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  • Scientist Dawkins in Twitter storm over Down's Syndrome
    Scientist Dawkins in Twitter storm over Down's Syndrome

    Scientist Richard Dawkins apologised on Thursday for causing a "feeding frenzy" on Twitter after he said it would be immoral not to abort a foetus with Down's Syndrome. Dawkins, who has been at the centre of a series of controversies on social media, responded to a user who said they would face a "real ethical dilemma" if they discovered they were expecting a baby with Down's Syndrome.

  • Hamas leader: Don't compare us to ISIL
    Hamas leader: Don't compare us to ISIL

    As much of the world expressed revulsion over the beheading of American journalist James Foley by an ISIL executioner, Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal took pains to disassociate his organization from the Islamist militant group that has conducted a murderous rampage across a large swath of Syria and Iraq.

  • 'Just a few strikes': Iraq militia wants help from old US foe
    'Just a few strikes': Iraq militia wants help from old US foe

    Jurf al-Sakhr (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraq's Mahdi Army fought US troops to the death in past years, but now some members of the rebranded Shiite militia say they could do with a little help from their old foe. Jurf al-Sakhr is a sprawling patchwork of orchards and palm groves south of Baghdad irrigated by the Euphrates River, but the beauty of the scenery belies the deadliness of one of Iraq's most relentless battlefields. Positions are hard to hold and weeks of military yo-yo between Islamic State (IS) jihadists and pro-government forces, including the Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades), which counts many Mahdi Army members among its fighters, have killed hundreds and produced no victor. "I fought the American occupation in 2004 and up to 2006," Saad Thijil, 30, said near a bombed-out building in Jurf al-Sakhr, his rifle strapped behind his back.

  • Argentina slams U.S. judge as 'imperialist,' peso halts rout

    By Jorge A. Otaola and Richard Lough BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina on Friday accused the U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa blocked payments to holders of issued under U.S. Griesa ruled that measures proposed by Argentina's president late on Tuesday to make debt payments locally and push bondholders to bring their debt under Argentine law violated past court rulings. President Cristina Fernandez's measures, if enacted and executed, would potentially allow Argentina to skirt Griesa's court orders and thus resume interest payments on an estimated $29 billion in restructured bonds.

  • Gaza gunmen execute 'collaborators'; mortar kills Israeli boy
    Gaza gunmen execute 'collaborators'; mortar kills Israeli boy

    Hamas-led gunmen in Gaza executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel on Friday, accelerating a crackdown on suspected informers after Israeli forces tracked down and killed three senior Hamas commanders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to escalate the fight against Hamas, vowing the group would "pay a heavy price" after a four-year-old Israeli boy was killed by a mortar attack from Gaza, the first Israeli child to die in the six-week conflict. Shortly after his remarks, Palestinian officials said Israel had flattened a house in a Gaza City air strike, wounding at least 40 people. Israel's military spokesman said another ground war was possible if necessary to stop the rocket fire.

  • Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'
    Interpol seeks clues to Thai 'baby factory'

    BANGKOK (AP) — Interpol said it has launched a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the "Baby Factory" case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to father hundreds more.

  • Who was customer 379? Starbucks customers 'pay it forward' in Florida for 378 orders
    Who was customer 379? Starbucks customers 'pay it forward' in Florida for 378 orders

    At approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday, a woman in her mid-60s ordered an iced coffee from the drive-thru at a St. Petersburg, Florida, Starbucks and offered to pay for a caramel macchiato ordered by the person behind her. For the next 11 hours, nearly 400 customers followed suit.

  • Robin Williams' ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay
    Robin Williams' ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay

    Comedian Robin Williams' ashes have been scattered in the San Francisco Bay following his apparent suicide, according to a death certificate released by Marin County on Thursday. Williams, 63, was found hanged in his Tiburon, California, home last week. The "Mrs. Doubtfire" star had been suffering from severe depression, anxiety and early Parkinson's disease before his death. Williams' cremated remains were released on Aug. 12, the day after his death, according to the document.

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