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Delta Air to tighten rules for onboard service animals

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines is tightening the requirements for passengers traveling with onboard service and emotional support animals, the carrier said on Friday, following a sharp uptick in pet-related safety issues in recent years.

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UPDATE 1-Delta Air to tighten rules for onboard service animals

NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines is tightening the requirements for passengers traveling with onboard service and emotional support animals, the carrier said on Friday, following a sharp uptick in pet-related safety issues in recent years.

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No deal reached as Schumer, Trump meet to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to search for ways to avert a U.S. government shutdown, but Schumer said afterward that disagreements remained as the clock ticked toward a midnight deadline to pass a funding bill.

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S&P, Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as government shutdown looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Friday, led by gains in consumer stocks and hitting intraday highs, even as a possible government shutdown loomed.

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FTC set to make second request on Broadcom's bid for Qualcomm: sources

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is set to make a second request for information on chipmaker Broadcom Ltd's $103 billion hostile bid for Qualcomm Inc , people familiar with the matter said on Friday, indicating heightened antitrust scrutiny.

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Failure to launch: Egypt opposition hits roadblock on path to presidency

CAIRO (Reuters) - Six months into laying the groundwork for his presidential bid, Egyptian hopeful Mohamed Anwar Sadat hit a snag: he could not find a hotel prepared to hire him a space to launch his campaign.

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Schumer, Trump meet at White House as government shutdown looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to search for ways to avert a U.S. government shutdown, but Schumer said afterward that disagreements remained as the clock ticks toward a midnight deadline to pass a funding bill.

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Egypt's Sisi announces intention to run for second term

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced on Friday his intention to run for a second term in office in a March election.

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Schumer, Trump meet at White House as government shutdown nears

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday to search for ways to avert a U.S. government shutdown but Schumer said afterward that disagreements remained as the clock ticked toward a midnight deadline to pass a spending bill.

cnn.com

Here's what the last government shutdown looked like

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Fed's Quarles says regulators have begun work to 'streamline' Volcker Rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. financial regulators have begun work on a proposal to "streamline" the Volcker Rule banning banks from making risky bets with their own money, the country's top banking regulator said on Friday, in a development that will be cheered by banks that have long complained the rule is too onerous.

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U.S. trying to form 'alternative bodies of authority' in Syria: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the United States, despite denying setting up local forces in northern Syria, is trying to form "alternative bodies of authority" that contradict a commitment to Syrian territorial integrity.

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Merkel upbeat SPD will approve talks with her conservatives

PARIS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she was optimistic that Social Democrats (SPD) would approve the start of formal coalition talks with her conservatives at a special party congress this weekend.

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U.S. funding hold will hurt U.N. effort to help Palestinian refugees: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a U.N. news conference on Friday that the U.S. decision to withhold funds for a U.N. agency that assists Palestinians would seriously undermine efforts to meet the needs of refugees.

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As clock ticks, Senate scrambles to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate raced to avert a government shutdown on Friday ahead of a midnight deadline with no agreement on funding in sight and both parties squabbling over who is to blame for the impasse.

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Iran nuclear deal cannot survive if U.S. pulls out: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday the Iran nuclear deal cannot survive if the United States pulls out the agreement.

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Ex-Honduran minister gets nearly two-and-a-half years prison in U.S. drug case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former member of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez's cabinet was sentenced by a New York federal judge to nearly 2-1/2 years in prison on Friday, after pleading guilty to attempting to launder drug money from the Central American country.

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U.S. regulators have begun work to 'streamline' Volcker Rule: Fed official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. financial regulators have begun work to "streamline" the Volcker Rule banning banks from making risky bets with their own money, the country's top banking regulator said on Friday.

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Clock running out as Senate tries to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate raced to avert a government shutdown on Friday ahead of a midnight deadline with no agreement on funding in sight and both parties squabbling over who is to blame for the impasse.

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Clock running out to avert U.S. government shutdown as Trump blames Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump postponed plans to leave Washington on Friday while the U.S. Congress faced a midnight deadline to come up with funding legislation to avoid federal agency shutdowns.

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Brazil´s Caixa approves new rules to improve governance- statement

SAO PAULO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The board of directors of Brazilian state-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal approved on Friday rules to improve the bank’s governance, the company said in a statement.

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UPDATE 1-Former Catalan leader says he can rule from abroad, Madrid says no

MADRID, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The sacked former leader of Catalonia said on Friday he could be re-elected as the region's president and rule remotely from his self-imposed exile in Brussels, but the Spanish government said it would not let that happen.

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French police clash with prison guards in protest over jail conditions

PARIS (Reuters) - French riot police clashed on Friday with striking prison guards who accuse the government of doing little to counter spiraling violence and Islamist activism inside the country's overcrowded jails.

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Syrians freeze to death crossing mountains into Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Nine Syrians froze to death crossing into Lebanon when an icy storm hit a smuggling route in the mountains near a border post with Syria, the Lebanese Army said on Friday.

