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 2 yrs | Gunmen holding hostages at Mali hotel frequented by foreigners

              Suspected Islamist gunmen are holding as many as 10 hostages after attacking a hotel in central Mali that is frequented by foreign United Nations personnel, the Reuters news agency is reporting, citing defense spokesmen. At least one Russian citizen, who works for air company UTair, is among those being held hostage, the TASS news agency reported. The nationalities of the others was not immediately known. The hostage situation is taking place in Sevare after gunmen stormed the hotel earlier today, resulting in the deaths of at least 5 soldiers and 3 militants.   

  Sevare, Mali     


 2 yrs | North Korea to introduce new timezone this month

              The North Korean government has decided to push back its clocks by 30 minutes, returning the country to a timezone originally used by the Korean Empire in the late 19th century. The new timezone, which will be called Pyongyang Time, will take effect on August 15, the state-run KCNA news agency announced. "The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time," KCNA reported, referring to Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910. North Korea is currently on Korean Standard Time, the same timezone used by the South. [Full KCNA dispatch attached]   

  North Korea     


 2 yrs | Truck bomb kills 8, injures 400 in Afghan capital

              At least eight civilians have been killed and about 400 others have been injured after a powerful truck bomb exploded near an army compound in the center of the Afghan capital, according to Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. Most of those injured sustained relatively minor injuries from flying glass. The bombing, which happened at around 1 a.m. local time, destroyed a number of homes and shops. It is feared the death toll could rise as details about casualties among service members have not yet been released.   

  Kabul, Afghanistan     



 2 yrs | U.S. Senator Schumer (D-NY) says he will oppose Iran nuclear deal

              Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, has announced his opposition to the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. "If Iran’s true intent is to get a nuclear weapon, under this agreement, it must simply exercise patience. After ten years, it can be very close to achieving that goal, and, unlike its current unsanctioned pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear program will be codified in an agreement signed by the United States and other nations," he said in a late-night statement. "I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval." [full statement attached]   

  Iran        97 UPDATES


 2 yrs | Donald Trump refuses to rule out independent White House bid

              Business magnate Donald Trump has refused to rule out an independent run for the White House should another person win the Republican party's nomination in next year's election. The question, at the start of the first prime-time Republican debate, prompted loud boos from the audience. "But I want to win as the Republican, I want to run as the Republican nominee," he added.   

  Cleveland, OH        336 UPDATES



 2 yrs | Debris found on French island confirmed to belong to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

              Aircraft debris that was found on the French island of Reunion was part of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib said in a televised statement after experts examined the debris. "We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Najib said. Malaysia Airlines, in a separate statement, expressed its "deepest sorrow" to the families and friends of the passengers who were on board Flight MH370. "This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370," the airline said. [transcript, statement attached]   

  Réunion        14 UPDATES


 2 yrs | Houston voters to decide whether to repeal nondiscrimination law

              Houston voters will get to decide in November whether the city should repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which prohibits discrimination in city employment, services, public accommodations, and housing based on a person's gender, race, and sexual orientation. The Texas Supreme Court last month instructed the City Council to either repeal the ordinance in a council vote or leave it up to voters to decide. Today, the Council voted 13-4 to put the proposal on the ballot in November. A council vote to repeal the ordinance failed by 12-5.   

  Houston, TX     


 2 yrs | Man detained in connection with shootings near Camp Shelby in Mississippi

              A white male driving a pickup truck has been taken into custody as a person of interest in connection with two shootings that occurred near Camp Shelby in Mississippi on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, according to the Perry County Sheriff's Office.   

  Hattiesburg, MS        2 UPDATES


 2 yrs | ‘Significant’ loss of life in Mediterranean boat capsizing, rescue continues - minister

              Irish Defense Minister Simon Coveney says he believes the loss of life in today's migrant boat capsizing off Libya to be "significant," adding that a "very difficult" rescue operation is continuing. "As the operation is currently ongoing, with all personnel fully engaged in the rescue, it is difficult to ascertain full details on the scale of the incident," the minister said in a statement, adding that about 600 people were on board. Coveney said 165 people have been rescued and 17 bodies have been recovered so far. That would leave more than 400 people unaccounted-for. A spokesman for the UN refugee agency had earlier placed the number of people rescued at 250. [statement attached]   

  Libya        32 UPDATES



1 dead, 7 injured after gunman opens fire at Tennessee church

‘Active shooter’ alert at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus

Active shooter on Elm Street in New Haven, at least 3 shot

North Korean foreign minister to address UN on Saturday

Florida Amber Alert: 4 children abducted from Bradenton


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