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Scots vote on independence, United Kingdom's fate on knife-edge

By Guy Faulconbridge and Angus MacSwan EDINBURGH (Reuters - Scotland voted on Thursday on whether to stay within the United Kingdom or end the 307-year-old union with England and become an independent nation in a finely balanced referendum with far-reaching consequences. From remote highlands and islands to the tough city estates of Glasgow, people were almost equally divided over a vote watched

British journalist purportedly shown in IS propaganda video

By Alexander Dziadosz BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Thursday that they said shows British journalist John Cantlie in captivity saying he will soon reveal "facts" about the group to counter its portrayal in Western media. The Islamic State, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one Br

Three car bombs, mortars kill 23 in Shi'ite Baghdad districts

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Three car bombs were detonated in adjacent Shi'ite Baghdad neighbourhoods on Thursday followed by a dozen mortar rounds, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 50, security and medical sources said. Two of the bombs hit Kadhimiya and one hit the adjacent district of Tobcha, the security sources said. A mortar landed near the site of a major Shi'ite shrine in Kadhimiy

UK Muslim leaders call for release of Briton held by Islamic State

By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Muslim groups across Britain called on Thursday for the release of British hostage Alan Henning, a volunteer aid worker captured in Syria whose life was threatened in a recent video released by Islamic State militants. Henning was part of an aid convoy taking medical supplies to a hospital in northwest Syria in December last year when it was stopped by gunmen

Russia's Putin says sanctions violate principles of WTO

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Western sanctions against Russia violated the principles of the World Trade Organization and the main way to combat them was to develop the domestic market. At a meeting with senior officials, Putin said Russia had no intention of punishing the West for the sanctions, imposed over Moscow's role in Ukraine, and said instead they had cha

U.N. says five peacekeepers killed, three wounded in Mali blast

DAKAR (Reuters) - The United Nations mission in Mali said five of its Chadian peacekeepers were killed and another three wounded when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device in the north of the country on Thursday. The attack brings the number of U.N. peacekeepers killed in the country this month to 10. "This incident follows many other attacks in the Kidal region in which too many UN peaceke

Mexico boosts Los Cabos security after looting

LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — Federal police on Thursday vowed to crack down on lawlessness and restore order in the hurricane-stricken resort area of Los Cabos after looting emptied store shelves and unnerved residents who worried their homes could be next.

Militant gains illustrate plight of Syrian Kurds

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militiamen backed by tanks defiantly advanced Thursday in Syria, capturing more than 20 Kurdish villages as the international community strains to assemble a coalition that might destroy them.

Sierra Leone to shut down for 3 days to slow Ebola

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Shoppers in Sierra Leone rushed to stock up on food Thursday ahead of a three-day nationwide shutdown, during which the country's 6 million people will be confined to their homes while volunteers search house-to-house for Ebola victims in hiding and hand out soap in a desperate bid to slow the accelerating outbreak.

Saudi to restore Egypt's 'beacon of moderate Islam'

Cairo (AFP) - Saudi Arabia has agreed to fund the restoration of Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque in recognition of its role as a "beacon of moderate Islam," the Egyptian president's office said Thursday.

Senate ready to support Obama on rebel aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate steamed toward final congressional approval Thursday of President Barack Obama's request to train Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic state militants in the Middle East.

Rob Ford releases audio statement from hospital

TORONTO (AP) — Just hours before he begins aggressive chemotherapy for a rare and difficult-to-beat cancer, a rough-sounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford released an audio statement from his hospital room on Thursday urging people to vote for his brother for mayor.

Top Asian News at 8:30 p.m. GMT

SYDNEY (AP) — Police on Thursday said they thwarted a plot to carry out beheadings in Australia by supporters of the radical Islamic State group. They raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney and were holding six people and have identified the suspected ringleader, officials said. Nine other people were detained but were freed before the day was over.

