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Friday, Dec 09th

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100 people feared drowned as boat sinks off Libya

199 refugees feared drownedAbout 100 people are feared to have drowned off the coast of Libya after their smuggler abandoned them on the high seas without a motor, increasing the Mediterranean death toll this year to an unprecedented 4,700.

The toll is now over 20% higher than last year’s total of 3,771, which was the previous annual record.

A boat containing about 130 refugees sank in the early hours of Thursday morning, killing about 100 people, some of the 27 survivors told Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the medical charity now transporting them to Italy. Just seven bodies were recovered.

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JPMorgan Is Said to Settle Bribery Case Over Hiring in China

JPMorgan settles bribery caseAfter more than three years of digging into JPMorgan Chase’s hiring practices in China, federal authorities have determined that the bank hired the children of Chinese leaders as part of a quid pro quo to win business in the booming nation, clearing the way for a costly punishment.

As soon as Thursday, the authorities will announce a roughly $264 million settlement with the bank and its Hong Kong subsidiary, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The authorities, which include criminal prosecutors and civil regulators, will accuse the bank of orchestrating a long-running foreign bribery scheme.

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Russia pulls out from International Criminal Court

Russia pulls out of ICCRussian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to withdraw Russia from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Russia in 2000 signed the Rome treaty that established the Hague-based court but never ratified it.

Putin's decree, published on the Kremlin's website on Wednesday, comes a day after the UN General Assembly's human rights committee approved a resolution condemning Russia's "temporary occupation of Crimea", and blamed Moscow for rights abuses and discrimination against some Crimean residents, such as Tatars.

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Syria war: Aleppo pounded by air strikes as pause ends

Aleppo attackIntense air strikes have hit several rebel-held areas in Aleppo for the first time in more than two weeks, signalling the start of a major government offensive in Syria's northern city.

The ferocious bombardment of eastern Aleppo on Tuesday came as Russian armed forces also announced the launch of a large-scale operation against opposition targets in Syria.

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Egypt's Mohamed Morsi has death sentence overturned

MorsiEgypt's Court of Cassation has overturned a death sentence against the country's deposed president Mohamed Morsi and ordered a retrial, according to reports.

The country's first democratically elected president, Morsi was overthrown by a military coup in July 2013 after having served just one year of a four-year term.

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52 dead in Pakistani shrine bombing

Pakoistani bomb at mosqueAt least 52 people are dead and some 100 were injured when a bomb detonated at a popular shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan province, officials said.

The bombing took place at the Shah Noorani shrine, located outside Karachi, where worshippers had gathered in honor of a local saint.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Iraqi army says Nimrud captured from ISIL

Nimrud captured from ISILIraqi soldiers have captured Nimrud, the site of an ancient Assyrian city overrun by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) two years ago, a military statement said on Sunday.

"Troops from the Ninth Armoured Division liberated Nimrud town completely and raised the Iraqi flag above its buildings," the statement said.

The town of Nimrud lies 1 km west of the ruins of the 3,000-year-old city.

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