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Unlikely allies eye vote to legalize cannabis in New Zealand

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand could become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize cannabis for personal use after an unlikely alliance of populist, centrist and leftist parties put drug policy immediately on the agenda of the incoming government.

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Hong Kong democracy activists granted bail as they seek to appeal against jail terms

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's highest court granted bail to two prominent young pro-democracy activists, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, on Tuesday pending an appeal over their jail terms for unlawful assembly linked to the city's mass pro-democracy protests in 2014.

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Australia expands security assistance to Philippines to combat Islamist militants

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines (Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday announced the expansion of its security support to the Philippines, which will involve training in urban counter-terrorism, to fight the rise and spread of Islamist militancy in the region.

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Incoming New Zealand government to review central bank objectives

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand prime minister-designate Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday her new Labour-led government plans to review and reform the Central Bank Act to possibly include employment, alongside inflation, as a dual target.

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Canada's Liberals win Quebec seat in sign of pre-election strength

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's ruling Liberals won a special election in Quebec on Monday, picking up a parliamentary seat in a province where insiders say the party needs to do better if it is to retain power in a 2019 federal election.

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New Zealand PM-designate confirms review of central bank act

SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand prime minister-designate Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday her new Labour-led government planned to review and reform the central bank act.

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Hong Kong democracy activists granted bail by highest court

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's highest court on Tuesday granted bail to two prominent young democracy activists, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, who were jailed for unlawful assembly linked to the city's large-scale pro-democracy protests in 2014.

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China court uses social media to shame debtors: China Daily

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A local court in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou is using social media to shame people into repaying their debts, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.

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Brazil seeks to revoke asylum of Italian ex-guerrilla convicted of murder

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government told the Supreme Court on Monday that President Michel Temer has the authority to revoke the asylum status a former left-wing guerrilla convicted of murder in Italy and extradite him at his country's request.

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India's Gandhi scion seeks revival in PM Modi's backyard

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India's most fabled political dynasty, will within weeks be crowned leader of the Congress party, handing him a freer rein to prove if he can mount a credible challenge to the dominance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Venezuela governors sworn in, showing opposition disunity

CARACAS (Reuters) - In another setback for Venezuela's dispirited opposition, four of its five state governors broke with their coalition's official stance on Monday to swear themselves in before a pro-government legislative superbody.

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German lawmakers to face down far-right AfD in vote for vice speaker

BERLIN (Reuters) - The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is set to clash with other parties over its nomination for a senior parliamentary post when the Bundestag meets on Tuesday for its inaugural session after last month's election.

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Morocco arrests six suspected Islamic State militants

RABAT (Reuters) - Moroccan authorities said on Monday they had arrested six suspected Islamic State militants who had been planning attacks.

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In fresh setback for Venezuela opposition, governors sworn in

CARACAS (Reuters) - In a major setback for Venezuela's opposition, four of its five opposition governors broke with their coalition's official position on Monday to swear themselves in before a pro-government legislative superbody, authorities said.

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New Zealand populist to become deputy prime minister, foreign minister: media

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's populist power broker, Winston Peters, will be appointed deputy prime minister and foreign minister when Cabinet positions are revealed this week, local media reported on Tuesday.

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Egypt authorities challenge Reuters on casualties in western desert attack

LONDON (Reuters) - Egyptian authorities have accused Reuters and the BBC of "inaccurate coverage" of clashes in the western desert between security forces and armed militants in which police officers and conscripts were killed on Friday.

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Despite controversy, Venezuelan opposition governors sworn in

CARACAS (Reuters) - Four of five Venezuelan opposition governors broke with their coalition's official position on Monday to swear themselves in before a pro-government legislative superbody, authorities said.

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U.S. mulls South Sudan pressure, cutting aid may not work: U.N. envoy

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The United States is considering how to pressure South Sudan's President Salva Kiir into peace, but withdrawing aid may not work, U.S. envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley said ahead of a visit to South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia on Tuesday.

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Tillerson urges Iraq, Kurds to resolve conflict through dialogue

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region on Monday to resolve their conflict over Kurdish self-determination and disputed territories through dialogue.

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Deadly air strike hits Syrian government-held Deir al-Zor: state TV, monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) - An air raid in the government-held Qusur district of Deir al-Zor city in eastern Syria killed more than a dozen people, Syrian state television and a war monitor said on Monday.

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Ankara mayor quits in Erdogan purge of local government

ANKARA (Reuters) - The mayor of Ankara said on Monday he will step down this week, the fifth mayor from the ruling party to quit in recent weeks in the face of demands for a purge of local politics by President Tayyip Erdogan.

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U.N. says Sri Lanka's delay in post-war reconciliation involves risks

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Long delays in Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation is not without cost, and its government should implement measures to resolve outstanding issues, the United Nations said on Monday.

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Rwandan leader's would-be rival Rwigara and her mother denied bail

KIGALI (Reuters) - A Rwandan court denied bail on Monday to a vocal critic of President Paul Kagame who was barred from running against him in an August election and later jailed on charges of incitement and forgery that are widely seen as politically motivated.

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U.S. needs to work with others on North Korea crisis: Singapore PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday he outlined for President Donald Trump his country's efforts to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program but also advised the U.S. leader to use talks to help resolve the conflict.

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Tillerson arrives in Iraq after rebuke from Baghdad over paramilitaries

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived on Monday in Iraq, hours after the government rebuked him for calling on it to send home Iranian-backed paramilitary units that helped defeat Islamic State and capture the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk.

