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4 American tourists attacked with acid at French train station

Four female American tourists had acid thrown in their faces by a woman at a French train station, Reuters reported Sunday.

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The four women were at a train station in Marseille and were headed to Paris when they were attacked, police said, adding that authorities did not believe the incident was terror-related.

The attacker, a 41-year-old woman, was arrested at the scene, Reuters reported. 

Two of the women, in their early 20s, were treated in a hospital for burns to their faces, police said.

A police spokeswoman told USA Today that the suspect did not yell any out any terror-linked threats. She said there were no immediate indications that the attack was terror-related but added officials can’t rule out terror links at such an early stage of the investigation.

In previous incidents in Marseille, a driver rammed into two bus stops last month, killing a woman, USA Today reported.

In April, French police said they thwarted an imminent “terror attack” and arrested two suspected radicals in Marseille , USA Today reported.

Haley: Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ comment ‘not an idle threat’

Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that President Donald Trump's “fire and fury” comment last month about North Korea's nuclear program was not an empty threat.

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If the U.S. exhausts diplomatic options on North Korea, the U.S. military would "take care of it," Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday morning. She added that Defense Secretary James Mattis has “an army of options” to destroy North Korea..

“We wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first,” Haley said. “If that doesn't work, General Mattis will take care of it.”

Haley warned that a war would mean the destruction of North Korea.

“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” Haley told CNN. “And we all know that, and none of us want that.”

Engaged couple seeking sponsorships to pay for dream wedding

Planning the perfect wedding is serious business for Jason Mielke and his fiancée, Rebecca Winter Hansen.

That's why the Canadian groom and bride-to-be are looking for sponsors to fund their Nov. 25 wedding.

According to the Moose Jaw Times Herald, Mielke lost his job in January, shortly after he asked Hansen to marry him.

Eloping or getting married at the courthouse isn't an option for the Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, couple, Mielke said. He also didn't want to ask family members for money, so he decided to seek sponsors for their special day.

"I've always been good at marketing, forming relationships in the community, sponsorship, stuff like that," he told the Times Herald. "I thought maybe I could do something here."

>> See their wedding website here

According to the CBC, Mielke and Hansen are "asking individual community members to donate money in return for a seat at their winter wedding reception." They're also hoping companies will pay for a red carpet, spa services, a gluten-free wedding cake and other items.

But Mielke and Hansen have some lines they won't cross.

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"I Googled some pictures, and some brides have the logos of the companies on their dress, and I don't know if we're going that far," Mielke told the Times Herald.

Hansen said contributing to the couple's happy moment would lead to a "long-lasting and double-fold reciprocal return," the CBC reported.

"The power of giving always moves everyone toward greatness and making the impossible possible," she told the CBC.

Read more here or here.

London train bombing: 5 things to know

Here are five things to know about the bombing at the London Underground train station at Parsons Green on Friday, which caused 30 injuries. Police in Kent arrested an 18-year-old man Saturday in the port area of Dover and are holding him for questioning under the Terrorism Act. He has not been charged or identified.

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  • This is the fourth time the United Kingdom’s national terror threat level has been raised to "critical" since the system was made public in 2006. The last time was in May after the Manchester Arena bombing.

  • Mark Rowley, the London Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner, said a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) was thought to be responsible for the blast.   

  • Police sources said the device only partially exploded. Initial examination by explosives experts led them to conclude it was “viable,” meaning the device was meant to explode more fully. A circuit board was recovered from the scene.

  • Three of at least 30 people injured remained in a London hospital Saturday.

  • ISIS has claimed involvement in the attack without any evidence to support that claim.  The organization said via its Amaq news agency that a "detachment" from the group had carried out the attack.

Prince William: Princess Charlotte is going to be ‘trouble’

The Duke of Cambridge is well aware of what he’s in for when daughter Princess Charlotte gets older, and he’s getting ready.

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“She’s going to be trouble when she gets older,” Prince William told Pagan Tordengrav while visiting with patients at Aintree University Hospital on Thursday. “All fathers say that to me — watch out for the little girls.”

The royal’s joke comes a few months after the 2-year-old princess threw a royal fit on a tarmac in Germany. Luckily mom Duchess Kate came to the rescue and calmed her down, but the adorable photos still circulated online. Even earlier this year, the Duchess of Cambridge admitted Princess Charlotte is “the one in charge” of their household.

On the other hand, Prince William said he believes his son will a breeze as he grows up.

“George has been really easy,” he told patient Theresa Jones when asked about George starting school. “He hasn’t said, ‘Have I got to do this for the rest of my life?'”

UK raises terror alert level to ‘critical’ following train bombing

Several people were injured at a London underground station Friday after a blast on a packed commuter train, Reuters reported.

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Who are the Rohingya Muslims? 7 things to know about the 'world’s most persecuted minority'

Since August, more than 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped the Buddhist-majority country of Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and reportedly face an array of human rights abuses, to seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh.

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Many Rohingya refugees have been turned away, leaving thousands stranded at sea.

Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief, has called what's happening to Rohingya in Myanmar “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Who are the Rohingya and where do they live?

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group living primarily in the Buddhist nation of Myanmar (or Burma). There are approximately 1.1 million Rohingya living in the country.

According to Al Jazeera, the Rohingya have been described as the “world’s most persecuted minority,” and have faced systematic persecution since Myanmar’s independence in the late 1940s.

Most Rohingya in Myanmar reside in the Rakhine State on the country’s western coast.

Rakhine State is regarded as one of the country’s poorest areas and lacks basic services in education and health care.

The Rohingya’s history in Myanmar

According to historians, the group has been residing in Arakan (now Rakhine State) since as early as the 12th century, Al Jazeera reported.

When the British ruled between 1824 and 1948, they administered Myanmar as a province of India and, thus, any migration of laborers between Myanmar and other South Asian countries (like Bangladesh) was considered internal. The majority of the native Myanmar population did not like that.

After gaining independence in 1948, the Burmese government still frowned upon any migration that occurred during the period of British rule, claiming it all to be illegal.

In fact, many Buddhists in Myanmar consider the Ronhingya to be Bengali, or people from Bangladesh.

The discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law officially prevented them from obtaining citizenship.

And according to a Human Rights Watch report from 2000, this is the basis the Myanmar government uses to deny Rohingya citizenship in the country.

Over the years, military crackdowns on the Rohingya have forced hundreds of thousands to escape.

According to the HRW report, Rohingya refugees reported that the Burmese army had forcibly evicted them. Many also alleged widespread army brutality, rape and murder.

Between 1991 and 1992, more than 250,000 Rohingya refugees fled to southeastern Bangladesh. But with the influx of refugees, the Bangladeshi government insisted the refugees return to Arakan (Rakhine State).

By 1997, according to the HRW report, some 230,000 refugees returned.

That same year, the Burmese government said it would not accept any more returning refugees after Aug. 15, 1997, leading to a series of disturbances in Bangladeshi refugee camps.

The Human Rights Watch has called the crisis a deadly game of “human ping-pong.”

What’s happening to the Rohingya now?

Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country, continues to deny the Rohingya citizenship, freedom to travel, access to education and the group still faces harsh systematic persecution.

In October 2016, the Burmese government blamed members of the Rohingya for the killings of nine border police, leading to a crackdown on Rakhine State villages in which troops were accused of rape, extrajudicial killing and other human rights abuses — all allegations they denied.

And most recently in August, violence erupted after Rohingya fighters were accused of attacking police posts and an army base in Rakhine, Al Jazeera reported.

Following the August event, at least 370,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh to escape the aforementioned allegations of human rights abuses, according to the Associated Press.

Women, children and the elderly made up the bulk of the that group.

Over the past three years, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape by boat to neighboring countries that refuse to let them in.

Approximately 8,000 migrants have been stranded at sea.

Why won’t other countries take them in?

Many of Myanmar’s neighboring countries, including Bangladesh and Thailand, refuse to take them in.

The Thai navy has actually turned them away.

Lex Rieffel, an expert on Southeast Asia at the Brookings Institution, told NPR in 2015 that the Buddhist-majority nation of Thailand has been battling an Islamist insurgency for decades and has "no stomach" for bringing in more Muslims.

“Where will the budget come from? That money will need to come from Thai people's taxes, right?” Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters in 2015.

Malaysia and Indonesia, despite being Muslim-majority nations, have also prevented Rohingya from entering their countries, citing “social unrest.” And Indonesia worries about “an uncontrolled influx.”

“What do you expect us to do?” Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Jafaar told The Guardian in 2015. “We have been very nice to the people who broke into our border. We have treated them humanely, but they cannot be flooding our shores like this.”

What is Aung San Suu Kyi saying?

The crisis has drawn worldwide criticism of Myanmar's government and its leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi

According to the BBC, Suu Kyi said “a huge iceberg of misinformation” was distorting the crisis.

“We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection,” she is quoted as saying to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a recent statement. “So, we make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as ... not just political but social and humanitarian defence.”

But stories of human rights abuse can't be investigated because of the Burmese government’s decision to deny media access to its troubled areas, BBC’s Tn Htar Swe said.

"If they allowed the UN or human rights bodies to go to the place to find out what is happening then ... misinformation is not going to take place.”

Condemnation of Suu Kyi’s inaction and response have led to calls for the rescindment of her Nobel Peace Prize, which she won in 1991 as a result of her long fight for democracy in Burma. According to the Washington Post, the Nobel Committee said that will not happen.

How is the world reacting to the Rohingya crisis?

International aid to much of Myanmar’s Rakhine State have been suspended, leaving approximately 250,000 Rohingya Muslims without medical care, food and other vital humanitarian assistance, the Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday.

“The United Nations, ASEAN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation need to ramp up the pressure on Burma, and provide more assistance to Bangladesh, to promptly help Rohingya and other displaced people,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy diretor for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved an investigative mission, but was denied entry into Myanmar in June. And when an envoy entered in July, the visit was met with protests.

