International

Pakistan arrest six over child wedding

MULTAN, Pakistan, Feb 7, (AFP): Police have arrested six people accused of arranging the marriage of a seven-year-old boy and six-yearold girl in eastern Pakistan, officials said Saturday. The fathers of both children, the cleric performing the ceremony, and three witnesses were charged under the Child Marriage Restraint Act on …

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Syria vows coffins for foreign boots

DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb 6, (Agencies): Syria’s foreign minister warned Saturday that Saudi or other foreign troops entering his country would “return home in wooden coffins” and asserted that recent military advances put his government “on track” to end the five-year-old civil war. Walid al-Moallem’s comments capped a week that saw …

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Assange ‘sex case’ sinks in int’l drama – Aussie minister offers assistance

LONDON, Feb 6, (Agencies): It started more than five years ago as what appeared to be a fairly simple sex crime case: two women in Sweden came forward to accuse Julian Assange of sexual misconduct. Now the case has mutated into a complicated international drama involving Britain, Sweden, the United …

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Italian student killed in Egypt criticised Cairo govt in articles

ROME, Feb 6, (Agencies): An Italian student found dead by a roadside in Cairo with cigarette burns and other signs of torture on his body had written articles critical of the Egyptian government, according to the Italian newspaper that published them. Il Manifesto, a left-wing newspaper based in Rome, published …

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Twitter blocks 125,000 accounts in terror crackdown – ‘Horrifi ed by extremist atrocities’

WASHINGTON, Feb 6, (AFP): Twitter said Friday it suspended more than 125,000 accounts, most of them linked to the Islamic State group, as part of increased efforts to eradicate “terrorist content” on the popular messaging platform. The accounts frozen since mid-2015 were targeted “for threatening or promoting terrorist acts,” said …

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Riyadh offers boots in Syria against DAESH

RIYADH, Feb 5, (Agencies): Saudi Arabia is ready to join any ground operation the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria might decide on, a general from the kingdom said on Thursday. “If there is any willingness in the coalition to go in the ground operation, we will …

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DAESH sending fighters ‘disguised’ as refugees

BERLIN, Feb 5, (Agencies): Islamic State militants have slipped into Europe disguised as refugees, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) said on Friday, a day after security forces thwarted a potential IS attack in Berlin. Hans-Georg Maassen said the terrorist attacks in Paris last November had shown that …

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New US intelligence report says DAESH weaker

BAGHDAD, Feb 5, (RTRS): Islamic State has as many as 25,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq, down from a previous estimate of up to 31,000, according to a US intelligence report revealed by the White House on Thursday. US officials cited factors such as battlefield casualties and desertions to explain …

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Australia eyes Syrian refugee ‘crackdown’

SYDNEY, Feb 5, (RTRS): Australia is considering subjecting thousands of refugees from Syria to tougher character and security checks than their European counterparts to minimise the risk of “extremist infiltration”, a leaked policy document says. The draft document singles out refugees from Syria as potentially holding beliefs or associations that …

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US to up fight against domestic extremists – ‘They present a clear and present danger’

WASHINGTON, Feb 4, (RTRS): The US Justice Department is considering legal changes to combat what it sees as a rising threat from domestic antigovernment extremists, senior officials told Reuters, even as it steps up efforts to stop Islamic State-inspired attacks at home. Extremist groups motivated by a range of US-born …

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