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Turkey welcomes U.S. pledge to take weapons from Kurds after Islamic State defeat

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey regards as a "positive step" a U.S. pledge to take back weapons supplied to the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria after the defeat of Islamic State and said its implementation was essential, Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday.


VW waives appeal against German dieselgate compensation cases

BERLIN, June 23 (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen has agreed to buy back diesel cars equipped with illicit emissions control software after deciding not to appeal a German court ruling backing plaintiffs' calls for compensation.


Baghdadi death near 100 percent certain: Ifax quotes Russian senator

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The likelihood that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed is close to 100 percent, Interfax news agency quoted Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defense committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, as saying on Friday.


BRIEF-Industrial vehicles maker Hangcha to set up U.S. unit

June 23 (Reuters) - Hangcha Group Co Ltd * Says it plans to set up unit in the U.S. Source text in Chinese: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom)


A year after Brexit vote, European and UK shares diverge

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Another wobble in commodity-related shares saw UK bluechips extend their underperformance against continental European peers on Friday.


Nikkei ends flat as dollar/yen steadies, makes weekly gains

* Kawasaki Kisen drops after board members approved as planned


RPT-UPDATE 3-North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ICBM - U.S. officials

* S.Korea's Moon says engagement must be backed by strong defense

Choi Soon-sil

In South Korea, Confidante of Ousted President Gets 3 Years in Prison

Choi Soon-sil, a secretive adviser to former President Park Geun-hye, was sentenced on charges of abusing her influence to get her daughter into a prestigious university.


Svitolina suffers injury scare ahead of Wimbledon

(Reuters) - World number five Elina Svitolina has expressed fears that a foot injury that contributed to her Aegon Classic defeat to Italian Camila Giorgi in Birmingham on Thursday could lead to her withdrawal from Wimbledon.


South Africa reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, industry body says

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa reported an outbreak of a highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu at a farm in the Free State province, an agricultural industry body group, AgriSA, said on Friday.

This ironworker wants Paul Ryan's job

Randy Bryce is an ironworker from Wisconsin, and he wants to take Rep. Paul Ryan's congressional seat.


UK offer to EU citizens 'very fair', 'very serious': May

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday the offer she had made on the rights of EU citizens to live in Britain after Brexit was very fair and very serious and that her government would set out more detailed proposals on Monday.


Damascus won't let 'enemies' benefit from de-escalation zones-minister

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government will not allow its enemies to benefit from the creation of de-escalation zones in western Syria, the Syrian deputy foreign minister has said, ahead of international talks on the zones scheduled for early July in Kazakhstan.


China slashes murder sentence in loan-shark killing case

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court rescinded on Friday a life sentence handed to man who killed a loan shark who had sexually taunted his mother, in a case that has made national headlines and ignited heated online debate.


RPT-UPDATE 1-Japan's Daiwa chooses Frankfurt for EU base after Brexit

FRANKFURT, June 22 (Reuters) - Daiwa Securities Group will set up a subsidiary in Frankfurt, Japan's No. 2 brokerage said on Thursday, making it one of the first banks to publicly chose Germany to keep a foothold in the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc.


South African parliament opposes calls to change central bank mandate

JOHANNESBURG, June 23 (Reuters) - The South African parliament will launch a court challenge against an anti-graft watchdog's recommendation of constitutional changes to alter the mandate of the central bank, it said.


RPT-Unilever shows innovation still intact with "once-in-a-decade" laundry soap

PORT SUNLIGHT, England, June 22 (Reuters) - Nearly three months after Unilever CEO Paul Polman promised shareholders greater returns coupled with investments to drive growth, the launch of what it calls the biggest laundry breakthrough in a decade will be a key test of whether it can put its money where its mouth is.


South Korea says engagement with North possible only with strength

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Friday engagement with North Korea would only be possible when the South has the security ability to overwhelm the North, the presidential office said in a media briefing.


REFILE-BRIEF-TSMC orders machinery equipment from Kinmax Technology

June 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd


India sends 31 satellites into space, some for foreign customers

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India fired a rocket carrying 31 small satellites into space on Friday, several of them for European countries looking for high resolution earth images, underlining its strength as a low-cost provider of services in space.


