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Spurned by Trump, Europeans ponder how to meet Iran ultimatum

PARIS/BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A day before Donald Trump’s Jan. 12 ultimatum to “fix” the Iran nuclear deal, European powers met Iran’s foreign minister to show support for it, but the effort failed to soften Trump’s aversion to the accord, U.S. and European officials said. The gathering in Brussels may even have reinforced the U.S. president’s […]

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Mines still claim legs and lives in Libya’s Benghazi, months after war ceased

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – As military deminers warily picked their way through streets wrecked by war in Benghazi, a loud blast rang out – a familiar sound in the Libyan city, areas of which are riddled with deadly explosives and booby traps. On this occasion, it was a 27-year-old man returning to his home before […]

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Congolese security forces kill five while dispersing anti-Kabila protest

KINSHASA (Reuters) – Congolese security forces shot dead at least five people and fired tear gas to disperse a banned protest against President Joseph Kabila organised by the Catholic church on Sunday, a U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country said. Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his mandate in December 2016 has […]

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Trump: Senate should change rules if shutdown stalemate continues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that if the government shutdown stalemate continued, Republicans should fund the government by changing Senate rules, which currently require a super-majority for appropriations bills to pass. “The Dems (Democrats) just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go […]

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Senate should change rules if shutdown stalemate continues – Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Trump said on Twitter Sunday that if the government shutdown stalemate continued, Republicans should fund the government by changing Senate rules – which currently require a super-majority for appropriations bills to pass. “The Dems (Democrats) just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should […]

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Czech presidential election headed for tight run-off vote – poll

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech voters are equally split ahead of a presidential vote next weekend between an academic who promises a better relationship with the European Union and incumbent Milos Zeman, who has used his time in office to push closer ties with Russia and China. A poll by Kantar TNS for Czech Television shows […]

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Congolese security forces kill three while dispersing anti-Kabila protest

KINSHASA (Reuters) – At least three people were killed when Congolese security forces fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse a protest against President Joseph Kabila organised by the Catholic church on Sunday, a local watchdog said. Seventeen other people were wounded, it said. A Reuters witness saw police and paramilitary troops fire volleys […]

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German SPD leader implores party to back coalition talks with Merkel

BONN (Reuters) – Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz made an impassioned appeal to his party on Sunday to give the go-ahead for formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a move that would bring Germany a step closer to a stable government. Schulz is facing a backlash from the Social Democrats’ (SPD) left and […]

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Gunmen attack Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) – Gunmen dressed in army uniforms who stormed Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours in an overnight siege that caused heavy casualties among hotel guests, officials and witnesses said on Sunday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw more than 150 guests flee as parts of the […]

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Turkish forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attacks repulsed

AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) – Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, the army said, after Turkey launched artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border. The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia, supported by the United States but seen as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, said […]

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Iraqi court sentences to death German woman who joined Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – An Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced to death a German woman of Moroccan origin for membership of Islamic State, a spokesman said. The German national was captured by Iraqi forces during the battle for Mosul last year, the spokesman said, declining to identify her. She is the first foreign woman to be […]

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Greeks to rally against use of Macedonia in name dispute with Skopje

THESSALONIKI (Reuters) – Greeks in the northern city of Thessaloniki gathered on Sunday for a protest against the use of the word “Macedonia” in any solution to a row between Athens and Skopje over the name of the former Yugoslav republic. It will be the first big protest in Greece since the two countries agreed […]

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Israel won’t prosecute embassy guard over Jordan shootings – sources

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will not prosecute a guard from its embassy in Amman who killed two Jordanians in July, as had long been demanded by the kingdom, two Israeli sources said on Sunday. Instead, the Foreign Ministry and Shin Bet security agency will review protocols surrounding the actions taken by the guard, and his […]

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Tensions mount in Rohingya camps ahead of planned relocation to Myanmar

GUNGDUM, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Tensions mounted on Sunday at refugee camps in Bangladesh holding hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims over an operation to send them back to Myanmar, from where they have fled following a military crackdown. Dozens of refugees stood holding cloth banners opposing their transfer as United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee […]

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At least five dead in attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel

KABUL (Reuters) – Gunmen dressed in army uniforms who stormed Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours in an overnight siege that left at least five people dead, officials and witnesses said on Sunday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw more than 150 guests flee, with some shimmying down […]

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Saudi to build 9 desalination plants on Red Sea

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia plans to build nine desalination plants for more than 2 billion riyals ($530 million) on the Red Sea coast, its environment minister said on Sunday. The plants will have capacity of 240,000 cubic meters of water per day and will be completed in less than 18 months, Abdulrahman al-Fadhli wrote […]

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Turkey says ground forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attack repulsed

AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) – Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, media cited the prime minister as saying, as Ankara stepped up artillery attacks on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border. NATO’s second-largest army entered northern Syria shortly after 11:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), broadcaster HaberTurk cited […]

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Europe readies riposte to Trump’s ‘America First’ push in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – European leaders will be out in force at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to defend multilateralism before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his “America First” message. Politicians, business chiefs, bankers and celebrities will meet in the Swiss Alps under the banner “Creating a Shared Future in […]

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Turkish artillery fires in northern Syria after border town hit

ONCUPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkey continued to fire artillery at a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria on Sunday, after Turkey’s state media said four rockets from Syria had hit a Turkish border town. The cross-border fire marked the second day of Turkey’s new front in the nearly seven-year-old Syrian civil war. Under “Operation Olive […]

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While political prisoners released, Myanmar’s judicial reforms stall

YANGON (Reuters) – Hundreds of political prisoners have been released from Myanmar’s jails in amnesties in recent years, including dozens freed in January 2016, days before democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi’s party took power for the first time.     Former President Barack Obama announced the lifting of U.S. sanctions in October 2016, citing the release […]