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Al-Jazeera English News  Non scripted news

North Korea said on Wednesday it is "carefully examining" a plan to attack the US Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after US President Donald Trump told North Korea that any threat to the United States would meet "fire and fury". .
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An emotional Usain Bolt has won his final 100-metre sprint on home soil, clocking 10.03 seconds in front of tens of thousands of fans in Jamaica's capital, Kingston.

The multiple Olympic and world gold medallist, who will retire after August's world championships in London, confessed to being nervous before running his last official race at home during Saturday's 2nd Racers Grand Prix. "The run, it was just ok. I must say it was ok. I don't think I've ever been that nervous running a 100-metre [race]," Bolt said after a lap of honour before a packed stadium, including International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Running from lane five, Bolt took control of the race before the halfway mark and pulled away to the delight of more than 30,000 spectators.

His time of 10.03 seconds was well off his world record of 9.58 seconds set in in 2009. "I think that was possibly one of my worst races. My execution was poor, my start was poor as always. I think in the last bit I lost it a little. "But I didn't expect anything spectacular ... my first race since January when I ran a 150-metre and some relays in Australia so I just wanted to stay injury-free, put on a show for the crowd and show them I'm thankful for the support over the years." According to fans, he did just that. "He's a blessing to not just Jamaica, but to the world and to track and field," one fan said in Kingston.

Another called the event "special because it is mainly about the career we've seen from the beginning. From the start, he has done extremely well". #News #aljzeera #aljzeeranews #refugee #mediterranean #freepress #journalism #like #love #share #repost #folllow #press #Jamaica #Bolt #UsainBolt #100 #100meters #sprint #race

Saudi authorities have prevented Qatari nationals from entering the Grand Mosque in Mecca, marking a sharp escalation in the Gulf diplomatic crisis, Doha-based Al Sharq newspaper has reported.

Qatar's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received complaints from Qatari citizens that pilgrims from Qatar were barred from entering the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, the paper said on Saturday.

Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, the NHRC head, called the incident a flagrant violation of the right to practice religious rites as permitted by human rights conventions, the paper said.

The NHRC denounced the incident, considering the step a violation of the right to perform religious rituals guaranteed by human rights conventions, Al Sharq added.

The claims come a few days after the UAE and Bahrain criminalised"sympathy" for Qatar on social media.

The UAE said offenders would be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years, and a $136,000 fine. Bahrain declared it punishable by imprisonment of up to five years.

Since the diplomatic row erupted, slogans against and in support of Qatar have been among the top topics discussed on Twitter in Arabic, which is a hugely popular medium of expression in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

The dispute between Qatar and the Arab countries escalated after a cyberattack on Qatar's state-run news agency.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting "extremism". Qatar has vehemently denied the charges.

In its statement, the Qatari government said it has been leading the region in attacking what it called the roots of "terrorism", including giving young people hope through jobs, educating hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and funding community programmes to challenge agendas of armed groups. "Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than many of the signatories of the joint statement - a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors," the government said.

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The Arab nations view Hamas as a "legitimate resistance movement" and not a "terrorist organisation as viewed by the US", Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said.

In an interview with Russia Today during a visit he paid to Moscow on Saturday, the Qatari foreign minister rejected accusations that Qatar was supporting Hamas. "The US views Hamas as a terror organisation. But to the rest of the Arab nations, it is a legitimate resistance movement. We do not support Hamas, we support the Palestinian people," he said.

Hamas is the Palestinian group that has governed Gaza since 2007. The small strip of land, home to nearly two million Palestinians, has been under a crippling Israeli blockade for a decade.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Qatar must end its support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood before ties with other Arab Gulf states could be restored.

Jubeir added that Qatar was undermining the Palestinian Authority and Egypt in its support of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. "We don't think this is good. Qatar has to stop these policies so that it can contribute to stability in the Middle East," he said.

Qatar's foreign minister, however, added that the country's stance was in line with other Gulf states. "Hamas' presence in Qatar doesn't mean there's support for Hamas in Qatar which cooperates with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas' presence is a political representation of the Hamas movement." Qatar's foreign minister told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the presence of Hamas' leaders in Qatar's capital Doha was "coordinated with the US" and aimed at facilitating Palestinian unity.
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A new North Korean missile test appeared to have ended in failure, according to South Korean and US officials.

The reported failed launch on Wednesday came during large-scale annual military drills involving US and South Korean forces that the North has called a rehearsal for an invasion.

Seoul's defence ministry said in a statement that Pyongyang fired one missile from an air base in the eastern port of Wonsan but the launch was believed to had failed. .
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Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three UN agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation.

The official classification of famine highlights the human suffering caused by South Sudan's three-year civil war and even as it is declared President Salva Kiir's government is blocking food aid to some areas, according to UN officials.

More than 100,000 people in two counties of Unity state are experiencing famine and there are fears it will spread as an additional one million South Sudanese are on the brink of starvation, said the announcement. "The concern is not just about the 100,000 civilians that are facing famine at the moment," said Al Jazeera's Hiba Morgan, reporting from Juba. "There are about one million more people that are on the brink of famine. "Also, one out of every three households in South Sudan is currently facing food insecurity." .
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared that his government is ready to negotiate "on everything" during upcoming talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, brokered by Russia and Turkey.

In an interview with French journalists published by state media on Monday, Assad said there were still questions surrounding the talks, including "who will be there from the other side". "We don't know yet," he said.

Turkey has suggested the Astana talks could be convened around the last week of January.
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A manhunt was on in Turkey for at least one assailant who shot dead 39 people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations and fled the scene.

About 70 others were wounded, three of those people in critical condition, Binali Yildirim, Turkey's prime minister, said on Sunday.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu described the attack as a "massacre, a truly inhumane savagery". "Our security forces have started the necessary operations. God willing, he will be caught in a short period of time," Soylu said.

Police said the gunman was in his mid-20s and spoke in broken Turkish.

The attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the popular Reina nightclub at around 1:15am before entering and opening fire on people partying inside, Istanbul Government Vasip Sahin said.

Yildirim said the attacker left a gun inside the venue and escaped by "taking advantage of the chaos" that ensued.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack and authorities did not name any suspects. The bloodiest attacks that Turkey endured in 2016 were the work of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or outlawed Kurdish fighters.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vehemently condemned "the terror attack in Istanbul's Ortakoy neighbourhood in the first hours of 2017" and offered condolences for those who lost their lives, including "foreign guests". Of the 21 dead identified so far, 15 were foreigners. Nationals of Saudi Arabia, India, Morocco, Israel, Lebanon, Belgium and Libya were among those killed, authorities said. .
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