BRIEF-Inscape reports Q4 loss per share of $0.15

* Inscape announces fiscal year 2017 fourth quarter and annual results


BRIEF-BP says allotment of 70.1 mln shares under scrip dividend programme

* Confirms allotment of 70.1 million shares of $0.25 each to shareholders who elected to receive shares under scrip dividend programme Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:


Rescuers made 'scapegoat' for Italian frustration with migrant crisis

ABOARD THE AQUARIUS RESCUE SHIP (Reuters) - Anne Marie Loof has devoted her life to humanitarian work but says she understands why some Italians have started painting people like her as villains.

McConnell has 1 week to get 2 more votes

The math isn't there yet for Mitch McConnell.


Russia threatens to block Telegram messaging app

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Friday accused the Telegram messaging app of violating Russian legislation and said it could be blocked if it did not provide the watchdog with information about the company that controls Telegram.

Ousted South Korean president's confidante sentenced

The confidante of South Korea's ousted president has been sentenced to three years jail for her role in a corruption scandal that brought down the country's leader and roiled its political and business elite.

Did DJ just reveal Banksy's identity?

British DJ Goldie might just have spoiled one of modern art's biggest mysteries: The identity of street artist Banksy.


Russian navy launched missile strikes on IS target in Syria: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian naval vessels launched missile strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria's Hama province, destroying command points and weapon and ammunition stores, RIA news agency cited the Russian defense ministry as saying on Friday.


BRIEF-Spain's OHL seeks investor for its concessions business

* Said on Thursday it evaluates possibility to incorporate a significant minority shareholder at its wholly owned subsidiary OHL Concesiones SA

Judge blocks Iraqi Christians' deportation

A federal judge temporarily blocked the deportation of over 100 Iraqis in Michigan on Thursday by granting a 14-day stay of removal.


United Nations stresses for support for Haiti cholera fight

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - The United Nations stressed on Thursday its support for eradicating cholera in Haiti, an epidemic it accidentally started, although the government said residents would be better served if aid funding was channeled through it.


PRECIOUS-Gold firms on weak dollar, risk aversion

* Spot gold may retest resistance at $1,254 per ounce - technicals * Gold on track for third straight weekly decline (Updates with quotes, prices) BENGALURU, June 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Friday as the dollar softened and risk aversion due to geopolitical events buoyed the safe-haven appeal of the metal. "Risk aversion is on the rise, mainly due to what's happening in the Middle East and also the news about China cracking down on some loans made overseas last

What young Indians think of Trump

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to meet US President Donald Trump for the first time on Monday.


Big Oil turns to big data to save big money on drilling

June 23 (Reuters) - In today's U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth.


On the trail with Cambodia's tarantula hunters

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The shiny, hairy creatures might make some people run a mile but in the humid jungle of Kampong Thom province, north of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh, tarantula hunting is all in a day's work.


Pakistan says Indian man admits spying, but India dismisses farce

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian citizen sentenced to death for spying in Pakistan has admitted espionage and filed a mercy petition with the chief of army staff, the Pakistan military said on Thursday, a statement India dismissed as a farce.

Tapper on Trump tapes: 'The plan seems to have backfired'

On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump formally revealed what many within Washington, DC had already assumed: he does not, in fact, have recordings of his conversation with former FBI Chief James Comey.


Blast in southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta kills two people

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A blast on Friday in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, capital of the country's Baluchistan province, has left at least five people dead, a police official told Reuters.


Elbit Systems says innovation key to crowded drone market

PARIS (Reuters) - Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd , is moving quickly to innovate and maintain its edge in a global market in which it faces increasing competition from China, France, Turkey and others.


AIRSHOW-Elbit Systems says innovation key to crowded drone market

PARIS, June 23 (Reuters) - Israeli defence electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd, is moving quickly to innovate and maintain its edge in a global market in which it faces increasing competition from China, France, Turkey and others.


