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Wednesday, Jul 23rd

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Fourteen killed in India gas pipeline blast and fire

India gas pipeline blastFourteen people were killed and 20 injured on Friday in a blast and fire at a gas pipeline in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, again raising safety concerns over the country's energy projects.

The fire broke out on a stretch of pipeline running through the village of Nagaram, engulfing buildings and burning victims to death, according to TV news footage and eyewitness accounts. Many such projects are opposed by villagers on safety grounds.

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Vatican ex-ambassador convicted of sex abuse

Vatican ex-Ambassador convictedThe Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and has been defrocked, the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative.

The Vatican said Friday that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric under canon law: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.

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'Drastic action' needed on Ebola

Ebola"Drastic action" is needed to contain the spread of deadly Ebola in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nearly 400 people have died in the outbreak which started in Guinea and has spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia.

It is the largest outbreak in terms of cases, deaths and geographical spread. The WHO said it was "gravely concerned" and there was potential for "further international spread".

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Turkey Sells 200 Tons of Secret Gold to Iran

CaglayanAs the minister in charge of Turkey’s $800 billion economy in 2013, Zafer Caglayan was facing a series of numbers that didn’t bode well for coming elections. Inflation was up, growth was slowing and the lira was weakening.

One key measure of financial health was particularly worrisome: the country was importing far more goods, services and capital than it was sending abroad. By October, when he was interviewed by a local CNBC affiliate, Caglayan described the gap as unsustainable and said the government would take steps to improve it.

What he didn’t mention was a clandestine export-boosting operation started up more than a year before that was helping to solve the trade imbalance.

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Sisi will not interfere with journalists’ verdicts despite outcry

Al Jazeera journalistsEgypt's newly elected President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said Tuesday he would not interfere in matters of the country’s judiciary after an international outcry over long prison sentences given to three Al Jazeera journalists a day earlier.

"We will not interfere in judicial rulings," Sisi said in a televised speech at a military graduation ceremony in Cairo. "We must respect judicial rulings and not criticize them even if others do not understand this."

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Growing criticism of Israel's West Bank operation

Israeli searchThousands of Israeli soldiers have been combing the West Bank inch by inch, searching homes, crawling into caves and even pumping wells to try to find three teens who Israel says were abducted by the Islamic militant Hamas.

But nearly two weeks into Israel's most extensive military operation in the West Bank in a decade, there's no sign of the missing.

With the disappearance unresolved, Israel has been using the searches to try to dismantle Hamas' operations in the West Bank. Israel says it has delivered a painful blow to Hamas, arresting 270 Hamas activists and raiding more than 60 businesses and institutions linked to the group.

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Last of Syria's chemical weapons shipped out

Syrian chemical weaponsThe last of Syria's declared chemical weapons have been shipped out of the country for destruction, the international watchdog OPCW says.

"The ship has just left the port," the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ahmet Uzumcu, said in The Hague.  An investigation into alleged use of chlorine in Syria's civil war is still ongoing, Mr Uzumcu added.

More than 160,000 people have died in three years of the Syrian conflict.

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