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New school offers education 'salvation' for Syrian girls in Lebanon

BAR ELIAS, Lebanon (Reuters) - A new girls' school for Syrian refugees in Lebanon's poor Bekaa region is aiming to give girls from conservative backgrounds the chance at a formal education.

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Two Somali soldiers wounded in gun fight with fellow troops

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Two Somali soldiers were wounded in a gun fight with other troops on Monday, a police officer said, a worrying internal rift for a military with a history of factionalism that is fighting a resurgence by militant Islamists

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Iraq rejects U.S. call for Iran-backed forces to end operations

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi government dismissed a call from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for Iranian-backed paramilitary units that helped Baghdad defeat Islamic State and capture the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk to end operations in Iraq.

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Spanish tourist shot, killed by police in Rio de Janeiro slum

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Police shot and killed a Spanish tourist in a Rio de Janeiro slum on Monday after the car she was riding in failed to stop at a police road block, authorities said.

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As Tillerson heads to Pakistan, Islamabad wary of deepening U.S.-India ties

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads to Pakistan on Tuesday to pressure Islamabad to act over militants targeting Afghanistan from its soil, anxious Pakistanis may be equally interested in dissuading Washington's deepening ties with India.

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After U.N. troubles, Haiti wary of new justice mission

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - A new United Nations-backed mission to support Haiti's justice system has had a mixed reaction from local politicians and civil society groups after long-standing criticism of its predecessor.

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UK PM May says she is 'ambitious and positive' about Brexit talks

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday she was "ambitious and positive" about the country's future and its negotiations to leave the European Union, describing the talks as being conducted in a "constructive spirit".

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EU calls leak of May-Juncker talks a smear

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said a newspaper report that Jean-Claude Juncker had disparaged Theresa May's "despondent" demeanor after a dinner last week was a deliberate smear intended to disrupt Brexit negotiations.

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Austrian conservative Kurz says needs more time on coalition talks

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz said on Monday he has yet to decide which party he plans to start coalition talks with, though he was still widely expected to turn to the far-right Freedom Party within days.

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Widow of Russian major killed in Syria battles for compensation

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (Reuters) - Vitalina Bordova received a good morning text message from her husband Sergei, a Russian marine major deployed in Syria. Half an hour later, he was hit by mortar fire that killed him.

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Dubai frees Briton sentenced for touching another man: advocacy group

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai's ruler has pardoned a British man a day after he was sentenced to three months in jail for touching another man at a bar, a legal advocacy group said on Monday.

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YPG fighters credit Ocalan with Syria victory

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Fighters with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia have credited Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan with their victory over Islamic State in Raqqa, in apparent response to U.S. criticism of their praise of a man jailed in Turkey for treason.

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End 'containment' of asylum-seekers on islands, aid groups tell Greek PM

ATHENS (Reuters) - Over a dozen human rights groups and aid organizations wrote to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday urging him to end the "containment" of asylum seekers in island camps.

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Residents of Philippines' Marawi begin long trudge back to normalcy as battle ends

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Marawi resident Baimona Amintao hopes her turn comes quickly once authorities begin raffling off the first batch of temporary shelters for those who lost their homes to the five-month battle to retake the southern Philippine city from Islamist militants.

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Bangladesh says Rohingya arrivals 'untenable' as thousands arrive daily

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar, an "untenable situation" for neighbor Bangladesh, the country's U.N. envoy said on Monday, calling on Myanmar to let them return.

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UK says our democracy is secure after suggestion of foreign meddling in Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - British democracy is one of the most secure in the world and will remain so, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday in response to a question about suggestions that there may have been foreign interference in the Brexit referendum.

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Southeast Asian ministers urge North Korea to rein in weapons programs

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines (Reuters) - Southeast Asian defense ministers on Monday expressed "grave concern" over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and urged the reclusive country to meet its international obligations and resume communications.

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Russia says Iraqi Kurds must act in concert with Baghdad

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia respects the desire of Iraqi Kurdistan to seek to assert its identity but this must be done in dialogue with the Iraqi government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday at talks with his Iraqi government counterpart.

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In Liberian slum, residents demand change from next president

MONROVIA (Reuters) - Crammed into tumble-down shacks on a sandspit that the Atlantic Ocean is steadily devouring, the residents of Liberia's most notorious slum have one common desire: an end to their daily struggle with dire poverty.

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Military option must remain on the table with North Korea: Johnson

LONDON (Reuters) - A military option must remain on the table in dealing with North Korea's nuclear program, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday, adding that nobody wants tensions in the Korean peninsula to be resolved in such a way.

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Bangladesh says Rohingya outflow 'untenable', seeks solution

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nearly one million Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar are now in Bangladesh, which is an "untenable situation", Bangladesh told a U.N. meeting on Monday.

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Russia's Lavrov says Russia committed to Iraq territorial integrity: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart that Moscow is committed to Iraq's territorial integrity, RIA news agency reported on Monday.

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Observatory: Islamic State killed at least 128 people in Syrian town

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday Islamic State killed at least 128 people in the Syrian town of al-Qaryatayn in central Homs over a three-week period before the Syrian army recaptured it on Saturday.

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Six police wounded, one killed in shootings near Indonesia's Freeport mine

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Six police were wounded and one killed in shootings that police alleged on Monday were carried out by a separatist group that aims to disrupt operations at the Grasberg copper and gold mine in Indonesia's eastern-most province of Papua.

