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Brazil President Dilma Rousseff in campaign mode
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff in campaign mode

AUSTRALIA APPROVES ANTI-ISIS STRIKES
Australia has become the latest country to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cabinet approved Iraq strikes against the group, the BBC reports. The Turkish parliament also voted yesterday to send troops to Iraq and Syria, and to allow foreign forces to use its territory for operations. But Euronews reports that the terrorist group’s advance towards the Syrian border town of Kobani is so far unaffected by the strikes.

According to the United Nations, more than 5,500 people have been killed since the June start of the ISIS offensive in Iraq, more than half of the total number of victims in the country since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, the situation in Libya continues to deteriorate, three years after the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled. According to the BBC, 29 Libyan soldiers were killed yesterday and another 60 were wounded in two car bombings and clashes with Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi.

HEATED BRAZIL TV DEBATE
The last televised debate before Sunday’s first round of the Brazilian presidential election saw some heated exchanges between the candidates, as the latest polls show incumbent Dilma Rousseff ahead with a solid lead. Rousseff came under fire, including from her main rival in the race, Marina Silva, over a corruption scandal allegedly involving members of her government and state-owned oil giant Petrobras. "No one is immune to corruption,” newspaper Folha de S. Paulo quoted Rousseff as saying. She argued that those cases were coming to light only because she has “combated” corruption. “There are corrupt people everywhere, but institutions must be capable of ensuring that all crimes are investigated and punished." Read more in English from AP.

HONG KONG PROTESTERS ACCEPT TALKS
After a week of protests, pro-democracy demonstrators accepted Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying offer of talks, but they are still demanding his resignation, AP reports. Government offices have been closed for the day in the main protest area as barricades prevented civil servants from getting inside the buildings. According to the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, anti-protest sentiments are growing among residents and business owners, as the protesters’ spirit is dampened by heavy rains and increasing clashes.

76 MILLION
J.P. Morgan has said that about 76 million households have been affected by this summer's cybersecurity attack on the bank. The breach, first revealed in August, stole customers' contact information — names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses — but did not take account information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers or passwords.

VERBATIM
Here I am, alive.” Terrorist group Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau denied Nigerian army claims that he'd been killed, Nigeria's Guardian newspaper reports.

U.S. CAMERAMAN INFECTED WITH EBOLA
An American cameraman working for NBC in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment, the network explained on its website. The freelance worker had been hired on Tuesday and came down with symptoms just one day later. This comes amid news that up to 100 people may have been in direct or indirect contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed in the U.S. Four people close to him have been placed in quarantine. Liberian authorities, meanwhile, announced that Duncan will be prosecuted when he returns to Liberia for allegedly lying in an airport questionnaire about whether he had been in contact with the virus. Read more from USA Today.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
From Süddeutsche Zeitung comes this hour-by-hour account of the emergencies, medical and otherwise, that crop up at Germany’s Oktoberfest when all the beer-drinking and dirndl-chasing go too far. “At the back entrance a surgeon, an orthopedist and a cardiologist wait for new patients to be brought to them,” journalist Anna Fischhaber writes. “All three have been working here for three years, and they know all the horror stories: about the American who bit off his girlfriend’s whole lower lip” and about what happened just yesterday: the tongue that had to be disentangled from some braces. "It’s great working here. There’s always something going on," a young doctor tells the newspaper. "Personally, I only go to Oktoberfest before 8 p.m. After that it’s just too dangerous."
Read the full article, Achtung! How Oktoberfest Looks From The First-Aid Station.

16 STILL MISSING IN JAPAN
As many as 16 people are still missing after the eruption of Japan’s Mount Ontake, with searches still hampered by heavy rain and the volcano’s poisonous fumes, The Japan Times reports. Already, 47 bodies have been recovered, but ash up to half-a-meter thick around the peak has raised fears that more bodies may be entombed there.

STAY FIT FOR HALLOWEEN
Halloween is coming, and apparently we all need to keep dieting to fit into sexy costumes. Oh sorry, not all of us — just women. Or so says Subway in the chain’s latest advert. The big question here is whether this will inspire another South Park episode mocking the company.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why I Fled: Meet The Russian Men Choosing Exile Over Putin's War

After Vladimir Putin announced a national military draft, thousands of men are fleeing the country. Independent Russian news platform Vazhnye Istorii spoke to three men at risk of conscription who've already fled.

A mobilized man says goodbye to his daughter in Yekaterinburg.

Vazhnye Istorii

A mix of panic, violence and soul-searching has followed Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial mobilization of 300,000 men to fight the increasingly difficult “special operation” in Ukraine.

Soon after the announcement, protests were reported in Moscow and around the country, with at least 2,000 people being detained during the past several days. It is still unclear how successful these protests will be.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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More notably, the mobilization decree also prompted more than 260,000 men of conscription age to leave left the country. Observers believe that number will continue to grow, especially as long as the borders stay open. Almost all men aged 18-65 are eligible, but some professions, including banking and the media, are exempt.

Vazhnye Istorii, an independent Russian investigative news platform based in Latvia, spoke to three of the many thousands who have chosen to flee the country.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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