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Slowly, Germany begins to ponder life after Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - She has not faced a credible challenge to her rule as German chancellor for more than 12 years. Now, members of Angela Merkel's conservatives are starting to look ahead to potential alternatives to lead their party and country.

Trump, Donald J nytimes.com

Live Briefing: Senate Democrats Appear Set to Block Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

The government will shut down at midnight Eastern Time if lawmakers fail to get an agreement on a spending bill.

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German election would further harm SPD, Schulz warns

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany's Social Democrats on Friday urged members of his center-left party to endorse coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives or risk facing new elections that could further damage the party.

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Could Taliban finally return to Afghan peace talks? Obstacles abound

KABUL (Reuters) - Exploratory meetings in Pakistan between a high-level Taliban delegation and a representative of a prominent Afghan politician have fueled speculation of a revival of long-stalled talks on ending Afghanistan's 16-year war that kills thousands each year.

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Far from home, Mexican migrants eager to influence presidential race

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tijuana native Alma Martinez will cast her first-ever vote for a Mexican president this July, but from across the country's northern border, where she is among hundreds of thousands of co-nationals whose participation could be decisive in a close race.

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1.3 million children displaced by Iraq's war with Islamic State: UNICEF

GENEVA (Reuters) - About half the 2.6 million people displaced in Iraq after a three-year war with Islamic State militants are children and persisting violence hampers efforts to ease their suffering, the United Nations said on Friday.

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Turkey shells Syria's Afrin region, minister says operation has begun

SUGEDIGI, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish artillery fired into Syria's Afrin region on Friday in what Ankara said was the start of a military campaign against the Kurdish-controlled area.

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Factbox: Trump on Twitter (Jan 19) - Government funding bill

The following statements were posted to the verified Twitter accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump, @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS.

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Czech lower house votes to lift immunity of prime minister

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech lower house voted on Friday to allow prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej Babis in a case of alleged EU subsidy fraud, which has blocked his attempts at creating a government.

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Futures climb as investors shrug off government shutdown fears

(Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a record open for the benchmark S&P 500 index on Friday as investors bet on strong corporate earnings, while playing down fears of a potential U.S. government shutdown.

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Clock running out to avert government shutdown as Trump blames Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Racing against a midnight deadline, the U.S. Congress will try on Friday to send President Donald Trump legislation to keep the government operating and avoid federal agency shutdowns that would otherwise begin on Saturday.

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Merkel and Macron look to turn warm ties into reform goals

PARIS (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron will spend more than five hours together in Paris on Friday, putting on a show of Franco-German unity as they try to agree on reforms to the euro zone.

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France says no for now to Johnson's idea of giant Channel bridge

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - France on Friday politely rejected Boris Johnson's idea of building a giant bridge across the English Channel after Brexit, saying that, while far-fetched ideas were worth considering, there were plenty of major European projects to finish first.

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Sweden's government, Left party propose profit cap on welfare companies

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's center-left government and the Left Party has agreed to put forward a bill for a profit cap on private schools and care homes funded by taxpayers, they said on Friday.

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No reason why I can't rule Catalonia remotely, former leader says

MADRID, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The sacked former leader of Catalonia said on Friday he was perfectly eligible to be re-elected as regional president and there was no reason why he couldn't rule the Spanish region remotely from self-imposed exile in Brussels.

nytimes.com

Government Shutdown, Amazon, ‘12 Strong’: Your Friday Briefing

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

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China to enshrine Xi's thought into state constitution amid national 'fervor'

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party will enshrine President Xi Jinping's political thought into the country's constitution, state media said on Friday, further solidifying his power following its addition last year to the party constitution.

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Somali authorities say troops rescue 32 children from 'terrorist school'

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali authorities said troops stormed a school run by al Shabaab on Thursday night and rescued 32 children who had been taken as recruits by the Islamist militant group.

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Desperate Cubans seek U.S. visas in Colombia after Havana embassy cutbacks

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban actress Aniet Hernandez lost all hope that she and her two children would ever join her husband in Miami when the Trump administration slashed staffing at the U.S. embassy in Havana in September and stopped almost all visa processing.

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Clock running out for Congress to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Racing against a midnight deadline, the U.S. Congress will try on Friday to send President Donald Trump legislation to keep the government operating and avoid federal agency shutdowns that would otherwise begin on Saturday.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

Showdown Vote in Senate on Friday With Government Shutdown at Stake

Senate Democrats appear ready to block legislation to keep the government funded past midnight, gambling that President Trump will offer concessions in the face of a crisis.

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China to enshrine Xi's thought into state constitution

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party will enshrine President Xi Jinping's political thought into the country's constitution, state media said on Friday, further solidifying his power following its addition last year to the party constitution.

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Turkish shelling marks start of Afrin operation, minister says

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's operation in Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin region has "de facto" begun with cross-border shelling, Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Friday.

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Russian student injures six in an ax attack at his school

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian teenager attacked a group of younger students with an ax, injuring six people, before setting his school on fire, investigators said on Friday.

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Turkish minister says military operation in Syria's Afrin should happen without delay

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Friday that a military operation in Syria's Afrin region should be carried out without delay and that Ankara and Moscow would continue talks about Turkey's planned military action.

