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Two Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli army: Gaza ministry

Two Palestinians including a 14-year-old boy were killed by Israeli fire on Friday on the Gaza border, as clashes erupted with security forces during protests, the enclave's health ministry said. Fares Hafez al-Sersawi, 14, and 24-year-old Mahmud Akra...

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Former South Korean President is imprisoned for 15 years on corruption charges 

Former South Korean President is imprisoned for 15 years on corruption charges Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has been jailed for 15 years for corruption.  Lee, 76, was sentenced in a court in Seoul on Friday for embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power, crimes committed before and during his presidency from 2008 to 2013. The court fined Lee 13 billion won ($11.5 million) Lee, who denies most of the 16 charges against him, becomes the fourth, former South Korean leader to be jailed. Lee's conviction comes six months after his successor and fellow conservative Park Geun-hye was convicted in a separate corruption scandal that triggered the country's greatest political turmoil in decades. She is serving a 33-year prison term. Chief judge Chung Kye-Sun said Lee: "has bitterly disappointed not only citizens who trusted and supported him but also our entire country." The court found that Lee was the de-facto owner of DAS - a controversial auto parts company which he claimed was his brother's - from which he used to create slush funds of around 24 billion. Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak arrives at court in September to attend earlier hearing into corruption trial  Credit: AFP Lee was also found guilty of accepting nearly six billion won from Samsung Electronics in return for a presidential pardon for its chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was jailed for tax evasion. A Samsung spokesman declined to comment on Friday's ruling. "Despite objective evidence and credible testimonies, he has denied all offences and shifted responsibilities to others by saying he was being framed," the judge said during the trial that was broadcast live. "Bringing everything into consideration, heavy punishment for the accused is inevitable," she said. Lee was not in attendance, citing ill-health and in protest against the court's decision to televise the ruling. Lee earlier dismissed what prosecutors say are "incriminating" documents and testimony from his relatives and aides as "fabrications". His lawyer called the ruling "extremely regrettable" and said the court's finding of Lee as the de-facto owner of DAS "hard to understand". He told reporters that he will discuss appealing the verdict with Lee and reach a decision by Monday. South Korean presidents have a tendency to end up in prison after their time in power as all four former South Korean presidents who are still alive have now been convicted for criminal offences. In addition to Geun-hye,  Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, former army generals who served as president through the 1980s to early 1990s, served jail terms for corruption and treason after leaving office. Up to a million protesters marched in central Seoul in 2016 to demand the resignation of then South Korean President Park Geun-hye  Credit: AFP  Both Chun and Roh received presidential pardons after serving about two years. Another former leader, Roh Moo-hyun, committed suicide after becoming embroiled in a corruption probe. Before serving as president, Lee was one of the most famous businessmen in South Korea and had been mayor of Seoul. He joined Hyundai Group's construction arm in the mid-1960s and led the company's rapid rise at a time when South Korea's economy grew explosively from the rubble of the 1950-53 Korean War. Lee, who once peddled cheap snacks and ice cream on the streets as a poor teenager, started at Hyundai with an entry-level job but eventually rose to CEOs of 10 companies under Hyundai Group. He was dubbed a "salaryman legend" or a "bulldozer," and his success story was chronicled in popular TV dramas.

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Nobel Peace Prize 2018 goes to Yazidi activist and Congolese gynaecologist 

Nobel Peace Prize 2018 goes to Yazidi activist and Congolese gynaecologist Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq, and Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it had awarded them the prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. "Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes," it said in its citation. Ms Murad is an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and for refugee and women's rights in general. Aged 19, she was enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in Mosul in 2014. She fled Iraq and spoke openly about the abuse she suffered - repeatedly gang-raped, tortured and beaten during the three months she was held. Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad poses for a portrait at United Nations headquarters in New York Credit: Reuters Six of her brothers and mother were killed by the jihadists. She has since fought for the 3,000 Yazidis who remain missing. With the help of an organisation that assists Yazidis, she joined her sister in Germany, where she lives today. She has since dedicated herself to what she calls "our peoples' fight", before a well-known spokeswoman even before the #MeToo movement swept the world. "As a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people who have suffered unimaginable crimes," she said in a statement. "Many Yazidis will look upon this prize and think of family members who have been lost, are still unaccounted for, or remain in captivity." Many have viewed the two recipient choices as a nod to the movement. The bookies' favourites had been leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un for their attempts at reconciliation between North and South Korea.  Ms Murad was named a United Nations goodwill ambassador for survivors of human trafficking. and campaigned alongside human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to get the UN the body to recognise the crimes against the Yazidis as genocide. She is the second-youngest receipient of the peace prize after Malala Yousafzai, a Pakastani woman who was shot by the Taliban on her way to school. Mr Mukwege, a gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern city of Bukavu. Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege poses during a photo session in Paris. Credit: AFP Denis Mukwege is a crusading gynaecologist who has spent more than two decades treating appalling injuries inflicted on women in DRC, whose work was the subject of an acclaimed 2015 film titled: "The Man Who Mends Women." A father to five children, the tireless 63-year-old is an outspoken critic of the abuse of women in war who has repeatedly accused the world of failing to act. He had been repeatedly nominated for his work with gang rape victims from the conflicts that have ravaged his homeland. Mr Mukwege has called on the world to take a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war. "We have been able to draw a red line against chemical weapons, biological weapons and nuclear arms," he told AFP in 2016. "Today we must also draw a red line against rape as a weapon of war," he said, describing it as a "cheap and efficient" form of terror which condemns its victims to "a life sentence". Recalling the moment he saw such a patient for the first time in 1999 - the year he set up Panzi hospital - Mukwege recounted how the rapists had inserted a gun into a woman's genitals and fired. "Her whole pelvis was destroyed. I thought it was the work of a madman, but the same year I treated 45 similar cases," he said. Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege jointly receive the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 Credit: REUTERS "For 15 years I have witnessed mass atrocities committed against women's bodies and I cannot remain with my arms folded because our common humanity calls on us to care for each other." The prize will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will. 

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Toyota announces new recall of 2.4 million hybrid cars

Japanese car giant Toyota said Friday it is recalling more than 2.4 million hybrid cars over a fault that could cause crashes, just a month after another recall affecting hybrids. The firm in September said it was recalling more than one million hybri...

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S. Korea ex-president Lee jailed for 15 years over corruption

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was jailed for 15 years for corruption Friday, becoming the latest of the country's ex-leaders to be sent to prison. The 76-year-old CEO-turned-president, who served from 2008 to 2013, was found guilty on ch...

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