Oil Giant CEO Killed During Private Jet Accident

According to Russian media, Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie from France had died shortly after his private jet hit a snowplough during their take-off in the Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.

According to Vnukovo Airport Spokeswoman Elena Kyrlova “Tonight a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearign machine.” Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total’s head De Margerie.”

A source from Total confirmed that De Margerie had boarded the plane shortly before the midnight accident. The aircraft was a Paris-bound Dassault Falcon business jet.

De Margerie was to attend a Russian Government meeting on Foreign Investment in Gorki, near Moscow, on Monday.

Christophe de Margerie took over total on February 2007 and became its chairman on May 2010 after he ran the exploration and production division. Philippe Boisseau, Total’s Energy Division Head and Patrick Pouyanne,  a risk and expense reduction head, are seen as potential successors of the late de Margerie.

Total is one of the major oil companies in the world. Its output represents more than a tenth of its global portfolio by 2020. Despite the sanctions placed against Russia, Total said it wouldn’t stop working on the Yamal project, worth $27bn (£20bn), which would invest into tapping Russia’s vast natural gas reserves in Siberia.

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Hong Kong Democratic Protests Gains International Support

The Hong Kong Protests gained support from local protests against embassies and government offices in London, Taipei, Stockholm and Melbourne with many protesters holding up the famed umbrella symbol of the Hong Kongers and held up their brightly-lit smartphones, as did the Hong Kong protesters.

Around 4,000 people had gathered in Taipei and 2,000 in London in front of the Chinese Embassy at Portland Place.

Slogans such as “Hong Kong – the world supports you” and “You can’t kill us all” were found held by many protesters. Some called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to help uphold democracy in China.

In other parts of the UK, Northern England had gathered 200 people at the city’s Piccadilly Gardens, using their smartphones to create a light show in protest of Beijing’s decision for the 2017 Hong Kong elections.

According to most protesters, Hong Kong is in a “life-or-death” moment.

Students in the United States have been gathering in New York Times Square to show their support for the Hong Kongers.

The Hong Kong protests began when the Chinese Central Government issued a decree that a pro-Beijing panel will screen candidates for the 2017 Hong Kong elections, effectively jeopardising Beijing’s freedoms to choose their leaders. The nearly week-long protests have frozen all business activities in Hong Kong.

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IS-Linked Militants Poised to Kill French Hostage to Stop French Air Attacks

The Algerian Jund al-Khilifa, a terrorist group linked to the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, had threatened to kill a kidnapped French national and will kill their hostages within 24 hours unless France recalls its support for the US-led air strikes against the IS in Iraq.

The French hostage, Herve Pierre Gourdel, was shown in a video the group had released on September 22 in the middle of two hooded men armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The French government had confirmed the authenticity of the footage.

The IS had called on other Muslims to kill Westerners in their countries whose nations have joined the campaign to fight against the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the United States had gained 50 nations who would fight against the Islamic State in its coalition. Despite increased air attacks, the IS advances towards a border town in Syria, which had sent 130,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees to Turkey.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that France is not afraid and is ready to respond to the threat presented by the IS.

According to the Jund al-Khilifa, they have kidnapped Gourdel in a mountainous region of eastern Algeria where al-Qaeda is active. It is their response to the IS call for aid.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the threats made by ISIS is extremely grave and had demonstrated the extreme cruelty of the terrorist group.

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Russia Urges Ukraine Cease-Fire Talks With Separatists

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Ukraine must continue to pursue a cease-fire between the Ukrainian Government and the Pro-Russian rebels and that Russia will not involve itself in a military intervention.

Speaking at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Monday during Russia’s first day of classes for schools and universities, Lavrov said “there will be no military intervention. We call for an exclusively peaceful settlement of this severe crisis, this tragedy.” He then urged that the groups involved in the Minsk meetings reach an agreement for an unconditional cease fire.

In the last weeks of July, representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held talks with Andrei Purgin, a separatist leader, for a ceasefire breakthrough. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko were present.

Putin said that Russia was not involved in the conflict in any manner as it is Ukraine’s internal affair. Meanwhile, the US and European countries continue to suspect Russia as the prime culprit behind the military support of the Pro-Russian Rebels.

Fighting between the Ukrainian Government and the Pro-Russian Rebels began mid-April, after Russia had annexed Crimea. More than 2,500 have died, excluding those from the shot-down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which had 298 passengers.

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US and European Countries Condemn Killing of Journalist James Foley

The United States, United Kingdom and France have all condemned the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the Islamic State (IS). The IS released a video that portrayed a prisoner wearing an orange jumpsuit. Beside him was an IS fighter with a knife in hand, mentioning that it is the United States’ fault the man named James Wright Foley will be beheaded.

Another slide in the video showed another journalist the IS targets to behead if the United States will not withdraw air support for Iraq and Kurdish forces.

France said that the IS’ beheading was “barbaric.” UK mentioned that it was a depraved act.

James Foley, a 40-year-old freelance journalist who previously worked for GlobalPost, had remained in the Middle East for five years. Former Libyan Leader Muammar Qadaffi had imprisoned him during his coverage of the crisis in the country. He had also worked with AFP and other media outlets worldwide.

US Intelligence Agencies are still verifying the authenticity of the video. If proven true, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said “we were appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist.”

Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Minister pointed out that the IS fighter beside Foley in the video was British, indicating the IS’ use of western fighters who practice the same fight who continue to recruit others into the extremist faction.

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Israel-Gaza Treaty is Over Before it Started

Israel has bombarded Gaza once again after the Hamas had broken the treaty just a few hours before it started. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu had vowed to do anything in Israel’s power to remove the threat of Hamas from Gaza. He also noted the support of the United States throughout the ordeal.

