Egypt closes schools in Sinai towns as area inches toward open war

Smoke rises as a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip November 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Smoke rises as a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip November 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

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Hawaii Lava Flow: Molten Rock Now Within Yards of Pahoa Homes

Hawaii Lava Flow Threatens Town

This image, taken Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, shows just how close the lava flow has gotten to the town of Pahoa. (USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory)

Looters Reportedly Hit Evacuated Houses

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Study: 1 in 10 men in parts of Asia have raped

LONDON (AP) — About 1 in 10 men in some parts of Asia admitted raping a woman who was not their partner, according to the first large studies of rape and sexual violence. When their wife or girlfriend was included, that figure rose to about a quarter.

International researchers said their startling findings should change perceptions about how common violence against women is and prompt major campaigns to prevent it. Still, the results were based on a survey of only six Asian countries and the authors said it was uncertain what rates were like elsewhere in the region and beyond. They said engrained sexist attitudes contributed, but that other factors like poverty or being emotionally and physically abused as children were major risk factors for men’s violent behavior.

A previous report from the World Health Organization found one-third of women worldwide say they have been victims of domestic or sexual violence.

“It’s clear violence against women is far more widespread in the general population than we thought,” said Rachel Jewkes of South Africa’s Medical Research Council, who led the two studies. The research was paid for by several United Nations agencies and Australia, Britain, Norway and Sweden. The papers were published online Tuesday in the journal, Lancet Global Health.

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26 Qantas passengers struck down with gastro illness on QF28 from Santiago to Sydney

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A group of 26 teenagers has been struck down with what is believed to be a gastro-intestinal illness on a 14-hour flight from Chile to Sydney.

The young tour group from Victoria was returning from Catholic World Youth Day in Brazil when group members became ill on the Qantas flight with vomiting and diarrhoea.

The group was met at Sydney airport at 6pm on Thursday by a fleet of ambulances and is receiving medical treatment for suspected gastroenteritis.

An ambulance spokeswoman says they assessed the group, and took 16 of them to hospital.

Three of the patients were so ill they had to be stretchered off the plane.

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Search for suspects after 19 injured in shooting at New Orleans Mother’s Day parade

New Orleans Mother's Day shooting

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New Orleans police are searching for as many as three gunmen after 19 people, including two children, were injured in a shooting at a Mother’s Day parade. 

Police say they saw three suspects running from the scene, but no arrests had been made as of early Monday. Grainy surveillance video released by New Orleans police shows a crowd suddenly scattering in all directions, with some falling to the ground. They appear to be running from a man who turns and runs out of the picture. The person is wearing a white T-shirt and dark pants. The image isn’t clear, but authorities hope someone will recognize him and notify investigators.

At least three of the victims were seriously wounded. Of the rest, many were grazed and authorities said that overall most wounds were not life threatening. No deaths were reported.

The victims included 10 men, seven women, a boy and a girl. The children, both 10 years old, were grazed and in good condition. Police said at least two people were in surgery Sunday night.

The shooting — described by the FBI as a flare-up of street violence — shattered the festive mood surrounding the parade that drew hundreds of people to the 7th Ward neighborhood of modest row houses not far from the French Quarter. Cell phone video taken in the aftermath of the shooting shows victims lying on the ground, blood on the pavement and others bending over to comfort them.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged witnesses to come forward with information during a news conference Sunday night at a hospital where gunshot victims were taken.

“These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered. Somebody knows something. The way to stop this violence is for you all to help,” he said.

Outside the hospital on Sunday night, Leonard Temple became teary as he talked about a friend who was in surgery after being shot three times during the parade. Temple was told the man was hit while trying to push his own daughter out of the way.

“People were just hanging out. We were just chilling. And this happened. Bad things always happen to good people,” said Temple, who was at the parade but didn’t see the shootings.

In the late afternoon, the scene was taped off and police had placed bullet casing markers in at least 10 spots.

Second-line parades are loose processions in which people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They can be planned events or impromptu offshoots of other celebrations. They trace their origins to the city’s famous jazz funerals.

A social club called The Original Big 7 organized Sunday’s event. The group was founded in 1996 at the Saint Bernard housing projects, according to its MySpace page.

The neighborhood where the shooting happened is a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the 7th Ward’s population was about 60 percent of its pre-Hurricane Katrina level.

The crime scene was about 1.5 miles from the heart of the French Quarter and near the Treme neighborhood, which has been the centerpiece for the HBO TV series “Treme.”

Sunday’s violence comes at a time when the city is struggling to pay for tens of millions of dollars required under a federal consent decree to reform the police department and the city jail.

Shootings at parades and neighborhood celebrations have become more common in recent years as the city has struggled with street crime. Earlier this year, four people were shot following an argument in the French Quarter during the last weekend of partying before Mardi Gras. The victims survived, and several suspects were eventually arrested.

Police vowed to make swift arrests. Serpas said it wasn’t clear if particular people in the second line were targeted, or if the shots were fired at random.

“We’ll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood,” Serpas said.

Police also say a reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to arrests and indictments in the case.

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Women in India demand guns for protection

Delhi women gun for licences; rape triggers big rush to acquire arms

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http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com   –  Dwaipayan Ghosh

NEW DELHI: The horrific attack on Nirbhaya has led to a spurt in requests for gun licences from women. Since December 18, the day the news of the brutal gang rape appeared in newspapers, the licensing department of Delhi Police has received a total of 274 applications from women. In addition, it has also been flooded with hundreds of queries on how to obtain a licence.

“We have received over 1,200 calls since that day. These include not only the average working woman, but even students who travel long distances to colleges and even their concerned parents. They were eager to find out more on the procedure to acquire arms,” said a Delhi police officer.

Delhi police sources say hundreds more had turned up at their office itself. “We had to patiently tell them that one needs to have a clear danger to one’s life to be given a licence. However, some of the parents were not happy with our replies. They said that with even public transport no longer safe in the city, they just cannot take chances. When we told them this could not be reason enough, we were told to give in writing that their daughters were indeed safe on Delhi’s roads,” said a source.

A member of the National Association for Gun Rights India claimed women were discriminated against. “Men are issued more gun licences than women in Delhi even if the later have genuine reasons to apply for them,” said a member. “The fact that even parents are ready to hand over weapons to their daughters shows they are living in fear. There is a 20% increase in self-defence courses across the city,” added the source.

In the past two years, Delhi cops have received over 800 applications for guns from women. While the year 2010 saw around 320 applications, the figure had risen to around 500 in 2011. But it’s not only the numbers that’s a break from the past. There’s a change as well in the reasons cited. “Women earlier mostly cited the inheritance clause — saying their fathers or husbands had a licence which they want to continue holding. Many women applying under this clause were proxies for men. But of late women are citing ‘self-defence’ to apply for a licence,” said an officer in the licencing department.

In general, 20-22% of all applicants are now women. Since the past two weeks, the percentage has shot up to around 35%. The officer said 27 licences were issued to women in 2010. Of these, 17 applied under the inheritance clause. Till July this year, five women were granted licences for personal threats. In 2010 and 2011, over 600 applications were rejected as no “personal safety threat was assessed”.

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