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Hong Kong pro-democracy activists reinforce barricades at protest site

Hong Kong protestsPro-democracy demonstrators in central Hong Kong have used cement to reinforce the barricades defending a protest site after being attacked by counter-protesters on Monday afternoon, raising the stakes in a student-led movement which has paralysed huge swaths of the city for the past 16 days.

Hours after police began removing barricades across the city on Monday morning, hundreds of men – some of them wearing surgical masks to hide their faces – stormed various protest sites, assaulting protesters and dragging away remaining barricades themselves. Some were armed with crowbars and cutting tools, according to media reports. “Open the roads,” they chanted. Police at one point formed a human barrier to keep the two sides apart.

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Work on 'taming' firms wins Frenchman economics Nobel

Jean TiroleFrench economist Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize for economics for work that has shed light on how governments can "tame" the big businesses that dominate once-public monopolies like railways, highways and telecommunications.

"This year's prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms," Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, told a news conference after awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

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Turkey opens its bases for US and coalition forces in fight against Isis

KobaniAs Kurdish defenders held off Islamic State militants in Syria’s border town of Kobani, US defence officials said that Turkey will let US and coalition forces use its bases, including a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border, for operations against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria and Iraq.

As night fell on Sunday, the town centre was under heavy artillery and mortar fire, Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kobani defence council, said by Skype from inside the town. Heavy clashes were under way in the east and south-east, he said, with neither side gaining ground.

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ISIS Triple Suicide Bombing in Iraq Kills at Least 58

Isis bombs in IraqA triple suicide bombing Sunday killed at least 58 people in Iraq as a roadside bomb killed the police chief of the western Anbar province, authorities said, attacks that dealt major blows to Iraqi security forces struggling to combat the Islamic State extremist group.

The triple attack took place in Qara Tappah in ethnically mixed Diyala province, an official from the Kurdish Asayish security forces said. He said the first bomber detonated an explosives vest at the gateway to a security compound that also houses the office of a main Kurdish political party. Minutes later, two suicide bombers plowed cars filled with explosives into the compound, causing heavy damage, he said.

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A look at destruction in Gaza in Hamas-Israel war

GazaHere is a look at the scope of destruction in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war this summer, based on statistics from the United Nations, other international agencies and the Palestinian government.

HOMES:  About 100,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged to varying degrees, exceeding an initial estimate of 60,000, according to U.N. surveys. Of those, about 20,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

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Pitching tents, Hong Kong democracy protesters dig in for long haul

Hong KongHundreds of student activists camped overnight at major protest sites in Hong Kong as the democracy movement sought to re-gather momentum after the government called off talks on defusing unrest in the global financial hub.

Protests escalated late last month, after Beijing's decision on Aug. 31 to impose conditions that effectively would have stopped pro-democracy candidates from contesting an election of the city's chief executive set for 2017.

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As Mexico cracks down, drug money comes to US

Drug money comes to USFor a company that booked $12 million in annual sales importing snacks like chile- and lime-flavored chips from Mexico, Baja Distributors Inc.'s offices were oddly quiet. There were no signs outside. Its small warehouse was almost empty. Phones went unanswered.

Investigators say there was a reason for the anonymity: The business was laundering money from Mexican drug traffickers. Baja Distributors, whose executives denied laundering drug money, brought more than $17 million from Mexico in 18 months.

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