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Tuesday, May 23rd

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France's scandal-hit Fillon put under formal fraud investigation

FillionFrench presidential candidate Francois Fillon was put under formal investigation by magistrates on Tuesday on suspicion of embezzling state funds - a move that may ruin the right-winger's hopes of winning power in May.

Fillon's campaign has been dogged by allegations he lavishly paid his British wife Penelope and two of his children hundreds of thousands of euros of public money for assistance, but he has refused to pull out of the presidential race.

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Suspected pirates hijack oil tanker near Somalia

Somalia tanker hijackedSuspected pirates hijacked an oil tanker in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia on Tuesday, Somali officials said.

It was the first such hijacking in five years. European naval forces have reduced piracy in the region, in which faster-moving boats chase down large merchant ships and commandeer them for ransom.

The ship hijacked Monday is believed to be a merchant oil tanker sailing under the United Arab Emirates flag, traveling from Djibouti to the Somali capital of Mogadishu. At least eight suspected attackers diverted the vessel toward the semiautonomous Somali territory of Puntland, sources told the Voice of America. Other reports said the vessel was registered in Sri Lanka.

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Employers allowed to ban the hijab, EU court says

EU eplyers can ban hijabEmployers are entitled to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the European Union's top law court ruled on Tuesday, a decision Muslims said was a direct attack on women wearing hijabs at work.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said it does not constitute "direct discrimination" if a firm has an internal rule banning the wearing of "any political, philosophical or religious sign".

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Deadly blast destroys bus in Afghan capital

Kabul bus blastAn explosion in the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul destroyed a bus carrying government employees on Monday, killing at least one person and wounding eight, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

Security forces surrounded the smoking remains of the completely burned-out bus that was carrying employees from one of the country's biggest telecoms firms.

A security official said the blast was caused by a suicide bomber on foot, but Sediqqi said it appeared to have been caused by a roadside bomb.

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Ethiopia rubbish landslide kills 48 in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia rubbish landslideAt least 48 people have been killed in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, officials say.

They say dozens of people are still missing since the landslide on Saturday night at the Koshe landfill. A resident said 150 people were there at the time.

A number of makeshift houses are now buried under tonnes of waste.

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Turkey promises harsh retaliation after Netherlands bars ministers

T urkish president ErdoganTurkey told the Netherlands on Sunday that it would retaliate in the "harshest ways" after Turkish ministers were barred from speaking in Rotterdam, as a row over Ankara's political campaigning among Turkish immigrants escalated.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Netherlands was the "capital of fascism" as it joined other European countries in stopping Turkish politicians holding rallies due to fears that tensions in Turkey might spill over into their communities.

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U.N.: 20M face starvation in largest humanitarian crisis since 1945

Greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945 in Africa- U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said Friday the world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945 as some 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria face famine and starvation.

O'Brien, speaking to the U.N. security council in New York, issued a plea for $4.4 billion by July to "avert a catastrophe" in the countries. Without a collective global effort, children will face severe malnutrition and economic development gains will be lost, said O'Brien, the U.N.'s under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

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