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Serbia on course for EU by 2025, top EU official says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Serbia and Montenegro are likely be the next countries to join the European Union, possibly by 2025, the bloc's official in charge of membership bids said in an interview.

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Taiwan stymies new China flights amid route row, official says

TAIPEI/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Taiwan's aviation regulator has stalled applications for new flights from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines amid a row between Beijing and the self-ruled island over air routes, a regulatory official said on Friday.

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Let's build a bridge to Europe after we Brexit, Britain's Boris Johnson suggests

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's most prominent campaigner for leaving the European Union, Boris Johnson, has suggested building a giant bridge across the English Channel to France after Brexit, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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WADA welcomes rejection of legal challenge to whereabouts rule

ZURICH (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has welcomed the rejection of a legal challenge to the whereabouts rule which it says is a key element in the fight against doping.

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Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey would reject any offer of partnership with the European Union that falls short of membership, Ankara's minister for EU affairs said, warning that the current situation gave Turkey no reason to maintain its migrant deal with the bloc.

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Taiwan stymies new China flights amid route row: official

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's aviation regulator has not approved applications from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines to increase flights during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, an official with the regulator told Reuters.

cnn.com

A desert escape where there are no rules

Qataris are proud of their gleaming, ultramodern capital Doha, but their hearts are still in the desert.

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Russia's Constitutional Court rejects Putin critic Navalny's election complaint: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Constitutional Court has refused to review a complaint from opposition leader Alexei Navalny over a ban on him running in a March presidential election citing legal problems with it, the RIA news agency reported on Friday.

cnn.com

Recipients of vital government programs agonize as they watch dysfunction in the nation's capital

When Washington is this broken, it's always the most vulnerable who get hurt.

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Russia's Putin takes dip in icy lake to mark Orthodox Epiphany

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin stripped off to his bathing trunks and immersed himself in the freezing waters of a lake late on Thursday, observing an Orthodox Christian ritual to mark the feast of Epiphany.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

Right and Left React to the Prospect of a Government Shutdown

Writers from across the political spectrum denounced the impasse on Capitol Hill and the possibility of a shutdown.

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Duterte says may ban sending Filipinos to work in Kuwait due to abuses

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is considering banning workers being sent to Kuwait because of abuses he said were being inflicted on Filipino domestic helpers there and which led to several committing suicide in recent months.

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China detains rights lawyer critical of President Xi Jinping: wife

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing authorities on Friday took outspoken rights lawyer Yu Wensheng into custody as he was taking his child to school, his wife told Reuters, days after Yu said he was stripped of his legal license for criticizing President Xi Jinping.

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Asia stocks set record highs, U.S. government funding woes weigh on dollar

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asia stocks edged up to record highs on Friday, although losses on Wall Street slowed the advance, while worries over a possible U.S. government shutdown weighed on the dollar.

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Japan criticizes U.S. for military flights over school in Okinawa

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan criticized the U.S. military on Friday for breaking a pledge to avoid flying helicopters over a school next to its base in Okinawa, a rare flash of discord with Tokyo's main ally.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor: The Breakdown in Trust That Could Shut Down the Government

We’ve entered new territory. This isn’t how negotiation works.

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South Korea President Moon's approval rating drops on Olympics furor

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has fallen to a four-month low, a poll showed on Friday, after a public backlash over a decision for South and North Korea to field a joint ice hockey team at next month's Winter Olympics.

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Car plows through Copacabana sidewalk, kills baby, injures 15

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A speeding car plowed through evening strollers on a crowded sidewalk of Rio's famed Copacabana beach on Thursday in an apparent accident, killing an 8-month old baby and injuring 15 people, police said.

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House approves government funding bill, throws issue to Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to fund government operations through Feb. 16 and avoid agency shutdowns this weekend when existing money expires.

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U.S. won't pay $45 million pledged for Palestinian food aid for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will not provide $45 million in food aid for Palestinians that it pledged last month as part of the West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal led by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

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House Republicans cite progress in averting government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Republicans said late on Thursday they had made progress toward passing a short-term extension of government funding to avert a politically embarrassing shutdown, after a day of tough negotiations and confusion when President Donald Trump offered mixed signals on the stopgap plan.

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African U.N. envoys suggest Trump meet leaders in Ethiopia after 'shithole' remark

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - African U.N. envoys suggested on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump meet with African leaders in Ethiopia this month after he was reported to have described some immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from "shithole" countries.

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant with first child

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday she was pregnant with her first child, and planned to take a short break after the birth in June.

cnn.com

Government shutdown: Where the senators stand

If the House passes a short-term spending bill on Thursday, the Senate will need 60 votes to move it forward.

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announces she is pregnant with first child

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that she was pregnant with her first child, which was due in June.

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Sudanese authorities detain Reuters, AFP reporters in Khartoum

CAIRO (Reuters) - Sudanese authorities have detained a Reuters stringer and an AFP reporter who were covering protests in the capital Khartoum, the external information council, which deals with foreign media organizations, said.

cnn.com

Feinstein warns people will die if government shuts down

Sen. Dianne Feinstein warned Wednesday that when the federal government shuts down "people die, accidents happen" and it's hard to assess what the impact will be when "necessary functions cease."

