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UN is getting a museum on the Internet and on the ground

The United Nations is getting a museum — on the Internet, in a headquarters to be built in Copenhagen, and in other locations around the world yet to be announced. The establishment of the "Museum for the United Nations - UN Live" was announced on Monday, the 71st birthday of the world body. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement saying the museum will make the U.N.'s work accessible to a broader global public and build support for the new U.N. goals for 2030 "and our efforts to build a better shared future for all." The museum will be operated by an independent, non-profit organization incorporated under Danish law, with support from the United Nations. Its first public events are planned for 2017.

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UN struggles to raise funds for Haiti cholera victims

The United Nations is struggling to raise $200 million to help the families of victims of a deadly outbreak of cholera in Haiti, a senior UN official said Monday. The financial aid follows the United Nations' admission that it had a moral responsibility to help Haiti deal with the epidemic that has been blamed on UN peacekeepers. Almost 10,000 people have been killed and 700,000 affected since the outbreak in 2010. There are still 500 new cases of cholera reported every week. UN envoy David Nabarro, who is leading negotiations with donors and with the Haitian government on the aid package, said drawing voluntary contributions was difficult. "It is highly unlikely that we would be able to mobilize 200 million," Nabarro said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to announce later this month the …

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Migrants stream out of Calais ‘Jungle’ before demolition

Almost 2,000 migrants rode buses out of the Calais "Jungle" on Monday as French authorities kicked off an operation to dismantle the notorious camp that has become a symbol of Europe's refugee crisis. "Bye Bye, Jungle!" one group of migrants shouted as they hauled luggage through the muddy lanes of the shantytown where thousands of mainly Afghans, Sudanese and Eritreans had holed up, desperate to sneak into Britain. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 1,918 migrants had left Calais on buses bound for 80 reception centres across France under a heavy police presence. "We don't know yet where we are going, but it will obviously be better than the Jungle, which was made for animals not humans," said Wahid, a 23-year-old Afghan. Police at one point intervened to break up a scuffle but Cazeneuve said …

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Top Chinese Communist Party meeting starts in Beijing

Beijing,  — A key conclave of China's Communist Party elite kicked off Monday in Beijing, as leader Xi Jinping seeks to tighten his control over the organization. Nearly 400 top members of the world's most powerful political party have gathered at the exclusive Jingxi Hotel to discuss changes to party structure and management for four days. They will focus on reforming the ''norms for political life'' and the party's internal rules for supervising cadres, Xinhua said.    The dry rhetoric around the Sixth Plenum, as the meeting is known, hides what may be a ferocious, high-stakes battle for control over the world's second-largest economy. ''This year's plenum on party-building is key to Xi's entire political project, and could very well turn out to be the most important of his first term,'' said Trey McArver, …

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Explosion hits northwest China town

XI'AN -- An explosion hit a town in Fugu County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Monday afternoon. The accident happened around 2:00 p.m. near a hospital in Xinmin Township. The explosion severely damaged houses and cars at the site, and the hospital was also affected. Several people were seen covered in blood, according to witnesses. The accident "might be related to unlicensed storage of explosives," the local Huashang Newspaper cited local residents as saying.

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Plane crashes on takeoff at Malta airport, 5 aboard killed

VALLETTA, Malta — Officials say a light plane has crashed after takeoff from Malta International Airport, killing all five people on board. The twin-prop Metroliner tipped toward the right and crashed into the ground soon after lifting off at 7:20 a.m. Monday, bursting into flames, eyewitnesses said. Part of the burning wreckage ended up on a road outside the perimeter of the airport. The airplane was on its way to Misurata, Libya. Malta International Airport is temporarily closed until the debris is cleared.

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Unofficial US-N. Korea talks held in Malaysia

A group of former US diplomats held closed door talks at the weekend with senior Pyongyang officials, even as international efforts gather pace to further isolate North Korea, diplomatically and economically. The two-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur, which was confirmed by the South Korean and US governments, was the latest in a series of unofficial talks commonly referred to as Track 2 that are closely monitored in the absence of any official contact between Washington and Pyongyang. In July, the North cut off its only remaining official channel of diplomatic communications with the United States in retaliation for American sanctions against its leader, Kim Jong-Un. The so-called "New York channel" had previously served as a key point of contact between North Korean and US diplomats at the United Nations. American participants at the talks …

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13 dead in California tour bus, truck crash: authorities

Thirteen people were killed and 31 injured on Sunday when their tour bus collided with a truck on a major highway in southern California, the authorities said. "They believe everyone was asleep on the bus," an emotional California Highway Police chief Jim Abele said, giving condolences to families of the victims, who were believed to have been visiting casinos. The front of the bus was a mangled mass of metal after apparently plowing into the back of the large truck, news photographs showed. "Because of the impact where the bus entered the back of the big rig, the majority of the people who were killed were in the front section of the bus," Abele said. Although it was not known what caused the deadly crash, the bus was traveling fast -- faster than the …

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D-Day for Calais ‘Jungle’ camp clearance

French authorities are set to begin Monday moving thousands of people out of the notorious Calais Jungle before demolishing the camp that has served as a launchpad for attempts to sneak into Britain. Migrants carrying suitcases and bundles of possessions started queueing up in the early morning darkness at the official meeting points for transportation to reception centres across France. A major three-day operation is planned to clear the sprawling shanty town near Calais port -- a symbol of Europe's failure to resolve its migrant crisis -- of its estimated 6,000-8,000 occupants. "I feel very happy, I've had enough of the Jungle," said 25-year-old Abbas from Sudan. "There are a lot of people who don't want to leave. There might be problems later. That's why I came out first," he added. More than 1,200 police …

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‘We ate rats,’ says Pinoy among 26 freed by Somali pirates

A Filipino sailor who was among the 26 freed hostages of the Somali pirates shared the harrowing ordeal they endured for more than four years in the hands of their captors. Arnel Balbero told The Newsroom program of the BBC World Service how little food and water they had consumed, to the point that they ate rats just to survive. “You don’t say, ‘I don’t like that.’ No. You just eat. We eat rat. We cook it,” Balbero narrated. He likened himself and his fellow sailors to “the walking dead” as they had a hard time adjusting to their surroundings after four years in captivity. “I don’t know what is... outside of this world when this [is finished], so it’s very hard to start again,” Balbero said. The 26 sailors were aboard the fishing boat …

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