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North Korea puts troops on standby, warns South Korea of retaliation after artillery strikes

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday declared his front-line troops in a “quasi-state of war” and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. READ

IS engaged in ’most brutal, systematic’ destruction of ancient sites since Second World War

Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq are engaged in the “most brutal, systematic” destruction of ancient sites since World War II, the head of the U.N. cultural agency said Friday — a stark warning that came hours after militants demolished a 1,500-year-old monastery in central Syria. READ

Arrests, tear gas in St. Louis protests over fatal police shooting of 18-year-old suspect

Officers arrested at least nine people and deployed tear gas amid protests in St. Louis over the death of a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by police after he pointed a gun at them, the city’s police chief said. READ

North Korea denies firing rocket over DMZ, warns of retaliation for South’s shelling barrage

South Korea fired dozens of shells Thursday at North Korea after claiming the North lobbed a single rocket at a South Korean town broadcasting anti-North Korean propaganda near the world’s most heavily armed border. The North denied it fired any shots and warned of retaliation for what it called a serious provocation. READ

Greek PM Tsipras says he is resigning, holding early elections following bailout rebellion

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he is stepping down and calling early elections after suffering a rebellion within his left-wing Syriza party over the country’ new bailout program. READ

Islamic State beheads Syrian antiquities scholar in ancient town of Palmyra

The aging antiquities scholar dedicated his life to exploring and overseeing Syria’s ancient ruins of Palmyra, one of the Middle East’s most spectacular archaeological sites. READ

Oscar Pistorius release put on hold by SA justice dept, to be reviewed again by parole board

Two days before he was due to leave prison, Oscar Pistorius’ early release was suddenly put on hold Wednesday by South Africa’s Department of Justice, which sent his case back to a parole board. READ

UN-Iran deal will let Tehran inspect site where it allegedly worked on nukes

Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. READ

Welcome mat fraying on friendly Greek island where locals, tourists help migrant arrivals

The islanders bring food, drinks, clothing and necessities like diapers and toothpaste to the migrants huddled on this tiny outcrop in the Aegean Sea. READ

Israeli opposition leader calls for joint effort to prevent 3rd Palestinian uprising

Israel’s opposition leader on Tuesday warned that a new Palestinian uprising could be looming after a recent spate of violence and called on both sides to reduce tensions and restart peace talks. READ

Security video shows man in yellow shirt leaving backpack at bomb scene in Bangkok

In the grainy security video, a man in a yellow shirt sits on a bench at the crowded Erawan Shrine, removes a backpack he is wearing, and leaves it behind when he walks away. READ

7 civilians, 2 troops dead in eastern Ukraine as shelling increases between govt, rebels

A night-long artillery exchange in eastern Ukraine between government troops and Russia-backed rebels claimed nine lives on Monday, casting doubt on the already shaky cease-fire. READ

Wreckage spotted of Indonesian plane carrying 54 and nearly half million dollars in cash

An airplane with 54 people on board that crashed in the mountains of eastern Indonesia was carrying nearly half a million dollars in government cash for poor families to help offset a spike in fuel prices, an official said Monday. READ

Bomb explodes in shrine at busy central Bangkok intersection; at least 18 dead, 117 wounded

A bomb exploded Monday within a central Bangkok shrine that is among the city’s most popular tourist spots, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 100 across a hectic intersection surrounded by five-star hotels and upscale shopping malls. READ

Cdn reporter once jailed in Egypt says anti-terror law enshrines unjust system

A Canadian journalist branded as a terrorist by the Egyptian government says new laws passed in the country today make it likely that other reporters will meet the same fate. READ

CF strikes ISIL in Iraq and Syria as DND slips into silent mode for campaign

Expect to hear a lot about the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant during the federal election, just not from the Canadian military. READ

Croatia says hostage was kidnapped by criminals and handed over to the Islamic State group

A Croatian hostage reportedly slain in Egypt was kidnapped by an unidentified group that demanded a ransom from his employer before turning him over to the Islamic State group, Croatia’s Foreign Minister said Thursday. READ

Death toll reaches 50, with dozens missing, after warehouse blasts in China’s port of Tianjin

The death toll from the fiery explosions at a warehouse of hazardous chemicals climbed Thursday to 50, and the Chinese government sent experts to the shattered and smouldering port to assess any environmental dangers from the spectacular blasts. READ

Truck bomb at Baghdad produce market kills 67; Islamic State group claims responsibility

In one of the deadliest single attacks in postwar Baghdad, a truck bomb shattered a popular fruit-and-vegetable market in a teeming Shiite neighbourhood Thursday, killing 67 people and wounding more than 150 others. READ

Conditions worsen on Kos as Greece promises ship to house mounting number of refugees

Locked in a sunbaked football stadium without food, drinking water or sanitation, about 1,000 refugees queued for hours on Wednesday to register with Greek authorities on the island of Kos, which is now at the forefront of a humanitarian crisis sweeping the financially broken country. READ

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