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Trump: Raqqa fall 'critical breakthrough', end of Islamic State in sight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday hailed the defeat of Islamic State fighters in their self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa as "a critical breakthrough" in a worldwide campaign against the militants.

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Madrid to impose direct rule in Catalonia to quash independence bid

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - The Spanish government will impose direct rule on Catalonia, firing the regional government and forcing a new election, it said on Saturday, unprecedented steps that brought thousands of pro-independence protesters onto to the streets.

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Spain to sack Catalan government in bid to end secessionist crisis

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government will sack Catalonia's secessionist leadership and force the region into a new election, it decided on Saturday, unprecedented steps it said were needed to prevent the region breaking away.

Trump, Donald J nytimes.com

Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination

A 1992 law that sought to quell conspiracy theories about the killing mandated the release of the secret documents by Oct. 26 of this year.

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Trump plans to release classified JFK documents

President Donald Trump said Saturday he intends to allow the release of classified government documents about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy "subject to the receipt of further information."

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Trump to release JFK files, subject to 'further information'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that subject to receipt of further information, he planned to allow the opening of long-secret files on the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled for release next week.

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Spain will sack Catalan government, call regional election

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government decided on Saturday to sack the secessionist leadership of Catalonia and force the region into a new election, saying it had to take the unprecedented step to prevent the region pushing ahead with independence.

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Plane by plane, New York greets Puerto Ricans displaced by hurricane

NEW YORK (Reuters) - There were only a few minutes left before baggage carousel No. 4 jolted to life at John F. Kennedy International Airport, soon to be ringed with people coming from Puerto Rico on one-way tickets they never would have bought if not for the hurricane.

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Spanish government meets to impose direct rule in rebel Catalonia

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish cabinet was meeting on Saturday to decide how it will impose direct rule on Catalonia and thwart a drive by the autonomous region to breakaway from Spain.

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Homeless teen spends birthday helping hurricane victims

Christopher Rodriguez turned 19 on Friday in his native Puerto Rico, and he spent his birthday giving -- giving aid to neighbors still struggling a month to the day after Hurricane Maria blasted the island.

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Senate investigators spoke with Russians present at Trump Tower meeting

Senate intelligence committee investigators have spoken with several Russians who attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., a sign that the matter remains a significant focus for lawmakers looking into potential coordination between Trump associates and Kremlin-linked operatives during the presidential campaign. 

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Man accused of helping and recording teen's suicide

On May 5, 16-year-old Jchandra Brown hanged herself at a campground in Payson, Utah. Her friend Tyerell Przybycien is accused of helping her by buying the rope and tying the noose she put around her neck, and the compressed air she used to knock herself out before dying.

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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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Canada's Liberals look to economy to guide them past ethics scandal

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has been badly shaken by a conflict-of-interest controversy about his finance minister, but the Liberal government's upcoming fiscal update offers an opportunity to reset the public focus on Canada's strong economy, political observers say.

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U.S. court blocks immigrant teen's bid to obtain abortion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday prevented a pregnant teen detained by the government as an illegal immigrant from immediately obtaining an abortion while leaving open the possibility that she could undergo the procedure within days.

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Three charged in shooting after white nationalist's Florida speech

(Reuters) - A Texas man who shot at protesters after a white nationalist's speech at the University of Florida and two brothers who urged him to "kill them" have been charged with attempted homicide, police said on Friday.

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Canada granting asylum to U.S. border crossers at higher rates: data

cTORONTO (Reuters) - Asylum seekers who illegally crossed the U.S. border into Canada this year are obtaining refugee status at higher rates, new data shows, as authorities accept claims from people who say they feared being deported by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.

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Where Did the Napa Fire Begin? Investigators Scour the Ashes

Dozens of investigators are digging through the debris of the Northern California fires to determine what sparked the blazes.

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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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U.S. says 24 people harmed from recent 'attacks' in Cuba

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department confirmed on Friday that 24 people have suffered health effects from "attacks" in Cuba earlier this year against diplomatic personnel and that an investigation is ongoing.

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Raqqa to be part of 'federal Syria', U.S.-backed militia says

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 political future to Kurdish-led autonomy plans for northern Syria.

