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Australia police: No extremist motive found in hostel attack

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 10:12 PM

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police are investigating whether a French man accused of fatally stabbing a British woman while shouting the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar" had a romantic obsession with her.

Queensland Police Detective Superintendent Ray Rohweder said on Thursday that police had found no evidence the attack was motivated by extremism. But officials are looking into whether the suspect, 29-year-old Smail Ayad, had been rejected by 21-year-old Mia Ayliffe-Chung before allegedly stabbing her to death at a hostel on Tuesday night.

World's first self-driving taxis debut in Singapore

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 09:01 PM

SINGAPORE (AP) — The world's first self-driving taxis will be picking up passengers in Singapore starting Thursday.

Select members of the public will be able to hail a free ride through their smartphones in taxis operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup based in Massachusetts and Singapore.

Multiple companies have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years. But nuTonomy says it will be the first to offer rides to the public.

France: Syria and Islamic State blamed for chemical attacks

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 04:31 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — France's deputy U.N. ambassador says an international team is blaming the Syrian government and Islamic State militants for chemical weapons attacks in the conflict-wracked nation during 2014 and 2015.

Alexis Lamek said the U.N. Security Council must take action against the perpetrators following Wednesday's report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism.

Bankrupt businessman seizes Moscow bank, then surrenders

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 04:01 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow police say a man who claimed to have a bomb seized a bank in the center of Russia's capital and took four people hostage, but he later surrendered peacefully.

After an hours-long standoff Wednesday evening, police say the man, identified by Russian news organizations as a 55-year-old bankrupt businessman, released the hostages and gave himself up to police.

At least 1 dead in American University attack in Kabul

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 03:54 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials in the Afghan capital say militants killed at least one person and wounded another 18 in an attack today on the American University of Afghanistan. They say security forces are still combing the campus in search of attackers.

An official with the Ministry of Public Health says a guard employed by the university was killed and that the wounded included a foreign teacher.

France's Sarkozy brands burkinis a "provocation"

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 03:13 PM

PARIS (AP) — France's former conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has branded the full-body burkini swimsuits worn by some Muslim women a "provocation" that he says supports radicalized Islam.

A series of local town bans on burkinis in France has set off a heated debate in the strictly secular country. Sarkozy says Wednesday night that "we don't imprison women behind fabric."

Israel clears forces in several deadly 2014 Gaza war cases

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 03:08 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military has cleared its forces of wrongdoing in three deadly incidents of the 2014 Gaza war— including an airstrike that killed 15 members of a single family.

Wednesday's statement says the military has closed a total of seven investigations without filing charges after a special team collected testimony from Gaza residents and Israeli officers.

Kerry in Saudi Arabia for meetings on Yemen war impasse

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 02:41 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Saudi Arabia for meetings with the kingdom's senior royals and talks on Yemen's stalled peace process.

The United States has backed a Saudi-led coalition of nine Arab countries in a nearly 18-month bombing campaign against Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen. The Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

UN chief: Review potential information on Hammarskjold death

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 02:32 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for a review of potential new information, including from South Africa, on the mysterious 1961 plane crash that killed U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.

Ban recommended in a note to the U.N. General Assembly circulated Wednesday that either he or the 193-member world body appoint "an eminent person or persons" to conduct the review and "determine the scope that any further inquiry or investigation should take."

Merkel urges Britain to file EU exit request soon

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 02:27 PM

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Germany's leader has urged Britain to file a formal request to leave the European Union soon, even though the member states are prepared to give the U.K. time to decide its future ties with the bloc.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says the EU is otherwise busy and "can bide the time" that Britain needs "to decide for its part what relationship it wants to have with the European Union."

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