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As Mattis exits, he tells U.S. military to keep ‘faith in our country’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defence Secretary Jim Mattis gave his farewell message to the U.S. armed forces on Monday, telling them to “keep the faith in our country” and stand firm alongside allies after he resigned over policy differences with President Donald Trump. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis waits to welcome Chinese Minister of […]

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U.S. House Democrats manoeuver to end shutdown, without Trump wall money

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pushing a proposal to end a partial U.S. government shutdown now in its 10th day, Democrats in the House of Representatives plan to hold a vote on Thursday on a funding package that would not include the $5 billion (3.92 billion pounds) President Donald Trump has demanded for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. […]

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Seven dead, dozens trapped under rubble after Russian gas blast – agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) – As many as 40 people could still be trapped in the rubble of a Russian apartment block that partially collapsed in a gas explosion on Monday, killing at least seven people, news agencies reported. The blast, thought to have been caused by a gas leak, damaged 48 apartments in a nine-storey building […]

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Kuwait expects more Arab countries to reopen embassies in Damascus – KUNA

DUBAI (Reuters) – Kuwait said on Monday it expected more Arab countries to reopen embassies in Damascus in “coming days” but added that the move would need a green light from the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership seven years ago. Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, are seeking […]

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Mexican president decrees tax cuts for U.S. border region

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s new leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday decreed tax cuts for northern states that he says will help power economic growth and deter migration to the United States. FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a news conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico […]

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Both sides claim lead in Congo’s chaotic election

KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition said on Monday it expected one of its candidates to win the presidential election based on early vote tallies, but the ruling coalition said it was confident its candidate had won the chaotic contest. The competing claims followed a disorderly election day on Sunday in which many […]

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Security forces fire teargas at protesters in Khartoum – witnesses

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of people trying to march to President Omar al-Bashir’s Nile-side palace in Khartoum on Monday to protest against soaring prices and demand he step down. FILE PHOTO: Sudanese demonstrators run from teargas lobbed to disperse them as they march along the street during anti-government protests […]

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Malta rescues 249 migrants in 24 hours; NGO boats held offshore

VALLETTA (Reuters) – Malta’s armed forces saved 180 migrants in two rescue operations in the Mediterranean on Monday, less than 24 hours after picking up another group of 69. The army said a patrol boat picked up 28 migrants from a dinghy 71 miles (114 km) south-west of Malta and another 152 packed onboard a […]

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Turkey bars German man from leaving country – source

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s foreign ministry said on Monday it was providing consular aid to a German man barred from leaving Turkey after the authorities accused him of supporting a terrorist organisation on social media. German media reported that Adnan Sutcu, 56, was detained shortly after arriving in Ankara on Dec. 27 to attend his […]

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Dutch judge extends custody of attack plot suspects

ROTTERDAM (Reuters) – A Dutch judge on Monday extended the detention of four men suspected of plotting a militant attack in the Netherlands, two days after they were arrested in Rotterdam, police said. The men, aged 20 to 30, had “non-Western” backgrounds, police said, without going into further details. “They were brought before a judge […]

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Italy’s 5-Star shows ruthless streak, expels four parliamentarians

ROME (Reuters) – The ruling 5-Star Movement expelled four parliamentarians from the party on Monday, including a former coast guard official who once famously ordered the captain of a sinking cruise liner to return to his doomed ship. Coastguard officer Gregorio Maria De Falco arrives to attend a ceremony to commemorate the first anniversary of […]

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Four dead, dozens trapped under rubble after Russian gas blast – agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) – As many as 40 people could still be trapped in the rubble of a Russian apartment block that partially collapsed in an explosion on Monday, killing at least four people, news agencies reported. Emergency personnel are seen at the site of collapsed apartment building after a suspected gas blast in Magnitogorsk, Russia […]

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Turkish TV shows purported transfer of Khashoggi remains

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish pro-government television channel has broadcast video showing men carrying suitcases purportedly containing the remains of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi into the residence of his country’s consul general in Istanbul. FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in […]

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As temperatures fall, air quality worsens in Indian capital

FILE PHOTO: A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Pollution levels spiked last week in New Delhi, India’s teeming capital of more than 20 million people, climbing to nearly 12 times the recommended level and […]

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WFP says Yemen food aid being stolen in Houthi-run areas

GENEVA (Reuters) – Food aid meant for starving Yemenis is being stolen and sold in some areas controlled by the Houthi movement, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday. The Houthis control most towns and cities including the capital Sanaa, from where they ousted Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in 2014. A Saudi-led coalition […]

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Russian apartment block blast kills at least four, dozens missing – agencies

Emergency personnel are seen at the site of collapsed apartment building after a suspected gas blast in Magnitogorsk, Russia December 31, 2018. Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief/Handout via REUTERS. MOSCOW (Reuters) – Rescuers scrambled amid freezing temperatures to recover people trapped in the rubble of a Russian city apartment block that collapsed […]

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Israeli spy sees possible threat from Iraq as Iran’s clout grows

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Iran could use its growing clout in Iraq to turn the Arab country into a springboard for attacks against Israel, the top Israeli intelligence official said on Monday. Israel sees the spread of Tehran’s influence in the region as a growing threat, and has carried out scores of air strikes in […]

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Fired bodyguard contradicts French presidency on Macron contacts

PARIS (Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron’s former security adviser said on Monday he regularly spoke to the French president, contradicting the presidency that has tried to distance itself from him since he was sacked for violent conduct that fuelled a political scandal. FILE PHOTO: Elysee senior security officer Alexandre Benalla stands next to French President Emmanuel […]

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Congo ruling coalition, opposition both claim win in chaotic election

KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition said on Monday it expected one of its candidates to win the presidential election based on early vote tallies, but the ruling coalition said it was confident its candidate had won the chaotic contest. A woman carries her baby as she casts her vote at a polling […]

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Bosnian town cancels New Year celebrations due to protests

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – The mayor of the northwestern Bosnian town of Banja Luka has cancelled Monday’s New Year celebrations for security reasons after protesters demanding the truth about a student’s death prevented a public concert taking place the previous evening. The group “Justice for David” protested on Sunday for the 280th day in a row, […]