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Catalan leader to lose all powers once Senate approves direct rule

MADRID (Reuters) - Regional leader of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont will lose all powers and will stop receiving a salary once the Senate approves article 155 which imposes direct central government rule on the region, the Deputy Prime Minister said on Monday.

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Philippines declares battle with Islamist rebels over in Marawi City

MARAWI CITY/CLARK, Philippines (Reuters) - The Philippines announced on Monday the end to five months of military operations in a southern city held by pro-Islamic State rebels, after a fierce and unfamiliar urban war that has marked the country's biggest security crisis in years.

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Japan PM Abe says to discuss North Korea 'thoroughly' with Trump

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he would discuss North Korea "thoroughly" with U.S. President Donald Trump when he visits next month, and reaffirm the two countries' commitment to working together in dealing with the country.

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Philippines declares siege by Islamist rebels over in Marawi City

CLARK, Philippines (Reuters) - The Philippines declared an end on Monday to five months of fierce urban warfare in a southern city held by pro-Islamic State militants, a battle that has marked the country's biggest security crisis in years.

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Australia to spend up to $195 million housing refugees after PNG detention center closes

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will spend up to A$250 million ($195 million) housing nearly 800 refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea for the next 12 months after its controversial detention center closes this month.

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Abe, Trump agree to raise pressure on North Korea: Japan government

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday.

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Ex-Argentine leader Fernandez trails in Senate race: early tally

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The candidate backed by Argentina's business-friendly president, Mauricio Macri, held a wide lead against former President Cristina Fernandez in Sunday's race for the Senate in the bellwether province of Buenos Aires, early election results showed on Sunday.

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Italian regions vote in favor of autonomy in shadow of Catalonia crisis

MILAN (Reuters) - Two wealthy regions of northern Italy voted overwhelmingly on Sunday for greater autonomy in referendums that could fan regional tensions in Europe at a time when Spain is striving to prevent Catalonia from breaking away.

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Suicide bomber kills 13 others in northeast Nigerian city: police official

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed 13 other people in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Sunday, a police official said, the deadliest attack in over a month as the conflict with Boko Haram stretches into its ninth year.

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Argentina's Macri aims for mid-term win to bolster reform agenda

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Polls closed in Argentina on Sunday in a vote to elect one third of the Senate and half of the lower house of Congress that could give business-friendly President Mauricio Macri's coalition a broader mandate to implement reforms.

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'Despondent' May losing sleep on in-fighting, said Juncker: FAZ

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Theresa May looked "despondent", with deep rings under her eyes, EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker told aides after dining with the British prime minister last week, a German newspaper said on Sunday.

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Tillerson: Time for Iranian-backed militias to leave Iraq

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, anticipating an end to the fight against ISIS, said Sunday it was time for Iranian-backed militias to exit the war-torn nation of Iraq.

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Slovenian President Pahor fails to win majority, faces runoff

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenian President Borut Pahor will face a second-round election on Nov. 12 after he fell short of a majority in Sunday's first round, as he tries to win a second five-year mandate.

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Putin critic Navalny, freed from jail, resumes presidential campaign

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny held a political rally on Sunday, hours after being released from jail and pledged to continue his presidential campaign despite the authorities saying he is ineligible to stand.

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UK police end armed hostage-taking at English leisure complex: BBC

LONDON (Reuters) - British police ended an armed hostage siege on Sunday, the BBC reported, saying there were no casualties after a gunman took two staff members hostage at a bowling alley in a leisure complex in central England.

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Eleven killed in clashes in Ethiopia's Oromiya region, official says

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethnic clashes killed 11 people this week in Ethiopia's Oromiya region, a regional government official said on Sunday, the latest unrest in a province that was wracked by violence in 2015 and 2016.

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Protesters call for justice after Maltese journalist's killing

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Thousands of Maltese called for justice on Sunday in a protest held by a group of non-governmental organizations after a journalist was killed last Monday.

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UK police rule out terrorism at leisure complex incident

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Sunday they were dealing with an "ongoing incident" at a leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, that was not connected to "any terrorist activity" after reports that a gunman had taken two staff members hostage at a bowling alley.

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Abe to push reform of Japan's pacifist constitution after election win

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc was headed for a big win in Sunday's election, bolstering his chance of becoming the nation's longest-serving premier and re-energizing his push to revise the pacifist constitution.

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Incident in central England not connected to 'terrorist activity': police

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Sunday that an "ongoing incident" at a leisure complex in central England was not connected to "any terrorist activity".

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UK police dealing with 'ongoing incident' at leisure complex, reports of gunman

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said on Sunday they were dealing with an "ongoing incident" at a leisure park in Nuneaton, central England, telling people to avoid the area.

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Go home, Tillerson tells Iranian-backed militias in Iraq

RIYADH (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday it was time for Iranian-backed militias and their Iranian advisers who helped Iraq defeat Islamic State to "go home" after a rare joint meeting with the leaders of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

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Now talk nice: EU script to help May settle Brexit bill

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Diplomatic theatrics at last week's Brussels summit revealed how European Union leaders will coax Theresa May over the next two months into parting with tens of billions of euros in return for a post-Brexit trade deal.

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U.S. senators seek answers on U.S. presence in Niger after ambush

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. senators said on Sunday the White House has not been forthcoming with details about the military's presence in Niger after the deaths of four soldiers there earlier this month and they want more answers on U.S. operations in the west African country.

