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Wednesday, Sep 20th

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Israeli airline can't make women move seats for religious reasons, court rules

Israeli court rules against reseating womenAs an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor and a former lawyer, Renee Rabinowitz might seem an unlikely figurehead in Israel’s culture wars.

Rabinowitz has been thrust into the spotlight over an issue that has become an increasingly familiar problem for airlines flying in and out of Israel: ultra-orthodox men who refuse to take their seats next to women, demanding changes in seating and sometimes causing delays.

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After London fire, 600 tower blocks thought to have similar cladding

600 London builidngs have same classingAn estimated 600 high-rise buildings in England contain cladding similar to that used on a London tower block which caught fire, killing at least 79 people, officials said on Thursday.

Flames spread rapidly up the 24-storey residential Grenfell Tower last week, trapping people inside, in what was Britain's worst blaze since World War Two. Exterior cladding added during a refurbishment may have played a part, residents have said.

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Deadly car bomb hits Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah

Car bomb hits Afghan bankAt least 29 people have been killed after a car bomb exploded outside a bank in Lashkar Gah, capital of the southern Afghan province of Helmand, the provincial governor said.

At least 60 people were wounded in the attack outside the New Kabul Bank branch and most of the casualties were civilians, Hayaullah Hayat said.

The blast took place around 12 noon local time (08:00 GMT), according to the governor's spokesperson Omar Zwak, when civilians and members of the security forces waiting to collect their pay.

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Saudi King Deposes Crown Prince And Names 31-Year-Old Son As New Heir

New Heir to Saudi throne namedSaudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has changed his pick for a successor, naming his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince and deposing Prince Mohammed bin Nayef from the post. At 31, the country's new successor to the throne is 50 years younger than the current monarch.

Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, had served as crown prince since 2015, taking the post shortly after Salman, his uncle, was crowned. He also had been Saudi Arabia's interior minister — another job that will now be filled by Mohammed bin Salman.

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Russia ends military coordination with U.S. over downed Syrian plane

Russia threatens to end coordination with US over downed airplane in syriaRussia said it is ending logistical military coordination with the United States and threatened to shoot down any aircraft west of the Euphrates River after the U.S. Navy shot down a Syrian regime jet.

The "deconfliction" communication agreement between Washington, D.C., and Moscow was previously established to avoid problematic encounters while aircraft operated above Syrian territory.

The U.S.-led international coalition fighting the Islamic State on Sunday said it shot down a Syrian regime fighter jet because it was attacking the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia near Tabqah. The SDF is leading the ground offensive in Syria to capture the Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa.

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Emirati ambassador to Trump: Remove US airbase from Qatar

Ambassador Yousef al OtaibaThe United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States wants President Trump to use the U.S. airbase in Qatar as a political tool to press the country's government on supporting extremism.

“The air base is a very nice insurance policy against any additional pressure,” Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba said Tuesday. “Maybe someone in Congress should have a hearing and just say, you know, ’Should we consider moving it?’”

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U.S. joins battle as Philippines takes losses in besieged city

US helps PhilippinesU.S. special forces have joined the battle to crush Islamist militants holed up in a southern Philippines town, officials said on Saturday, as government forces struggled to make headway and 13 marines were killed in intense urban fighting.

The Philippines military said the United States was providing technical assistance to end the siege of Marawi City by fighters allied to Islamic State, which is now in its third week, but it had no boots on the ground.

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