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Saturday, Aug 02nd

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Israeli raids target Hamas members as Netanyahu accuses group of kidnapping

Israeli raids target HamasIsraeli troops have arrested some 80 Palestinians, including dozens of members of Hamas, in a raid in the West Bank as the prime minister accused the Islamic militant group of kidnapping three teenagers who went missing nearly three days ago.

The crisis escalated already heightened tensions between Israel and the new Palestinian government, which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas but backed by Hamas.

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Pakistan air strikes in North Waziristan 'kill 80 militants'

Pakistani air strikesPakistani fighter jets have carried out raids on suspected militant hideouts in the tribal North Waziristan region in response to an audacious attack on the country's busiest airport a week ago.

Nearly 80 militants, mainly ethnic Uzbek fighters, were killed in the air assault on Sunday in the region bordering Afghanistan, where some of Pakistan's most feared militants and al-Qaida commanders are based, intelligence sources said.

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Insurgent advance slows in Iraq as images of mass killing spread online

Iraq civil warAn offensive by insurgents that threatens to dismember Iraq seemed to slow on Saturday after days of lightning advances as government forces regained some territory in counter-attacks, easing pressure on the Shia-led government in Baghdad.

As Iraqi officials spoke of wresting back the initiative against Sunni militants, the Islamic militant group that seized much of northern Iraq has posted photos that appear to show its fighters shooting dead dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers.

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Petition with 150,000 signatures calls on France to grant Snowden asylum

Edward SnowdenA petition has gathered more than 150,000 signatures as of Friday urging President Francois Hollande to grant whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum in France after his asylum status in Russia expires in July.

“We intellectuals, philosophers, researchers, essayists, journalists, and above all engaged citizens ask Francois Hollande … to welcome [Snowden], without delay, as a political refugee in France, the country of human rights and freedom of the press,” said the petition, which was published in French news magazine L’Express on June 3.

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U.S. Relocates Carrier as Iraq Sectarian Battle Lines Harden

US relocates carrier to GulfThe U.S. ordered an aircraft carrier to head into the Persian Gulf as President Barack Obama weighs options on how to aid Iraq’s Shiite-led government in its fight against Sunni militants threatening to re-ignite sectarian conflict in OPEC’s second-largest oil producer.

The Pentagon in dispatching today the USS George H.W. Bush, which has been in the North Arabian Sea, said its new location “will provide the commander-in-chief additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq.”

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Israeli official says missing teens presumed alive

oalestians rounded up after tens missingIsrael's defense minister said Saturday that the military is determined to find the three missing teenagers, one of whom is an American, who he said are presumed alive and believed held by Palestinian militants.

Security forces searched the West Bank for a second day Saturday, looking for three missing teenagers who disappeared late Thursday in the West Bank, reportedly while hitchhiking.

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Military plane shot down by rebels in east Ukraine, killing 49

Military plane shot down in UkraineA Ukrainian military plane was shot down by rebels using an anti-aircraft missile Saturday, killing all 49 personnel on board and providing further evidence of an increasingly well-armed, pro-Russian rebellion.

Nine crew and 40 troops were aboard the plane when it went down on approach to an airport in the city of Luhansk, the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office said in a statement. On Saturday, armed separatists were seen inspecting the scorched wreckage in a field 12 miles south of Luhansk.

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