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38 killed, 155 wounded in twin bombings in Istanbul

on Dec. 10 : A double bombing hit central Istanbul near Beşiktaş’s Vodafone Arena Stadium. Thirteen suspects have been detained in connection to the attack, Soylu added. Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) expressed condolences to the relatives of the victims, vowing that the fight against terrorism would continue “until the last terrorist is neutralized.”

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13 soldiers killed, 56 wounded in attack in Turkey’s Kayseri

17 Dec : A car bomb attack on a bus in the central Turkish city of Kayseri said Interior Minister SüleymanSoylu. Soylu also said seven suspects were detained in connection with Kayseri bombing, search under way for five others. “The terrorist was identified,” Soylu added. The military earlier said that 13 soldiers were killed and 48 injured when a car bomb hit a bus transporting off-duty military personnel.

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Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan claims to have concrete documentary proof that the West is backing ISIS

By JAMES DUNN FOR MAILONLINE:-  Turkish President Erdogan has claimed he has evidence the West is supporting ISIS as he intensifies the political crackdown against rivals following a failed coup. Tayyip Erdogan claims to have photos and videos proving that western nations backed groups including Islamic State and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYD, who have launched numerous violent attacks on Turkey in the past. It comes as he called for the US to extradite his political nemesis, preacher Fethullah Gulen, who the authorities accused of leading a plot to seize power in July. Meanwhile, Turkish troops fighting ISIS in Syria have come up against increasing resistance, leading to a number of Turkish soldier deaths and casualties. Today’s accusation that the West supports terror groups comes as he called for Qatar and Saudi Arabia to be invited to talks with Russia on peace in Syria.

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Bombing at Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral kills 25

CAIRO (AP) 11 Dec:  A bombing at a chapel adjacent to Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 49 during Sunday Mass, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory. Egypt has seen a wave of attacks by Islamic militants since the military in 2013 overthrew President Mohammed Morsi, a freely elected leader and a senior Muslim Brotherhood official. Many of Morsi’s supporters blamed Christians for supporting the overthrow, and scores of churches and other Christian-owned properties in southern Egypt were ransacked that year.

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60 dead in collapsed Nigerian church

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) 11 Dec:   Metal girders and the roof of a crowded church collapsed onto worshippers in southern Nigeria, killing at least 60 people with the toll likely to rise, a hospital director said.The Reigners Bible Church International was still under construction and workers had been rushing to finish it in time for Saturday’s ceremony to ordain founder Akan Weeks as a bishop, congregants said.

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Deadly shootings hit police, citizens and tourists in Jordan’s Al Karak

18 Dec: KARAK, Jordan  Four Public Security Department (PSD) personnel, two citizens and a Canadian tourist were shot dead by unknown assailants in the southern city of Karak.  Crusader castle popular with tourists, killing seven officers, two local civilians and a woman visiting from Canada, officials said. Several armed men barricaded themselves inside the castle for hours, hemmed in by special forces soldiers. At least 34 people, including two foreign nationals, were wounded in the day’s violence, which was one of the bloodiest attacks in Jordan in recent memory.

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Russian ambassador shot dead in Ankara Art Gallery

ANKARA (Reuters)  19 Dec:  The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire. The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie and stood, alone, behind the ambassador as he began his speech at the art exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters. “He took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind. We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified. People took refuge in adjoining rooms as the shooting continued.

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Russian Military plane crashes into Black Sea near Sochi killing 92 people

25 Dec: The plane disappeared from radar two minutes after taking off from Sochi at 05:25 (02:25 GMT), heading for Latakia in Syria, the defence ministry said. A Tupolev Tu-154 plane that was carrying 92 people, including 84 passengers and eight crew members, disappeared from radar Sunday morning  two minutes after taking off from Sochi  (Adler Airport)  heading for Latakia in Syria, the defence ministry said. The Tu-154 was carrying soldiers, reporters and 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble who were to perform for Russian troops. The flight had originated in Moscow and landed at Adler airport in Sochi for refueling. The defence ministry said in a statement: “Fragments of the Tu-154 plane of the Russian defence ministry were found 1.5km (one mile) from the Black Sea coast of the city of Sochi at a depth of 50 to 70m (165-230ft).”

