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Syrian chemical weapons plants "inoperable"

The Joint Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – United Nations Mission confirmed today that the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable.

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Bodies of migrants found in Niger desert - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Bodies of migrants found in Niger desert. At least 87 migrants, mostly women and children, died of thirst a few kilometres from Algeria, their final destination – Al Jazeera.

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Journalist detained for support women driving in Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Watch asked for the immediately release of a detained male journalist who expressed support for an end to the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. Officials should also stop harassing and trying to intimidate activists and women who defied the ban by driving on October 26, 2013.

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Too late

President Obama will stop the NSA spying on allies, the head of US Senate’s Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said in a statement after the scandal prompted by the news that the US spy agency intercepted German Chancellor’s Angela Merkel cell phone from 2002 along with 34 other world leaders. Too late. With this statement they admit it’s true. The trust is completely broken. The damage done.

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Family day at Rome

The pilgrimage of families to Rome as part of the Year of Faith concluded on Sunday with the Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square, which was crowded with participants as were Via della Conciliazione and the adjacent streets. Up to 150,000 people. The Pope challenged Christian families to pray together even when life is a race against time and called for “a patient love”.

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A new fence in Europe

Bulgaria is building a fence in part of its border with Turkey to thwart the entry of illegal migrants, most of them asylum seekers flying from the war in Syria. The facility is a 107 km wire fence between the towns of Lesovo and Kraynovo and will be ready by February next year. Over 8,000 Syrian asylum seekers already crossed the border.

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Pope Francis on families

“We therefore propose to all, with respect and courage, the beauty of marriage and the family, illuminated by the Gospel! And for this reason we draw close, with attention and affection, to families in difficulty, to those who are compelled to leave their homeland, who are divided, who do not have homes or work, or who suffer for many reasons; to couples in crisis or those who have separated. We wish to be close to all of them”.

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The slow EU and Lampedusa

EU leaders decided to reinforce search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean to detect vessels and boats with migrants and prevent deaths and tragedies like the recent one in Lampedusa. But a reform on migration and asylum matters will have to wait until June 2014.

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Terrorists free

The Strasbourg Human Rights Court ruling that made possible set free a Spanish ETA terrorist convicted for 24 killings left me speechless. I don’t have doubts the Judges had their reasons to rule in favour of the terrorist, most of them procedural reasons, but a penal system that can set free a terrorist serving a little more than a year for killing is not fair. That’s the case of Spain.

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Germany and France want talks with the US on spying

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Françoise Hollande are calling for bilateral talks with the US before the end of the year over the spying allegations on its citizens and in the case of Merkel on her own cell phone. The US denied this accusations.

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