International News

IS is 'depraved'

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned twin bomb attacks by the Islamic State group that ripped through crowds of minority Shi'ite Hazaras in the Afghan capital, killing at least 80.
"Afghanistan terror bombings another instance of depth of Daesh depravity: Shia and Sunni are both victims and must unite to defeat extremists," Zarif tweeted on Saturday, using another name for IS.
IS claimed responsibility for the Saturday blasts, which hit during a huge protest in Kabul, the deadliest attacks there since 2001.
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Erdogan dissidents appalled by coup

A gloomy mood pervades Istanbul's chic, secular neighbourhood of Besiktas, a left-wing stronghold and centre of opposition against Erdogan.
While most here have no taste for military rule and are grateful the putsch failed, they are also anxious about what they call the subsequent "counter-coup" that has seen thousands detained.
"It appears a witch-hunt is under way," said 25-year-old university student and bartender Emre, as he crushed ice in a hipster cafe in the district that overlooks the Bosphorus.
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Lady and the Trump

Donald Trump told the Republican National Convention on Tuesday that he would win the White House in November, saying he was “so proud” to be their nominee for US president.
“This is a movement. But we have to go all the way. I am so proud to be your nominee for president,” he told delegates by video link.
The New York billionaire, who has never previously held public office, said it had been “a very special day” to watch his adult children declare New York’s delegate count that put him over the top.
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Islamist suspicion hardens in German train axe attack

Authorities said yesterday they strongly suspected an Islamist motive in an axe and knife attack carried out on a German train by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee that seriously wounded four members of a family from Hong Kong.
The assault on a regional train near the southern city of Wuerzburg Monday left two of the victims in a critical condition, said Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria state.
The teenage assailant was killed as he tried to flee.
“We hope that those who were gravely injured make it,” Herrmann told ZDF public television.
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Melania’s excruciating blunder

Melania Trump - until now only a minor presence on the campaign trail - found herself in the midst of an embarrassing plagiarism controversy yesterday after a prime-time defence of her husband Donald that appeared to be lifted in part from a speech given by Michelle Obama.
No sooner had the poised, 46-year-old former model delivered her speech to cheering delegates at the Republican National Convention than the unmistakeable similarities to a passage from Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democratic convention came to light.
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Morocco wants to rejoin African Union

Morocco wants to rejoin the African Union, 32 years after quitting the bloc in protest at its decision to accept Western Sahara as a member, King Mohammed VI said Sunday.
Morocco maintains that Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, is an integral part of the kingdom even though local Sahrawi people led by the Polisario Front have long campaigned for the right to self-determination.
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S. Sudan battles to avert 'catastrophe'

Street sweepers in South Sudan's capital Juba have cleaned up the blood and bullet casings after gun battles at the presidential palace, but salvaging peace will be a far harder task, analysts warn.
A shaky ceasefire has held since fighting that raged in Juba last week, leaving hundreds dead and forcing thousands to flee their homes.
The country's peace agreement is in tatters, but diplomats balk at throwing it away entirely.
AU special envoy Alpha Oumar Konare has pleaded for the deal to be rebuilt, warning that the consequences of failure are dire.
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Turkey presses crackdown against coup suspects

Turkish security forces launched fresh raids yesterday in a relentless crackdown against the suspected plotters of a coup that left over 290 dead, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mooted reintroducing the death penalty to punish them.
Erdogan faced down the coup bid late Friday by elements in the military disgruntled with his 13-year rule. But Turkey's allies have warned him against excessive retribution as the authorities round up the perpetrators.
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Turkey reassures Namibia

The Turkish embassy in Namibia has assured the Namibian government that its democratically elected government is still in charge of the country following a failed coup which the embassy says was “a terrorist campaign”.
In a statement to the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in Namibia, the embassy said the coup attempt was staged by the Fethullah Gülen terrorist organisation.
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Mass arrests over coup attempt

Turkish authorities rounded up dozens of senior military personnel and judges in a ruthless crackdown yesterday, after thousands massed in the streets nationwide overnight to denounce a coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
World leaders including US President Barack Obama have strongly condemned the attempted putsch but also urged Turkey to respect the “rule of law” in its aftermath, especially after pictures emerged showing the rough treatment of some coup plotters when arrested.
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