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Russian humanitarian aid convoy
2014.08.23 04:56:25

Chancellor Angela Merkel said in two separate phone calls on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko that she was concerned that a Russian humanitarian aid convoy crossed into Ukraine without permission, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Seibert also said in a statement that Merkel had praised Ukraine's prudent reaction after she said Russia risked exacerbating an already tense situation there.

She also appealed for quick agreements on a ceasefire and territorial integrity.

"Chancellor Merkel expressed her great concern about the fact that the convoy had crossed the border without the approval of Ukraine, without accompanying by the Red Cross and in part without any previous inspection," Seibert said in a statement.

"Russia thus knowingly risked escalating an already tense situation," he added. "She praised the prudent Ukrainian reaction."

Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Germany

Hits: 248 |

Lithuanian honorary consul 'brutally killed' in east Ukraine
2014.08.23 04:39:41

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on Friday that the country's honorary consul in eastern Ukraine's Lugansk has been kidnapped and killed by the pro-Russian rebels there.

"With deep sorrow just learned about Lithuania's honorary consul in Lugansk Mr. Mykola Zelenec kidnapped and brutally killed by terrorists there,"

Linkevicius, who is on a visit to Kiev, wrote on his Twitter blog.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Lithuania

Hits: 264 |

173 MH17 crash victims identified: The Hague
2014.08.23 04:38:17

Forensic experts have identified 46 additional victims of the downed MH17 flight, bringing to 173 the total number of passengers killed whose identity has been verified, the Dutch justice ministry said on Friday.

"Among the 46 victims, 26 were of Dutch nationality," the ministry said in a statement.

"The relatives of victims have been informed," it said, adding that the nationalities of non-Dutch fatalities would remain private "at the request of these countries' embassies".

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 exploded over rebel-held east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board, with the West accusing Russia-backed separatists of shooting it down and Moscow blaming Kiev.

The identities of some passengers may never be known as the search for human remains has been repeatedly disrupted by fierce clashes between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops around the crash site.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | MH17

Hits: 258 |

An Israeli civilian has been severely injured
2014.08.23 04:37:17

The Israeli army has said that an Israeli civilian has been severely injured by a rocket that hit Ashdod.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 182 |

Rebels say Russian convoy arrives in Lugansk
2014.08.23 04:36:25

Pro-Moscow rebels claimed the first lorries of a mammoth Russian aid convoy had arrived Friday in east Ukraine's rebel bastion of Lugansk after crossing over the border without Kiev's permission.

"Really, the first vehicles have reached Lugansk," Konstantin Knyrik, the head of a separatist news agency told Russia's Interfax wire service.

The claim could not be immediately verified as the besieged city has been without phone connection for weeks.
Russian state media also claimed the convoy entered the besieged city.

A British freelance journalist, posted pictures on Twitter that he had purportedly taken of the convoy in the heart of the ravaged industrial hub.

"The first traffic jam in 'war' Lugansk. And the Russian humanitarian aid is now here!" Graham Philips, who has worked occasionally for Russian state-owned media, wrote.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 166 |

40 were injured in the latest Israeli airstrike
2014.08.23 04:22:04

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed at least 40 were injured in the latest Israeli airstrike on a residence in Al-Sabra District in Gaza city.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 148 |

NATO sees alarming build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine
2014.08.23 04:21:21

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday the alliance had observed an alarming build-up of Russian ground and air forces in the vicinity of Ukraine.

"We have also seen transfers of large quantities of advanced weapons, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery to separatist groups in eastern Ukraine," Rasmussen said in a statement.

Rasmussen said Russia continued to escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine and that this could lead to further isolation of Moscow.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | NATO

Hits: 154 |

Friday's attack on a Sunni mosque
2014.08.23 04:20:19

The UN Secretary General has condemned in the "strongest terms" Friday's attack on a Sunni mosque in Bani Wais, near Baquba.

Ban Ki-Moon called on the Iraqi government to ensure the attack was properly investigated and those responsible were held to account.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the impact such acts of sectarian violence will have on the already grave security situation and on the political process," a statement by the UN said.

More than 70 people are believed to have died in the attack.

Tags: Iraq

Hits: 95 |

Clashes near Nablus
2014.08.23 04:19:28

At least 10 Palestinians have been injured in clashes near Nablus between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters as rage mounted across the West Bank over Israel's 47th day assault against the Gaza Strip that has killed more than2092.

The injuries occurred in clashes with Israeli forces at Beit Furik checkpoint east of Nablus, Palestine TV reported on Friday.

Tags: Gaza | Israel

Hits: 117 |

Russia complies with international law in convoy operation
2014.08.23 04:18:30

Moscow is not in breach of international law over its humanitarian convoy to Ukraine, a senior Russian diplomat said on Friday.

"We are acting in full accordance with international humanitarian law norms," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement.

"We cannot accept and will not accept the disastrous situation in which people living in the south-east of Ukraine have found themselves.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 128 |

Sunni parliamentary blocs suspended talks
2014.08.23 04:17:45

Two Sunni parliamentary blocs have suspended talks on forming a new Iraqi government to protest an attack on a Sunni mosque that killed at least 64 worshipers during Friday prayers.