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UPDATE 1-Businesses warn of risks of tighter rules on U.S. foreign investment

WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Proposals before the U.S. Senate and House to tighten rules on foreign investment into critical technologies could cause companies to take their research and development overseas to avoid scrutiny, critics said on Thursday.

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Pope lands in Peru as president seeks help in political crisis

LIMA (Reuters) - Pope Francis arrived in Peru on Thursday, as the Andean nation's president appealed to him to help put the country back on track after a political crisis nearly ousted him from office a month ago.

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Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett killed in U.S. helicopter crash

(Reuters) - Exiled Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett and four other people were killed in a helicopter crash in a remote northern part of the U.S. state of New Mexico, officials and his political party said on Thursday.

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Jordan says Israel apologizes for deaths of two Jordanians at embassy

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Thursday that Israel had formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.

cnn.com

Consumer protection chief requests $0 in funding

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Turkey seeks Russian approval for air campaign against Afrin

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey dispatched its military chief to Moscow on Thursday, seeking approval for an air campaign in Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin region, although Damascus warned it could shoot down any Turkish planes in its skies.

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Malaysian Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Alice Springs

SYDNEY, Jan 19 (Reuters) - A Malaysian Airlines (MAS) flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur was forced to make an emergency landing in remote outback Australia on Thursday after running into "technical difficulties".

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'Be my guest': France's Macron spells out reasons for Britain to stay in EU

SANDHURST, England (Reuters) - "Be my guest," French President Emmanuel Macron told Britain on Thursday, saying he would welcome any move by Prime Minister Theresa May to stay in the European Union's single market.

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France to launch international group targeting toxic gas attacks

UNITED NATIONS/PARIS (Reuters) - France has asked some 30 countries to work together to preserve evidence of chemical weapons attacks and impose sanctions on those responsible after Russia ended an international inquiry into who is to blame for using toxic gas in Syria.

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U.S. urges Turkey to remain focused on Islamic State, not attack Syria's Afrin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department urged Turkey on Thursday not to take military action against Afrin region in Syria and called instead for Ankara to remain focused on fighting Islamic State militants in the region.

cnn.com

Pentagon considers rewriting its rules for using nukes

The Pentagon is considering recommending a change in policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons that could potentially open the door to a US nuclear response to a massive cyberattack, according to a defense official familiar with a draft of the Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review who cautions it is not final.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nytimes.com

Consumer Watchdog’s Latest Budget Request: $0

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s acting director is paying operations costs from its reserves this quarter, his latest move to curb the agency.

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Businesses warn of risks of tighter rules on U.S. foreign investment

WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Proposals before the U.S. Senate and House to tighten rules on foreign investment into critical technologies could cause companies to take their research and development overseas to avoid scrutiny, critics said on Thursday.

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Turkey detains five activists, including husband of freed German journalist: party

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish police on Thursday detained at least five members of two leftist parties, including the husband of German journalist Mesale Tolu, who was freed from prison last month, the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) said on social media.

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Jordan says Israel apologizes for killing of two Jordanians in embassy incident

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Thursday that Israel had formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that has soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.

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Zimbabwe fires more than 30 police commanders: state-owned Herald newspaper

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has fired more than 30 senior police commanders as part of a process to clean up the image of the force, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported in its online edition on Thursday quoting unnamed police sources.

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Jordan says Israel apologizes for killing of two Jordanians in embassy incident: government spokesman

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Thursday that Israel has formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that has soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.

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Russia accuses Washington of leaking diplomats' bank details

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry on Thursday accused U.S. officials of leaking to the media confidential financial details of Russian diplomats working in the United States, and demanded that those responsible be punished.

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EU keen to avoid a fight with Warsaw but will want real concessions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A new charm offensive should buy Poland time in its confrontation with the EU over backsliding on democracy, but Warsaw will have to make some real policy changes to match the warmer words or risk losing some funds from the bloc.

worldNews reuters.com

Macedonia told to resolve Greece dispute and implement reforms to join NATO

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Macedonia's must resolve a decades-long dispute over its name, implement judicial reform and build good relations with neighboring countries to join NATO, the Western military alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

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Venezuela talks off in row over fugitive ex-policeman's death

CARACAS (Reuters) - Talks between Venezuela's government and the opposition coalition foundered on Thursday after the opposition denied providing information that led to the death of a rogue former policeman and six other anti-government militants.

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Mexico rejects Trump claim it world's most dangerous country

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico on Thursday dismissed a claim by U.S. President Donald Trump that it was the most dangerous country in the world and reiterated it would not fund the construction of a wall along the U.S. southern border.

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Shutting out immigrants is not Christian, pope says

IQUIQUE, Chile (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Thursday that it is not Christian to shut out immigrants, urging nations to welcome people whose lives had been "watered down" by poverty, injustice and exploitation.