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As relations thaw, Saudi Arabia and Iraq pledge cooperation against IS

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia and Iraq convened a new joint body to coordinate their fight against Islamic State and on rebuilding Iraqi territory wrested from the group, the Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in Riyadh on Sunday.

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Mugabe removed as WHO goodwill envoy after outrage -statement

GENEVA (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been removed as a goodwill ambassador, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday following an outrage among Western donors and rights groups at the appointment.

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Indonesia demands answers after military chief denied U.S. entry

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the U.S. secretary of state and summon Washington's deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, Indonesian officials said on Sunday.

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Mugabe removed as WHO goodwill ambassador after outcry: statement

GENEVA (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been removed as a WHO goodwill ambassador, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday following an outrage among donors and rights groups at his appointment.

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Austria's likely next chancellor hopes to form govt. in 60 days: paper

ZURICH (Reuters) - Austria's likely next chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, wants talks over a new government to last no more than two months, he said in a newspaper interview published in Sunday.

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WHO poised to row-back on Mugabe appointment after outrage

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) was poised on Sunday to sideline Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador after major Western donors and rights groups voiced outrage at the hastily-announced appointment.

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Italians vote in autonomy referendums in shadow of Catalonia crisis

MILAN (Reuters) - Two wealthy regions of northern Italy began voting on Sunday in referendums for autonomy, ballots that could fan regional tensions in Europe at a time when neighboring Spain is striving to prevent Catalonia from breaking away.

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Indonesia to demand answers after military chief denied U.S. entry

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the U.S. secretary of state and summon Washington's deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, an Indonesian official said on Sunday.

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Roadside bomb kills seven outside Somali capital Mogadishu

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A roadside bomb killed at least seven people on Sunday - mostly women farmers - in an area outside the Somali capital dominated by Islamist insurgents who have defied public protests to end years of violence, residents and the army said.

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Putin critic Navalny released after 20-day detention

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on social media on Sunday he had been released from detention after spending around three weeks in jail.

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Death toll from Malaysia construction site landslide at 11

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Eleven foreign workers were killed in a landslide at a construction site in northwest Malaysia on Saturday, authorities said.

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Polls open as Slovenian president runs for his second mandate

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Polls opened in the Slovenian presidential election on Sunday with incumbent President Borut Pahor running for his second five-year mandate against eight other candidates.

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South Korea's president says will continue phasing out nuclear power

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday the government will continue to phase out nuclear-generated electricity, following a public opinion survey that dealt a blow to his plans to do so.

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South Korea's Moon says will continue phasing out nuclear power

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday the government will continue phasing out nuclear-generated electricity following a public opinion survey that dealt a blow to his plans to do so.

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Kurds protest the US amid Kirkuk dispute

A group of Kurds staged a demonstration outside the United States' mission in Erbil, Iraq protesting the central Iraqi government takeover of the Kirkuk province. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.

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Australia to tighten airport security further after foiled attack

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will introduce random searches of workers entering and inside its airports as it increases security after a recent foiled terrorism plot, officials said.

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UK PM May readying concessions on welfare reform - Sunday Telegraph

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is on the verge of making concessions around a key welfare reform that has angered opposition parties as well as members of her own Conservatives, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

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Czech vote winner Babis wants active EU role, not favoring government with extremists

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic must seek partners beyond the central European Visegrad Group to find common ground on issues including migration and food quality, Czech parliamentary election winner Andrej Babis told Reuters.

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Portuguese protest over deadly forest fires, government pledges aid

LISBON (Reuters) - As thousands of Portuguese protested on Saturday over the government's handling of massive wildfires that have killed 108 people since June, government ministers pledged to spend over 400 million euros ($470 million) in aid.

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U.N. ends month-long Libya talks in Tunisia without proposing new date

TUNIS (Reuters) - Month-long U.N.-backed talks aimed at bridging differences between rival Libyan factions ended on Saturday with no discernable progress towards stabilizing the country and paving the way for elections.

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Billionaire Babis scores big Czech election win, seeks partners to rule

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech billionaire Andrej Babis won a thumping victory in Saturday's election as voters shunned traditional parties and gave a mandate to the anti-establishment businessman pledging to fight political corruption while facing fraud charges himself.(For a graphic of the Czech election click http://tmsnrt.rs/2vO4hPW)

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Malta offers 1 million-euro reward to find journalist's killers

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Malta's government said on Saturday it was offering a reward of 1 million euros ($1.2 million) for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the death of prominent journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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Turkey bank regulator dismisses 'rumors' after Iran sanctions report

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's banking regulator urged the public on Saturday to ignore rumors about financial institutions, in an apparent dismissal of a report that some Turkish banks face billions of dollars of U.S. fines over alleged violations of Iran sanctions.

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Ramping up rhetoric, Turkey's Erdogan chastises U.S. over democracy

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan showed no retreat from a diplomatic row with the United States on Saturday, castigating Washington for what he said an "undemocratic" indictment against his security detail.

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Car bomb kills 15 Afghan cadets, trainers outside Kabul military school

KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide attacker rammed a car full of explosives into a bus leaving Afghanistan's top military training center in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 15 soldiers, including cadets and their trainers, officials said.

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Israel says it will intensify response to Syrian fire

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Five projectiles from Syria set off air raid sirens in Israeli towns on Saturday, prompting the Israeli military to say it would step up its response to stray fire from the Syrian war that has repeatedly spilled over the border.

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Gunmen kill 13 Niger gendarmes in attack near Mali border

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Gunmen on pick-up trucks and motorcycles coming from Mali killed 13 gendarmes and wounded five more in an attack on their base in western Niger, security sources said on Saturday.

