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Sunday, Jul 05th

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Gunmen kill at least 27 in attack on Tunisian coastal resort hotels

Tunisia beach attackGunmen armed with Kalashnikovs killed at least 27 people Friday, mostly tourists, in an attack at coastal resort hotels in Tunisia, a spokesman for the interior ministry said.

One gunman was killed in a shootout with security forces. Six people were wounded. Witnesses said bodies covered with blood were strewn in the sand alongside beach chairs as the killers opened fire on sunbathers in the resort town of Sousse.

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Pope Francis: Sometimes divorce can be a ‘moral necessity’

Pope FrancisPope Francis may go down in history as the Catholic leader most actively supporting divorce, after saying the practice was “morally necessary.” However, the pontiff’s position could face obstacles at an upcoming bishops’ meeting.

The Catholic Church is known worldwide for being staunchly anti-divorce, but according to Francis there are certain moral imperatives, which make divorce a lesser evil. He was talking about the humiliation a wife could suffer at the hands of an abusive spouse. Also, if there are children, their safety must be considered.

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Intel documents raise fresh questions over UK complicity in US drone strikes

UK involvement in US drone attacksBritish intelligence agency GCHQ is facing fresh calls to reveal the extent of its involvement in the US targeted killing programme after details of a fatal drone strike in Yemen were included in a top secret memo circulated to agency staff.

A leading barrister asked by the Guardian to review a number of classified GCHQ documents said they raised questions about British complicity in US strikes outside recognised war zones and demonstrated the need for the government to come clean about the UK’s role.

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France summons U.S. ambassador, 'will not tolerate' security threats

French Ambassador will not tolerate spyingFrance said it will not tolerate alleged spying by the U.S. National Security Agency and summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting.

The announcement comes early Wednesday after WikiLeaks published what it says are NSA reports about secret communications from French President Francois Hollande and two of his predecessors, presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, between 2006 and 2012. The country's defense council said it will not tolerate "any action jeopardizing its security and the protection of its interests."

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Putin’s Plot to Get Texas to Secede

Texasa Nationalist MovementNathan Smith, who styles himself the “foreign minister” for the Texas Nationalist Movement, appeared last Spring at a far-right confab in St. Petersburg, Russia. Despite roaming around in his cowboy hat, Smith managed to keep a low-key presence at the conference, which was dominated by fascists and neo-Nazis railing against Western decadence.

But at least one Russian newspaper, Vzglyad, caught up with the American, noted that TNM is “hardly a marginal group,”and quoted Smith liberally on the excellent prospects for a partial breakup of the United States. Smith declared that the Texas National Movement has 250,000 supporters—including all the Texans currently serving in the U.S. Army—and they all “identify themselves first and foremost as Texans” but are being forced to remain Americans. The United States, he added, “is not a democracy, but a dictatorship.” The Kremlin’s famed troll farms took the interview and ran with it, with dozens of bots instantly tweeting about a “Free Texas.”

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Pakistan heatwave: Emergency measures as toll nears 700

Pakistan heat wavePakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif has called for emergency measures as the death toll from a heatwave in southern Sindh province reached nearly 700.

The army is now being deployed to help set up heat stroke centres, with temperatures reaching 45C (113F).

Officials have been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the crisis.

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U.S. to put military equipment in several European countries

Ash CarterThe U.S. will spread about 250 tanks, armored vehicles and other military equipment across six former Soviet bloc nations to help reassure NATO allies facing threats from Russia and terrorist groups, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Tuesday.

Carter’s announcement, made as he stood with defense chiefs from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, comes a day after he announced that the U.S. would have other weapons, aircraft and forces, including commandos, ready as needed for NATO’s new rapid reaction force, to help Europe defend against potential Russian aggression from the east and the Islamic State and other violent extremists from the south.

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