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Thursday, May 05th

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Palestinians: Israel settlement expansion a 'war crime'

Israeli settlements 'war crimes' Palestinian officials have slammed the latest Israeli authorisation to build more than 200 new settler houses in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a "war crime" that serves to "destroy the prospects of two independent states living side by side in peace and security".

Chief Palestinian negotiator Sa'eb Erekat said: "The latest approval of settlement construction, and the significant increase in Israeli settlement activity during 2016, should serve as a reminder to the international community of its responsibility to put an end to such crimes."

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Strong earthquake hits south Japan; people may be trapped

Japan earthquakeA powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 knocked over houses in southern Japan on Thursday evening, and police said people may be trapped underneath.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the 9:26 p.m. quake, and no risk of a tsunami.

“There was a ka-boom and the whole house shook violently sideways,” Takahiko Morita, a resident of Mashiki, the town at the epicenter, said in a telephone interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK. “Furniture and bookshelves fell down, books were all over the floor.”

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First Nations suicide emergency: a symptom of Canada's systemic neglect

First Nation suicides in CanadaAs exhausted community leaders in Canada’s troubled Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency this week amid a wave of suicide attempts, Chief Cathy Merrick was watching closely.

Just one month ago, the small Aboriginal community she leads made a similar, heart-wrenching call; faced with six suicides in a span of some three months and more than 140 attempts in two weeks, the remote Manitoba community of Pimicikamak Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in early March.

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Boko Haram increases use of child suicide bombers 10-fold; 75% are young girls

Boko Haram using child bombersThe number of child bombers used by the Islamic extremists of Boko Haram has increased from four to 44 in a year with devastating consequences in communities that now see children as threats, UNICEF said Tuesday.

Seventy-five percent of the children used are girls, a new report said, emphasizing that these children, many believed captives, are "victims, not perpetrators."

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Blast kills Palestinian official in Lebanon

Palestinian official killed in LebanonAn explosion in the southern Lebanon city of Sidon killed an official from the Palestinian Fatah movement on Tuesday, members of the group said.

The dead man was identified as Fathi Zaydan, a Fatah official responsible for the Palestinian camp of Mieh Mieh in Sidon.

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Surge in demolitions leaves more Palestinians homeless

Demolitions in West BankThe bulldozers arrived early in the morning, rumbling their way through the unpaved road that leads to the small community of Palestinian Bedouins in the rocky South Hebron Hills.

Israeli army Jeeps and a contingent of armed soldiers followed suit.

Everyone at Umm al-Khair knew why they had come, and a woman started yelling: "May God judge you for what you will do". As the roosters crowed, the bulldozers advanced on the first of six small, metal sheet homes, crushing its walls, and turning the entire structure on its side.

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Report: West Has Assad’s Torture Documents

Assad torture The investigator in Syria had made the drive perhaps a hundred times, always in the same battered truck, never with any cargo. It was forty miles to the border, through eleven rebel checkpoints, where the soldiers had come to think of him as a local, a lawyer whose wartime misfortunes included a commute on their section of the road.

Sometimes he brought them snacks or water, and he made sure to thank them for protecting civilians like himself. Now, on a summer afternoon, he loaded the truck with more than a hundred thousand captured Syrian government documents, which had been buried in pits and hidden in caves and abandoned homes.

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