Ricky Spinks Jr.

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17 Powerful Instagram Photos That Capture The Tragedy At The U.S.-Mexico Border

The images illustrate the frustration of those who live along the border and tell a harrowing story for those trying to make their way into the U.S. illegally.<p>British photographer Charles Ommanney spent three weeks traveling the length of the U.S.-Mexico border for an upcoming mini-documentary …

Immigration

The Story Of One Iraqi Fighter Who Came Back From Syria To Battle ISIS At Home

"We are guerrillas and we're ready to die."<p>KARBALA, Iraq — It was photos from Damascus showing the desecration of an ancient tomb that drew Abu Hussein into Syria's civil war.<p>Extremist Sunni rebels were on a sectarian rampage, ransacking Shiite shrines like one to the Prophet's son-in-law Hujr ibn …

Middle East

Explosion At Nigerian Shopping Mall Kills At Least 21 People

It is the third fatal attack in the country's capital in two months. This is a developing story.<p>Witnesses said body parts were scattered around the Emab Plaza exit. Adding to the casualties, a reporter for Nigeria's <i>Premium Times</i> stationed at the Maitama Hospital said at least at least 30 were …

Africa

Suicide Bomber Kills 13 In A Market Near Baghdad

At least 13 are reported dead and 25 wounded after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a market in Iraq. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is suspected.<p>Iraqi police and hospital officials told the Associated Press that a suicide bomber attacked a market south of Baghdad while people were …

Extremism

Abu Qatada, For Years Called England's "Number One Terrorist," Acquitted In Jordanian Court

After nearly a decade in and out of British jails and detention centers, Muslim cleric Abu Qatada has been acquitted of conspiring to commit terrorism.<p>Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, who was deported from the U.K. last July following a nearly decade-long legal battle to stay in the country, was acquitted …

Osama Bin Laden

Iraqi Pollster Questions ISIS Narrative, Calls For U.S. To Empower Sunnis

Suspicion of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki abounds.<p>WASHINGTON — New research by an Iraqi pollster questions the prevailing narrative about ISIS' control of Sunni areas of Iraq and encourages the U.S. to empower local Sunni groups to tackle the terror group on their own.<p>Munqith Dagher, the Sunni …

Middle East

There Is A New Parody Russian Twitter Account Master Trolling The U.S. Over Iraq

The U.S. State Department has @UkrProgress to promote its Ukraine policy. Now, meet @IraqProgress.

U.S. Dept. of State

Catholic Church May Be Nearing Big Shift In Approach To Same-Sex Couples And Divorced People

A new document from the Vatican may pave the way for baptizing the children of same-sex couples and allowing divorced people to receive communion.<p>VATICAN CITY — A document issued by the Vatican on Thursday could signal a substantial shift in the Catholic Church's approach to the family, including …

Same-Sex Couples

Fear Of Sexual Violence Simmers In Iraq As ISIS Advances

But some activists say Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is fanning those fears as part of a cynical and sectarian-tinged scramble to hold on to power.<p>BAGHDAD — At a Shiite shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala, a young woman turned to a friend and asked the question that was on many people's minds: …

Middle East

Iraqi Army Opens New Front: Public Relations

"Have a little class," implores General Maan.<p>BAGHDAD — At the entrance to a paramilitary police base in Baghdad on Saturday, an officer berated one of the soldiers guarding the gate. The soldier had been hiding behind a barricade instead of standing at attention out front. "You need to stay at the …

Baghdad

Down The Rabbit Hole With Russia's Mysterious Leakers

A series of sensational leaks have made the Anonymous International a hot topic for Kremlinologists. But who are they? And are they more than what they seem?<p>The instructions came by email: Meet in the park in an hour. Sit on a bench near the statue, holding a copy of the local edition of <i>Forbes</i>. …

Russia

The Fight For Marriage Equality In The Pope's Backyard

The fact that Vatican City is just a walk across the bridge from Italy's Parliament goes a long way to explain why Italy is still the only nation in Western Europe with no partnership rights for same-sex couples — but that may be about to change.<p>ROME — After Sergio Lo Giudice's baby was born in …

LGBTQI

Iraq in turmoil: Is Maliki calling the shots? | US & Canada

Iraqi government forces have mounted their biggest push yet to regain ground lost to Sunni rebels belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.<p>Soldiers backed by tanks and helicopter gunships have launched an offensive to retake the northern city of Tikrit, after a series of …

Sunni rebels declare new 'Islamic caliphate'

A Sunni armed group which controls large areas of Iraq and Syria has announced the establishment of a "caliphate" straddling the two countries, urging other groups to pledge allegiance.<p>In an audio recording released on Sunday, the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant …

