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Monday, Dec 22nd

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Accident at largest nuclear power plant in Europe revealed by Ukraine PM

Ukraine power plant accidentThere has been an accident at a nuclear plant in the southeast of Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has revealed during the first session of his new Cabinet.

A minor accident occurred at Zaporozhskaya nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, last Friday, according to the facility’s website. A reactor was switched off and put to maintenance as a result.

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Belgium Set To Recognize 'Palestine' State

Belgium set to recognize palestinian stateThe parties that make up Belgium’s federal government have agreed to recognize Palestinian statehood unilaterally, a Belgian daily reported.

The four parties reached an agreement earlier this week, the Le Soir daily reported Wednesday. They intend to submit a motion to parliament formulating support for recognizing Palestinian statehood, which the parties intend to pass in parliament and which the government is planning to implement.

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30 years later, disaster haunts Bhopal survivors

BhopalThree decades after lethal gas swept through Bhopal, the central Indian city remains haunted by memories of the world's worst industrial disaster.

Hundreds of survivors of the gas leak that claimed thousands of lives took to the streets Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster, chanting slogans and carrying placards demanding harsher punishments for those responsible and more compensation for the victims.

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The Power of AIPAC: Congress to pass Israel partnership bill

AIPAC bill to pass congressCongress was poised to give its final approval Wednesday afternoon to a bill that supporters say will create a unique status for Israel and serve as a framework for increased partnership in a number of key sectors, particularly energy and defense.

If all goes as expected, the long-anticipated legislation will represent a significant achievement for the pro-Israel groups that pushed for its passage.

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French parliament votes to recognize Palestinian state

French parliamentFrance’s Socialist-led parliament has passed a symbolic vote to recognize Palestinian statehood, despite staunch objections from Israel. MPs in Britain and Spain have already passed similar motions.

The proposal was passed with 339 votes in favor and 151 against, meaning that it was supported by more than two-thirds of French lawmakers.

Israel immediately responded, saying that the motion would “harm the peace process,” AFP reported.

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US to appeal judge's ruling on Guantánamo Bay force-feeding videos

Gitmo forced feedingsThe Obama administration will ask a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s ruling that it must disclose videos depicting its controversial tube feedings of hunger strikers at Guantánamo Bay.

The long-expected decision from the Justice Department, filed in court on Tuesday, comes two months after Judge Gladys Kessler of the Washington DC federal district court ruled that the government did possess a compelling rationale for preventing the public from viewing the forcible feedings and detention cell removals of a Syrian detainee.

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Detroit Pulls Together Amidst Massive Blackout

Detroit blackoutA widespread power outage Tuesday that caused evacuations of buildings throughout downtown is "another reminder of how much work we still have to do to rebuild the city," Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Duggan, speaking at an afternoon press conference, said DTE is in the early stages of paying for a four-year, $200 million plan to upgrade the city's electrical grid, which has not been modernized in decades. When the transition is complete, DTE will run the system and the city will be out of the power business.

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'Mentally ill' Texas inmate appeals against execution

Mentally ill man fights execution in TexasLawyers for a schizophrenic Texas inmate set to be executed this week have called on the US Supreme Court to halt the lethal injection.

Scott Panetti, 56, is slated for execution on Wednesday for the fatal shootings of his in-laws in 1992.  High court justices in 2002 prohibited the execution of the mentally impaired, but have allowed it for mentally ill inmates with a rational understanding.

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Israel set for elections as Netanyahu fires two ministers

netanyahuIsrael’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has dramatically dismissed two leading members of his cabinet, collapsing his coalition, and firing the starting gun for widely anticipated snap elections.

His decision to dismiss justice minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s lead negotiator in the peace process, and finance minister Yair Lapid, follows weeks of mounting political tensions within Netanyahu’s increasingly dysfunctional coalition.

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