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Monday, Feb 08th

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United States, Cuba to resume scheduled commercial airline service

US and Cuba resume airline travelThe United States and Cuba have agreed to restore scheduled commercial airline service between the two countries for the first time in more than five decades, exactly a year after they started the process of normalizing relations.

The latest step to restore U.S.-Cuba ties after 54 years of hostility will not go into effect immediately but should eventually increase tourism and business on the communist-ruled island.

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Investigation finds U.S. military shipped anthrax to South Korea 15 times

anthrax shipped to S. Korea The U.S. military in South Korea imported samples of anthrax 15 times since 2009 – contradicting a previous statement that anthrax was not being retained at a military base outside Seoul prior to April, when a shipment exposed as many as 22 people.

"We confirmed that U.S. Forces Korea imported inactivated Bacillus anthracis test samples as well as inactivated Yersinia pestis samples for detection and identification training," said Maj. Gen. Chang Kyung-soo, director general for policy planning at South Korea's Defense Ministry.

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Libya's rival parliaments sign unity government deal

Lybia parliament signs pactMembers of Libya's rival parliaments on Thursday signed a landmark, U.N.-sponsored deal on forming a unity government that will strive to bring peace to the war-ravaged country.

Supporters of the agreement hope that rival political factions and militias will embrace the deal and agree on a cease-fire, so that they can fend off the Islamic State extremist group, which is expanding its gains in the North African country.

The document was signed in Morocco by Emhemed Shoaib, the deputy speaker of the internationally recognized Libyan parliament, and Salah al-Makhzoum, the second deputy of the Islamist-backed parliament based in the capital, Tripoli, among others.

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Saudi Arabia forms Muslim 'anti-terrorism' coalition

Saudi Arabian coalitionSaudi Arabia has formed a coalition of 34 mainly Muslim countries - including powers such as Egypt and Turkey - to coordinate a fight against "terrorist organisations".

The alliance was announced by Mohammed bin Salman, the country's defence minister and deputy crown prince, on Tuesday.

Arab countries such as Qatar and the UAE will join the coalition, as well as Middle Eastern, Asian and African states including Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Nigeria.

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Defense Minister: Not enough evidence to try W. Bank firebombing suspects

Not enogh evidence to charge arsonistsDefense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday there was still not enough evidence to try the Jewish extremists who allegedly firebombed a Palestinian home in July, killing a toddler and both his parents.

Israel has come under heavy internal and external pressure to try those responsible for the deadly arson, with rights groups questioning the delay in the case and contrasting it to the swift reaction often following Palestinian terror attacks. Israel introduced the use of administrative detention — holding suspects without trial for extended periods — against Jews for the first time in the wake of the Duma killings.

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More than 20 killed in bomb attack aimed at Shiite Muslims in Pakistan

Pakistan mosque attackedMore than 20 people were killed Sunday in a bomb attack aimed at Shiite Muslims near the Afghan border in northwestern Pakistan's Kurram tribal agency.

An international wing of sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, based out of Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred at a clothing market in the town of Parachinar, home to a Shiite tribe known as the Turi.

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Powerful typhoon slams Philippines, forcing 700,000 to evacuate

Typhoon hits PhilippinesAbout 725,000 people fled their homes and communities braced for heavy rain and coastal floods of up to 13 feet, suspending classes, flights and ferry trips as Typhoon Melor slammed Monday into the eastern Philippines, officials said.

The government's weather bureau said the typhoon was packing winds of 95 miles per hour with gusts of up to 115 mph, and heavy to intense rain within its 185-mile diameter.

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