India launches foreign satellites into space

India's domestically-produced Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has blasted off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota, carrying satellites from France, Germany, Canada and Singapore.<p>Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed India's low-cost space technology on Monday, saying a rocket which …

'Islamic caliphate': Blessing or threat? | Iraq

An offshoot of al-Qaeda has declared the areas it has captured in Iraq and Syria an Islamic state, or caliphate.<p>To mark its declaration the group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, shortened its name to Islamic State.<p>It has proclaimed its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, as …

US to deploy more troops to Iraq

President Barack Obama has said he will send about 200 more US troops to Iraq to protect Americans and the US embassy in Baghdad amid fierce fighting in the country between government forces and Sunni armed groups.<p>The US is also sending a detachment of helicopters and drone aircraft.<p>Pentagon …

Erdogan nominated for Turkey presidency

Turkey's ruling party has nominated Recep Tayyip Erdogan to run in Turkey's first directly elected presidential race in August.<p>The AK party announced the prime minister's candidacy on Tuesday before thousands of cheering supporters.<p>Erdogan, in power since 2003, is barred by party rules from running …

Indian Shias sign up to fight in Iraq

A top Shia group in India has called for thousands of volunteers to travel to Iraq to fight "terrorism" by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebels, "protect Shia shrines" and "look after" the wounded, the group members told Al Jazeera.<p>Thousands of Muslims have already registered for …

European court upholds France's face veil ban

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld France's law banning face-covering Muslim veils from the streets, in a case brought by a woman who said that her freedom of religion was violated.<p>The ruling by the Strasbourg-based court was the first of its kind since France passed a law in 2010 that …

WHO: Ebola deaths in West Africa surge to 467

The World Health Organisation has said that West Africa's Ebola outbreak has claimed 467 lives as the death toll continues to climb in all three countries reporting cases.<p>In a statement on Tuesday, it said 759 people have been infected in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.<p>The new numbers include …

Syria rebel groups reject 'Islamic caliphate'

Some rebel groups and Islamic scholars in Syria have rejected the announcement of a so-called Islamic caliphate by an increasingly powerful rival.<p>Nine groups, including fighters and religious scholars, have dismissed the statement by Islamic State, an al-Qaeda offshoot which declared its leader …

Baghdadi's vision of a new caliphate

The Islamic State's (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) declaration of a caliphate is an attempt to assert itself on other groups, but its demands of allegiance and its vision of returning to a 'purer' era has been greeted by many with derision and rejection.<p>Fighters loyal to the …

Israel buries three slain settlers

Thousands of Israelis have attended an emotional funeral for three missing settlers found dead near Hebron in the occupied West Bank, as the Israeli government debated a response to the killings.<p>The settlers, Gilad Shaar, 16; Naftali Fraenkel, 16; and Eyal Yifrah, 19, disappeared on June 12 while …

North Korea fires missiles into the sea

North Korea has fired two short-range projectiles into waters off its east coast, a day after South Korea rejected its proposals to reduce tensions, including the cancellation of annual drills between Seoul and Washington.<p>The projectiles, with a range of 180 kilometres (110 miles), were fired from …

Poll: Fears over Islamic extremism rising

Fears about Islamic extremism are rising in nations with large Muslim populations from the Middle East to South Asia and support for radical groups is on the slide, according to a new poll.<p>Concern about extremism has increased in the past 12 months amid the dragging war in Syria and attacks by …

India summons US envoy over spying claim

India has summoned a top US diplomat in New Dehli to complain for the third time about spying, following new claims that the National Security Agency (NSA) targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.<p>"What we have said is that we expect a response and an assurance that this won't …

Shias killed in clashes with Iraqi police

Clashes between supporters of an outspoken Shia religious leader and Iraqi police have killed at least 25 people in the Shia holy city of Karbala, police sources say.<p>The violence started late on Tuesday night when supporters of Mahmud al-Hasani al-Sarakhi were prevented from marching on the Imam …

Pakistan passes tough anti-terrorism law

Pakistan has passed a law giving security forces sweeping powers to clamp down on terrorism, but many activists and politicians have described the provisions as draconian.<p>The new legislation adopted on Wednesday grants police officers the powers to shoot and kill alleged terrorists and detain …

Police arrest hundreds at Hong Kong rally

More than 500 protesters at a Hong Kong sit-in have been arrested after police moved in to break up the rally which organisers said saw a turnout of more than half a million.<p>The protesters had staged a sit-in on Tuesday on a street in the city's Central district and pledged to stay until 8am (0000 …