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Thursday, Oct 23rd

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Afghan President Karzai warns successors to beware of US

KarzaiPresident Hamid Karzai has used his last speech in office to warn the new Afghan government to beware of the US.

In a national address before leaving the presidential palace, Mr Karzai said the peace process had failed because "America did not want peace".

The US ambassador said the remarks dishonoured America's war dead. Mr Karzai has long attacked the US for causing too many civilian casualties.

A national unity government takes power on Monday after a bitterly fought vote.

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Spain Drops Plan to Ban Most Abortions

spain scraps abortion banSpanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday announced his government would shelve plans for a tough new law on abortions, saying there was not enough support for the legislation.

The draft reform, approved in January, would have allowed abortions only in cases of rape which had been reported to the police or when there was a medically-certified threat to the mother's physical or psychological health.

Current legislation will now be revamped to ensure that 16 and 17-year-olds have to obtain parental permission before having an abortion, meaning that the most controversial aspects of the planned reforms will fall by the wayside.

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Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft

Syrian MIGThe Israeli military shot down a Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated its airspace over the Golan Heights on Tuesday morning — the first such downing in decades, heightening tensions in the volatile plateau.

The military said a "Syrian aircraft infiltrated into Israeli air space" in the morning hours and that the military "intercepted the aircraft in mid-flight, using the Patriot air defense system."

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3 missing Afghan officers detained at Canadian border

Training base, Cape Cod, Mass.Three senior Afghan military officers who failed to return to a U.S. training base in Cape Cod, Mass., were taken into custody Monday while trying to cross into Canada, according to a spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police.

State police spokesman David Procopio said federal authorities were interviewing the officers at Rainbow Bridge checkpoint in Niagara Falls, N.Y., but provided no further details.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said earlier that the three officers did not appear to pose a threat to the public and may have been trying to defect.

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Ashraf Ghani elected president of Afghanistan

Ashraf GhaniAfghanistan's presidential election, more than three months after voters headed to the polls.

By early July, preliminary election results showed Ghani, the country's finance minister, had a lead over challenger Abdullah Abdullah in the June 14 run-off election.

Abdullah challenged those results and called for an audit — overseen by the United Nations and paid for by the U.S. government — to be performed on the results.

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US quietly releases 14 Pakistani detainees from Afghanistan jail

Parwan detention facilityThe United States has quietly released 14 Pakistani citizens from military detention in Afghanistan, where the US holds its most secret cohort of detainees in its war on terrorism.

The US military transferred the 14 to Pakistani government custody on Saturday. It did not publicize the release, as is typical with releases from the detention center on the outskirts of Bagram Airfield which is known formally as the Detention Facility in Parwan.

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Hostage Alan Henning's family make desperate plea for mercy

Alan Henning held by ISISThe family of British hostage Alan Henning made a dramatic appeal last night for his release.

It follows rumours on social networking sites that the 47-year-old taxi driver from Manchester had become the latest hostage to be killed by Islamic State (IS).

His wife Barbara Henning said: "Alan is a peaceful, selfless man who left his family and his job as a taxi driver in the UK to drive in a convoy all the way to Syria with his Muslim colleagues and friends to help those most in need.

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