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Vanuatu president calls for help after cyclone destruction

Vanuatu’s President Baldwin Lonsdale has called for international help after Cyclone Pam ripped through the Pacific archipelago. Describing it as a “calamity”, he said he spoke with a “heavy heart”. Aid agencies say the cyclone, which veered off its expected course on Saturday and struck populated areas, has caused “complete devastation”. Save the Children says eight people are confirmed dead ...

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33 dead, dozen missing in Myanmar ferry capsize

A crowded double-decker passenger ferry capsised in northwestern Myanmar after being slammed by huge waves, killing 33 people and leaving at least a dozen missing, officials said on Saturday. Rescuers pulled 167 survivors from the sea and brought them to safety after the Aung Tagun 3 went down near Myebon in Rakhine state late on Friday, said Myanmar Red Cross ...

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Pakistan ends death penalty suspension after seven years

Pakistan is to resume executions for all death penalty offences, months after a moratorium was partially lifted to allow executions of terror convicts. All condemned prisoners who have exhausted the appeals process and whose pleas for clemency are rejected now face execution, officials say. Executions were suspended for seven years until some resumed after the Peshawar school massacre in December. ...

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India remembers its World War One dead

Events are being held to remember thousands of Indian soldiers who fought alongside the British in a key battle in France in World War One. Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed a wreath at the India Gate memorial in Delhi on Tuesday, marking the centenary of the battle of Neuve Chapelle. The army is holding an exhibition, recreating scenes from the ...

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New Zealand reveals milk formula 1080 poison threat

New Zealand authorities say a national farming body and dairy giant Fonterra have been sent letters threatening to poison milk formula. Federated Farmers and Fonterra received the anonymous letters in November, said officials, along with sachets of contaminated product. The letters appeared to be a protest over the use of the pesticide 1080 in agriculture. PM John Key said milk ...

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Myanmar riot police beat student protesters with batons

Hundreds of baton-wielding police in Myanmar have broken up a demonstration by students who say a new law stifles academic freedom. A BBC Burmese reporter at the scene said dozens of protesters were injured and at least 30 people arrested. The clashes took place in Letpadan, 140km (90 miles) north of Yangon. The BBC’s correspondent in Myanmar (also known as ...

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US diplomat warns Europe of ‘dangerous’ defence spending cuts

A senior US diplomat has warned of a “dangerous” gulf emerging between US and European defence spending. Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has appealed to European governments to spend more. She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that cuts to defence budgets in Europe were “concerning”. Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK already met the ...

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Suicide bomber kills 10 in northeastern Nigeria market

A suicide bomber in a tricycle taxi blew himself up outside a busy today fish market and killed at least 10 people in Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeastern Nigeria, according to witnesses and a security officer. “I saw many dead bodies lying on the ground, many dead, and several others badly injured,” said fish seller Idi Idrisa. People are ...

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IS ‘destroying ancient Iraq site’

Islamic State militants have begun destroying the ruins of the ancient city of Hatra, Kurdish sources in northern Iraq say. Hatra was founded in the days of the Parthian Empire over 2,000 years ago and is a Unesco world heritage site. Earlier this week, IS militants began bulldozing the nearby ruins of the Assyrian city of Nimrud. IS, which controls large ...

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