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Tillerson lands in Riyadh at start of Gulf, South Asia tour

RIYADH (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Riyadh on Saturday at the start of a six-day trip which will also take him to Qatar, a fellow Gulf Arab state which is in a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia.

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Car bomb kills 15 Afghan army personnel in Kabul: defense ministry

KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide attacker detonated a car full of explosives on Saturday outside Afghanistan's top military training center in Kabul, killing at least 15 soldiers, a military spokesman said.

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What the 'Trumpification' of the presidency means to Generation Z

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Car bomb kills 15 Afghan army personnel in Kabul: defense ministry spokesman

KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide attacker detonated a car full of explosives outside an Afghan military training centre in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 15 soldiers, a military spokesman said, the latest attack in a particularly deadly week for Afghanistan's security forces.

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Turkish banks could face big U.S. fines over Iran: report

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Six Turkish banks face billions of dollars of fines from U.S. authorities over alleged violations of sanctions with Iran, the Haberturk newspaper reported on Saturday, citing senior banking sources.

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German police rule out terrorism in Munich knife attack

MUNICH (Reuters) - German police ruled out a political or religious motive behind a knife attack in the city of Munich on Saturday and said a detained man suspected of injuring eight people had mental health problems.

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Iraq may offer Total, Chevron terms different from Shell for Majnoon field development

BAGHDAD, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Iraq may offer Chevron and Total terms to develop the Majnoon oilfield different from those it had given to Royal Dutch Shell, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Saturday.

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U.N. torture watchdog ends trip to Rwanda, citing obstruction

KIGALI (Reuters) - The U.N. subcommittee on torture prevention has suspended a visit to Rwanda, citing obstructions imposed by the government that compromised its fact-finding mission.

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Gunmen kill 12 Niger gendarmes in attack near Mali border

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Gunmen mounted on pick-up trucks and motorcycles killed 12 gendarmes and wounded several in an attack on their base in western Niger, near the Mali border, on Saturday, two security sources said.

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German police detain suspect in Munich knife attack

MUNICH (Reuters) - A man injured four people with a knife in the German city of Munich on Saturday and police detained a suspect matching descriptions by witnesses.

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India cenbank says linking national ID number to bank accounts mandatory

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's central bank on Saturday dismissed media reports that it was not necessary to link national identity card numbers, known as Aadhar numbers, to bank accounts.

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Kremlin says Putin, Erdogan discuss Syria in phone call

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed an upcoming meeting of the Astana process on the Syrian conflict in the Kazakh capital in late October, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

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Knife-wielding man wounds five people in Munich

BERLIN (Reuters) - A man wounded five people with a knife in the southern German city of Munich on Saturday and was being hunted by police, police and the fire department said.

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Israel says will intensify response to Syrian fire

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Five projectiles from Syria set off air raid sirens in Israeli towns on Saturday, prompting the Israeli military to say it would step up its response to stray fire from the civil war that has repeatedly spilled over the border.

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Death toll from Egypt gun battle rises to 52 killed - sources

CAIRO (Reuters) - At least 52 Egyptian police and conscripts were killed and six more wounded in a gun battle on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in the western desert, three security sources said on Saturday.

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China says no excuses for foreign officials meeting Dalai Lama

BEIJING (Reuters) - Foreign leaders can't think they can get away with meeting exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama just because they are doing it in a personal capacity, as they still represent their government, a senior Chinese official said on Saturday.

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Thailand rehearses lavish $90 million funeral for late king

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Drums and a band played as officials in black tops and ancient costumes rehearsed on Saturday for the funeral procession of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose cremation next week is expected to be attended by a quarter of a million mourners.

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Fighting in southern Philippine city may end imminently - military

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - The Philippines is preparing to declare the end of fighting in a southern city seized for five months by pro-Islamic State rebels, a top military commander said on Saturday, as troops continued a phased withdrawal from the devastated lakeside city.

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Rockets strike downtown Kabul, no casualties reported

KABUL (Reuters) - As many as two rockets landed near the international military headquarters in downtown Kabul early on Saturday morning, Afghan security officials said.

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Researchers raise doubts over cause of Chilean poet Neruda's death

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - International researchers investigating the death of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda raised doubts on Friday as to whether he died of cancer 44 years ago as previously presumed, and did not rule out foul play.

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Venezuela Maduro warns of repeat elections in states won by opposition

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan state elections may be repeated in the five states won by the opposition if the governors-elect continue to refuse to be sworn in by a controversial pro-government legislative superbody, President Nicolas Maduro warned on Friday.

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Matchmaker Merkel seeks awkward three-way embrace

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened what promised to be marathon coalition talks on Friday, hoping to bring three opposing political camps into a stable government despite signs there would be less money to paper over differences.

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Turkish hunger striker released for remainder of trial

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish teacher who has been on hunger strike for months to protest about losing his job in the government's purge since a failed coup attempt last year, has been released from jail pending her trial on terrorism-related charges.

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Trump expected to pressure China's Xi to rein in North Korea: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to pressure China's president when they meet next month in Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea out of a belief that Xi Jinping's consolidation of power should give him more authority to do so.

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Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said.

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Death toll from Somalia bombings rises to 358

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The number killed in twin bombings in the Somali capital Mogadishu last weekend has risen to 358, the government said late on Friday.

