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Monday, Aug 31st

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Antiquities scholar beheaded by IS in Palmyra, Syria

Antiquities scholar beheaded in PalmyraThe Islamic State beheaded a renowned scholar of antiquities in a Palmyra, Syria, public execution, a Syrian news office reported.

The headless body of Khalid al-Asaad, 82, was hung on a column in a public square Tuesday in Palmyra, a town known for archeological ruins and artifacts dating to the Roman era of the third century A.D. and, since May, under control of the Islamic State.

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BDS Fight Moves From Campus to Corporate Boardrooms — and Stakes Rise

Orange bdstephane Richard skipped the circumspection and told the Egyptian journalist what he really thought about doing business with Israel.

“Believe me,” said the CEO of the French telecom giant, Orange S.A., “our intention is to withdraw from Israel. I would cancel the contract tomorrow if I could.”

“Tomorrow” came a few weeks after that June 4 interview when Orange announced it had renegotiated its contract with its Israeli licensee, Partner Communications. The company insists its decision turned on internal business factors only, but facts are stubborn things: After 17 years in Israel, Orange will cut ties with Partner sometime in the next two years, 10 years short of the terms of the original contract, according to the New York Times.

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Use Iran deal to prevent nuclear weapons free-for-all, treaty body says

Lassina ZerboThe head of the body trying to secure ratification of a global ban on nuclear testing urged world leaders on Monday to use the momentum of an atomic deal with Iran to prevent a slide toward a nuclear weapons free-for-all.

More than 160 countries have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) since it was finished in 1996. But since then, India, Pakistan and North Korea have all conducted nuclear tests, and are among eight countries including the United States and China blocking its entry into force.

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U.S. investigates Citigroup ties to Mexican billionaire: report

Citibank connection to Mexian billionaire investigatedThe U.S. Justice Department is looking into Citigroup Inc's dealings with companies linked to Mexican billionaire Carlos Hank Rhon as part of an expanding investigation into the bank's money-laundering controls, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

U.S. officials asked Citigroup (C.N) to provide information on accounts tied to four businesses affiliated with Hank Rhon, according to the news agency. These include two units each of Grupo Financiero Interacciones SA (GFINTERO.MX) and Grupo Hermes SA, which are controlled by Hank Rhon and his family.

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UN aid chief slams 'horrifying' disregard of civilian life in Syria

UN condemns Syran deathsThe United Nations humanitarian chief has condemned attacks against civilians in Syria, a day after more than 100 people were killed in what activists said were regime air raids on the rebel-held suburb of Douma, near Damascus.

New U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien's comments came as sources told Al Jazeera that even more air strikes were carried out on Douma on Monday.

"I am horrified by the total disrespect for civilian life in this conflict," O'Brien said, a day after one of the bloodiest incidents in the four-year war.

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Bomb blast rocks Bangkok intersection; 15 reported dead

Banghkok blastA bomb blast rocked a shrine at a major central Bangkok intersection during the evening rush hour Monday, the government said, reportedly killing more than a dozen people and injuring many others.

At least two bombs were found at the scene, said Maj. Gen. Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, a spokesman for Thailand's ruling junta. He said at least one had detonated.

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Search Plane Spots Wreckage Of Missing Indonesian Passenger Plane

Wreckage spotted of Indonesian planeA search plane has spotted the wreckage of an Indonesian passenger plane that went missing with 54 people onboard, rescue officials said Monday.

There was no immediate word if there were any survivors from the crash, which happened in bad weather on Sunday in Indonesia's mountainous easternmost province of Papua.

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