Jury hears arguments in terror finance trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. jury was asked Thursday to decide whether executives at Jordan-based Arab Bank should be held responsible for a wave of suicide bombings in the early 2000s that left several Americans dead or wounded, part of a high-stakes legal offshoot of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,

U.S.: Syrian rebel training may take 12 months

Moderate Syrian rebels, once made battle-ready by a U.S.-led coalition, may be asked to help restore the border between Syria and Iraq that the Islamic State group militants have effectively wiped out, the top American military official said Thursday.

Obama nominates US envoys to Mexico, India

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is nominating a former Clinton White House deputy chief of staff as ambassador to Mexico and a former senior State Department official and prominent Indian-American as ambassador to India.

A glance at disputed passages in Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson's best-selling book "Three Cups of Tea" came under intense scrutiny after 60 Minutes, author Jon Krakauer and some people in the book said some of the stories were fabricated. Here is a glance at some of those stories, what is being disputed and Mortenson's response in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Three suspects arrested in Chile subway bombing

Santiago (AFP) - Two men and a woman were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of involvement in a recent bombing in a subway station in the Chilean capital, police said.

World's separatist movements gather in Scotland

Edinburgh (AFP) - Members of separatist movements from around the world gathered in Scotland for its historic vote on independence on Thursday, declaring their own right to self-determination.

10,000 mark neo-Nazi killing of Greek rapper

Athens (AFP) - Around 10,000 people protested in Greece on Thursday to mark a year since the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by neo-Nazi Golden Dawn militants, which sparked a crackdown on the party.

Yemen clashes kill nearly 40 as UN envoy presses rebel talks

Sanaa (AFP) - Fighting between Shiite rebels and Sunni Islamists backed by troops killed nearly 40 people outside Sanaa Thursday, as the UN envoy huddled in the rebel stronghold to try to end Yemen's political crisis.

Water scarce for thousands in Mexico's Los Cabos as new storm looms

By German Medrano SAN JOSE DEL CABO (Reuters) - Thousands of tourists were stranded in the storm-battered Mexican Pacific resort of Los Cabos on Thursday, with water in short supply and looted stores sitting empty as a new hurricane threatened to buffet the popular tourist hub. Odile churned into the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula on Sunday as a Category 3 hurricane, wreaking havoc

Breivik's father says he is partially responsible for murders

Oslo (AFP) - The father of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik said on Thursday he felt partially responsible and regretted not having been there for his son before he killed 77 people in 2011.

Under-fire Zuma vows action on Nigeria church tragedy

Johannesburg (AFP) - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday vowed his government would do everything it can to help the families of 67 South Africans believed to have been killed in last week's church collapse in Nigeria.

Ukraine's pleas for lethal aid from US go unmet

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama welcomed the new leader of embattled Ukraine to the White House Thursday, but he stopped short of fulfilling his visitor's urgent request for lethal aid to fight Russian-backed separatists.

Bombings, shelling kill 20 in Baghdad Shiite areas

Baghdad (AFP) - Two bombings and shelling in Shiite-majority areas of north Baghdad killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 50 on Thursday, security and medical officials said.

Sierra Leone readies for controversial Ebola shutdown

Freetown (AFP) - Sierra Leone was preparing on Thursday for an unprecedented three-day nationwide shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus in a controversial move experts claim could worsen the epidemic.

Kurds issue call to arms as Islamic State gains in Syria

Islamic State fighters besieged a Kurdish city in northern Syria on Thursday after seizing 21 villages in a major assault, prompting a call to arms from Kurds in neighboring Turkey who urged followers to go and help resist the group's advance. The attack on the city of Ay al-Arab, known as Koran in Kurdish, came two days after the top U.S. military officer said the Syrian opposition would probab

Nigeria ruling party backs president's re-election bid

Abuja (AFP) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he was "overwhelmed" by his ruling party's unanimous decision on Thursday to choose him as its sole candidate for next year's presidential poll.

Federal appeals judge: Argentina's bullying a bank

NEW YORK (AP) — Judges on a federal appeals panel in New York say they suspect Argentina has gone rogue, ignoring court orders and bullying a U.S. bank to try to prevent it from obeying a court order.


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