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Train crashes in Mexico City suburb, killing at least five

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A train derailed in a densely populated Mexico City suburb on Thursday morning, killing at least five people, local authorities said.

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Italy's Berlusconi says he is ready to be premier if European court lifts ban

ROME (Reuters) - Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday he was ready to lead Italy again if the European Court of Human Rights scrapped a ban on him holding public office.

healthNews reuters.com

U.S. government to shield health workers under 'religious freedom'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is seeking to further protect the "conscience and religious freedom" of health workers whose beliefs prevent them from carrying out abortions and other procedures, in an effort likely to please conservative Christian activists and other supporters of President Donald Trump.

cnn.com

Trump: Government 'very well could' shut down

President Donald Trump told reporters at the Pentagon that the worst results of a possible government shutdown would be the impact on the U.S. military.

politicsNews reuters.com

Trump says government 'could very well' shut down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Thursday the U.S. government "could very well" shut down and that would be very harmful to the military.

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Suspected Boko Haram attack in Niger kills at least four soldiers

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram fighters have killed at least four soldiers and a civilian in an attack on a military post in Niger's southeastern Diffa region, local officials and two security sources said on Thursday.

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Train crashes in Mexico City suburb, killing at least 5

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A train derailed in a densely populated Mexico City suburb on Thursday morning, killing at least five people, local authorities said.

healthNews reuters.com

U.S. government creates health division for 'religious freedom'

(Reuters) - The U.S. government will create a division within its health agency that focuses on guaranteeing "conscience and religious freedom" for health workers who say their beliefs prevent them from carrying out abortions and other procedures.

politicsNews reuters.com

Trump muddles talks on government funding ahead of House vote on shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump complicated Republican efforts on Thursday to reach agreement on a temporary extension of government funding to avert a shutdown, blasting a plan to entice Democrats by funding a children's health insurance program.

cnn.com

Government to shut down in 48 hours: What to watch

House Republican leaders think they can get the votes for the short-term spending bill, but don't have them yet.

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HRW says Trump is 'disaster' for human rights, fuels authoritarians

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's record on human rights in his first year in office has been a "disaster" and has encouraged oppression by authoritarian leaders from China to Russia, the head of Human Rights Watch said in an interview on Wednesday.

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China is a disruptive force, U.S. Pacific military chief says

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. military's Pacific command called China a disruptive power in the Indo-Pacific region on Thursday and urged countries in the area to build capabilities and work together to ensure free and open seas.

worldNews reuters.com

Egypt, Ethiopia leaders say Nile dam must not ruin relations

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa.

worldNews reuters.com

Russian police search St Petersburg HQ of opposition leader Navalny

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police searched the campaign headquarters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St Petersburg on Thursday ahead of a presidential election on March 18, a video feed streamed live to the Internet by Navalny's supporters showed.

cnn.com

The 18 government shutdowns over 42 years

worldNews reuters.com

EU offers Swiss leeway on settling disputes: sources

ZURICH (Reuters) - The European Union has proposed letting a special arbitration court settle some disputes under a new treaty it is trying to strike with neutral Switzerland, sources involved in the discussion said.

worldNews reuters.com

Pope's help sought in Peru on Incan temple taken during conquest

LIMA (Reuters) - In his 2015 trip to Bolivia, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the "grave sins" committed against native people in the Americas in the name of the Catholic Church.

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Congress to vote Thursday for funding bill to avoid government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress stepped up their efforts to pass a temporary extension in funding government operations and avert a shutdown, scheduling a vote on the measure for later Thursday.

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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa announces election in four to five months

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, a newspaper on Thursday quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first time since independence the southern African state will conduct a vote that does not involve Robert Mugabe.

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Nigeria's Buhari says doesn't know if he will seek re-election

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday he does not know if he will seek re-election in 2019 and the decision is personal and also for Nigerians.

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More Rohingya flee Myanmar as Bangladesh prepares to start repatriation

TEKNAF, Bangladesh (Reuters) - More than 100 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since Wednesday, with the latest refugees saying army operations are continuing in troubled Rakhine State, raising doubts about plans to send back 655,500 who had already fled.

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Philippines' Duterte urges Congress to pass bill for self-rule in Muslim region

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged Congress to pass a bill granting self-rule to the country's Muslim minority, warning that its collapse would see separatist rebels abandon a peace process and declare war again.

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Nigeria's Buhari doesn't know if he will seek re-election: radio interview

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday he does not know if he will seek re-election in 2019.

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Gunmen in Pakistan kill two women working to eradicate polio

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Gunmen in Pakistan shot and killed two women working on a polio eradication campaign on Thursday, the latest in a string of attacks on efforts to protect children from the crippling and sometimes deadly disease.

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Amsterdam's Schiphol scraps all flights due to storm

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - All flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport were canceled on Thursday due to a severe storm, as gusts of up to 140 kph (90 mph) blew down trees and damaged buildings.

Bundy, Ammon E (1975- ) nytimes.com

Feature: Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of Oregon

Two years after the standoff at the Malheur Refuge, many people in the region remain convinced that their way of life is being trampled.