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At Least 12 Dead 48 Injured in Berlin (Germany) After Truck Crashes into Christmas Market

DEC. 19, 2016:BERLIN The Berlin police said that the truck jumped the sidewalk about 8 p.m. near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church whose jagged spire, a reminder of the bombings during World War II, is one of the most symbolic sites in the heart of former West Berlin.

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On Friday 23 Dec:  Berlin truck suspect killed in Italy shootout

23 Dec: MILAN: Italian police on Friday shot dead the prime suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack, ending a frantic four-day hunt for Europe’s most-wanted man.  Police said Amri had initially tried to pass himself off as being from southern Italy and had shouted “bastard police” in Italian before opening fire. Italian police said Amri traveled from Germany through France and into Italy after Monday night’s truck rampage in Berlin, and at least some of his journey was by rail.

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Romanian President Rejects Nomination of First-Ever Female Muslim PM

28, Dec : Romania’s president rejected the Social Democrat Party’s nominee for prime minister on Tuesday, infuriating the leftist PSD which won a general election two weeks ago. The party’s pick to lead the new government was Sevil Shhaideh, a close associate of PSD power broker Liviu Dragnea who was ruled out of the job due to a criminal conviction over a 2012 referendum-rigging case. Mr. Dragnea’s PSD won the Dec. 11 election by a wide margin and, with coalition partner and long-time ally ALDE, has 250 members in the 465-seat, two-house parliament, meaning it would easily get parliamentary approval for its government.

Ms. Shhaideh, a 52-year-old woman from Romania’s 65,000-strong Muslim community, is close to Mr. Dragnea, who was a witness at her 2011 wedding to a Syrian-born former agriculture ministry consultant. “I have carefully weighed the pro and con arguments and I have decided not to appoint Ms. Sevil Shhaideh,” President Klaus Iohannis told reporters, without elaborating on his reasoning.

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UN Security Council votes against Israeli settlements

28 Dec: No administration has done more for Israel than Obama’s.  The Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry laid out the Obama administration’s parameters for peace between Israel and the Palestinians during a speech at the State Department on Wednesday that lasted 71 minutes, one of the longest in US State Department history.

Primarily, Kerry called to create a secure and recognized border between Israel and a contiguous Palestine along the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed upon land swaps.

 “Israel will return land it has occupied since 1967. The borders must be secure and Palestine must be viable and contiguous,” Kerry clarified. Second, the secretary of state called to fulfill the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of two states for two people: A Jewish state and an Arab state, with full and equal rights for all citizens. Third, he stressed the need to provide a just and fair solution to the Palestinian refugees issues, including compensation, which is consistent with the idea of two states for two peoples. Fourth, Kerry spoke of the imperative to reach an agreed resolution for Jerusalem as the international, recognized capital of the two states.

“The solution will have to meet the needs not only of the parties, but of all three monotheistic religions,” Kerry said. Fifth, a peace accord between the two sides must bringi to a full end to the occupation while ensuring that Israel can defend itself effectively and Palestine could protect its people. “Defense is the fundamental issue for Israel, fully ending the occupation is the fundamental issue for the Palestinians,” he said. “Balancing both requirements is among the greatest challenges the US team has faced. But it’s one the US can help with the most.” Finally, he said, the sides must end the conflict and all outstanding claims, enabling all normal relations. “To bring closure to this conflict, so that everyone can move ahead to a peaceful future,” the secretary of state added.

 Trump tells Israel: Stay strong!

Shortly before the speech, US President-elect Donald Trump chided the Obama administration for its stance toward Israel.  “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US, but not anymore,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

‘Courtesy Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report”

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52 killed, 84 wounded in bombing outside Yemen military camp

18 Dec: Suspected suicide bomber blew himself up outside a military camp in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Sunday morning. The officials told The Associated Press that preliminary investigations showed the blast was the work of a bomber wearing an explosive vest.  The camp where the explosion took place is the same military base that was struck by a suicide bomber on Dec. 10, killing 57 soldiers.  The Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on the Islamic State-run Aamaq news agency.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa dies

CHENNAI: 5 Dec: Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, leader to many Tamils and ‘Amma’ to millions, J Jayalalithaa died on Monday 5 December, after undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai for 75 days. She was 68. Her formal entry into politics happened in 1982 when she was inducted into AIADMK by her mentor and former co-star MGR. She was given key responsibilities, including in the implementation of the landmark noon-meals scheme that taught her lessons in welfare politics.

