Paris to put up glass wall to protect Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is to have a 2.5m-high (8ft) wall of reinforced glass built around it as protection against terror attacks, officials say. The Paris mayor’s office says the wall will replace metal fences put up for the Euro 2016 football tournament. The project, if approved, is expected to cost about €20m (£17m; $21m) and work should start later this year. The French capital has been on high alert since attacks by jihadists in November 2015 left 130 people dead. Last July, 86 people were killed when a…

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Syria war: Turkish forces ‘push into IS-held al-Bab’

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have captured the western outskirts of the Syrian city of al-Bab, held by so-called Islamic State (IS), reports say. They have been fighting to take the city, about 30km (20 miles) south of Turkey, from IS since late 2016. Ten Turkish soldiers have been killed since Wednesday in the fighting. It is part of a broader offensive by Turkey to push IS and Kurdish fighters away from Turkey’s southern border. Syrian forces meanwhile have closed in on al-Bab from the south, where there is reported to be…

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Syria war: Russian ‘friendly fire’ kills Turkish soldiers

President Vladimir Putin has sent condolences after a Russian air strike accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers in northern Syria. The strike hit a building near the town of al-Bab, believing it to contain Islamic State (IS) fighters rather than Turkish troops, Turkey’s military said. Eleven others were wounded in the so-called friendly fire incident. They were supporting Syrian rebels who are locked in a fierce battle to try to capture al-Bab from IS fighters. Russia and Turkey, who back opposing sides in the Syrian war, have been jointly conducting air…

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Trump defends Putin over Russia killings allegations

US President Donald Trump has defended Vladimir Putin when questioned over allegations of murders carried out by the Russian state. In an interview with Fox News, he said: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” Mr Trump said he respected President Putin and would prefer to “get along with him”. He said he wanted help from Russia in the fight against “Islamic terrorism”. Excerpts of the interview with Bill O’Reilly, carried out at Mr Trump’s Florida home,…

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US court rejects bid to immediately restore travel ban

A US appeals court in San Francisco has denied an emergency motion filed by the justice department to reinstate President Donald Trump’s halted immigration ban. The decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit means the ban will remain frozen throughout the weekend, and that a decision on a further request to restore the ban will be put off until at least Monday afternoon. The justice department filed an appeal on Saturday to reinstate an executive order barring citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries and temporarily banning…

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Trump bid to restore travel ban rejected

The US federal appeals court has rejected the Trump administration’s request to reinstate a travel ban blocked by a federal judge on Friday. The late night ruling means the travel ban will remain suspended until the full case has been heard. The court gave the White House and the states challenging it a deadline of Monday to present more arguments. Two states argued that the travel ban, affecting people from seven mainly-Muslim countries, was unconstitutional. In its appeal, the Justice Department said Judge James Robart had overreached by “second guessing”…

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Trump fires Sally Yates after acting US attorney general contradicted travel ban

Donald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she told justice department lawyers not to defend his executive order banning entry for people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The White House said on Monday that Sally Yates had “betrayed” the department by refusing to enforce a legal order that was “designed to protect the citizens of the United States”. Trump drafted in Dana Boente, US attorney for the eastern district of Virginia, to replace Yates as acting attorney general. The president’s official appointee, anti-immigration hardliner Senator Jeff Sessions, is…

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Trump Replaces Acting Director of Immigration Enforcement

President Donald Trump replaced the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday night, shortly after he fired the acting attorney general, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed. Unlike the firing of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, the replacement of Acting ICE Director Daniel Ragsdale came with no explanation. Ragsdale was replaced by Thomas Homan, ICE’s executive associate director of enforcement and removal operations since 2013. “I am confident that he will continue to serve as a strong, effective leader for the men and women of ICE,” John…

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Trump sacks defiant acting attorney general Sally Yates

Donald Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban. Sally Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president’s executive order. A White House statement accused Ms Yates of “betraying” the justice department and being “weak on borders”. Mr Trump replaced her with Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr Boente said he was “honoured to serve President Trump” and immediately directed his department to enforce the controversial order. Mr…

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Rigopiano Hotel avalanche: Puppies raise rescuers’ hopes in Italy

Three puppies have been rescued alive from the ruins of a mountain hotel in Abruzzo, central Italy, which was engulfed by an avalanche five days ago. The number of confirmed deaths has risen to seven, with 22 people still missing, but there are hopes people may have survived in air pockets. Nine people were brought out alive while two were found outside the hotel. Rescuers using shovels and saws are considering whether to start using heavy equipment on the buried ruins. Details have emerged of the situation at the hotel…

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