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India plans to raise health spending by 11 percent in budget; less than requested

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is poised to raise its public health spending by 11 percent in the annual budget next month, after rejecting the health minister's demand for a much bigger increase to ramp up disease control, according to government sources and documents.

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Czech PM Babis, wary of who becomes president, rushes to form new government

PRAGUE (Reuters) - New Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis is rushing to form a new government, possibly by the end of February, before a new presidential term begins.

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Israeli commandos kill Palestinian gunman blamed for West Bank ambush

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli police killed a Palestinian gunman and captured another in a clash in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, saying they were part of a cell responsible for an ambush in which a Jewish settler was shot dead.

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Bus fire kills 52 Uzbeks traveling in Kazakhstan: Kazakh government

ALMATY (Reuters) - A bus fire in north-western Kazakhstan killed 52 Uzbek citizens on a route used by migrant workers heading to Russia, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

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Hong Kong pro-independence protest leader appears in court for 'rioting'

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A young protest leader calling for Hong Kong's independence from China appeared in court on the rare charge of rioting on Thursday as two co-defendants failed to show up, the latest case highlighting a new generation of opposition to Chinese rule.

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After Trump denial, Netanyahu clarifies remarks on timeframe for U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a step back on Thursday from comments, challenged by U.S. President Donald Trump, that envisioned a one-year timeframe for the planned relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

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Survey shows Filipinos more satisfied with Duterte government than any other

MANILA (Reuters) - Public satisfaction with the performance of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's government rose in December to the highest level on record since one of the country's top pollsters started conducting opinion surveys in 1980s.

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Cambodia's Hun Sen appoints son-in-law to senior police post

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has appointed his son-in-law as deputy national police chief, in a move apparently aimed at consolidating his power ahead of an election this year.

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South Africa's Ramaphosa talks tough on state graft, signals departure from Zuma

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday welcomed moves taken by prosecutors against companies accused of corruption and said the ruling party would impose the policy certainty needed to attract investment to the country.

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Bus catches fire in Kazakhstan, killing 52 Uzbeks: Kazakh Interior Ministry

ALMATY (Reuters) - A bus caught fire in a remote part of Kazakhstan on Thursday, killing 52 citizens of neighboring Uzbekistan, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

cnn.com

Most Americans can't cover a $1,000 emergency

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Bus catches fire in Kazakhstan, killing 52: Interior Ministry

ALMATY (Reuters) - Fifty-two people were killed after a bus they were traveling in caught fire in Kazakhstan's north-western Aktau region, the country's interior ministry said on Thursday.

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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa says to hold elections in four to five months

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, a newspaper on Thursday quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first time since independence the southern African state will conduct a vote that does not involve former ruler Robert Mugabe.

cnn.com

As a new day dawns in DC, it's still unclear if Republican leaders have enough support to keep the government open

House Republican leaders are moving toward a vote Thursday to avoid a shutdown, but as a new day dawns in Washington, it's still unclear if GOP leaders have enough support to keep the government open.

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Russia starts shipping S-400 air defense missile system to China: TASS cites source

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has started delivering its S-400 surface-to-air missile system to China under the terms of a contract signed in 2014, the TASS news agency cited an unnamed source in the Russian military-industrial complex as saying on Thursday.

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Tillerson to visit London, hopes to visit new embassy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday he would make a one-day visit to Britain next week where he hoped to visit the new U.S. embassy.

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Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said "some people misspoke".

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Tillerson says U.S. has no intention to build border force in Syria

ABOARD U.S. GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday denied that the United States had any intention to build a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue, which has incensed Ankara, had been "misportrayed."

cnn.com

Rep. Jordan: Dems to blame if government shuts down

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday argued that if the government does shut down Friday due to lack of funding, the Democrats will be to blame for prioritizing amnesty over funding of the military.

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Macau police hunt VIP dealer after $6 million theft from Wynn

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Police in the world's largest gambling hub of Macau are hunting for a dealer suspected of stealing HK$48 million ($6 million) worth of casino chips from Wynn Macau, authorities in the Chinese-controlled territory said on Thursday.

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Oil from sunken Iranian tanker diffusing in East China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) - Oil from an Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea has diffused into four separate slicks, covering a combined area of just over 100 square kms (39 square miles), Chinese authorities said late on Wednesday.

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Colombia's FARC says two ex-fighters killed after campaigning

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Two former fighters from Colombia's FARC rebels were killed in Antioquia province after campaigning for a political candidate for the now-demobilized guerrilla group, the FARC said in a statement on Wednesday.

politicsNews reuters.com

Republicans scramble for votes in Congress to keep government open

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday threw its support behind a Republican proposal to avert a government shutdown at week's end with a one-month extension in funding, but it was unclear whether there were enough votes to pass it in Congress.

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Palestinian gunman killed in Israeli raid in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - At least one Palestinian gunman was killed in a raid by Israeli armed forces on the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank late on Wednesday, Palestinian health officials and local residents said.

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Turkey says could act in Syria unless Washington withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, as the Pentagon downplayed its plans to train the Syrian fighters.