 Jayalalitha, one of India’s most influential and colourful politicians, has been buried in the presence of tens of thousands of mourners. Her grave is located next to that of her mentor, MG Ramachandran.

Ramachandran, an actor turned politician, was instrumental in introducing her to politics.The fact that Jayalalitha was buried is unusual, as members of her caste are always cremated.

 Pakistan first Test team member Imtiaz Ahmed dies aged 88

Imtiaz, who would have turned 89 on January 5, was suffering from a chest infection for the last few days. He was also Pakistan’s oldest living Test cricketer at the time of his death.

He was featured in Pakistan´s first Test played in Delhi against India in October 1952 and went on to play 41 matches as a wicketkeeper-batsman. His death means that middle-order batsman Waqar Hasan, 84, is now the only surviving member of Pakistan´s first Test team. Imtiaz was known as an aggressive batsman who had a variety of strokes, most notably the hook and the pull shots.

He scored 2,079 Test runs for Pakistan with a career best of 209 against New Zealand in Lahore in 1955. He also kept the wickets with 93 dismissals in Test cricket. Though a middle-order batsman, he also opened the innings on various occasions. He put on 152 for the first wicket with the legendary Hanif Mohammad in the Bridgetown Test against West Indies in 1958, scoring 91. Hanif , who died in August this year, went on to score an epic 337 in 970 minutes — still the longest innings in Test cricket history. Imtiaz also captained Pakistan in four Tests against Australia and England .

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Pop superstar Singer George Michael  Died Of ‘Heart Failure’ On Christmas Morning

The death of 1980s pop icon George Michael left his fan base shocked and saddened by the sudden news on Sunday25 Dec 2016. It was with great sadness that we reported on Dec. 25th the death of George Michael, 53.

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” the late pop icon’s rep said in a statement to the BBC. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.” Numerous stars paid their respects to George immediately after the tragic news broke, such as One Republic, Nathan Sykes, and George’s close friend, Sir Elton John. “R.I.P George Michael,” One Republic wrote. “Beyond sad, you were a legend and you were far too young. Blasting “Last Christmas” now.”

In 1996 he entered in a long term relationship with Kenny Goss, a former flight attendant – the couple were later reported to have registered a civil partnership in the UK. He remained a strong musical force throughout his career, releasing dozens of records and touring to adoring crowds despite a growing number of run-ins with police, many of them stemming from a series of driving-under-the-influence-of-drugs incidents, including several crashes.

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Destructive Cyber Attack On Saudi Kingdom

20 Dec, 2016: – State-sponsored hackers have conducted a “series of destructive attacks” on Saudi Arabia, erasing data and wreaking havoc at the agency running the country’s airports, and hitting five additional targets. According to a report, “thousands of computers were destroyed at the headquarters of Saudi’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, erasing critical data and bringing operations there to a halt for several days”. This it was claimed was a false-flag operation by a foreign country aiming to escalate tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Several US Internet security companies later suggested the attacks were carried out by hackers using a virus called “Shamoon”, which has been linked to the Iranian government.

The Shamoon virus was the same that devastated Saudi oil company Aramco in 2012. According to the report, Shamoon “overwrites files and renders the infected computers inoperable by destroying the master boot record”. It spreads quickly “throughout a network, causing destruction like the digital version of a wildfire”. A secret document from April 2013, written by the US National Security Agency and revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, pointed the finger directly at Iran. It said: “Iran’s destructive cyber-attack against Saudi Aramco in August 2012, during which data was destroyed on tens of thousands of computers, was the first such attack NSA has observed from this adversary.It spreads quickly “throughout a network, causing destruction like the digital version of a wildfire”  “Iran, having been a victim of a similar cyber-attack against its own oil industry in April 2012, has demonstrated a clear ability to learn from the capabilities and actions of others.” In the past, there have been other suspicious incidents aimed at sabotaging Iran’s foreign relations.

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