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Nine more Guantánamo Bay prisoners released as population dwindles to 80

As Barack Obama prepares to visit Saudi Arabia, the Saudi royal family has taken custody of nine longtime Guantánamo Bay detainees, bringing Obama closer to his goal of shuttering the infamous detention facility. US officials on Saturday described the nine detainees, all Yemenis, as possessing close family ties to Saudi Arabia. Some, one official said, are “practically Saudis”. The transfer ...

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Iceland president’s wife linked to offshore tax havens in leaked files

The president of Iceland is expected to come under pressure this week after leaked documents appeared to show that part of his wife’s considerable fortune was held in offshore tax havens. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who has been in office for 20 years, last month surprised many by declaring he would stand for re-election again after serving five terms. His decision ...

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Chinese police to patrol Rome’s streets

Chinese police are joining Italian officers on the streets of Rome and Milan in an experiment aimed at helping tourists from China feel safe, Italy’s interior ministry has announced. The experiment is the first of its kind in Europe, China’s ambassador to Italy, Li Ruiyu, said at a meeting to announce the project, according to a statement from the Italian ...

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Saudi women to receive copy of marriage contracts

Saudi brides will be given a copy of their marriage contracts in the latest breakthrough for women’s rights in the kingdom. Justice Minister Waleed Al Samaani said that the decision allows women to be fully aware of their rights and of the marriage contract conditions. Under the minister’s decision, two copies of the contracts are given to the groom and ...

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Endeavour: Has the ship Captain Cook sailed to Australia been found?

Researchers in the US believe they may be a step closer to locating the ship in which British explorer Captain James Cook sailed to Australia in 1768. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (Rimap) has known for some time the ship was scuttled in Newport Harbour in 1778. But they now believe they have narrowed down the search to a ...

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EU tensions as Turkey set to get visa waiver

If the European Commission makes the recommendation this Wednesday that Turks be granted visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen area as whispers from well-placed EU sources suggest, then it will do so holding its nose and its breath. The freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial and revising terrorism legislation to better protect minority rights – these are just ...

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Solar Impulse aeroplane reaches Phoenix, Arizona

Solar Impulse, the zero-fuel aeroplane, has flown the first leg across the continental United States in its attempt to fly around the world. It left Mountain View, California, at dawn on Monday and landed 16 hours later in Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. It was the 10th leg of its round the world quest. Swiss adventurer Andre Borschberg was ...

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NATO says migrant numbers in Aegean falling, warns routes could change

The number of migrants and refugees crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Europe is falling significantly but people smugglers can rapidly change routes and authorities must not reduce their security efforts prematurely, the head of NATO said on Thursday. Speaking in the Turkish capital, Ankara, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the migrant crisis showed the urgent need for ...

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Obama starts talks with Gulf leaders aimed at easing strains

US President Barack Obama and Gulf Arab leaders started talks in Riyadh on Thursday at a summit aimed at forging joint action on perceived security threats from Iran and Islamic State, and at ironing out strains in their old alliance. Obama, who arrived on Wednesday, hopes to allay Gulf countries’ fears over Iranian influence and encourage them to douse sectarian ...

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More than 400 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes in the Mediterranean

Up to 400 migrants were feared to have drowned today after trying to cross the Mediterranean by boat in a bid to reach Europe. Most of the victims were thought to have been fleeing Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea and had hoped to land in Italy. The country’s president, Sergio Mattarella, confirmed this morning there had been an incident in which ...

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