The talks scheduled for Cairo have been stalled. Israeli officials have announced their absence because of the failure of the 72-hour ceasefire brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Many nations, particularly Arab countries, had viewed the ceasefire as the start of paving a way for a ceasefire.

Obeservers said that the ceasefire for Israel and Gaza should not be limited to a conventional ceasefire. Israel wanted to continue destroying the Hamas underground tunnels despite the ceasefire. Negotiations to disarm Hamas are also unfair to Gaza, as it does not hold any power during the truce.

Meanwhile, the death toll for the Israel-Gaza conflict is now over 1,700. The IDF had bombed different areas of Gaza after the discovery of missing Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, who had died in the Rafah area. The Israeli military believes that Goldin was kidnapped by militants during the fighting and was killed a few hours after the ceasefire.

In total, 68 Israel soldiers have died during the fighting.

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Pro-Russian Rebels Hand Over MH17 Black Boxes

The Pro-Russian rebels of Donetsk had turned over two black boxes of the downed Malaysian Airlines Passenger Jet to the Malaysian Investigation Team in Ukraine. According to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the rebels had submitted the black boxes at 9pm. The black boxes of the aircraft will answer about the fate of the passengers of the doomed flight.

Najib had admitted that he had been secretly contacting the pro-Russian rebels to secure the aircraft black boxes. He described it as difficult, but it had borne fruit and it had gained Malaysia its black boxes and the unfettered right of the Malaysian Investigation Team to survey the crash site.

From Torez, the 282 dead bodies of passengers will be moved to Kharkiv to the hands of Malaysian Airlines representatives from the Netherlands. Six members of the recovery team will accompany the refrigerated train. A Dutch C130 Herculates will fly to Amsterdam, where it would have forensic investigation, and then sent back to Malaysia.

Najib said that there is much work to be done until the MH17 incident is finally give a close, including maintaining contact with Rebel Leader Alexander Borodai. Najib said their cooperation had been done in good faith, and their agreement is honoured by both sides.

Meanwhile, Russian denial stories are rebutted by the United States. The Russian government’s recent story of a Ukrainian Military Jet tailing the plane and shooting it out of the sky is a farfetched tale, according to political analysts. US intelligence also has evidence that it had supplied separatists with surface-to-air missiles days before the incident.

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Netanyahu Warns Hamas of Vengeance for Killing Three Israeli Hitchhikers

Three Israeli teenagers hitchhiking in the West Bank went missing two weeks ago. The Israeli military recently found their bodies near the area after a thousand-troop search and rescue operation that led to the arrest of 400 Hamas operatives, with two top suspects still on the loose. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swore vengeance against Hamas for their crimes.

The Israeli public also cried for blood. The public, along with Israeli media, continued to be updated about the situation of the three Israeli teenagers. One of the teenagers had a US citizenship, and they were only common teenagers. Not one of them has a link to any political figure.

Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, 19, and the last two 16 years old, were found in a shallow grave in an open field at the West Bank village of Halhul, Hebron. The Israeli military locked down the area.

US President Barack Obama shared his condolences and called the murder a “senseless act of terror.”

However, Netanyahu might have political difficulties as he is pressured to act with justice against Hamas, but he will be risking a possible long-term warfare. International pressure may call on him to practice restraint.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticised the act. They had also pledged in the search. Meanwhile, the Hamas did not admit being part of the kidnapping, but praised what had happened. Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said it is a possible pretext to act against Hamas in a politically justifiable manner.

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Iran Accuses the US for Taking Advantage of the Iraq Crisis

The Iraq Military is helpless against fighting a vicious, war-hardened militant threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS with low military morale and inadequate equipment. However, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei accused the United States for exploiting the Iraqi crisis by sending in 300 military advisers to support the Iraqi military’s efforts to contain the threat.

Khamenei’s statement might reduce the likelihood of the US and Iran cooperating to create a security measure for Iraq. Iran had expressed its willingness to support Iraq against the threat, but it views US actions as having vested interests.

The Iran leader said that the United States is trying to retake Iraq by exploiting possible sectarian troubles in the country. The ISIS are Sunni Muslims, who Sunni believe to be fighting for the rights of their people. Iraq is a country run by President Nouri al-Maliki, who is a Shia Muslim and had established laws the discriminate against the Sunni Muslims.

Khamenei also views the US’ intention to let al-Maliki step down to allow a new “puppet” president in his place as evidence of their intention to take advantage of the situation. He said that Iran believes that Iraq and their religious leaders could end the conflict on their own.

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US Urges Americans in Libya to Leave the Country

The United States State Department had warned American expatriates living in Libya to leave immediately, along with tourists and travellers. The travel warning followed after a terrorist group attacked the home of Libya’s new Prime Minister, which continues to make Libya’s security situation questionable.

Meanwhile, the group behind the attack, Ansar al-Sharia, said that should the US decide to interfere in Libyan politics, it will see a fate worse than its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before Ahmed Miitig, a 42 years old businessman had the GNC elect him as Libyan Prime Minister, the terrorists had also attacked his predecessor Abdullah al-Thani, who in April, resigned after the attacks.

According to Miitig’s aide, the group used rockets and small arms against the Prime Minister’s home in Tripoli. The family escaped unharmed as the Prime Minister’s guards opened fire against the group. The guards had arrested two of the attackers.

The US Embassy in Tripoli had also closed, and in case personnel in the Embassy must be evacuated, the US plans to deploy an amphibious assault ship with 1,000 marines. These precautions serve as an immediate action after the same terrorist group had attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi, which had killed several personnel and top US officials.

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