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Czechs vote for new parliament, wealthy businessman seen as likely next PM

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czechs voted on Friday in an election expected to hand power to businessman Andrej Babis who has won popular support by pledging to sweep aside traditional parties, boost investment and keep out refugees, but faces a criminal probe for suspected fraud.

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Brazil's Temer says pension reform might not pass this year

BRASILIA (Reuters) - President Michel Temer said on Friday that a bill overhauling Brazil's costly pension system might not clear Congress this year as planned, the first time that he has indicated that such a delay might happen.

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In Kirkuk, Kurds' joy turns to fear after Iraqi army takeover

KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - Turkmen and Arab shoppers stroll through an open-air food market in an ethnically mixed area of Kirkuk, haggling over the price of tomatoes and gossiping about their neighbors.

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Official candidate seen ahead in Buenos Aires Senate race: poll

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's ruling party candidate for Senate in the key province of Buenos Aires is 4.8 percentage points ahead of the opposition candidate, according to a poll by consultancy Management & Fit sent exclusively to Reuters on Friday.

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Iranian commander issued stark warning to Iraqi Kurds over Kirkuk

SULAIMANIA/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A senior Iranian military commander repeatedly warned Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to withdraw from the oil city of Kirkuk or face an onslaught by Iraqi forces and allied Iranian-backed fighters, Kurdish officials briefed on the meetings said.

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Suicide bombers attack two Afghan mosques, at least 72 dead

KABUL (Reuters) - Suicide bombers attacked two mosques in Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 72 people including children, officials and witnesses said.

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Senate panel postpones hearing with Trump lawyer Cohen in Russia probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate Intelligence Committee investigating U.S. allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election said on Friday it had postponed a public hearing with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's lawyer, and it would be rescheduled.

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Death of a blogger casts shadow over murky Malta

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Daphne Caruana Galizia posted two items last Monday on her popular blog, one ridiculing Malta's opposition leader for having rounded shoulders, the other denouncing a senior government official as a "crook".

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Pair of mosque attacks kill at least 50 in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people inside a Shi'ite mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday night, a security official said, and a separate bombing killed at least another 20 at a mosque in the middle of the country.

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'Unacceptably high' number of Afghans flee military training in U.S.: report

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan soldiers and police brought to the United States for training go "absent without leave" at far higher rates than those of any other country, potentially imperilling efforts to assist Afghan security forces, a U.S. watchdog said on Friday.

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Jamaica or bust: Merkel starts crunch coalition talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel pronounced herself optimistic as she opened the first full round of talks on piecing together the three-way "Jamaica" coalition she needs if she is to avoid an abrupt end to her 12 years in power.

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Russian aerobatics team joins Serbian display of air power

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Russia's elite aerobatic team zoomed over Serbia's military airport on Friday as Belgrade exhibited its newest fighter jets in a display demonstrating close ties between the fellow Slavic, Orthodox Christian countries.

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Suicide bomber kills at least 30 at mosque in Afghan capital Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people inside a Shi'ite mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday night, a security official said, the latest in a string of violent attacks on the country's Shi'ite minority.

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In Mexican slum, a decades-long wait for quake relief

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - I first visited Camp No. 3 a few days after the Sept. 19 earthquake.

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Thousands of Somalis gather to mourn bomb victims

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis prayed in Mogadishu on Friday at a symbolic funeral for more than 300 people killed by the country's deadliest truck bombing.

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EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will cut some of the money earmarked for Turkey to join the bloc, reflecting increasingly sour ties with Ankara but stopping short of killing membership bid of the country it still sees as a strategic partner.

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South Sudan commander on trial for rape, murder of aid workers found dead

JUBA (Reuters) - A South Sudanese army commander on trial for his role in an attack on aid workers has been found dead in military custody, an army spokesman said on Friday.

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Austrian coalition talks set to begin, far right likely partner

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's president gave the green light to conservative leader Sebastian Kurz on Friday to form a government, but Kurz gave little away about his coalition plans, leaving a tie-up with the far right the most likely outcome.

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Zuma spokesman dismisses reports South African deputy president may be sacked

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma's spokesman said on Friday there was no basis for reports that the country's leader would axe his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, speculation about which has weighed on the currency and bonds.

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Raqqa to be part of decentralized Syria, say Kurdish-led militia

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Raqqa will be part of a decentralized federal Syria now the city has been freed from Islamic State, the U.S.-backed militias that captured it said on Friday, tying its future to Kurdish-led plans to set up autonomous regions in the north.

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Russia says continues dialogue with Washington on North Korea, Iran: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow and Washington are continuing a dialogue on North Korea and the future of the international deal on Iran's nuclear program, RIA news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Friday.

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Doubts about smoking gun as Duterte lauds China role in rebel killing

MANILA/MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was eager to credit new ally Beijing in the death of militant leader Isnilon Hapilon, saying it was a Chinese rifle that fired the bullet that finished off Islamic State's "emir" in Southeast Asia.

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Netanyahu lobbies world powers to stem Iraqi Kurd setbacks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to prevent further setbacks to Iraqi Kurds as they lose ground to Baghdad's army, Israeli officials say.

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Raqqa to be part of decentralized Syria, U.S.-backed SDF says

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian city of Raqqa and surrounding province will be part of a decentralized federal Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia that captured the city from Islamic State (IS) said on Friday.

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Jamaica or bust: Merkel launching crunch German coalition talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday begins the first full round of talks on forming a three-way "Jamaica" coalition that she needs to work or else risk her time in power coming to an end after 12 years.