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Trump chief of staff thinks Congress will keep government funded: Fox News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said on Wednesday he believed Congress would pass a stopgap bill to keep the U.S. government funded ahead of a Friday deadline.

cnn.com

Can we trust the government's terrorism data?

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History shows that a government shutdown would have severe consequences for the party in control

If House Republicans can't find a way to wrangle their always-fractious conference to support legislation that would avoid a government shutdown by Friday night, they are likely to bear the brunt of the blame for the closure and pay a serious political price as well.

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With eye on Brexit talks, May to deepen security ties with France

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - Britain and France will agree on Thursday to deepen security cooperation, a move which Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will win her goodwill in talks on leaving the European Union.

cnn.com

Trump says government shutdown 'could happen'

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports on the potential for a government shutdown.

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Tillerson: Evidence sanctions 'really starting to hurt' North Korea

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday the United States is receiving evidence that international sanctions are "really starting to hurt" North Korea, and praised China for putting pressure on Pyongyang.

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Turkey says it could act in Syria unless Washington withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other regions across the border unless the United States withdraws support for a Kurdish-led force there.

cnn.com

This is what happens during a government shutdown

If Congress is unable to pass a funding proposal -- which, at this point, looks very possible -- the federal government will shut down Friday.

worldNews reuters.com

Exclusive: Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump denied on Wednesday that the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take place within a year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the controversial move to happen by then.

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U.S. signals open-ended presence in Syria, seeks patience on Assad's removal

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - The United States signaled on Wednesday an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader U.S. strategy to prevent Islamic State's resurgence, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran's influence.

politicsNews reuters.com

White House backs short-term government funding bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House threw its support on Wednesday behind a Republican proposal to pass a stopgap bill that would fund the U.S. government through Feb. 16 and avert a shutdown, dealing a blow to Democrats who want such a measure to include immigration protections.

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Man stabbed before Atletico Madrid game: emergency services

MADRID (Reuters) - A 22-year-old man was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed near Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium before a King's Cup game between Atletico and Sevilla on Wednesday, emergency services said.

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British lawmakers back Brexit legislation, stiffer tests yet to come

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers voted in favor of the government's legislative blueprint for Brexit on Wednesday, marking a victory for Prime Minister Theresa May over political opponents who want a softer approach to leaving the European Union.

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Turkey will take steps in Syrian border region if demands not met: Deputy PM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will not hesitate to take steps in Afrin and other regions across its border with Syria to ensure its national security if its demands are not met, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Wednesday.

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U.N. chief says don't harm Iran nuclear deal over unrelated issues

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Wednesday that any issues not directly related to the Iran nuclear deal "should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement," his spokesman said amid U.S. concerns with Tehran.

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Germany, Turkey resume bilateral meetings, still at odds over reporter's arrest

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and Turkey on Wednesday resumed bilateral government consultations that had been suspended after Ankara's arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel in February 2017, an issue that continues to divide the two NATO allies.

politicsNews reuters.com

White House says it supports short-term government funding bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday it supports a short-term bill to fund the government and prevent a shutdown, even though its first preference would have been for a long-term deal.

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North Korea rejects sanctions talk, ready for 'successful' Olympics: diplomat

GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea rejects as a "provocation" a U.S.-led meeting in Vancouver that discussed tougher sanctions that Pyongyang will fight, a senior North Korean diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday.

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In challenge to Madrid, Catalan assembly elects separatist speaker

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's parliament picked a separatist speaker on Wednesday, signalling the possible return of sacked nationalist Carles Puigdemont as the region's leader and the renewal of full-blown political confrontation with Madrid.

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Farage backs off second Brexit referendum talk as EU says UK still welcome

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Leading British anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage rowed back on Wednesday from remarks favoring a second referendum on Brexit, a week after he unleashed a new round of debate and a chorus of invitations from European politicians for Britain to reconsider.

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Turkey says will respond immediately to any threats from Western Syria

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will respond immediately to any threats from Western Syria that could harm the country or its citizens, the National Security Council (MGK) said on Wednesday.

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Taliban leader approved Islamabad meeting on Afghan peace talks: sources

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A delegation approved by the Taliban's supreme leader visited the Pakistani capital this week for exploratory talks on restarting peace negotiations to end Afghanistan's 16-year war, two senior officials in the movement said.

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Congo armed groups uniting against President Kabila: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - Militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are uniting in opposition to President Joseph Kabila, a senior U.N. official there told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

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Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12, injure 48

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 48 others in an attack on Wednesday on the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for Borno said.

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U.S. banking official critiques Senate bill aimed at easing bank rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top official at a leading U.S. bank regulator is airing concerns about a Senate bill that would ease banking rules, saying parts of it could "significantly weaken" critical protections.

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Italy approves military mission in Niger, more troops to North Africa

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's parliament approved on Wednesday an increased military presence in Libya and the deployment of up to 470 troops in Niger to combat migration and the trafficking of people toward Europe, many of whom wash up on Italian shores.

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Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12, injure 48 in attack on Nigerian city of Maiduguri: government aid agency

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 48 others in an attack on Wednesday on the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials from the State Emergency Management Agency for Borno said.

