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US allows cruises to Cuba; Carnival plans trips from Miami in May

US to Cuba Carnival Cruise to beginThe U.S. has authorized the first cruise service to Cuba in half a century.

Cruise giant Carnival Corp. announced Tuesday that it has received U.S. government licenses to offer "purposeful" cruises from the U.S. to Cuba for people-to-people, humanitarian and other exchanges.

Pending approval from Cuban authorities, Carnival aims to offer seven-day trips from Miami to several Cuban ports starting in May on its new "fathom" brand, which offers travel for social causes such as volunteer work and cultural immersion.

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Twin attacks reported in Afghan capital Kabul

Attack in KabulGunfire and explosions have been reported in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, hours after a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into a convoy belonging to foreign forces, security officials said.

Police spokesman Ebadullah Karimi said that armed men entered a building close to an installation used by Afghanistan's intelligence agency on Tuesday afternoon.

Al Jazeera journalists in Kabul reported that the attack took place at a compound in Kabul's District Eight, and gunmen had taken up positions within it.

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Boycott drive gains strength, raising alarm in Israel

BDS gainsTen years ago, a small group of Palestinian activists had a novel idea: Inspired by the anti-apartheid movement, they called for a global boycott movement against Israel as a nonviolent method to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence.

Long confined to the sidelines, the so-called BDS movement appears to be gaining momentum — so much so that Israel has identified it as a strategic threat on a par with Palestinian militant groups and the Iranian nuclear program. While Israel says the movement is rooted in anti-Semitism, its decentralized organization and language calling for universal human rights have proven difficult to counter, resulting in a string of recent victories that have alarmed Israeli leaders.

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Here's the $17 Trillion Reason Why the BRICS Summit This Week Is a Big Deal

BRICS summitLeaders of the so-called BRICS countries are meeting starting Wednesday in Ufa, Russia. Here's what you need to know about these emerging market economies to follow the summit.
1. The BRICS economies are getting very big

The combined economic output last year of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa almost matched the U.S.’s gross domestic product. Back in 2007, the U.S. economy was double the BRICS.

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Airstrike kills dozens at market in Yemen

Yemen airstrikeYemen security officials and eyewitnesses say a massive airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels has hit a marketplace north of Aden, killing over 45 civilians.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information otherwise, say more than 50 civilians were also wounded in the strike Monday in Fayoush, a suburb of the southern port city of Aden.

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Iraqi fighter jet accidentally bombs Baghdad, 12 killed

Iraqi jet accidentally bombs BaghdadAn Iraqi fighter jet accidentally dropped a bomb over a Baghdad neighborhood on Monday, killing at least 12 people on the ground, Iraqi officials said.

The plane — one of several Russian-made Sukhois used by Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State group — was returning to base when the accident happened.

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim told The Associated Press that a technical failure caused the Sukhoi jet to drop the bomb, which hit a number of houses in the Iraqi capital's eastern neighborhood of New Baghdad.

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Greek voters 'reject bailout offer'

Greek voters vote noWith more than half the ballots in, results from a referendum in Greece suggest voters have decisively rejected the terms of an international bailout.

Figures published by the interior ministry showed 61% of those whose ballots had been counted voting "No", against 39% voting "Yes".

Greece's governing Syriza party campaigned for a "No", saying the bailout terms were humiliating.

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