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UPDATE 2-Russia's Rosneft to take control of Iraqi Kurdish pipeline amid crisis

* Kurdistan oil exports struggle amid tensions with Baghdad (Adds details, background; changes media slug from RUSSIA-KURDISTAN/ROSNEFT-PIPELINE)

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Kenyan police say four people killed during opposition demonstrations in past two weeks

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's police said on Friday that four people had died as result of police intervention during opposition protests in the past two weeks, amid concerns violence will break out in next week's repeat presidential vote.

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Former Nazi death camp guard charged with accessory to murder

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German public prosecutors have charged a 96-year-old former guard at a Nazi death camp with having been an accessory to murder, as Germany races against time to bring elderly suspects from the Hitler era to trial before they die.

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Iraqi forces complete takeover of Kirkuk province after clashing with Kurds

BAGHDAD/KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces took control on Friday of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said.

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Iranian military chief visits frontline near Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's military chief of staff visited a frontline position near the Syrian city of Aleppo, a military news outlet run by the Lebanese group Hezbollah reported on Friday, during a visit that has underlined Tehran's deep military role in Syria.

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Pakistan militant group finds likely replacement after U.S. drone strike kills leader

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Senior militant commander Asad Afridi has emerged as the favorite to become the new leader of a deadly Pakistani Taliban faction, militant sources said on Friday, days after a U.S. drone strike killed the group's chief.

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Iraqi and Kurdish forces clash near Kirkuk: security sources

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces clashed on Friday with Kurdish forces at Altun Kupri, 35 kilometers (22 miles) north west of Kirkuk, on the road between the city and Kurdish capital Erbil, security sources said.

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Attack on workers at key Pakistan port for Chinese project; 26 hurt

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Unidentified men threw a grenade into a laborers' hostel in the Pakistani port of Gwadar wounding 26 of them, police said on Friday, in an attack likely to raise concern about security for the Pakistani section of China's "Belt and Road" initiative.

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Kenya election board CEO rejected by opposition goes on leave ahead of poll

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The chief executive of Kenya's election board, who the opposition has demanded must be fired before a repeat presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26, said on Friday he was taking three weeks of leave.

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Go-go going as Chinese women fuel Thai tourism boom

BANGKOK (Reuters) - For decades since the Vietnam war, the scantily clad dancers in the go-go bars of Bangkok's Patpong red-light district have been the face of Thailand's tourism industry.

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Russian warships dock in Philippines as Manila cultivates new ties

MANILA (Reuters) - Three Russian warships, including two anti-submarine vessels, docked in Manila on Friday to unload what navy officials said was weaponry and military vehicles donated to the Philippines as part of a new defense relationship.

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Singapore PM Lee says ready to step down in couple of years; no successor picked yet

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was ready to step down in a couple of years time and his successor is likely already in the cabinet but a clear choice has yet to emerge

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NZ Prime Minister-elect Ardern focuses on final touches in coalition deal, NZ dollar sinks

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said she would spend Friday ironing out issues and ministerial posts with coalition partner New Zealand First, one day after becoming the Pacific nation's youngest leader in more than 150 years.

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Merkel sends positive signal to May on Brexit talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered one of her most positive assessments of Brexit talks in months on Thursday, saying she believed negotiations between the EU and Britain were moving forward and dismissing the prospect of a breakdown.

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Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh in dire state: UNICEF

GENEVA (Reuters) - Nearly 340,000 Rohingya children are living in squalid conditions in Bangladesh camps where they lack enough food, clean water and health care, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

Editorial: The Self-Dealing Presidency of Donald Trump

A federal court on Wednesday heard the first-ever lawsuit to accuse a president of violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution.

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Britain seeks new ways to detect explosives in airports

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain launched a fund on Friday to support new technology to screen hand-luggage in airports in a bid to detect concealed explosives without passengers having to remove electrical items from their bags.

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EU leaders want to 'responsibly' cut Turkey pre-accession aid: Merkel

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The human rights situation in Turkey is unacceptable, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Thursday, adding European Union leaders had asked their executive arm to look at cutting pre-accession aid to Ankara in a "responsible way".

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NZ Prime Minister-elect Ardern focuses on final touches in coalition deal

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said she would spend Friday ironing out issues and ministerial posts with coalition partner New Zealand First, one day after becoming the Pacific nation's youngest leader in more than 150 years.

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Britain's May asks EU to help her end Brexit sniping at home

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May appealed to European Union leaders to help her silence critics at home by signaling a willingness to break the deadlock in Brexit talks.

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Winnie Mandela 'in high spirits' after minor surgery: spokesman

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African anti-apartheid veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of the late President Nelson Mandela, is "in high spirits" after being admitted to hospital for minor surgery, her spokesman said on Thursday.

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Italy's Renzi pledges to hike budget deficit if he wins election

ROME (Reuters) - Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Thursday that if he wins next year's election he will slash taxes and sharply raise Italy's budget deficit rather than lower it as European Union rules require.

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EU leaders agree stronger support for Italy over Libya migration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders agreed to provide "stronger support" to Italy for its work in Libya aimed at curbing immigration to Europe, their summit chairman Donald Tusk said after talks in Brussels on Thursday.

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Soccer star Weah to face vice president in Liberian presidential run-off

MONROVIA (Reuters) - Former soccer star George Weah won the first round of Liberia's presidential election with 38.4 percent of the vote, 10 points ahead of Vice President Joseph Boakai who will face him in a run-off next month, the electoral commission said on Thursday.

