Jul. 12, 2017

BLOOMBERG

More than half a dozen Republican and Democratic senators have discussed alternatives to the embattled GOP health-care bill, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans a vote next week to muscle the Obamacare repeal measure through the Senate.

The Saudi-led bloc boycotting Qatar said a counter-terrorism pact struck with the U.S. in Doha to strengthen Qatari action against terrorist funding "isn't enough" to end the Gulf diplomatic crisis. The alliance, which includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, said Tuesday's agreement between the U.S. and Qatar came about due to years of pressure from the bloc, according to a joint statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. They also vowed to maintain the recent measures against Qatar until their demands are met in full.

The scale of Turkey's crackdown on alleged government opponents following last year's attempted coup was confirmed by a top official, as the nation prepares to mark the anniversary of the failed putsch amid deepening concern over the rule of law. Authorities have fired 103,824 state employees and suspended 33,483 more since the July 15 bid to seize power by a section of the military.

A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday. The iceberg is described as weighing 1.12 trillion tons.

Mexico's decision to allow private companies to explore for oil and gas started to pay off after the discovery of at least a billion barrels in a new offshore field.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet has signed off on a plan to sell all or part of Air India Ltd., a debt-ridden, state-run carrier with the most unusual baggage.Then there's about $8 billion in debt, a money-losing airline operation, five subsidiary companies and a joint venture, a combined workforce of 27,000 and unions with a history of grounding the airline over work demands.

AP Top Stories

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had "confirmed information" that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed.

Russia may expel 30 US diplomats and seize US diplomatic property in Russia if Donald Trump does not release two Russian compounds seized by American authorities in 2016, Russian diplomats have warned.

Thousands gathered in Srebrenica on Tuesday, June 11, to mark the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II, with some relatives of the victims giving their loved ones a proper burial for the first time.

Ships carrying Chinese troops tasked with setting up the country's first overseas military base are steaming towards the East African nation of Djibouti. China calls its new facility a 'support base' and says it will have mainly logistical functions, however observers see it as a key part of Beijing's plans to expand its global reach through military might.

Chinese aircraft carrier the Liaoning entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone early on Wednesday morning on its way back from Hong Kong and is being monitored, Taiwan's defense ministry said, adding there was no cause for alarm.

Internal emails from Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab published by Bloomberg Businessweek suggest the company has much closer ties to the Russian government and intelligence agencies than it has previously claimed.

The EU formally approved on Tuesday a landmark cooperation accord with Ukraine meant to counter a hostile Russia ahead of a high-profile summit in Kiev. The decision by the 28 European Union member states came hours before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due to meet EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels.

Pictures of the Iraqi soldiers celebrating their defeat of Isis in Mosul marked a milestone in the fight against the Islamist group but it was also a victory for Barack Obama's strategy in the region, a senior Pentagon official has said.

The United States deployed a battery of Patriot ground-to-air missiles in Lithuania on Tuesday as part of multinational NATO exercises in the the Baltic country, its defence ministry announced.

A couple from the UK have married in traditional Muslim attire in what could be the UK's first same-sex marriage involving a Muslim person.

Indian leaders and Kashmiri separatists united Tuesday to condemn an attack on a bus that killed seven Hindu pilgrims and threatened to exacerbate tensions in the country's only Muslim-majority state.

BBC

Police have raided homes and made arrests in Berlin over an audacious night-time heist which saw a huge solid-gold coin stolen from a museum. The 21" Canadian "Big Maple Leaf" is made of 220lb of pure 24-carat gold - which means it is worth about $4.2m, despite a lower nominal face value.

A 100 euros typewriter has sold for $51,500 at auction, after it was discovered it was actually a German Wehrmacht Enigma I. Enigma machines were used to carry coded military communications during the war.

Haiti's government has launched a campaign to re-establish its army, dissolved more than 20 years ago. It wants to recruit about 500 men and women to help deal with natural disasters and to patrol borders.

WND

Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, who is running for Senate, is vowing to filibuster any spending bill that doesn't fund President Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall - and he says he'll use the opportunity to read the King James Bible on the floor of the U.S. Senate until the funding is approved.

The family of a Texas teen who hanged himself says their son was involved in a ghoulish online game that calls on participants to complete a series of tasks before taking their own lives, and some schools are warning parents about the so-called Blue Whale Challenge.

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