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Iraq has arrested an Iranian-backed Shia militia leader whose group claimed responsibility for a mortar bomb attack near a border post in Saudi Arabia in November, police sources said on Thursday.

 

Wathiq al-Battat, commander of Iraq's al-Mukhtar army militia, was arrested at a checkpoint in north-eastern Baghdad, a police source said.

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The colonel in charge of military operations against rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been killed in an ambush along with three other soldiers.

 

Colonel Mamadou Ndala, who helped to secure the military defeat of the M23 rebel group in November, died of his injuries after a rocket attack on his vehicle near the village of Mazizi in North Kivu province, government spokesman Lambert Mende said.

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The Chinese consulate in San Francisco has said its compound was damaged in an arson attack and urged American authorities to protect the safety of its diplomats and its premises.

 

The consulate said in a notice on its website that a person came out of a van parked outside the compound on Wednesday night with two buckets of petrol, poured the fuel on the front door of the consulate building and set it on fire.

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The Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane and a teenage accomplice from Maryland provided "very significant" assistance to US authorities in several terrorism investigations but still remain threats to the public, prosecutors say in new court filings.

 

Prosecutors said Colleen LaRose, 50, should be sentenced to "decades behind bars" for her role in a failed 2009 plot to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who offended many Muslims by drawing the Prophet Mohammed on the head of a dog.

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An exiled former Rwandan intelligence chief was found murdered in a Johannesburg hotel room, police said on Thursday, in a killing which the country's opposition party blamed on the government.

 

Patrick Karegeya, who once headed military intelligence in his homeland, fled to South Africa in 2007 after allegedly plotting a coup against President Paul Kagame with former Rwandan army chief Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, who was also exiled there.

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An Indonesia police anti-terrorism squad has shot dead six fighters and arrested another in an all-night standoff at a house near the capital Jakarta, officials said.

 

Brigadier-General Boy Rafli Amar, a National Police spokesman, said the shootout started late on Tuesday when most Indonesians were preparing for New Year's Eve celebrations and ended Wednesday.

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Newly leaked NSA documents this week showed that the spy agency has a way to gain "backdoor access" to iPhones and intercept items like text messages. The method reportedly has a 100% success rate.

Today, Apple responded to the report in a statement to AllThingsD, denying that the company has ever worked with the NSA to provide such access to its products, including iPhones.

Here's Apple's full statement:

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has upheld most of New York's new gun control law, rejecting arguments that its bans on large-capacity magazines and the sale of some semi-automatic rifles violate Second Amendment rights.

 

Judge William Skretny in Buffalo says those provisions are constitutional because they're related to achieving an "important governmental interest" in public safety. He says those two features make guns more lethal.

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Economists and economics writers are very excited about a Swiss proposal for an unconditional basic income (UBI), which would send every Swiss resident a monthly check for 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) simply for being alive.

But while this proposal this interesting, you shouldn't expect to see it implemented in 2014, if ever.

 

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JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudanese rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Macharhave seized control of Bor, the capital of restive Jonglei state, the town's Mayor said on Wednesday.

 

Nhial Majak Nhial told Reuters government troops loyal to President Salva Kiir had made a "tactical withdrawal" to Malual Chaat army barracks, 3 km (2 miles) south of the town on Tuesday, after fighting that started at dawn.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is racing to keep pace with stepped-up activity in the once sleepy Arctic frontier, but it is far from being in the lead.

 

Nations across the world are hurrying to stake claims to the Arctic's resources, which might be home to 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped natural gas. There are emerging fisheries and hidden minerals. Cruise liners filled with tourists are sailing the Arctic's frigid waters in increasing numbers. Cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route, one of two shortcuts across the top of the Earth in summer, is on the rise.

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Violence in Iraq surged in 2013 to its worst level in five years, figures released Wednesday showed, fuelled by discontent among the Sunni Arab minority and the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

 

Bombs tore through markets, cafes, football fields and mosques, militants assaulted prisons, police stations and other government facilities, and families were killed in their homes.

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Indiana’s Interstate-65 in Lake County was closed recently after a semi-tractor trailer hauling nearly 7,000-gallons of hexane overturned, allowing some of the solvent to leak.

A portion of I-65 northbound was closed for nearly 12 hours Saturday after a semi-tractor hauling hazardous materials overturned.

 

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A rampant misuse of antibiotics has led to the tuberculosisbacteria’s becoming increasing resistant to drugs, leading medical personnel to strains that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of a “ticking time bomb” as tuberculosis is getting increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

According to the WHO, almost 500,000 people have a type of TB that is resistant to at least two of the main drugs used to treat the disease. And since most of those infected are not diagnosed, they are spreading this deadly strand to more people every day, reports the BBC.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) say they foiled a terror plot recently when JTTF agents arrested a Wichita man they accuse of planning to detonate a explosive laden vehicle at a Kansas airport.

Authorities in Kansas have arrested a man they say was plotting to use a carload of explosives to blow up the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita.

The suspect, identified as Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old aviation technician, was arrested Friday morning at the airport, where he allegedly planned to drive a car loaded with explosives through the airport terminal, U.S. District Attorney Barry Grissom said in an afternoon news conference.

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Al-Qaeda militants are the main suspects in the recent bombing of a major Yemeni oil pipeline in the Usaylan area of Shabwa province, which halted the flow of crude oil through the oil Korean owned pipeline.

A Yemeni government official said that Al-Qaeda suspects bombed a major oil pipeline in the southeastern province of Shabwa of Yemen on Sunday evening.

 

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A recent item reported in the independent non-profit New York City based investigative journal ProPublica based on information leaked by Edward Snowden to the UK’s Guardian newspaper revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, to conduct surveillance on millions of people that play online games.

This story has been reported in partnership between The New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica based on documents obtained by The Guardian.

 

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Boko Haram members are reported to have executed multiple kidnapping incidents recently, when the outlawed Islamic sectambushed at least four motorists driving on Nigeria’s Gwoza-Firgi-Ngurosoya Federal Highway in Maiduguri. After the abductions setting the militants set the vehicles ablaze, and took the drivers to an unknown destination.

MAIDUGURI— Another set of terrorists, yesterday, ambushed motorists along Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu Road, setting ablaze two trucks loaded with oranges and another Toyota hilux vehicle, after abducting their drivers and taking them an unknown destination.

This was barely 24 hours after some suspected Boko Haram insurgents ambushed motorists along Gwoza-Firgi-Ngurosoya Federal Highway in Borno State, and killed five passengers, including a man on his way to Maiduguri to attend his brother’s wedding.

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According to Yemeni officials the tactics used in a recent massive and coordinated attack on the Defense Ministry Complex, which claimed the lives of 56 people, and injured over 215 others bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

SANAA: A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed car into the Yemeni defence ministry complex on Thursday, followed by an armed assault in which 52 people died, including seven foreign medical staff, officials said.

The brazen daylight attack on the sprawling facility followed a spate of hit-and-run strikes on military personnel and officials, as the country struggles to complete a thorny political transition.

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Hossein Mousavian the author of the book Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir said that Tehran already possesses the capability to build a nuclear bomb.

IRAN does not have a nuclear bomb, but is capable of building one, according to Princeton University associate research scholar and former head of Iran's Foreign Relations Committee at the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hossein Mousavian.

However, he said the West should have done more to challenge Israel's possession of nuclear arms.

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