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Palestinian leader says no longer bound by pacts with Israel

Abbas ayt UNPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared before world leaders Wednesday that he is no longer bound by agreements signed with Israel, and called on the United Nations to provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

It was Abbas' most serious warning yet to that he might walk away from engagement with Israel and dissolve the Palestinian Authority, although he stopped short of accompanying his threat with a deadline.


Kerry: Russia, Iran might stop Assad's barrel bombs

John KerryUS Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Tuesday that Russia and Iran may persuade Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to stop indiscriminately dropping barrel bombs on his own people.

Moscow and Washington disagree sharply about Assad's longer term role in efforts to end the Syrian war, but have begun cautiously to discuss efforts to defeat his Islamic State jihadist foes.


President Of Zimbabwe Tells United Nations: “We Are Not Gays”

MugabeZimbabwe President Robert Mugabe used his speaking time at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday to rail against what he called “new” human rights, telling the assembled world leaders “we are not gays.”

“Respecting and upholding human rights is the obligation of all states,” Mugabe said to start the section of his speech on the issue.

But he went on to say that “nowhere does the [United Nations Charter] abrogate the right of some to sit in judgment over others in carrying out this universal obligation,” rejecting what he called “politicization” and “double standards.”


Yemen civilian death toll surpasses 2,300

Yemen civilian deathsThe office of the U.N. human rights chief said Tuesday that 151 civilians have been killed in fighting in Yemen over two weeks in September, taking the civilian death toll to 2,355 over the last six months.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) cited both sides of the conflict, including a Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government in exile, and Shia rebels, known as Houthis. Spokesman Rupert Colville pointed to coalition airstrikes and “indiscriminate” shelling in residential areas.


Afghan Taliban seize Kunduz city center in landmark gain

KunuzTaliban fighters battled their way into the center of Kunduz city in northern Afghanistan on Monday and seized the provincial governor's office, in one of the militants' biggest territorial gains in 14 years of war, witnesses and officials said.

The insurgents raised the white Taliban banner over the central square and freed hundreds of fellow militants from the local jail, in a major setback for Afghan forces who abandoned a provincial headquarters for the first time since 2001.


Obama delivers a direct prebuttal to Vladimir Putin at UN

Obama at UNUS President Barack Obama, speaking to the United Nations' General Assembly on Monday, used the speech to deliver a direct prebuttal to Russian President Vladimir Putin before the two meet in New York later in the day.

At the same time, he may have slightly conceded to Russia's position on Syria.

Putin and Obama have been increasingly at odds over several international issues, including Russia's involvement in the civil war in Ukraine and the Syrian civil war.


Helicopter attack kills 30 civilians in Yemen village: residents, medics

Saudis bomb yemenResidents and medics said air strikes by helicopters flying from Saudi Arabia killed 30 civilians in a Yemeni village on Sunday, but Saudi authorities dismissed the accounts as “totally false.”

Apache helicopters fired rockets at the village of Bani Zela in Hajjah province, 6 miles from the Saudi border, killing at least 25 civilians, including women and children, the residents and medics said.


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