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Syrian government launches Aleppo ground attack

By Tom Perry and Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian government forces and their allies attacked the opposition-held sector of Aleppo on several fronts on Tuesday, the biggest ground assault yet in a massive new campaign that has destroyed a U.S.-backed ceasefire. The United States says the assault on Aleppo is proof that President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and regional allies have abandoned an international peace process to pursue victory on the battlefield after nearly six years of civil war. More than 250,000 civilians are believed to be trapped inside the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo, where intensive bombing over the past week has killed hundreds of people, many trapped under buildings brought down by bunker-busting bombs.

Britain's fear of European army muddles EU defense plan

By Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Britain said on Tuesday it would oppose any EU proposals to combine European forces into a single army while it is still in the bloc, but France and Germany said no such plans existed and won support from NATO to strengthen EU defenses. At a meeting of EU defense ministers in Bratislava, Britain's Michael Fallon said it was up to NATO, not the European Union, to defend Europe against a more hostile Russia and that some northern and eastern EU countries agreed.

Blasts kill at least 17 in Baghdad: police, medics

Three blasts killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 50 in predominantly Shi'ite Muslim districts of Baghdad on Tuesday, police and medical sources said. A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in a commercial street in the eastern Baghdad al-Jadida area of the Iraqi capital, killing nine people and wounding more than 30, they said. Another suicide attack hit a commercial street of Bayaa in western Baghdad, killing six and wounding 22, the sources said.

Germany boosts security for Muslim centres in Dresden after mosque bombing

German police are stepping up protection of Muslim institutions in Dresden after two improvised bombs exploded in the eastern city on Monday evening, one at a mosque and one at an international conference centre. "Even if we so far have no claim of responsibility, we must go on the basis that the motive was xenophobic," Horst Kretzschmar, president of Dresden police, said in a statement. Kretzschmar said three mosques, a Muslim social centre and a prayer room would be given protection immediately.

India-Pakistan tensions rise after Indian PM cancels trip

By Tommy Wilkes and Drazen Jorgic NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Tensions between India and Pakistan rose on Tuesday as India's leader canceled a visit to a regional summit and Islamabad warned it would treat it as "an act of war" if India revoked a water treaty. India blames Pakistan for a deadly assault on an army base in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir this month that has heightened fears of a new conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors. India says militants sneaked across the de facto border that separates the countries and killed 18 soldiers on Sept. 18, the biggest loss of life for Indian security forces in the region for 14 years.

Panama sends U.S. extradition request for ex-president Martinelli

Panama has sent the U.S. Department of State an extradition request for former President Ricardo Martinelli to be returned to the Central American nation, a spokesman for Panama's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Martinelli, who is accused of using public money to spy illegally on more than 150 people, left Panama in January 2015 and is believed to be living in Miami. In response to the extradition request, Martinelli lashed out at current government and described himself as a victim of a politically motivated witchhunt.

Malian jihadist jailed for Timbuktu attacks

War crimes judges jailed a Malian jihadist Tuesday for nine years for demolishing Timbuktu's fabled shrines, a landmark ruling seen as a warning that destroying mankind's heritage will not go unpunished. In the first such case to focus on cultural destruction as a war crime, the International Criminal Court found Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi guilty of directing attacks on the UNESCO world heritage site during the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012. Mahdi "supervised the destruction and gave instructions to the attackers" who took pickaxes and bulldozers to the centuries-old shrines, presiding judge Raul Pangalangan told the tribunal.

A Miss Universe insulted by Trump steps up for Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) ? When she gained weight after being crowned Miss Universe for 1996, Alicia Machado said, Donald Trump labeled her with a sexist nickname ? "Miss Piggy" ? that caused her shame and humiliation.

Oil slumps as Iran-Saudi discord dims freeze prospects

Iran on Tuesday ruled out an imminent agreement with other major oil producers to freeze output as regional rivalry with Saudi Arabia hindered efforts to reverse a price slump. The new signs of discord sent oil prices sliding again on world markets in the face of a global supply glut that has left a gaping hole in the finances of oil-exporting nations. OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has so far refused to curb its output at a time when Iran is ramping up production following the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions.

LGBTQ festival canceled in Haiti amid threats, gov't order

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) ? Organizers of a cultural festival in Haiti celebrating the Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ community said Tuesday that it has been called off due to numerous threats of violence and a subsequent prohibition by a government commissioner.

Greece transfers utilities to fund's control in bailout move

ATHENS, Greece (AP) ? Amid street protests, Greece's parliament voted Tuesday night to transfer control of public utilities to a new asset fund created by international creditors.

Raucous scenes as Air France 'shirt-ripping' trial opens

Cheers and jeers marked the start of the trial on Tuesday of 15 people over a confrontation in which Air France workers angry over planned layoffs left two executives with their shirts shredded. The trial over the incident, which made headlines worldwide, opened in a packed courtroom outside Paris with raucous scenes among backers of the defendants. Five of the defendants are charged with "organised violence" and face up to three years in prison and a 45,000 euro ($51,000) fine if convicted in the two-day trial.

'Deeply disappointed' Allardyce forced to leave England job

Sam Allardyce's reign as England manager came to a humiliating end on Tuesday as he departed after just 67 days in charge following his controversial comments in a newspaper sting. Allardyce's reign was sensationally brought to a close as he paid the price for indiscreetly talking with undercover Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen. The 61-year-old was secretly filmed giving advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules, criticised the FA's decision to rebuild Wembley and mocked his England predecessor Roy Hodgson.





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