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  • Cleveland police say 71 people arrested overnight in protest …
    Cleveland police say 71 people arrested overnight in protest …

    By Aaron Josefczyk CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Some 71 people were arrested in Cleveland overnight during protests that flared after a police officer was found not guilty in the shooting deaths of an unarmed black man and a woman following a high-speed car chase in 2012, police said on Sunday. Protests were mostly peaceful after the judge's verdict was announced on Saturday, Police Chief Calvin Williams said. Over the past year, the deaths of unarmed black men during confrontations with police in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, Baltimore and elsewhere have spawned protests and occasional violent outbursts around the United States.

  • Magnitude 5.7 quake strikes north of Tonga - USGS

    (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck 216 km (135 miles) north-northwest of the capital of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.7, struck at 1439 GMT. Its epicentre was recorded as 35 km below the seabed. (Editing by David Clarke)

  • Iraq regains ground from Islamic State; mass deaths reported …
    Iraq regains ground from Islamic State; mass deaths reported …

    BAGHDAD/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iraqi forces recaptured territory from advancing Islamic State militants near the recently-fallen city of Ramadi on Sunday, while in Syria the government said the Islamists had killed hundreds of people since capturing the town of Palmyra. The fall of Ramadi and Palmyra, on opposite ends of the vast territory controlled by Islamic State fighters, were the militant group's biggest successes since a U.S.-led coalition launched an air war to stop them last year. The near simultaneous victories against the Iraqi and Syrian armies have forced Washington to examine its strategy, which involves bombing from the air but leaving fighting on the ground to local forces in both countries.

  • U.S. defense chief says Iraqi forces lacked will to fight Islamic …

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Sunday said Iraqi forces showed no will to fight against Islamic State militants during the fall of Ramadi a week ago, and U.S. forces were trying to encourage them to engage more directly. "The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter told CNN's "State of the Union" program. "They vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they withdrew from the site." Carter said the United States was continuing to provide air strikes and supply Iraqi forces with training and equipment.

  • Italy coast guard rescues 70 Afghan, Iraqi migrants from crowded …
    Italy coast guard rescues 70 Afghan, Iraqi migrants from crowded …

    Seventy Afghan and Iraqi migrants were rescued from a packed boat off the southeastern coast of Italy and brought to shore on Sunday, Italy's coast guard said. Italy closed down a specialised naval mission to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean last year, but continues to bear the brunt of the rescues as the European Union and member states conduct talks on how to deal with the influx. Two Italian coast guard cutters brought the group to the port of Santa Maria di Leuca in Puglia.

  • Syria says Islamic State executes hundreds in Palmyra

    By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters have executed at least 400 people in Palmyra since capturing the ancient Syrian city four days ago, Syrian state media said on Sunday. It was not immediately possible to verify the account, but it was consistent with reports by activists that the Islamist fighters had carried out executions since capturing the city from government troops. The two near simultaneous victories were Islamic State's biggest successes since a U.S.-led coalition began an air war against the fighters last year, and have forced an examination of whether the strategy is working.

  • Pope urges help for migrants stranded in Bay of Bengal
    Pope urges help for migrants stranded in Bay of Bengal

    Pope Francis called on the international community on Sunday to help migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, thousands of whom have been stranded on boats with dwindling supplies. "I continue to follow with profound worry and pain in my heart the stories of many refugees in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea," Francis said to crowds who had gathered for his Pentecost Sunday address in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. After Thailand cracked down on the practice, traffickers began abandoning overloaded boats on the open sea rather than trying to smuggle the people through Thailand.

  • Mass graves of suspected trafficking victims found in Malays …

    By Praveen Menon and Trinna Leong KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Mass graves and suspected human-trafficking detention camps have been discovered by Malaysian police in towns and villages bordering Thailand, the country's home minister said on Sunday. Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said officials are determining whether the graves were of human-trafficking victims, but did not say how many dead bodies were discovered. "This is still under investigation," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Saudi king vows to punish those behind suicide attack - agen …
    Saudi king vows to punish those behind suicide attack - agen …

    Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Sunday he was "heartbroken" over a suicide bombing at a Shi'ite mosque in the kingdom that killed 21 people, state news agency SPA reported, a conciliatory statement as sectarian strife intensifies in the region. Salman said anyone linked to the attack, claimed by the Islamist militant group Islamic State, or who sympathises with it, will be brought to justice. The bombing in Saudi Arabia came as tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are on the increase in the region.

  • Insight - Unable to halt Europe-bound migrants, Tripoli demands …
    Insight - Unable to halt Europe-bound migrants, Tripoli demands …

    By Ulf Laessing TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Europe cannot halt the deadly traffic of African migrants across the Mediterranean unless it ends a boycott of forces that have seized power in the Libyan capital and helps authorities there cope, the de facto government in Tripoli said. Chaos and civil war since NATO warplanes helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 have turned the North African country into the launching point for human traffickers smuggling tens of thousands of people across the Mediterranean. Libya's rulers have rounded up thousands of Europe-bound African migrants in makeshift detention centres.

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