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IS training pilots to fly fighter jets

London: Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State (IS) are training its members in Syria to fly three captured fighter jets, media reported Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that witnesses have seen the planes being flown around a military airport in Aleppo, BBC reported.

Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the SOHR, said IS was using Iraqi officers who were pilots under ex-Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to train fighters in Syria.

Philippines approves German hostage rescue bid

Manila: Philippine authorities have given the green light to the police and the army to attempt the rescue of two German tourists being held hostage by the Islamist group Abu Sayyaf which threatened to kill one of them Friday.

"The operation will begin at any moment, but we are identifying the exact location of some of the Abu Sayyaf leaders and members," said Col. Allan Arojado, the army commander on Jolo island where the hostages are believed to be held.

300 people still uncontactable post-Himalayan snowstorm in Nepal

Kathmandu:Nepalese authorities have still not been able to contact around 300 hill walkers and trekkers, including 60 foreigners, after a snowstorm that killed 27 people in the Himalayan country's western region, sources said Friday.

Around 200 people could not be reached in the vicinity of Throung La pass, the highest point of the Annapurna trekking circuit (17,779 feet), media officer of the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal, Machindra Aryal, told Efe news agency.

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African Union seeks India's support on Ebola

By Hadra Ahmed ,

Addis Ababa:In a bid to fight the rapid spread of the Ebola virus disease, the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), a team formed for emergency response on Ebola that is under the African Union Commission (AUC) Social Affairs, has urged the Indian government to lend support with medical human resources.

IS threatens French, American citizens in Morocco

Rabat: A new video released by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on the internet features three members who threaten to attack French and American citizens in Morocco.

The toughest threat is uttered by a jihadi in his 30s who speaks French and tells the French people that they are unsafe in France and other countries, and that the IS was going to ask all "brothers" living in France to kill civilians.

"You will not be safe. Every crime you commit, you are going to regret," said the jihadi who is seen armed with a rifle.

Ukraine signs law on special status

Moscow: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law on a special status for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

"Poroshenko has signed the law 'On special procedure of local self-government in separate districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions'," a statement on the presidential website posted Thursday said.

"It defines a provisional procedure of organising local self-rule and operation of local power bodies in separate districts of the two regions," it said.

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Australian jets kill IS fighters in airstrikes

Canberra: Australian jets have carried out at least two airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants, out of a total of 43 sorties by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), officials said Friday.

It is not known how many IS fighters died in the attacks, although defence officers said there had been "multiple" casualties, according to Xinhua.

Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston told reporters here that the Australian forces had been forced to fly more missions over Iraq while the US planes had been diverted to Syria's Kobane town.

Indian engineer in US gets 18 months' jail for stealing secrets

New Jersey: An Indian engineer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by deportation for stealing trade secrets from medical technology giant Becton Dickinson and another New Jersey company.

Ketankumar Maniar, 38, who is also known as Ketan Maniar, had pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets in May, according to Northjersey.com.

Maniar, who has been in custody since his June 2013 arrest, was sentenced in federal court in Trenton Thursday. He was also ordered to pay BD restitution of $32,454.

Journalist shot dead in Paraguay

Asuncion: A reporter with Paraguay's ABC Color newspaper was shot dead Thursday in the eastern town of Curuguaty, the third journalist to be slain in the country in 2014.

Two people wearing camouflage intercepted Pablo Medina's car as the correspondent was driving back to Curuguaty after covering a story in nearby Crescencio Gonzalez.

The assailants opened fire on the vehicle.

Medina and 19-year-old Antonia Almada died, while another woman who was in the car escaped unhurt and called local peasant leader Sixto Portillo for help.

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Ban Ki-moon asks for $1 billion to fight Ebola

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday asked the international community for $1 billion to combat the Ebola epidemic, which he said he believes can be overcome if all actors "work together effectively".

"Dozens of countries are showing their solidarity," Xinhua quoted Ban as saying to reporters at UN headquarters.

He added "but we need to turn pledges into action" and setting Dec 1 as the deadline for reducing the rate of transmission of the disease.

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