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Tuesday, Sep 16th

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U.S., Europe hit Russia with new sanctions

Sanctions against RussiaPresident Obama and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Russia Tuesday that they said will further cripple its economy, hopefully forcing President Vladimir Putin to end his support of armed rebels in Ukraine and to seek peace.

While previous sanctions have focused on specific businesses and individuals, the new set is designed to hit major pillars of the Russian economy, including oil and gas supplies and technology, banking and finance, and arms sales. Close associates of Putin are also targeted.

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Iraqi Kurdish oil tanker to be seized by US authorities

Kurdish oil tankerA tanker carrying $100m (£59m) of Iraqi Kurdish oil is set to be seized by US marshals on Tuesday.

The tanker - carrying an estimated one million barrels of oil - arrived off the coast of Texas on Saturday but had yet to be unloaded.

A US judge approved the seizure request which was sent from the Iraqi government overnight on Monday.  Tensions between the Iraqi government and the autonomous Kurdish region have been raised recently.

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China regulator announces anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft

China targets MicrosoftA Chinese regulator said on Tuesday it is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) over its Windows operating system, in the latest in a growing number of competition probes that have unnerved Western firms in China.

China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) was also investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and had made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the agency said on its website.

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Israel bombs Gaza's only power plant as Netanyahu promises 'prolonged campaign'

Gaza power plant hitIsraeli missiles destroyed Gaza's only power station early Tuesday, the latest in the increasingly volatile conflict between the Israeli government and Hamas.

Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned citizens the ongoing conflict against Palestine will be part of a long campaign against Hamas, Israel launched 76 strikes Monday into Tuesday, attacking Gaza's only source of electricity for 1.8 million Palestinians and targeting key pillars of infrastructure.

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Palestinians Say Strikes Hit Gaza Hospital, Park

Gaza hospital hitThe Gaza police operations room and a Palestinian health official say separate Israeli airstrikes hit the compound of Gaza City's main hospital and a nearby park, causing casualties.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Camera crews were prevented from filming the area of impact at Shifa Hospital. Health official Ayman Sahabani says several people were wounded in the strikes.

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U.N. Security Council calls for 'immediate and unconditional' Mideast cease-fire

UN calls for cease fireFollowing an emergency midnight session, the United Nations Security Council issued a presidential statement early Monday calling for an "immediate and unconditional" cease-fire in order for humanitarian assistance to be delivered to Gaza.

Rwanda's Ambassador to the U.N. and current UNSC President Eugene Richard Gassan posted on Twitter that the 15-member Council:

-- "expresses grave concern regarding deterioration in situation as a result of crisis related to Gaza and loss of civilians and casualties;

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U.S. releases images showing Russia firing into Ukraine

Photos: Russia fires into UkraineThe United States released a series of satellite images Sunday that appear to support its claims that Russian forces have fired across the border into Ukraine to support rebels there, suggesting a new level of direct Russian involvement in the conflict.

The images show artillery and rocket-blast signatures inside Russia and craters formed by the artillery strikes in Ukraine.

Washington has accused Russia of arming, training and financing separatists in Ukraine.

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