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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Iraq suicide bomber kills at least 11 in Baghdad

Baghdad bombingA suicide bomber hit an Interior Ministry building in central Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 11 people, as an investigation was underway into a deadly attack on a Sunni mosque that has heightened sectarian tension amid a fragile political transition.

The suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the gate of the intelligence headquarters in Karrada district in the early afternoon, killing six civilians and five security personnel, a police officer said. He said 24 other people were wounded.

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North Dakota rejects challenge to state's ban on gay marriage

North Dakota rejects challenge to anti gay marriage lawNorth Dakota’s attorney general rejected calls to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Friday, arguing the state cannot have “two mutually exclusive marriage institutions”.

In the filing, led by the North Dakota governor, Jack Dalrymple, and Wayne Stenehjem, the attorney general, the officials argue the state has a right to define marriage and that society is benefited by restricting that definition to the union of a man and a woman.

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Iraq militants kill 46 in attack on Sunni mosque

Sunni mosque bombingMilitants targeted a Sunni mosque in a province next to the Iraqi capital during weekly prayers on Friday, killing at least 46 people and wounding over 50 as members of the Islamic State group continue to push through the area, officials said.

An army officer and a police officer said a suicide bomber first broke into the Musab bin Omair Mosque in Imam Wais village in Diyala province, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Baghdad, detonating his explosives before gunmen rushed in and opened fire on worshippers.

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Hamas executes 11 it claims are Israeli informers

Hamas executes 11Hamas publicly executed 11 men it accused of collaborating with Israel Thursday in apparent retaliation for airstrikes that killed three Hamas commanders Wednesday.

The alleged informants, all men, were killed in an open area at the Jazawat installation in Gaza city and had previously been sentenced by Gaza courts.  Additional executions were reportedly planned for Friday.

Israel is often able to convince Gazans to inform on Hamas, and the militant group often metes out their punishment under circumstances like Thursday's, when they have been dealt a significant blow.

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US State Department says Israel appears to be targeting family of murdered Arab teen

Marie HarfA State Department spokeswoman accused Israel of targeting the family of murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in recent arrests.

Following the teen’s abduction and murder in a Jerusalem forest on July 2 by three Israelis, Israeli police arrested his cousin Tariq Abu Khdeir, an American citizen, at a protest on July 5. Tariq Abu Khdeir, who has since returned to the United States, says police beat him while he was held. On July 28, Israel arrested another American cousin, also named Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

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Israeli air strike kills three Hamas commanders in Gaza

Israelis kill Hamas leadersAn Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas commanders in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, a clear sign of its intention to hit the group's armed leadership days after a ceasefire failed.

Hamas, which dominates Gaza, named the men as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, the three highest-ranking casualties it has announced since Israel started its offensive six weeks ago.

All three, killed in the bombing of a house in the southern town of Rafah, had led operations against Israel over the past 20 years, the Islamist movement said.

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Japan landslides: deaths confirmed after homes swept away

Japan landslideAt least six people were confirmed dead and 22 were missing after rain-soaked hills in the outskirts of Hiroshima gave way early on Wednesday in several landslides.

Video footage from the Japanese national broadcaster NHK showed suburban homes in the western Japanese city surrounded by streams of mud and debris, and residents picking their way over piles of rocks and dirt.

Rescue workers suspended by ropes from police helicopters were pulling victims from the rubble as they searched homes stranded amid piles of timber from crushed houses. The fire and disaster authority, citing the local government, said six people were confirmed dead and another 22 were missing as of late morning. It said at least 20 people were injured, one seriously.

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