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Russian missiles rain down on military sites across Ukraine, local officials say

Russian missiles rain down on military sites across Ukraine, local officials say

MAX HUNDER DOZENS of Russian missiles rained down on military facilities in western and northern Ukraine, local officials said, as Europe's biggest land conflict since World War Two entered its fifth month. The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine, Maxim Kozytskyi, said in a video posted online that six missiles were fired from the Black Sea at the Yavoriv base, with four hitting the base and two being intercepted and destroyed before hitting their target. Vitaliy Bunechko, governor of the Zhytomyr region in the north of the country, said strikes on a military target killed at least one…
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Horror on Oslo Pride day as gunman goes on deadly rampage at gay bar

Horror on Oslo Pride day as gunman goes on deadly rampage at gay bar

TERJE SOLSVIK and GWLADYS FOUCHE TERRIFIED revellers at a gay bar in Oslo hid in a basement and desperately called loved ones as a gunman went on the rampage, killing two people and injuring 21 on the day the city was due to celebrate its annual Pride parade. Authorities said the suspect, a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin, was believed to be a radicalised Islamist with a history of mental illness who had been known to intelligence services since 2015.  The attack took place in the early hours of Saturday, with victims shot inside and outside the London Pub,…
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Ghislaine Maxwell seeks to curb accusers’ testimony at sentencing

Ghislaine Maxwell seeks to curb accusers’ testimony at sentencing

JONATHAN STEMPEL GHISLAINE Maxwell urged a U.S. judge not to admit testimony from four female accusers at her sentencing next Tuesday for aiding the financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of underage girls. In a Friday letter to Circuit Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over Maxwell's trial and will sentence the British socialite, Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said it would be "unduly prejudicial" to publicize the women's "victim impact statements" or consider them when imposing sentence. "The sentencing proceeding should not be a bully pulpit for anyone who claims abuse," Sternheim wrote. Prosecutors and Maxwell's lawyers agreed that two other accusers,…
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Abortion ruling imperils gay marriage, other freedoms, liberal justices say

Abortion ruling imperils gay marriage, other freedoms, liberal justices say

ANDREW CHUNG THE U.S. Supreme Court's decision to erase the constitutional right to abortion provides a roadmap to end other freedoms involving marriage, sexuality and birth control, its three liberal members said, while conservative Justice Clarence Thomas urged the court to take just that path. Friday's 5-4 ruling, authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The court's three liberals, in a lengthy joint dissent, condemned the ruling as "catastrophic" and legally flawed - one that would let states force a woman to bring a pregnancy to term, and in some…
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Taliban fighter returns home to dead family and ruins after earthquake

Taliban fighter returns home to dead family and ruins after earthquake

SAYED HASSIB NOOR Shah Mohammad was serving as a Taliban soldier hundreds of miles from home when disaster struck early on Wednesday morning. A powerful earthquake reduced much of his village to rubble, killing residents as they slept including his wife, father, two sisters and a brother. When he heard the news, he said his heart raced and he panicked; he hitched the first ride he could find to take him to Asl Asha, close to the town of Gayan, where he found scenes of devastation. "I wasn't here, I was in Panjshir," Mohammad told Reuters, referring to the valley…
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Ukraine set to withdraw from Sievierodonetsk as Russia closes in

Ukraine set to withdraw from Sievierodonetsk as Russia closes in

MAX HUNDER and TOM BALMFORTH UKRAINE was set to pull its troops from the ruined city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of street fighting and bombardment, the regional governor said, in what would be a significant gain for Russia as it grinds out its offensive in the east. Russian troops also fully occupied a town about 10 km (6 miles) further south, Ukrainian officials said on Friday, as Moscow closed in on the last slivers of Ukrainian-held territory in the industrial region of Luhansk. Moscow said it had encircled about 2,000 Ukrainian troops in the area. Reuters could not independently verify…
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Russian cyber spies attack Ukraine’s allies, Microsoft says

Russian cyber spies attack Ukraine’s allies, Microsoft says

ZEBA SIDDIQUI RUSSIAN government hackers have conducted multiple cyber spy operations on countries allied with Ukraine since Moscow's February invasion of that country, Microsoft said in a report. "The cyber aspects of the current war extend far beyond Ukraine and reflect the unique nature of cyberspace," Microsoft President Brad Smith said in the report. The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Moscow has in the past denied conducting foreign cyber-espionage missions, saying it "contradicts the principles of Russian foreign policy."Advertisement · Scroll to continue Researchers had already traced a series of destructive cyberattacks…
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France opens investigation into rape allegations against minister Zacharopoulou

France opens investigation into rape allegations against minister Zacharopoulou

THE Paris public prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation into allegations of rape against French Secretary of State for Development and the Francophonie, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou after two complaints had been received. A first complaint for rape was submitted on May 25, which led to the opening of the investigation on May 27. A second complaint was filed on June 16, the prosecutor's office said. Officials at the minister's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Zacharopoulou, a trained physician, previously worked as a gynaecologist before moving to politics. French media earlier reported the complaints were…
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Afghan Taliban say rescue effort almost complete one day after earthquake kills 1,000

Afghan Taliban say rescue effort almost complete one day after earthquake kills 1,000

AID began arriving in a remote part of Afghanistan where an earthquake killed 1,000 people, with Taliban officials saying the rescue operation was almost complete. The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck early on Wednesday about 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan. Poor communications and a lack of proper roads are hampering relief efforts in a country already grappling with a humanitarian crisis which has deteriorated since the Taliban took over last August. "The rescue operation has finished, no one is trapped under (the) rubble," Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a…
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China’s Xi criticises sanctions ‘abuse’, Putin scolds the West

China’s Xi criticises sanctions ‘abuse’, Putin scolds the West

GUY FAULCONBRIDGE CHINESE President Xi Jinping criticised "the abuse" of international sanctions, while Russian President Vladimir Putin scolded the West for fomenting global crisis, with both leaders calling for greater BRICS cooperation. Xi called on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to take up the responsibility conferred by their economic clout, and said they should stand up for a truly multinational international system based on the United Nations. "We must abandon Cold War mentality and block confrontation and oppose unilateral sanctions - and the abuse of sanctions," Xi told the BRICS summit through a translator. "Our meeting today…
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