On Monday, the White House released this statement: “We call on Burmese security authorities to respect the rule of law, stop the violence and end the displacement of civilians from all communities.”

Bangladesh, which is facing the largest influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the international community to intervene.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world's largest Muslim body, issued a statement Tuesday urging Muslim countries to work together to help the Rohingya refugees.

Who is helping the Rohingya?

Aid groups continue efforts to reach Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and send aid to refugee camps.

According to the Indian Express, India announced it is sending an aircraft Thursday that will carry the first shipment of humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees.

“We want to go home and we want peace. But I believe the world is watching our crisis and that they are trying to help us,” Rahimol Mustafa, a 22-year-old Rohingya Muslim, told Al Jazeera in an interview Tuesday.

Mustafa fled Rakhine State a few weeks ago and is currently safe at a refugee camp in Bangladesh, but with “no shelter and no future.”

Read Mustafa’s story on AlJazeera.com

Earthquake hits southern coast of Mexico, triggers tsunami

Updated 2:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 9: The death toll from an 8.1-magnitude earthquake that stuck Mexico earlier this week has risen to 64, according to The Associated Press.

Officials in the state of Chiapas told the news wire that 15 people died there as a result of Thursday night’s quake. Forty-five others were reported dead in Oaxaca while four others were killed in Tabasco.

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 8

According to the AP, the death toll in the wake of an earthquake of the coast of southern Mexico Friday has risen to 58. 

Update 2:49 p.m. EDT Sept. 8: 

The Associated Press reported that the death toll from an earthquake off the coast of southern Mexico on Friday has risen to at least 35.

Update 10:57 a.m. EDT Sept. 8: The Associated Press reported that the death toll from an earthquake off the coast of southern Mexico on Friday has risen to at least 32.

The news wire reported that at least 23 people were killed in Oaxaca, citing state Gov. Alejandro Murat. At least seven people died in the state of Chiapas and two others died in the state of Tabasco, the AP reported.

Original report: An earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale hit off the coast of southern Mexico on Friday, killing at least 15 people and triggering a tsunami, CNN reported. The Associated Press reported that five people were killed, including two children in Tabasco state.

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The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, which occurred near the border between Mexico and Guatemala, was felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City. It struck off the Pacific coast, 74 miles southwest of Tres Picos, Mexico, which is 600 miles southeast of Mexico City, CNN reported.

A tsunami has been confirmed in Mexico, CNN reported, with one wave coming in at 2.3 feet, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center's verified account.

The USGS has reported multiple aftershocks, including four with tremors measuring above 5.0 in magnitude.

The main quake had a depth of 69.7 kilometers, according to the USGS. It was a particularly shallow quake, according to USGS geophysicist Jana Pursely.

"The shaking along the coast of Chiapas at this point is estimated to be very strong to severe," Pursely told CNN. "I would expect damage along the coast of Chiapas."

Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco told Foro TV that there have been reports of damage, including hospitals that have lost power and buildings with collapsed roofs, CNN reported. Schools will be canceled Friday, he said.

Authorities said they were evacuating residents in Puerto Madero in Chiapas as a precaution due to the tsunami alert, the AP reported.

Photos: Mexico rocked by 8.1 earthquake

An earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale hit off the coast of southern Mexico on Friday, killing at least two people and triggering a tsunami, CNN reported. The Associated Press reported that 35 people were killed, including two children in Tabasco state.

World-famous airport ravaged by Hurricane Irma

An airport famous for its easy to see, low-flying airplanes was left devastated after Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean on Wednesday.

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Princess Juliana International Airport, in St. Maarten, the Dutch side of St. Martin island, was inaccessible Wednesday, according to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Officials released a photo taken from a helicopter of the airport after Hurricane Irma slammed through the region with winds topping 175 mph. Nearby buildings appeared to have had their roofs torn off and debris appeared scattered across the airport's field.

The airport closed Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of the storm.

The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over St. Martin around 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported. Photos posted by French weather observatory Kerauos showed sand and debris inside the airport and spread across the tarmac.

The airport is popular among visitors who would gather at nearby Maho Beach to watch the planes fly relatively close overhead, The Washington Post reported. Planes landing at or taking off from the airport had to fly low because of the runway's proximity to the shoreline.

“It’s just heartbreaking to see the airport, the homes and hotels in ruins,” Julie Young, a Virginia resident who visited St. Martin in June, told The Washington Post. “The Maho Beach plane-watching was spectacular.”

Dutch officials told The Associated Press that at least one person was killed in St. Maarten as a result of Irma. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Irma was a storm of “epic proportions” that left “wide-scale destruction of infrastructure, houses and businesses,” according to the AP.

“Houses are under water, cars are floating through the streets, inhabitants are sitting in the dark, in ruined houses and are cut off from the outside world,” Rutte said after a meeting of the government’s crisis committee.

The island territory is home to about 40,000 people.

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