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Monday, Aug 31st

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France train shooting: Hollande awards Legion d'honneur

France honors heroesThree Americans and a Briton who foiled a suspected terror attack on a train have received France's top honour from President Francois Hollande.

Mr Hollande presented Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Briton Chris Norman with the Legion d'honneur at the Elysee Palace.

Two other unnamed passengers will receive the honour at a later date.

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Palmyra's Baalshamin temple 'blown up by IS'

Temple of Baalshamin blown up by ISISIslamic State militants have destroyed Palmyra's ancient temple of Baalshamin, Syrian officials and activists say.

Syria's head of antiquities was quoted as saying the temple was blown up on Sunday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that it happened one month ago.

IS took control of Palmyra in May, sparking fears the group might demolish the Unesco World Heritage site.  The group has destroyed several ancient sites in Iraq.

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Multiple explosions reported at US military facility in Japan

Explosion in JapanThere has been at least one explosion at the Sagamihara General Depot in Sagamihara City, Japan, according to Japanese Broadcasting Corporation Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai.

Reports indicate that there is a base warehouse burning and emergency vehicles are responding.

Latest report: The Pentagon said on Sunday it was aware of reports of an explosion at a U.S. military base in Sagamihara, Japan, but said it could not confirm the blast occurred on the base.

"We're aware of the report, but we don't have confirmation that the explosion occurred on the base," said Pentagon spokesman U.S. Navy Commander Bill Urban.

TVNL Comment:  This is breaking news.  Please check for updates.

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U.K and Iran open respective embassies signaling improved relations

Uk - Iran embassy opens The United Kingdom and Iran reopened their respective embassies on Sunday as a coordinated move to signal improving relations following the recently-signed nuclear agreement.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Tehran for the opening where he was met by Iranian representatives, including Ajay Sharma, the new U.K. charge d'affaires, representatives from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other diplomatic community members.

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UAE army frees British hostage as al-Qaida expands in Yemen

UK hostage freedThe United Arab Emirates said Sunday that its military freed a British hostage who was kidnapped 18 months ago by al-Qaida in Yemen, which has expanded its reach amid fighting between Shiite rebels and their opponents.

A statement carried by the UAE's official WAM news agency identified the British hostage as Robert Douglas Semple, after initially referring to him as Douglas Robert Semple. It said Semple, 64, had been working as a petroleum engineer in the Yemeni province of Hadramawt when he was kidnapped in February 2014. The statement did not say where Semple had been held in Yemen or provide any details on the rescue.

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Benjamin Netanyahu Wanted To Bomb Iran in 2011

NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak both wanted to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010 and 2011, but other Israeli leaders blocked the move, Barak said.

The retired Labor politician, who was prime minister from 1999 to 2001, revealed the formerly classified information in recordings that aired on Israel’s Channel 2 Friday night, the Times of Israel reported.

Barak attempted to prevent the broadcast of the recordings, which are apparently related to a forthcoming biography of him, but Israel’s military censors approved their release.

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Official: Islamic State ambushes, kills up to 50 Iraq troops

iraq troops attackedIslamic State militants killed up to 50 soldiers in two separate ambushes in Iraq's turbulent Anbar province west of the capital, Baghdad, a top provincial official said Saturday.

Sabah al-Karhout, president of the Anbar Provincial Council, told The Associated Press the ambushes took place Friday west of the provincial capital, Ramadi, but said he had no more details. There was no immediate word from federal authorities or the Islamic State group.

The Islamic State group controls much of the vast Anbar province, including Ramadi and the city of Fallujah.

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