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Friday, Aug 22nd

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Iraq: Isis warns women to wear full veil or face punishment

Isis warns womenIslamic State (Isis), the al-Qaida offshoot that seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment.

The Sunni insurgents, who have declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria and have threatened to march on Baghdad, also listed guidelines on how veils and clothes should be worn, part of a campaign to violently impose their radical brand of Islam.

"The conditions imposed on her clothes and grooming was only to end the pretext of debauchery resulting from grooming and overdressing," the group said in a statement.

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Israeli cabinet rejects Kerry's cease-fire plan

Israel rejects cease-fireThe Israeli cabinet Friday rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's peace plan in Gaza that called for a one-week humanitarian cease-fire.

The vote was unanimous, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinetz told CNN, and the cabinet requested modifications to the plan Kerry is formulating in Cairo, Egypt, with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri.

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U.S. fighter jets escort plane back to Toronto

panama bound planeA 25-year-old Canadian man is in custody after two U.S. fighter jets escorted a Panama-bound flight back to Toronto on Friday.

The Sunwing plane was forced to turn around when a passenger said he wanted to bomb Canada, eyewitnesses reported.  Flight 772 departed from Toronto at 7 a.m. Friday, heading toward Panama City with 181 passengers, two infants and a crew of six on board.

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Israel hits 30 Gaza homes, kills senior militant

Gaza homs hitIsraeli aircraft struck 30 houses in the Gaza Strip early Friday, killing a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group and two of his sons, while ground troops and Hamas gunmen fought intense battles in the north and center of the territory, Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed dozens of sites were hit, including what it said were Hamas command posts, but did not elaborate.

With the current round of fighting entering its 18th day, Israel's Security Cabinet was to meet later Friday to decide whether to expand its operation or consider ideas for a cease-fire.

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Air Algerie plane disappears from radar; 116 aboard

Air Algerie plainAn Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported, according to the plane’s owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso. Nearly half of the passengers were French.

Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 0155 GMT (9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday), the official Algerian news agency APS said.

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Israeli fire hits UN facility in Gaza, killing 15

Gaza UN school hitIsraeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.

Pools of blood soiled the school courtyard, amid scattered books and belongings. There was a large scorch mark in the courtyard marking the place where one of the tank shells hit.

The strike occurred during a day of heavy fighting throughout the coastal territory as Israel pressed ahead with its operation to halt rocket fire from Gaza and destroy a sophisticated network of cross-border tunnels.

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US-backed militia runs amok in Afghanistan

Afghans run amokBefore dawn on June 1, a group of U.S. special forces and Afghan army commandos arrived by helicopter to the east of Alizai, a farming hamlet in Andar district in Taliban-controlled territory in central Afghanistan. They moved from house to house, arresting any fighting-age men they found, while the local Taliban fighters, who had been sleeping in a mosque at the other end of the village, fled without a fight.

By sunrise, the soldiers had gathered more than 100 men in the yard of a house belonging to a local man named Hajji Badruddin. As is typical in rural Afghanistan, the house had two large adjoining courtyards fenced in by high mud walls. The villagers were kept in one yard, while in the next yard the Americans and Afghan commandos had set up their four-wheeled ATVs, other vehicles and equipment.

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