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Kurdish officials say thousands flee Kirkuk since Iraqi army takeover

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Kurdish officials said on Thursday thousands of their people had fled Kirkuk region fearing persecution since Iraqi armed forces retook it following a referendum on Kurdish independence that was rejected by Baghdad.

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CIA chief says U.S.-Canadian couple held for five years in Pakistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the CIA said on Thursday a U.S.-Canadian couple kidnapped by Islamist militants in Afghanistan were held inside neighboring Pakistan for five years before being freed.

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'A long way to go' in German coalition talks, liberal FDP says

BERLIN (Reuters) - There is a long way to go in talks on forming a new German coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, a senior member of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) said after meeting the environmentalist Greens on Thursday.

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CIA chief says U.S.-Canadian hostages held for five years in Pakistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the CIA said on Thursday that a U.S.-Canadian couple kidnapped by Islamist militants in Afghanistan were held inside neighboring Pakistan for five years before being freed last week.

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Washington 'trying to squeeze Russian gas out of Europe': Putin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Thursday of trying to squeeze Russia out of European energy markets, saying the latest round of U.S. sanctions was designed to force Europe to buy U.S. liquefied natural gas instead.

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Britain's new concessions are not enough, EU leaders tell May

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders welcomed a proposal by British Prime Minister Theresa May aimed at unblocking Brexit talks, but said concessions to ease the fears of EU citizens living in Britain were not enough.

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Merkel presses allies to cut funds for Turkey's EU bid

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her fellow leaders on Thursday to cut European Union funds to Turkey that are linked to Ankara's bid to join the bloc due to concerns about the country's growing authoritarianism.

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Germany's FDP, Greens try to find common ground at first talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - A first meeting between Germany's pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens about joining a coalition led by conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel focused on finding out common points of agreement, FDP General Secretary Nicola Beer said on Thursday.

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Russia's Putin accuses U.S. of failing nuclear, chemical weapons treaties obligations

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Washington of not fulfilling its obligations under nuclear and chemical weapons treaties.

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Tillerson to visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, India, Switzerland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, India and Switzerland in a week-long trip starting on Friday, the State Department said in a statement released on Thursday.

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Britain's May urges EU to break deadlock in Brexit talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May urged the European Union on Thursday to break the deadlock and move forward with Brexit talks, asking the bloc's leaders to respond with "urgency" on easing the fears of their citizens living in Britain.

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Iranian general, Assad discuss joint military strategy: report

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's military chief met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday during a visit to Damascus to set out a joint military strategy, Syria's state news agency reported, a sign of deepening Iranian influence that has alarmed Israel.

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U.S.-backed forces in Syria holding foreign Islamic State leaders

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed militias in Syria have detained senior foreign Islamic State leaders in months of fighting for Raqqa, but it is not yet clear if they will be repatriated after facing trial, a spokesman said on Thursday.

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100,000 Kurds flee Kirkuk since Iraqi army takeover: Kurdish officials

ERBIL/BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - About 100,000 Kurds have fled Kirkuk for fear of sectarian reprisals since Iraqi government forces took over the city after a Kurdish independence referendum condemned by Baghdad, regional Kurdish officials said on Thursday.

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Fewer migrants entitled to join family in Germany: study

BERLIN (Reuters) - The number of foreigners who qualify to join loved ones granted asylum in Germany is much smaller than government estimates, a study showed on Thursday, potentially removing an obstacle in

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France criticizes Russian stance on Syria toxic gas probe

PARIS (Reuters) - France criticized Russia on Thursday for calling into question an international inquiry into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

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EU leaders to recommit to Iran nuclear deal whatever Trump decides

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will on Thursday reaffirm their full commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, regardless of whether an increasingly critical United States pulls out.

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Ardern to be next New Zealand PM, spelling changes for economy, immigration

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand will get its youngest prime minister in more than 150 years after the small, nationalist New Zealand First Party agreed to form a new government with Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern, ending the National Party's decade in power.

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As battle rages, devastated Philippine city starts its long cleanup

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - War might still be raging in the ruins of the Philippine city of Marawi, but the cleanup has already began.

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Ardern to be next New Zealand prime minister, spelling big change for economy

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's next prime minister will be Jacinda Ardern, whose Labour party won the support of a small nationalist party to form the government, spelling big changes for a small but open economy, whose currency hit a 4-1/2-month low on the news.

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U.S. carrier patrols off Korean peninsula in warning to Pyongyang

ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN, Sea of Japan (Reuters) - The USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, patrolled in waters east of the Korean peninsula on Thursday, in a show of sea and air power designed to warn off North Korea from any military action.

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Malaysia in talks with U.S. firm Ocean Infinity to resume MH370 search

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia is negotiating with U.S.-based seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity to resume the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

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FBI opens investigation into South Africa's Guptas: FT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The FBI has opened an investigation into U.S. links to South Africa's Guptas, escalating a scandal over the family's alleged use of a friendship with President Jacob Zuma to control state businesses, the Financial Times said on Thursday.

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Trying to unblock Brexit impasse, May to make offer on EU citizens

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May, seeking to unblock stalled talks on Brexit, promised on Thursday to make it as easy as possible for European Union citizens living in Britain to stay after it leaves the bloc.

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About 100,000 Kurds have fled Kirkuk since Monday: Kurdish officials

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - About 100,000 Kurds have fled Kirkuk, fearing unrest, since Monday's takeover of the region by Iraqi forces, officials from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Thursday.