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Putin: 'Patriotically inclined' Russian hackers could be behind election interference

Putin admits Russians hacked US electionRussia’s president Vladimir Putin today for the first time appeared to acknowledge the possibility that Russian hackers could have been involved in the cyber-attacks that targeted the 2016 U.S. election, speculating that it could have been individual “patriotically inclined” Russian hackers who carried out the attacks.

Putin categorically denied that the Russian state would ever be involved in hacking, but the comments were nonetheless a shift from his previous flat rejections of allegations the attacks were linked to Russia.


Explosions, gunshots heard at resort in Philippines capital: media

Resorts World ManilaA shooting at a sprawling Manila resort that caused hundreds of people to stampede was an attempt by a lone thief to rob gamblers and not a terrorist attack, Philippines National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said Friday.

Hundreds of guests and employees rushed out of a hotel at Resorts World Manila after a masked gunman on the second floor began firing at guests, hotel employees fleeing the scene told CNN Philippines.


Mosul battle: At least 142 civilians killed in six days

Mosul battleMost of the civilians are in the Old City which lies immediately south of where the current fighting is taking place.

The area, a warren of narrow streets and closely-spaced buildings, has posed a major challenge for security forces, and the coming battle to retake it poses a major threat to civilians.

"There are densely populated neighbourhoods," Javaid said.

"Streets upon streets of people who are living in the besieged areas of Mosul. Around 200,000 people live there and ISIL uses them as human shields."


Russia calls for expulsion of Estonian, Moldovan diplomats

Russiaa expels diplomats from Estonia and MoldaviaRussia on Wednesday called for the expulsion of Estonian and Moldovan diplomats in response to moves against Russian diplomats in those countries.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said five diplomats from the Moldovan embassy in Moscow had been declared personae non grata and would have to leave within three days. It did not name those to be expelled, but said the decision followed Moldova's decision on Monday to expel five Russian diplomats.


Kabul bombing: Huge explosion rocks diplomatic district

Kabul blast kills 80, wounds hundredsA massive truck bomb blast has ripped through the heart of Kabul's diplomatic district, killing at least 80 people and wounding hundreds, in a powerful explosion described by officials as "one of the biggest" to have hit the Afghan capital.

A tanker truck believed to be carrying either water or human waste exploded on Wednesday near Zanbaq square, in Kabul's 10th district, close to shops and restaurants, as well as government offices and foreign embassies.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Al Jazeera that the group was not involved in the attack.




US won't ban laptops on flights from Europe: report

US won't ban laptops on flights from EuropeThe Trump administration has decided not to ban laptops on the cabins of U.S.-bound flights from Europe, Politico reported Tuesday.

The decision was reportedly announced during a conference call between Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

A spokesperson for Homeland Security, however, said in a statement that the ban is still on the table.


Panama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega dead at 83

Noriega dead at 83Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, who recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, has died at the age of 83, President Juan Carlos Varela said

"Death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and his family deserve a funeral in peace," Carlos Varela wrote late Monday on Twitter.

Noriega had been imprisoned since December 2011 in Panama on a 60-year sentence on an array of charges including murder, corruption and environmental crimes. He previously spent 21 years in French and U.S. prisons for drug trafficking and money laundering.



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