The blocs affiliated with Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al Mutlak are demanding that outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the main Shia parliamentary bloc hand over the perpetrators within 48 hours and compensate the families of victims. [AP]

Tags: Iraq

Hits: 98 |

Israeli child killed by mortars
2014.08.23 03:37:55

A spokesman for Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel's Prime Minister has promised harsh retaliation for the death of an Israeli child killed by mortars- the first Israeli child killed in the conflict.

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Benjamin Netanyahu

Hits: 127 |

EU condemns Russia convoy entering Ukraine
2014.08.23 03:36:34

Russia's decision to send a convoy of aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine without Kiev's consent or an escort of international observers is a clear violation of Ukraine's border, the EU's foreign policy chief's office said on Friday.

"This is a clear violation of the Ukrainian border. This also goes counter to the previous arrangements reached between Ukraine, Russia and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross)," Sebastien Brabant, spokesman for the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said.

"We urge Russia to reverse its decision."

Ukraine said Russia had launched a "direct invasion" of its territory, while Moscow warned against any attempt to disrupt the convoy which it said was a purely humanitarian operation.

The EU said it commended Kiev's restraint and readiness for talks to avoid a further escalation of the crisis, adding Russia's humanitarian assistance should be channeled in full respect of international law and agreements with Ukraine.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union

Hits: 138 |

Germany distances itself from Qatar-Islamic State allegations
2014.08.23 03:34:57

Germany said Friday it regretted any offense caused to Qatar after a cabinet minister linked the Arab state to financing of  Islamic State group fighters in Syria and Iraq.

"We regret if there have been any misunderstandings" a foreign ministry  spokesman said after the comments by Development Aid Minister Gerd Mueller to a  German public broadcaster.

On the funding allegations, he said: "I am not aware of such information."

Mueller, speaking to ZDF about the financing the group Islamic  State group, said: "A story like this always has a history ... Who is financing  these troops? Hint: Qatar."

Doha denies supporting the fighters who have overrun large parts of Syria and Iraq and who this week sparked global outrage with the  release of a video showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley. [AFP]

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Qatar | Germany

Hits: 153 |

Al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for firing rocket
2014.08.23 03:22:17

Al-Qassam Brigades has claimed responsibility for firing a rocket at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Qassam Brigades

Hits: 118 |

Russian foreign ministry statement:
2014.08.23 03:20:55

"The responsibility for any possible consequences of provocations against the humanitarian convoy lie completely with those who are ready to continue to sacrifice human lives for their ambitions and geopolitical plans."

Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 160 |

Attack on a Sunni mosque in Baquba
2014.08.23 03:20:09

The death toll from an attack on a Sunni mosque in Baquba has gone up to at least 73.

Local sources say fighters from a Shia militia, locked the doors inside the mosque in Diyala province, 120km from Baghdad, and opened fire of worshipers inside.

Witnesses also said the attack could have been in retaliation for a roadside bomb attack on a recruitment event held by the same militia.

Tags: Iraq

Hits: 128 |

Netanyahu use an image of James Foley's execution to link Hamas to the Islamic State
2014.08.23 03:07:50

Hamas spokesman Izzat al-Rishq has criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for using a picture of a slain American journalist to equate Hamas to the Islamic State group

Netanyahu used an image of James Foley's execution to link Hamas to the Islamic State group On Thursday, but later removed the picture.

"The attempt by Netanyahu and his spokesman Ofir Gendelman to link Hamas and compare us with other groups is a deception and disinformation campaign that will not fool anyone", Rishq said in a statment on Friday.

"We strongly condemn and reject how Netanyahu, Gendelman and the Israeli media exploit the picture of the slain American journalist James Foley who was executed in a brutal manner", he added.

"We condemn  the low and cheap use of this image without any respect for the sanctity of the dead."

The picture is still up on the Israeli Foreign Ministry's twitter account.

Foley's sister had previously asked that people refrain from watching or sharing the video of Foley's execution.

"Please honor James Foley and respect my family's privacy. Don't watch the video. Don't share it. That's not how life should be", she wrote on Twitter.

Her Twitter account has since been deleted.

Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Islamic State

Hits: 453 |

Ukrainian authorities:
2014.08.23 03:04:15

90 trucks from a Russian aid convoy had crossed into Ukraine without permission:

"They passed into Ukraine without clearance or participation of the International Red Cross or (Ukrainian) border guards."

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko

"We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine."

Ukrainian state security chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 156 |

700,000 Iraqis have gathered in the Kurdish north
2014.08.23 03:01:56

About 700,000 Iraqis have gathered in the Kurdish north after being driven from their homes by Islamic State fighters, the United Nations said as it stepped up a massive aid operation to the region.

"The Kurdistan region of Iraq is now hosting close to 700,000 displaced Iraqis, most having arrived in early June," Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN's refugee agency, told reporters in Geneva.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State

Hits: 127 |

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