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Friday, Jun 24th

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Bomb attack on Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad kills at least 19: sources

Bomb attack on Shi-ite pilgrimsA suicide bomber driving a car killed at least 19 people and wounded 48 others on Saturday in an attack claimed by Islamic State on a group of Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraqi police sources said.

A second explosion near a Shi'ite militia checkpoint in the capital's Dora district killed two and wounded three others, police sources said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for that blast.

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Sadr supporters storm Baghdad's Green Zone

Iraqis storm Baghdad partliamentThousands of angry protesters have broken into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone and stormed the parliament building after politicians again failed to approve new ministers.

It is the climax of weeks of political turmoil in Iraq that has seen MPs hold a sit-in, brawl in the parliament chamber and seek to sack the speaker, stalling Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's efforts to replace party-affiliated ministers with technocrats.

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Norway oil-rig helicopter crashes on island, killing all 13 aboard

Norway helicopter crash kills 13A helicopter carrying Statoil workers from an offshore rig in the North Sea crashed Friday on an island off western Norway, killing all 13 people on board, rescuers said.

The Airbus EC-225 helicopter shattered into pieces as it slammed just after noon into the rocky shoreline of Turoey, a tiny island outside Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city.

“We do not believe anyone can be found alive,” said Boerge Galta of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center. The rescue operation was called off Friday at 5 p.m. after 11 bodies were found on land but divers were still looking for the other two bodies.

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N. Korea Jails Another U.S. Citizen for spying

Kim Dong Chul jailed in N. KoreaNorth Korea has sentenced a US man to 10 years of hard labour for spying.  Kim Dong-chul, a 62-year-old naturalised US citizen born in South Korea, was arrested last October.

Kim had made an apparent confession in Pyongyang last month in front of reporters, saying he was paid by South Korean intelligence officers.

The US has previously accused North Korea of using its citizens as pawns in a diplomatic game. Pyongyang denies the accusations.

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Belgium Issues Iodine Pills to All Citizens in Nuclear Emergency Plan

Belgians to get anti radiation pillsBelgium is to issue iodine tablets to its entire population as part of a revised nuclear emergency plan, a measure unveiled just months after it emerged that ISIS-linked bombers spied on a top scientist and hoped to build a "dirty bomb."

A dose of iodine, which helps to limit the effects of radiation on the body, will be made available to all 11 million people in the small country, Health Minister Maggie De Block told reporters Thursday.

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Deadly air strike hits hospital in Syria's Aleppo

Air strike hits hospitalAt least 16 people have been killed in a Syrian government air strike on a hospital in the city of Aleppo, a source in the war-torn city told Al Jazeera.

The attack on Al Quds hospital on Wednesday evening left a number of medical staff and other civilians dead, including Dr Wasem Maaz, one of the last remaining pediatricians in the rebel held area of the city.

Rescue workers are working on removing bodies and survivors from the rubble of the building in the Sukkary neighbourhood and there are fears the death toll will go up, the source told Al Jazeera.

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UN rejects Israel's claim over Syria's Golan Heights

Golan remains occupied territory: UNThe UN Security Council has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that the annexed Golan Heights in Syria would "for ever" remain under Israeli control.

The 15-member council agreed on Tuesday that the status of the Golan, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967, "remains unchanged", Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds this month's council presidency said.

Liu recalled a 1981 resolution which states that Israel's "decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was nul and void and without any international legal effect."

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