Arab states send Qatar 13 demands to end crisis, official says

DUBAI (Reuters) - Four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television and reducing ties to Iran, an official of one of the four countries said.

Europe Edition: Theresa May, Republican Party, Confederations Cup: Your Friday Briefing

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

Sanders: 'Democratic brand is pretty bad'

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday he agreed with Democratic congressman Tim Ryan's claim that the Democratic brand is worse than President Donald Trump's in some parts of the country.


Bulls and Timberwolves Upstage Draft With Jimmy Butler Trade

There were no big surprises among the early selections in the draft, but Chicago sent Butler, a three-time All Star, to Minnesota.


Chained to health ministry, Peruvians protest mining pollution

LIMA (Reuters) - Parents of sick children who live near one of Peru's oldest mining pits camped out in front of the health ministry in Lima for an eighth day on Thursday, demanding help to deal with the impact of decades of mining pollution.


Athletics: Coleman sizzles in 100m heats as Gatlin keeps pace

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - Christian Coleman displayed the kind of speed that helped him clock the fastest time of the year when he led 100 meters qualifying at the U.S. national championships on Thursday as 35-year-old Justin Gatlin kept pace with the youngsters.


The Mautes of the Philippines: from monied family to Islamic State

MANILA/MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Before they formed one of the most dreaded militant groups in the Philippines and pledged loyalty to Islamic State, the Mautes were a wealthy, political family in the southern region of Mindanao, largely influenced by the matriarch, Farhana.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market

A carbon trading program is shaping up as a big policy retort to President Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord. But getting local industries on board will be a challenge.


China's ICBC says checks of loans by big acquirers are routine

BEIJING (Reuters) - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said on Friday its checks of loans to companies that made overseas acquisitions is routine, following reports that the regulator had ordered lenders to assess credit extended to a handful of highly acquisitive firms.


UPDATE 1-Friend of former S.Korea leader jailed for three years - Yonhap

* Friend of ousted leader S.Korea leader jailed for three years


UPDATE 3-Tesla moves a step closer to building electric cars in China

BEIJING/DETROIT, June 22 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc took a step closer toward establishing an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in China with its announcement on Thursday that it is in exploratory talks with the Shanghai municipal government.


Toshiba asks regulators for extension on financial filing

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp said on Friday it has asked regulators for an extension for filing its annual financial statement by over a month as it has not been able to obtain approval from its auditor.

Saving the twins: Health scares and rehab for once-conjoined boys

Nicole McDonald eases her silver minivan across Bear Mountain Bridge and hooks a right onto the steep two-lane highway.

Our best beach reads for summer

In Courtney Maum's "Touch," fictional trends forecaster Sloane Jacobsen struggles with her world's increased focus on technology while she craves real human contact, and maybe even love.

Johnny Depp: 'When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?'

Even before Johnny Depp said it, the actor seemed to know that his comment would be controversial.

US, Japan missile interception test fails

A US and Japanese missile test conducted in Hawaii missed its target, but both militaries stopped short of calling it a failure.


Nikkei flat as dollar/yen steadies, on track for gains this week

TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was flat on Friday morning as dollar-yen levels steadied after major economic events, while Nintendo hit new multi-year highs on ongoing hopes for a new title on Switch.

Gowdy decries leaks out of Coats meeting with House intelligence

Rep. Trey Gowdy on Thursday warned his fellow lawmakers about leaking information from closed briefings.


Peru's president eyes pardon for Fujimori after political blow

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Thursday that it was time to evaluate pardoning the country's imprisoned former leader Alberto Fujimori, an apparent bid to placate the powerful opposition party led by Fujimori's daughter.


Lakers great Magic Johnson picks successor in Lonzo Ball

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Magic Johnson revolutionized the point guard position during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers and on Thursday, in his new role of running the team, picked a player in his own image to lead them back to contention.


Video Refutes ISIS Claim That U.S. Blew Up Mosque

Al Nuri Grand Mosque, in Mosul, Iraq, was blown up on Wednesday. The Islamic State said a U.S. airstrike destroyed it. But surveillance footage shows that the building appeared to be packed with explosives and not hit by an air strike.


