North Korean soldiers deployed south through the demilitarized zone

North Korean soldiers deployed south through the demilitarized zone

The South Korean military detained a North Korean soldier who crossed the heavily fortified demilitarised zone that separates the two countries, according to the South’s joint chiefs of staff (JSC). The soldier expressed his intention to defect to South Korea, the JSC said on Thursday. The unidentified active-duty soldier was first detected by thermal imaging equipment moving south near the Imjin river late on Wednesday and South Korean troops took him into custody just before midnight. Also on Wednesday the South Korean military recovered a body near the DMZ suspected…

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French opposition unites against CETA

French opposition unites against CETA

The French parliament is supposed to ratify the Canada-EU free trade agreement (CETA) on Tuesday (23 July), but the pending ratification is generating a great deal of opposition in the country. EURACTIV France reports. On Tuesday morning (23 July), the young climate activist Greta Thunberg is expected at the French National Assembly. Thunberg will be enthusiastically welcomed by the biggest group of the chamber, Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM). In the afternoon, the same MPs are expected to vote on the ratification of the Canada-EU free trade agreement, which…

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Rare photos shine light on ‘degrading’ conditions in Iraqi jails

Rare photos shine light on ‘degrading’ conditions in Iraqi jails

Photos have surfaced of overcrowded and “degrading” conditions in Iraqi detention centres used to hold thousands of men, women and children with suspected links to Islamic State. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday it had acquired rare photographic evidence of conditions falling short of the most basic international standards at three facilities in Nineveh province. HRW warned the situation could lead to the radicalisation of vulnerable prisoners. In one photograph, taken at Tal Kayf prison, dozens of women and small children are so tightly packed into a cell that…

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Southern California towns assess quake damage as aftershocks continue

Southern California towns assess quake damage as aftershocks continue

Communities in California’s Mojave Desert tallied damage and made emergency repairs to cracked roads and broken pipes Friday as aftershocks from the largest earthquake in 20 years to hit the region kept rumbling. The small town of Ridgecrest, close to the epicenter, assessed damage after several fires and multiple injuries that were blamed on the magnitude 6.4 quake. A shelter drew 28 people overnight, but not all of them slept inside amid the shaking. “Some people slept outside in tents because they were so nervous,” said Marium Mohiuddin of the…

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‘Scarecrow’ statue of Melania Trump unveiled in Slovenia to mixed reviews

‘Scarecrow’ statue of Melania Trump unveiled in Slovenia to mixed reviews

After Melania cake, Melania honey and even Melania slippers, the Slovenian home town of the US first lady will now boast a statue of its most famous daughter – albeit one that has faced decidedly mixed reviews. The life-size statue on the outskirts of Sevnica was inaugurated on Friday and is the brainchild of the 39-year-old American conceptual artist Brad Downey, who says it’s the first monument anywhere dedicated to the wife of Donald Trump. The sculpture was carved into a tree using a chainsaw and depicts Melania Trump in…

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Tigers kill Italian tamer as parliament mulls ban on circus animals

Tigers kill Italian tamer as parliament mulls ban on circus animals

Four tigers have mauled to death their tamer in southern Italy, fuelling calls for a ban on the use of animals in circuses as parliament debates the issue. Police said the 61-year-old tamer, Ettore Weber, was attacked by the tigers on Thursday during a training session in Triggiano, a small town in the Puglia region. All the circus’s eight tigers were impounded by the police, triggering protests from animal welfare associations. The Anti-Vivisection League (LAV) called for the tigers involved in the attack not to be killed, and urged the…

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Bury bodies along UK’s motorways to ease burial crisis, expert suggests

Bury bodies along UK’s motorways to ease burial crisis, expert suggests

From burials in pyramids to scattering ashes and even plastination, there has been no shortage of ideas about how to deal with human corpses. But with graveyards and crematoria almost full in Britain, the conundrum of what to do with the dead has resurfaced with new urgency. Now a leading public health expert has suggested the sides of motorways, cycle paths and even brownfield or former industrial sites could be transformed to house the dead. “We need to challenge local authorities and county councils and say as part of their…

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Ancient forests and vast marshlands added to UN heritage list

Ancient forests and vast marshlands added to UN heritage list

Ancient forests, vast marshlands and a natural park replete with glaciers, ice caves and volcanoes are among the sites that have been added to Unesco’s world heritage list. More than 1,000 sites around the world – some cultural, some natural, some both – are currently protected by listing. Landmarks or areas are chosen for their value to humanity. On Friday the World Heritage Committee announced the addition of the first of this year’s batch. More sites will be named over the weekend. Among them are the Hyrcanian forests in Iran, an ancient metallurgy site…

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Vlaams Belang MP shocks and angers with “swimming pool tweet”

Vlaams Belang MP shocks and angers with “swimming pool tweet”

Newly elected Vlaams Belang extreme right MP has been called out in the Flemish parliament for his “despicable message”. NV-A MP Matthias Diependaele reacted angrily in the Flemish parliament on Thursday, when a Vlaams Belang member’s provocative tweet was read out. In this tweet, Sam Van Rooy (VB) referred to a press article according to which a swimming pool in Utrecht (Netherlands) introduced different schedules for youngsters and families, fearing the former would upset the latter. “I know a ‘swimming pool’ where these ‘young people who disturb’ can go and…

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Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine: Four Political Parties to Enter the New Parliament

Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine: Four Political Parties to Enter the New Parliament

The survey conducted on July 8-10, 2019 showed that the new Ukrainian parliament would consist of the following political parties: “Sluga Narodu” Party led by Dmytro Razumkov and backed by the newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy (40.3%), “Opposition Platform – Za Zhittya” led by Yuriy Boyko, Vadim Rabinovich, and Viktor Medvedchuk (15.0%), the “European Solidarnist” Party of the former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (7.9%), and the “Batkivschyna” Party of Yulia Tymoshenko (5.8%). The other parties so far do not have enough public support to enter the next…

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