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EU’s Juncker team faces make-or-break hearings

By Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The next 10 days could make or break a plan to reshape the European Union under new management in an attempt to revive the economy and regain trust among its half-billion people. From Monday, members of a European Parliament elected on a wave of anti-Brussels protest will subject nominees for posts on executive European Commission to hearings that could wreck the line-up and a complex new structure proposed by its incoming president, Jean-Claude Juncker. …

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Source: EU’s Juncker team faces make-or-break hearings

Hong Kong leader says will launch new round of talks on electoral reform soon

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said on Sunday the government will launch a new round of consultations on electoral reform shortly, following a weekend of violent clashes between police and pro-democracy activists calling for greater freedoms. Leung was speaking as police barricaded city streets to block in thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators surrounding the government headquarters after they accelerated a plan to shut down the heart of the global financial hub. He did not provide a time-frame for consultations. … …read more

Source: Hong Kong leader says will launch new round of talks on electoral reform soon

Frenchman’s murder puts Algeria back on the shifting map of jihad

By Patrick Markey and Lamine Chikhi ALGIERS (Reuters) – When a little-known group of Algerian militants beheaded a French tourist last week, they were not only lashing out at the West, but also staking an unmistakable claim in the shifting ground of jihadist power politics. Herve Gourdel’s murder by the Caliphate Soldiers, ostensibly to punish France for Western military strikes on Islamic State forces in Iraq, was testament to the pull now exerted by the al Qaeda-offshoot in the battle for the loyalties of jihadists. …

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Source: Frenchman’s murder puts Algeria back on the shifting map of jihad

Over 30 found in state of ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ on Japan volcano

TOKYO (Reuters) – More than 30 people have been found on Sunday in a state of “cardiopulmonary” arrest near the peak of the Japanese volcano that erupted on Saturday, NHK national news said, without specifying they have died. Japan does not confirm deaths until a formal examination has been made. A Nagano prefectural official was unable to confirm the NHK report. Hundreds of people, including children, were stranded on the peak after it erupted without warning, sending ash pouring down the slope for more than 3 km (2 miles.) Most made their way down that evening. …

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Source: Over 30 found in state of ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ on Japan volcano

Goggles at the ready as Hong Kong activists brace for crackdown

By James Pomfret and Donny Kwok HONG KONG (Reuters) – Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators surrounding Hong Kong government headquarters braced for a showdown with police on Sunday after accelerating a plan to shut down the heart of the global financial hub. Leaders and supporters of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement, many wearing plastic capes and goggles to fend off any police pepper spray attack, urged the public to join the protest to pressure Beijing to allow free elections in the former British colony. …

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Source: Goggles at the ready as Hong Kong activists brace for crackdown

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