Olympics: NBC monitors Korea tensions as it preps for Winter Games

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. broadcaster NBC is monitoring the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and so far does not expect to change its plans to send a more than 2,000-person workforce to the Winter Games in South Korea, NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said in an interview on Thursday.

Road rage incident caught on camera

A road rage wreck caught on camera shows an altercation with a motorcycle and a car that resulted in a SUV flipping on the highway.

Anchor grills congressman: Who leaked?

Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina confirmed to CNN's Erin Burnett Thursday that Coats did meet with the House intelligence committee.


North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ICBM: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea has carried out another test of a rocket engine that the United States believes could be part of its program to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.


Senate Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement bill, but fate uncertain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled legislation that would replace Obamacare with a plan that scales back aid to the poor and kills a tax on the wealthy, but the bill's fate was quickly thrown into question as several senators voiced skepticism.


Friend of former South Korea leader jailed for three years: Yonhap

SEOUL (Reuters) - The friend of former South Korean leader Park Geun-hye who was at the center of an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country's business and political elite has been sentenced to three years in jail, the Yonhap news agency reported on Friday.

Surveillance of Citizens by Government

Mexican President Says Government Acquired Spyware but He Denies Misuse

President Enrique Peña Nieto acknowledged that his government had purchased sophisticated spyware from Israel but he denied ordering surveillance of his critics.

Sanders: GOP health care bill is barbaric

Sen. Bernie Sanders tells CNN's Anderson Cooper that the Republican health care bill is the "most harmful piece of legislation" he has seen in his life.

Flight attendants salute Britney Spears with 'Toxic' video

Who could forget the music video to Britney Spears' 2003 hit "Toxic"?

White House commission to investigate voter fraud hasn't even met yet

On Super Bowl Sunday this year, President Donald Trump told Fox News that Vice President Mike Pence would head a commission into voter fraud allegations -- ones that he made, claiming that between three to five million people voted illegally in the 2016 election.


Ecuador foreign minister says UK wants a solution to Assange standoff

QUITO (Reuters) - Britain is interested in finding a solution to the standoff that has led to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being holed up in Ecuador's London embassy for five years, the foreign minister of the South American country said on Thursday.

White House-media relations are at a breaking point

Five months into Donald Trump's presidency, White House-media relations are hanging by a thread.

Why neither North Korea nor the United States want all-out war

It's been a tense six months on the Korean Peninsula and many North Korea watchers believe the situation is dangerous.

Actress Lily-Rose Depp on the world's most famous scent

Once the favored bedroom attire of Marilyn Monroe, Chanel No. 5 is one of the world's most renowned fragrances. Launched in 1921, the pioneering scent (it was the first perfume ever created by a couturier) was meant to embody the new, modern woman Coco Chanel epitomized.

Pelosi, Nancy

Nancy Pelosi Tells Democratic Critics, ‘I Think I’m Worth the Trouble’

Ms. Pelosi, under fire after a Democrat lost a high-profile special election in Georgia, parried renewed questions about her leadership of the party.


Mexico president calls for probe into alleged government spying

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto asked the attorney general's office on Thursday to investigate charges the government spied on private citizens, saying he wanted to get to the bottom of the accusations that he called "false."


BRIEF-Evolent Health announces pricing of secondary public offering of class A common stock

* Evolent Health Inc announces pricing of secondary public offering of class a common stock


Venezuelan troops fire on protesters at airbase, one killed

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan troops on Thursday fired what appeared to be rubber bullets at protesters attacking the perimeter of an airbase and a demonstrator was killed, bringing renewed scrutiny of the force used to control riots that have killed at least 76 people.


BRIEF-SEACOR Marine announces “stalking horse” bid to form joint venture with Montco Offshore

* SEACOR Marine announces “stalking horse” bid to form joint venture with montco offshore, inc.


