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Friday, Oct 20th

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Pakistan: Deadly bomb blast rips through Lahore rally

Pakistan blastA powerful bomb blast on Monday ripped through a protest in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing at least 11 people and wounding dozens, according to officials.

The explosion went off in Lahore's busy Mall Road during a rally attended by hundreds of pharmacists protesting against a new government law outside the provincial assembly building.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a Pakistani Taliban-linked armed group, claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded at least 30 people, including media personnel covering the protest.

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John Hurt, Star Of ‘The Elephant Man’ And ‘1984,’ Dies At 77

john hurtJohn Hurt, the intense British actor who mesmerized audiences in starring roles in “The Elephant Man” and “1984,” and was the Alien’s very first victim, has died. He was 77.

Hurt, who announced he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, died in London on Friday, his spokesman told The Associated Press.

Hurt was a man of many personas on screen and stage. But he was unrecognizable in his most memorable role as the star of 1980’s “The Elephant Man,” in which he portrayed with great dignity and pain the real-life John Merrick, who suffered from a disfiguring, debilitating disease.

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Dutch respond to Trump's 'gag rule' with international safe abortion fund

Dutch set up abortion fundUp to 20 countries have indicated support for the Netherlands’ plan to set up an international safe abortion fund to plug a $600m funding gap caused by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag rule”, the Dutch international development minister, Lilianne Ploumen, said on Wednesday.

Ploumen took soundings from a number of her colleagues around the world on Tuesday evening after the Netherlands said it would act to mitigate the impact on hundreds of charities around the world.

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WikiLeaks calls out Trump for refusing to release tax returns

WikileaksWikiLeaks on Sunday took President Donald Trump to task for refusing to release his tax returns and offered to post them online, after a senior adviser said definitively that Trump would not be publicly disclosing the documents.

“Trump's breach of promise over the release of his tax returns is even more gratuitous than Clinton concealing her Goldman Sachs transcripts,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.

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Magnitude-6.5 earthquake reported off Northern California

Earthquake off No. CaliforniaA 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Thursday morning off the Northern California Coast that was felt in the Bay Area, officials said.

The quake hit on the San Andreas fault about 7 a.m. in the Pacific Ocean, about 100 miles off coast of Ferndale in Humboldt County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was initially reported as a 6.8 magnitude quake, and later downgraded to a 6.5 rattler.

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Obama set to green-light disputed Dakota Access pipeline

Obama to approve Dakota pipelineThe Obama administration is expected to approve the disputed easement for the Dakota Access pipeline as soon as Monday, according to two sources familiar with the timing — dealing a major blow to climate activists even before Donald Trump takes office.

The decision would let the pipeline be built across the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux's reservation in North Dakota, where protesters have been camped out for months in one of the largest ongoing environmental standoffs of recent years.

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Singer Leonard Cohen dies at 82

Leonard Cohen dies at 82Leonard Cohen, the baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who seamlessly blended spirituality and sexuality in hits like ‘‘Hallelujah,’’ ‘'Suzanne’’ and ‘‘Bird on a Wire,’’ has died at age 82.

Cohen’s label confirmed a statement on his Facebook page Thursday that he has passed away, and a memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. No further details on his death were given.

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