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Trump cites PH as proof that world loathes Obama and US

Donald Trump invoked the Philippines’s icy relations with the United States in his latest attack against U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday, October 21. The Republican presidential candidate told supporters at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that “the world hates our president,” forcing countries like the Philippines to turn to America’s “adversaries,” British newspaper The Guardian reported. “The world hates us. You saw what happened with the Philippines after years and years and years; they’re now looking to Russia and China, because they don’t feel good about the weak America,” Trump claimed. Last month, Obama cancelled a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte after he cursed the U.S. president as a “son of a whore.” On Thursday, October 20, Duterte declared “America has lost” when he announced “separation” from the U.S., saying it was China, …

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Iraq forces have killed 48 IS attackers in Kirkuk: police chief

Iraqi security forces have killed 48 of the gunmen who stormed parts of Kirkuk in a shock attack claimed by the Islamic State group, the city's police chief said. "Forty-eight Daesh (IS) terrorists have been killed in the clashes," Brigadier General Khattab Omar Aref told AFP, adding that some of them blew themselves up when the security forces cornered them. Special counter-terrorism and intelligence units were hunting down some of the dozens of IS fighters who stormed public buildings in the early hours of Friday. Clashes have been taking place almost uninterrupted since and the city, which lies some 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Baghdad, remains under curfew. A senior interior ministry official said that at least 46 other people had been killed in the IS raid and ensuing clashes, mostly members of …

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign HQ evacuated over white substance

The campaign headquarters for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was evacuated on Friday night after a white substance was discovered in an envelope, police said. The substance was first discovered by two interns at a campaign office in Manhattan and was taken to Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters, triggering the evacuation of the 11th floor, a New York Police Department spokesman said. A total of four people were exposed to the substance, police said, though there have been no injuries or reported illnesses. Police are testing the substance and investigating the case. Further details were not immediately available.

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Massive crowds sing royal tribute to late Thai king

Tens of thousands of black-clad Thais converged on Bangkok's Grand Palace on Saturday to sing the royal anthem in a striking display of devotion to the recently deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The monarch, who died on October 13 following years of poor health, was seen as a moral icon and rare figure of unity in a kingdom dogged by corruption and political turmoil. His death has plunged the nation into grief, with the government declaring a one-year mourning period and urging the public to don black and dial down all festivities for at least 30 days. Crowds have been massing outside his glittering Bangkok palace for the past week, with many journeying from far away provinces to pay respects to a man celebrated as the father of the nation. Some have pitched tents …

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U.S Defense Secretary Carter arrives in Iraq

BAGHDAD — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived in Iraq Saturday to meet with his commanders and assess the progress in the opening days of the operation to retake the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants. His unannounced visit comes two days after a U.S. service member was killed outside Mosul, underscoring the risk that American troops are taking as they advise Iraqi forces in the fight. And it comes on the heels of meetings Carter had with Turkish leaders in Ankara Friday when he announced there "is an agreement in principle" for Turkey to play a role in the battle to retake Mosul, and that friction between Turkey and Iraq can be worked out. This is Carter's third trip to Iraq this year, and he has overseen the steady …

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Cyberattacks on key internet firm disrupt internet services

Withering cyber attacks on server farms of a key internet firm repeatedly disrupted access to major websites and online services including Twitter, Netflix and PayPal across the United States on Friday. The White House called the disruption malicious and a hacker group claimed responsibility, though its assertion couldn't be verified. Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. said its data centers were hit by three waves of distributed denial-of-service attacks, which overwhelm targeted machines with junk data traffic. The attacks, shifting geographically, had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites across the U.S. even in Europe. "The complexity of the attacks is what is making it so difficult for us," said Kyle York, the company's chief strategy officer. "What they are actually doing is moving around the world with each attack." He …

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IS assault on Iraq’s Kirkuk ends after 24-hour battle

KIRKUK, Iraq — Iraqi police say a massive Islamic State assault on targets in and around the northern city of Kirkuk has come to an end after a day and night of heavy clashes. Brig. Gen. Khattab Omer said Saturday that all the attackers were killed or blew themselves up. The area around the provincial headquarters, where the fighting was heaviest, was quiet Saturday morning. It was not clear how many militants took part in the assault, which appeared to be aimed at diverting attention from the IS-held city of Mosul, around 170 kilometers (100 miles) away, where Iraqi forces are waging a major offensive. The militants killed 13 workers, including four Iranians, at a power plant north of Kirkuk, and a local television reporter was killed by a sniper in the …

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(PHOTOS) Two days after ‘Lawin” ravaged Northern Luzon

Hungry Philippine typhoon survivors huddled in makeshift shelters and waited for aid on Friday, after losing nearly everything from one of the most powerful storms to hit the Southeast Asian archipelago. Super Typhoon Haima struck late on Wednesday night with winds similar to those of catastrophic Haiyan in 2013, which was then the strongest storm to hit the disaster-prone country and claimed more than 7,350 lives. At least eight people were killed and another was missing while tens of thousands lost their homes as Haima devastated farming and mountain communities across the north of the Philippines' main island of Luzon on Thursday. "I cried when I saw my beans and squash plants that had been raked off by the winds. My mango trees were also toppled," farmer Leonardo Longan, 66, told AFP in …

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California recycling center fire sends up huge smoke cloud

ONTARIO, Calif. — A fire at a Southern California recycling center Friday sent up huge flames and a plume of smoke that was seen for miles. The fire erupted around 4:30 p.m. and quickly ignited wooden pallets, bales of cardboard and other recyclables in the sprawling yard about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, authorities said. Some 70 firefighters eventually were called in and attacked the sea of flames with hoses from trucks and nearby rooftops in the industrial area. Nearby homes were being hosed down at the height of the fire but there weren't any evacuations. The enormous cloud of black smoke could be seen for miles around. A woman near the fire was taken to a hospital for examination after she had difficulty breathing, Deputy Fire Chief Art Andres told the …

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Spain’s ‘Napflix’ aims to bore viewers to sleep

MADRID - A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition." Napflix offers about 60 videos taken from YouTube, including footage of rain pattering on windowpanes, a documentary on pandas and quantum physics lectures, to help people doze off. "The idea is to make entertainment boring," Victor Gutierrez de Tena, one of Napflix's two co-founders told AFP on Friday. "We are looking for monotony and repetition," the 31-year-old said of the service, which was launched on Monday. "It could be the kind of things that remind us of our childhood, like post-lunch classes and TV serials we watched after meals which just went on and on, ones where you wouldn't lose the …

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