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Turkey's outgoing premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as president on Thursday, extending his decade-long rule, as opponents who accuse him of authoritarianism stormed out of the ceremony. Erdogan, 60, took the oath in Ankara to begin a five-year mandate in which he has vowed to build a "new Turkey" by pushing through a new constitution and pushing forward with an ambitious development programme. "I am the first president elected by popular vote in our country's history as well as the Turkish nation's 2,000 year-old history," Erdogan said in a later ceremony where outgoing president Abdullah Gul handed him the Cankaya presidential palace.
Several dozen women gathered outside a military base in central Russia on Thursday to demand that commanders come clean about the whereabouts of their husbands after reports of secret funerals for soldiers covertly sent to Ukraine. The women -- mostly in their 20s, a few with small children -- huddled outside a base that houses paratroopers in Kostroma, around 300 kilometres (200 miles) north of Moscow. Some 350 soldiers from the city were this month sent on military drills to the border with Ukraine and then went incommunicado, said one of the women, 26-year-old Valeria Sokolova. Commanders from the base have told her several have returned dead, she said, and around 15 wounded soldiers were also flown back this week.
The World Health Organization said on Thursday that the number of Ebola cases was increasing rapidly and could exceed 20,000 before the virus is brought under control, as the death toll topped 1,500. Bruce Aylward, the WHO's head of emergency programmes, said it could take six to nine months to bring Ebola under control, by which time the number of infections could have passed 20,000. As of August 26, 1,552 people had been confirmed dead from Ebola in four countries -- Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria -- while 3,062 had been infected. Liberia was the worst affected with 694 deaths;
National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties for domestic violence Thursday, including potential life bans for repeat offenders, and apologized for issuing a weak abuse penalty last month. In a letter to team owners outlining revisions to the NFL's personal conduct policy, Goodell said that violations regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault involving physical force will bring a six-game ban without pay and a second offense will bring a minimum one-year ban from the NFL. The moves come after criticism of Goodell's handling of the domestic violence case involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
It's been 20 years since "Friends" took the world by storm. It was the celluloid coffee shop where for 10 years Joey, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica and Chandler captivated millions with their revolving-door love lives, work traumas, make-ups and break-ups. To mark the anniversary of the phenomenally successful sitcom, fans can visit a replica coffee bar in Manhattan, order a free drink and kick back on the same orange sofa used on the set. Gunther, the blonde-haired barista played by actor James Michael Tyler, will put in appearances, and there will be special performances of Phoebe's unique guitar ballad "Smelly Cat."
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma death row inmate who writhed, moaned and clenched his teeth before he was pronounced dead about 43 minutes after his execution began succumbed to the lethal drugs he was administered, not a heart attack, after the state's prisons chief halted efforts to kill him, an autopsy report released Thursday says.
Novak Djokovic reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the 25th consecutive time while Serena Williams racked up her 80th US Open win on Thursday. Former world number one Ana Ivanovic, however, became the second top 10 seed to suffer a shock early New York exit as stiff winds brought new challenges at Flushing Meadows where players have already been tackling plus-30 degree heat (+90F) in the first week. World number one and top seed Djokovic breezed past France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, firing 13 aces and 33 winners as the 2011 champion comfortably remained in course for a fifth successive final appearance. "It's very windy, but I managed to adjust to the conditions that obviously are not easy for myself and my opponent," said Djokovic, who next meets Sam Querrey of the United States, after his brief 90-minute appearance.
By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Militants fighting the Syrian army have detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and trapped another 81 in the region, and the world body is working to secure their release, the United Nations said on Thursday. The affected peacekeepers are from the Philippines and Fiji, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. "During a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of separation in the Golan Heights, 43 peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were detained early this morning by an armed group in the vicinity of Al Qunaytirah," the U.N. press office said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia's crown prince will next week visit France and hold talks with French leaders that will touch on the threat posed by Islamic State militants, presidency sources in Paris said Thursday. Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who is also deputy prime minister and defence minister of Saudi Arabia, will meet President Francois Hollande on Monday and will be treated to an official dinner at the Elysee presidential palace. The two are likely to touch on a $3-billion (2.3-billion-euro) package of French military equipment and arms for Lebanon's army that Riyadh has agreed to finance, as Beirut faces the threat of jihadists on its border with Syria.
A recent report has revealed that the Windows app store filled with crappy apps and deceitful wannabe software that can trick the user into paying for an application that looks like the real thing. It also said Microsoft may be well aware of the situation, as the company both encouraged app developers to deliver Windows Store apps in bulk, and manually approved them. It appears Microsoft is well aware of its Windows Store problem indeed, and the company said on its Windows blog that it will finally restore order to its Windows Store. FROM EARLIER: How Microsoft filled its Windows Store with app scams waiting to steal your money The company revealed that it has already removed 1,500 apps from the Windows Store from developers that failed to
A group of people caught up in unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white officer killed a black teenager, sued local officials on Thursday, alleging civil rights violations through arrests and police assaults with rubber bullets and tear gas. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, says law enforcement met a broad public outcry over the Aug. 9 killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown with "militaristic displays of force and weaponry," (and) engaged U.S. Named as defendants are the city of Ferguson, St. Louis County, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Delmar, Ferguson police officer Justin Cosmo, and other unnamed police officers from Ferguson and St. Louis County.
Ukraine announced on Thursday that it will return to mandatory conscription in the coming months as its troops battle pro-Russian insurgents in the east. "The National Security and Defence Council has decided to restart conscription in the fall (autumn)," Mykhailo Koval, deputy head of the council, said after an emergency meeting chaired by President Petro Poroshenko. Ukraine's government decided last year to switch to a contract-based professional army, ending Soviet-style bi-annual drafts in the spring and fall for men between 18 and 25.
Crisis-stricken Malaysia Airlines said Thursday its second-quarter loss nearly doubled and forecast more red ink in the second half of the year, as two crippling air disasters sent passenger bookings tumbling. The latest results mark the sixth straight quarterly loss for Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which has struggled to stay competitive and is now in dire financial straits following the loss of MH370 and the July 18 shooting down over Ukraine of flight MH17, which killed all 298 aboard that plane. "The full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 is expected to hit Malaysia Airlines in the second half of the year, where we saw a sharp decline in average weekly bookings by 33 percent immediately after the MH17 incident, with numerous flights cancelled," it said. MAS has bled money for years, losing a combined $1.3 billion over the past three calendar years before 2014, as intensifying competition from more nimble rivals like Malaysia's fast-growing budget carrier AirAsia have lured away travellers with their rock-bottom pricing.
More than 100 Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine in a battle this month while helping pro-Russian separatists fight Ukrainian troops, two members of the Russian presidential human rights council said on Thursday, citing accounts of eye-witness and relatives of the dead. Ella Polyakova and Sergei Krivenko, both members of the council, said around 300 people were also injured in the violence on Aug. 13 near the town of Snizhnye in Donetsk Province, when a column of trucks full of ammunition they were driving was hit by a sustained volley of Grad missiles. "A column of Russian soldiers was attacked by Grad rockets and more 100 people died. Polyakova said she had also been given the same figure, of more than 100, for the number of Russian soldiers killed in the attack.