PRECIOUS-Gold steady, heads for third weekly fall

BENGALURU, June 23 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Friday above a five-week low touched earlier this week, supported by technicals, but the metal was still on track for a third weekly fall. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,250.70 per ounce at 0053 GMT. It was set for a small weekly fall of about 0.3 percent, having eased about 1 percent in each of two preceding weeks. * U.S. gold futures for August delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1,2

United States Politics and Government

U.S. Sends Civilian Team to Syria to Help the Displaced Return Home

The team is intended to stabilize recaptured areas, and it consists of only seven members, raising questions about whether it can be effective.

Opinion: America through the looking glass

As the Mad Hatter of the White House tweeted his response to Congress's questions on Thursday about the existence of audiotapes related to James B. Comey's firing as FBI director, he stayed true to character. "I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings," President Trump announced. But he also added that "with all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea..."


RPT-COLUMN-Aluminium industry scrambles to align Trump's trade guns: Andy Home

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Aluminium industry executives will line up on Thursday to have their say on whether foreign imports into the United States pose a threat to the country's security.

Would Trump make a good royal?

The power of the British monarchy has been on display during recent tragedies.


BRIEF-Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority approves REV Group subsidiary's recommendation for award of contract

* REV Group says along with related optional vehicle features, spare parts and training, contract award represents over $400 million in revenue over contract life


Asian shares flat, still on track for winning week

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares baulked at the starting gate on Friday but remained on track for a weekly gain, while crude oil prices pulled away from this week's 10-month lows.


GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares flat, still on track for winning week

* U.S. crude edges up, pulls further away from this week's lows


Judge accepts sweeping reforms of Arizona death penalty protocols

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge accepted on Thursday major revisions to Arizona's death penalty procedures, such as eliminating paralytic drugs in lethal injections and giving witnesses more access to watch prisoners inside the death chamber, a lawyer for the death row inmates said.


BRIEF-Lundbeck, Takeda receive CRL from FDA for Trintellix (vortioxetine) sNDA

* Lundbeck and Takeda receive complete response letter from the FDA for Trintellix® (vortioxetine) sNDA


UPDATE 1-'Bailout' Buffett burnishes 'lender of last resort' image

June 22 (Reuters) - It took less than 24 hours for Warren Buffett, one of the world's savviest dealmakers, to make a C$360 million (US$272 million) paper profit by propping up a major Canadian lender on life support.

Rumors and Misinformation

Gunman in ‘Pizzagate’ Shooting Is Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

The man, Edgar Maddison Welch, fired a gun inside the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in December after reading fake stories about a child abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton.

Obama: Senate proposal 'not a health care bill'

President Barack Obama on Thursday spoke out against a proposed GOP Senate bill that dismantles the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Twitter rips Trump over Comey tapes

Trump says "no tapes." Twitter says "no kidding." CNN's Jeanne Moos has reaction to the Tale of the No Tapes.


Judge in Michigan blocks deportation of 100 Iraqis

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday temporarily blocked the deportation of about 100 Iraqi nationals rounded up in Michigan in recent weeks who argued that they could face persecution or torture in Iraq because they are religious minorities.


UPDATE 2-Four of Canada's biggest banks are key Trans Mountain lenders -filings

CALGARY, Alberta, June 22 (Reuters) - Four of Canada's biggest banks are the largest providers of C$5.5 billion ($4.16 billion) in credit for Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, the company said in regulatory filings on Thursday.


Spieth returns to form and grabs Connecticut lead

(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth put an emphatic end to his putting woes during an impressive Travelers Championship debut on Thursday, grabbing a one-shot lead after the first round in Cromwell, Connecticut.


China to hit polluters harder in new soil protection law

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will fine polluters as much as 2 million yuan ($293,000) for dumping untreated contaminants into the soil, according to a new draft law submitted to the country's parliament, the official China Daily reported on Friday.


Sixers take guard Fultz with top pick of NBA Draft

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Philadelphia 76ers selected University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday, bolstering the team's young core by adding the 19-year-old playmaker.


CORRECTED-Apple adds Virgin to U.S. carrier lineup as Virgin ditches Android

June 21 (Reuters) - Apple Inc will soon start selling wireless plans from Virgin Mobile USA, the first new carrier offered by the iPhone maker's since 2013, the companies said on Wednesday.