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Amal Alamuddin refuses UN offer to investigate possible war crimes in Gaza

AllamuddinAmal Alamuddin, the British-Lebanese human rights lawyer who is engaged to George Clooney, has turned down a United Nations offer to investigate war crimes in Gaza.

The UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council announced on Monday that she would serve on a three-member commission of inquiry looking into possible violations of the rules of war during the Israeli offensive against Hamas.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Orders Troops To Guard Baghdad Amid 'Coup' Talk

maliki and assadSpecial forces loyal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were deployed in strategic areas of Baghdad on Sunday night after he delivered a tough speech indicating he would not cave in to pressure to drop a bid for a third term, police sources said.

Pro-Maliki Shi'ite militias stepped up patrols in the capital, police said. An eyewitness said a tank was stationed at the entrance to Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses government buildings.

In a speech on state television, Maliki accused Iraq's Kurdish President Fouad Masoum of violating the constitution by missing a deadline for him to ask the biggest political bloc to nominate a prime minister and form a government.

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Israel, Palestinians Agree to New 3-Day Truce in Gaza Strip

New Gaza truce for 3 daysIsrael and Gaza Strip militants agreed to Egypt’s proposal for another 72-hour truce, to give negotiators time to try to craft a more enduring accord after a month of violence in the Hamas-ruled territory.

Media on both sides said the cease-fire would go into effect at midnight. More than 1,900 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, have been killed, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, and 67 people have died on the Israeli side, including three civilians.

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Airplane crashes on takeoff in Iran, killing 48

Iran plane crashAn Iranian regional passenger plane crashed Sunday while taking off from the capital, Tehran, killing 48 people onboard, state media reported.

The aircraft, an Iran-140 typically used for short domestic flights, crashed near Tehran's Mehrabad airport, Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported. The plane went down in a residential area after its engine went out, the agency reported.

Iranian state television said 48 people were killed in the crash: 40 passengers and eight crew members. The plane, operated by Sepahan Air, was heading to Tabas, a town in eastern Iran. It took off at 9:20 a.m. local time (0450 GMT) and crashed shortly afterward.

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Anti-Semitism flares in Europe amid Gaza war

Anti-Semmitism in EuropeFour weeks of fighting between Hamas militants and Israel fueled a rise in anti-Semitism outbursts across Europe, ranging from violent attacks to chants of "Deaths to the Jews" at anti-Israel demonstrations.

In Germany and other European countries — especially France, which has a large Jewish and Muslim population — Jews have been attacked on the street, synagogues have been bombed, Jewish groups have received hate mail and anti-Semitic slogans have been spray-painted on buildings.

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Rohingya children in Myanmar camps going hungry

Rohingya children starvingBorn just over a year ago, Dosmeda Bibi has spent her entire short life confined to a camp for one of the world's most persecuted religious minorities. And like a growing number of other Rohingya children who are going hungry, she's showing the first signs of severe malnutrition.

Her stomach is bloated and her skin clings tightly to the bones of her tiny arms and legs. While others her age are sitting or standing, the baby girl cannot flip from her back to her stomach without a gentle nudge from her mom.

"I'm scared she won't live much longer," whispers Hameda Begum as she gazes into her daughter's dark, sunken eyes. "We barely have any food. On some days I can only scrape together a few bites of rice for her to eat."

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Israel, Hamas resume fire after 3-day Gaza truce

truce endsGaza militants resumed rocket attacks on Israel on Friday, refusing to extend a three-day truce after Egyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes, including one that killed a 10-year-old boy and wounded five children near a Gaza City mosque, Palestinian officials said. Two Israelis were wounded by rocket fire, police said.

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