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US Air Strike Kills Many Civilians

A US airstrike in Afghanistan on Tuesday killed as many as 23 civilians, with most victims women and children, the UN says.

The strike on a compound in Helmand province was called in during a joint operation between Afghan and US forces.

Investigators said up to 10 children and eight women may have been killed. US forces say they are investigating. Civilian casualties from aerial attacks have surged since the US announced a new Afghan strategy last year.

President Trump committed more troops to America’s longest war and significantly boosted the number of strikes targeting Taliban and Islamic State group positions in August 2017. The rules of engagement were also loosened, allowing more bombings.

The US-led Nato mission in Afghanistan said that Tuesday’s helicopter strike took place amid a firefight between US-advised Afghan special forces and Taliban fighters in Garmser district.

Nato said the Taliban had been using the building that was hit “as a fighting position”, and accused the militants of continuously using civilians as human shields.

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Police Attacked In Durham Town Centre

Up to 100 teenagers surrounded police in a town centre before a mob attacked officers during an “appalling” disturbance.

Fireworks and bricks were launched and a community officer was punched in the face in Stanley, County Durham.

Police have since launched a text alerts service to inform parents of local disorder, urging them to “take responsibility” for their children. It is hoped they will be encouraged to collect teenagers from disturbances.

Officers were called out to reports of a “vulnerable female” at the bus station in the town on the night of 3 November. They were bombarded by the youths upon arrival, then set upon by about 20 hoodie-wearing youngsters in an attack captured on the officers’ body cams.

Sgt Dave Clarke said his officers had been forced to use pepper spray after tensions “escalated” when some teenagers had objected to being told what to do. “You had a group of six to 10 boys wanting to show off in front of their friends, and that developed into kicks, karate kicks, punching and people jumping around sparring,” he said. “After at least 10 warnings, the officers used the pepper spray.”

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Prisoner Confesses To 90 Murders Across The US

An imprisoned murderer is being investigated after confessing to 90 killings across four decades in the US.

The FBI believe Samuel Little, who is 78, may be among the most prolific serial killers in US criminal history.

State and federal agencies are now working to match his confessions with the deaths of dozens of women across the country from 1970 to 2005.

Investigators say they have already linked him to 34 murders and are working to corroborate many others.

Little is currently serving life in prison after being sentenced in 2014 for the murders of three women. He has been in custody since September 2012 when he was arrested at a Kentucky homeless shelter and transferred to California where he was wanted on a drugs charge.

DNA samples taken from Little were then linked to the unsolved deaths of three women in Los Angeles county in 1987 and 1989. All three of those victims had been beaten and strangled before their bodies were dumped separately.

He pleaded not guilty at trial, but was eventually sentenced to three consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole.

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Schoolboy Charged Over Video Attack

A 16-year-old boy is to be charged with assault after a video showing a boy being attacked was shared on social media.

The boy, 15, is shown being dragged to the ground at a school in Huddersfield before water is poured into his face.

The video was filmed in a lunch break at Almondbury Community School on 25 October, West Yorkshire Police said. The force said the older boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear at Youth Court “in due course”.

Police initially said they were investigating a report of a racially aggravated assault.

An online fundraising page set up to help the 15-year-old boy and his family has so far raised more than £50,000.

Senior Official In French Senate Arrested On Spying Charges

A senior official in the French Senate has been arrested on suspicion of spying for North Korea, judicial sources say.

Benoît Quennedey was arrested on Sunday night over the “collection and delivery of information to a foreign power”, they say.

He is being questioned by the domestic security agency, the DGSI. His Paris home and the home of his parents near Dijon have been searched, reports say.

Mr Quennedey is a senior civil servant, working for the Senate’s department of architecture, heritage and gardens. He is also president of the Franco-Korean Friendship Association (AAFC in French), which promotes closer ties with North Korea and supports the reunification of the divided Koreas.

In this capacity, he has travelled several times to Pyongyang in recent years; he has also written several articles and books on the country.

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