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Russia: Vancouver meeting is aggravating situation around North Korea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A meeting of 20 countries in the Canadian city of Vancouver to discuss ways to increase pressure on North Korea is making the situation on the Korean peninsula worse, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

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Kidnappers abduct American, Canadian in Nigeria, two police killed: police official

KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Kidnappers have abducted one American and one Canadian in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, police said on Wednesday.

politicsNews reuters.com

Republicans eye another short-term bill to fund government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House dispatched chief of staff John Kelly to meet with Hispanic members of Congress on Wednesday to ease tensions over an immigration issue threatening to derail efforts on a funding bill to avert a partial government shutdown.

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U.N. mediator invites Syria, opposition to Vienna talks next week

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said on Wednesday he had invited the Syrian government and opposition to a special meeting to be held next week in Vienna, Austria.

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Defend culture but shun violence, pope tells Chile's indigenous Mapuche

TEMUCO, Chile (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged Chile's indigenous Mapuche people on Wednesday to shun violence, saying unity was the best weapon against "the deforestation of hope," as they struggle to defend their culture and reclaim ancestral lands.

cnn.com

Are there enough House Republicans to keep the government open?

Republican leaders are full speed ahead on a short-term funding bill -- now they just need the votes for it.

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Mexico left-wing presidential contender retains lead: poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's left-wing presidential contender retained his lead in this year's election race as the ruling party hopeful failed to gain traction, a poll showed on Wednesday.

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Top German Social Democrats urge party to back coalition talks with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Leading German Social Democrats (SPD) urged delegates on Tuesday to back coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and warned that shunning another tie-up would further damage the party's already dire ratings.

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Vandal-proof statue of Thatcher outside UK parliament could be rejected again

LONDON (Reuters) - A second attempt to erect a statue of Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher outside parliament, just six months after a first proposal was thrown out over vandalism fears, looks set to fail after officials recommended it be rejected.

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Wave of looting shutters stores, spreads fear in Venezuela

CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela (Reuters) - A wave of looting by hungry mobs across Venezuela has left streets of shuttered shops in provincial towns and pushed some store owners to arm themselves with guns and machetes, stirring fear that the turmoil could spread to the capital Caracas.

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Davos paper attacks Trump's views on trade

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. Donald Trump's view of world trade will be challenged next week when he visits the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, judging by a paper seen by Reuters on Wednesday that is aimed squarely at his "America First" stance.

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Schools, health could be hit by U.S. cut for Palestinian refugee funds: UNRWA chief

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - A cut in U.S. funding for a U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees will affect regional security and could put vital health, educational and food services at risk, its chief said on Wednesday, adding he would appeal for world donations.

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As Catalan parliament meets, some call for fugitive ex-leader to rule by Skype

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's parliament met on Wednesday in a first step toward forming a new government dominated by the question of whether sacked former leader Carles Puigdemont can return as president and continue his push for independence from Spain.

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Uganda's Museveni accuses U.N. of "preserving terrorism" in eastern Congo

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni accused the United Nations on Wednesday of "preserving terrorism" in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo where U.N. peacekeepers have been unable to curb deadly attacks by Islamist rebels.

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Russia scolds Britain for casting it as an aggressor after jets scrambled

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia scolded Britain on Wednesday for casting it as an aggressor and said Prime Minister Theresa May was more interested in public rhetoric than dealing with the real threats facing the West.

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Pence urges peaceful end to standoff over Afghan Governor

KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called for a peaceful change of leadership in the northern Afghan province of Balkh, where the powerful governor has defied attempts by the central government to oust him for the past month amid sensitive ethnic rivalries.

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UNRWA chief appeals for Palestinian refugee funds after US cut

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees appealed on Wednesday for world donations after the United States withheld about half its planned funding for the organization, a move he said risks instability in the region.

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UNRWA chief appeals for Palestinian refugee funds after U.S. cut

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees appealed on Wednesday for world donations after the United States withheld about half its planned funding for the organization, a move he said risks instability in the region.

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'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz's' plea for mercy rejected - German media

BERLIN (Reuters) - A plea for clemency from a 96-year-old German convicted over his role in the murders of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland has been rejected, German media cited prosecutors as saying on Wednesday.

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France would 'look with kindess' on UK Brexit change of mind - Macron adviser

PARIS (Reuters) - France would "look with kindness" on a decision by Britain to reverse the course of Brexit and remain in the European Union, an adviser to President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.

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Czech government agrees to resign after losing confidence vote

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis agreed to resign on Wednesday after the minority cabinet lost a confidence vote a day earlier.

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Interserve says keeping UK government updated on progress of discussions with lenders

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - British construction and services firm Interserve said it was keeping government up-to-date on discussions with lenders on longer-term funding.

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Arson attack rips through office of Russian human rights group

MOSCOW (Reuters) - One of Russia's biggest human rights groups said on Wednesday that one of its offices in southern Russia had been badly damaged in an overnight arson attack, an incident it said was part of a campaign to drive it from the region.