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Ebola in U.S., Karadzic's defense, September farewells

Japan's Mount Ontake volcano erupts unexpectedly
Japan's Mount Ontake volcano erupts unexpectedly


Britain’s Royal Air Force has joined the anti-ISIS coalition, launching its first airstrikes last night against the jihadist group in Iraq, before U.S.-led forces targeted fighters in villages near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, not far from the Turkish border. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby warned yesterday against those who might think the fight against ISIS “would be easy or quick,” while the BBC reports that militants are adapting quickly to the reality of U.S. airstrikes and have, for example, stopped using phones to avoid being detected.

As China celebrates the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic, large crowds in Hong Kong defied calls this morning to leave the streets and are gathered at the city’s main protest sites. Protest leaders have told reporters that they plan to occupy government building if chief executive Leung Leung Chun-ying doesn’t resign. Follow the updates live with The Guardian’s blog.

  • Meanwhile in Beijing, authorities are so scared of a possible attack that they reportedly carried out feathers and anal security checks on 10,000 pigeons before releasing them at sunrise on Tiananmen Square.

A shell hit a school on the first day of class in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, killing at least 4 people, while another hit a public minibus and killed 6 passengers, AFP reports. Pro-Kiev authorities in the region are accusing pro-Russian rebels, though Russian government-run broadcaster RT reported that the shell that fell on the school had been fired from Ukrainian army positions.


A photo taken by a local after the eruption of Mt. Ontake, the volcano in Japan that has left at least 48 dead since first erupting on Saturday.

An unnamed man was diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas, after travelling to the U.S. from Liberia to visit relatives. According to USA Today, the patient showed no symptoms when he entered American territory on September 20 and only became sick days later, making him the first case diagnosed in the U.S. CDC Director Thomas Frieden said however that there was no danger of an outbreak like in West Africa. Meanwhile, a New York Timesreport shows how Nigeria seems to have succeeded in containing Ebola, where no new cases have occurred since the end of August.

At least seven people were killed and more than 15 wounded as two Taliban suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on buses transporting Afghan troops in Kabul, Reuters reports. The bombings are the latest in a series of similar attacks that began in the summer, and come just one day after the new government signed a bilateral security agreement allowing 12,000 U.S. and NATO troops to stay in the country beyond the end of the year.

Former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic began closing his defense Wednesday, saying that he takes "moral responsibility" for crimes committed by Bosnian Serbs but denies he ordered any killings. The Hague's International Criminal Court has accused him of genocide and other crimes, with one charge relating to the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Read more here.

Israeli military vehicles entered the southern Gaza strip this morning and opened fire in the direction of Palestinian farms, in a move which would represent a violation of the ceasefire, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports citing local witnesses. According to the report, an Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident, though other Israeli sources suggested this was an operation to “destroy Hamas tunnels.” More than a month after the ceasefire in Gaza was agreed, Haaretz reports that three Israeli soldiers have committed suicide since then.

Outside of Seoul are the graves of 769 North Korean soldiers, and a South Korean monk busy tending to their souls, Asian news outlet KBR media reports.

“The 58-year-old monk says he doesn’t consider them as enemies. "It isn’t about sympathy — they were soldiers and soldiers obey their orders. In Buddhism, we say when people die they do not vanish, their bodies go away, but their souls still exist and are later reborn in many different forms." Read the full article: This South Korean Monk Comforts North Korean Souls

A criminal court in Cairo issued lengthy jail sentences to 68 Muslim Brotherhood supporters Tuesday for their purported role in the deaths of 30 people during protests that took place last October in the Egyptian capital's Azbakiya neighborhood.

An American actress and comedienne, Argentine singer and Northern Irish firebrand were among those who departed this past month.

Growing fed-up with eating takeout at the office? Quartz has some great ideas for a perfect packed lunch that will both save you money and keep you healthy.

— Crunched by Marc Alves

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Is Disney's "Wish" Spreading A Subtle Anti-Christian Message To Kids?

Disney's new movie "Wish" is being touted as a new children's blockbuster to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary. But some Christians may see the portrayal of the villain as God-like and turning wishes into prayers as the ultimate denial of the true message of Christmas.

photo of a kid running out of a church

For the Christmas holiday season?

Joseph Holmes

Christians have always had a love-hate relationship with Disney since I can remember. Growing up in the Christian culture of the 1990s and early 2000s, all the Christian parents I knew loved watching Disney movies with their kids – but have always had an uncomfortable relationship with some of its messages. It was due to the constant Disney tropes of “follow your heart philosophy” and “junior knows best” disdain for authority figures like parents that angered so many. Even so, most Christians felt the benefits had outweighed the costs.

That all seems to have changed as of late, with Disney being hit more and more by claims from conservatives (including Christian conservatives) that Disney is pushing more and more radical progressive social agendas, This has coincided with a steep drop at the box office for Disney.

Keep reading...Show less

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