads are tiny plastic particles used as exfoliants in toothpastes, face washes, scrubs and shower gels. "A single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean," said Mary Creagh, chair of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, which delivered its recommendation on Wednesday to the government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

UK banks approve fewest mortgages since January 2015, consumer credit growth strong

A home is advertised for sale in LondonThe number of mortgages approved by British banks fell to its lowest in a year in the month following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, but robust credit growth added to signs that the decision has had little impact on consumers so far. British banks approved 37,662 mortgages for house purchases last month, down from 39,763 in June and 19 percent lower than in July 2015, the British Bankers' Association said. Net credit card lending rose in July by 291 million pounds after a 283 million pound increase in June, a 20 percent increase on the same time a year ago.


California bill to repeal 'tampon tax' heads to governor

A detail of a tampons box is seen in LondonCalifornia lawmakers on Tuesday sent a bill to end state sales taxes on feminine hygiene products to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the latest success for a nationwide bipartisan effort to end the so-called tampon tax. The bill, which would add tampons, sanitary napkins and other menstrual products to a list of necessities like food and prescription medicines that are not taxed, won unanimous support in the state Assembly on Tuesday, Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia said. "Fundamentally, this is about gender equity and leveling the field," Garcia, who represents parts of suburban Los Angeles, said in a news release.


Rio police say evidence links Hickey to ticket scam

Patrick Hickey (right) enters a police station in Rio on August 18, 2016 after being arrestedBrazilian police said they have uncovered evidence linking the detained head of the Olympic Council of Ireland Patrick Hickey to a Rio Games ticket scam. Hickey, 71, also head of the European Olympic Committees and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, has been held in a Brazilian top security prison since police raided his Rio hotel on August 15 during the Olympics as part of their probe into the affair. Warrants for the arrest of four others were issued including Marcus Evans, a British businessman who is also the chairman of Ipswich football club in England.


AstraZeneca to sell molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer
LONDON (AP) ? Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plans to sell its molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer in a deal that will be valued in excess of $1.5 billion when rights, royalties and other payments are included.

UBS leads team of banks working on blockchain settlement system

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the entrance of office building in ZurichBy Jemima Kelly LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS is leading a team of four of the world's biggest banks developing a system to enable financial markets to make payments and settle transactions quickly using blockchain technology. UBS has developed a "Utility Settlement Coin" (USC), which is a digital cash equivalent of each of the major currencies backed by central banks, such as the dollar or euro, rather than a decentralized new digital currency such as bitcoin. The USC would be convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency, making it fully backed by cash assets at a central bank.


 
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