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Having nuclear weapons 'matter of life and death' for North Korea: agency

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pyongyang does not plan to hold any talks with Washington about its nuclear program, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday, declaring that possessing nuclear weapons was a matter of life and death for North Korea, the RIA news agency reported.

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Iran's Guards flex muscle in Middle East despite Trump warning

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A week after U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a blistering speech about Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful military and economic force in the Islamic Republic has shown it has no intention of curbing its activities in the Middle East.

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Britain's May wins Brexit reprieve, faces tough weeks ahead

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May won a modest reprieve in stalled Brexit talks on Friday, with European Union leaders signaling their readiness to move the negotiations forward in the coming months.

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Spain plans new elections in Catalonia to end independence bid: opposition

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government has secured opposition support for dissolving Catalonia's parliament and holding new elections there in January in its bid to defuse the regional government's push for independence.

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Having nuclear weapons 'matter of life and death' for North Korea: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pyongyang does not plan to hold any talks with Washington about its nuclear program, a senior North Korean diplomat said on Friday, saying that possessing nuclear weapons was a matter of life and death for North Korea, the RIA news agency reported.

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Trump pledges passage of tax cuts after Senate OKs budget

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signaled optimism for the passage of Republicans' sweeping tax cut plan, saying a key senator who rejected the party's budget blueprint a day earlier would back the proposed tax measure when it comes up for a vote.

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No trade talks but May wins gesture, warm words at EU summit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU leaders shunned Theresa May's summit plea to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal on Friday but sweetened the pill for the fragile British prime minister with warm words and a gesture toward future talks.

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BRIEF-General Electric Co results press release

Please click on the link below for General Electric Co's quarterly earnings press release: Source text:

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Fate of New Hampshire Indonesians goes before U.S. judge in Boston

BOSTON (Reuters) - The case of 47 Indonesian Christians, who fled violence in that country two decades ago and now live illegally in New Hampshire, heads to Boston federal court on Friday, where a judge will weigh whether she can intervene in an immigration matter.

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Spain plans to force Catalonia into January elections: opposition

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government has secured opposition support to dissolve Catalonia's parliament and hold new elections there in January in an effort to defuse the regional government's push for independence.

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Spanish government aims for January regional elections in Catalonia: PSOE

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government has agreed with the opposition Socialists (PSOE) to hold regional elections in January in Catalonia as part of the extraordinary package of measures to temporarily impose direct rule on the region, Socialist politician Carmen Calvo said in an interview on national television on Friday.

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Moscow seeks support for Russia-Chinese roadmap on North Korea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged world powers on Friday to get behind a joint Russian-Chinese roadmap for settling the crisis over North Korea's weapons program.

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Senate passes budget blueprint, key to Trump tax effort

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's drive to overhaul the U.S. tax code cleared a critical hurdle on Thursday when the Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

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Amid South Korea freeze, China says cultural exchanges take the temperature

BEIJING (Reuters) - Cultural exchanges between countries need to consider the "temperature" of popular opinion and how people feel about each other, a senior Chinese official said on Friday, amid a freeze in cultural ties with South Korea over an anti-missile system.

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Japan's Emperor Akihito likely to abdicate at end-March 2019: Asahi

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Emperor Akihito is likely to abdicate at the end of March 2019 and Crown Prince Naruhito is expected to ascend the throne in April, the first abdication by a Japanese monarch in nearly two centuries, the Asahi newspaper reported on Friday.

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Protesters to white nationalist speaker at University of Florida: 'Go home Nazis'

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Protesters shouted "Go home Nazis" as a white nationalist gave a speech on Thursday at the University of Florida, where hundreds of police set up barricades and separated supporters and demonstrators to guard against violence.

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North Korea warns threats a 'big miscalculation' in letter to Australia lawmakers

SYDNEY (Reuters) - North Korea has sent a letter to Australia's parliament, warning it is a nuclear power and will not be cowed by U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to destroy it, according to a copy of the letter published in an Australian newspaper on Friday.

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BRIEF-Twitter releases calendar of its safety work - blog

* Says updating approach to make Twitter a safer place‍​ - blog

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White nationalist heckled at University of Florida speech

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Protesters shouted "Go home Nazis" at a white nationalist at the University of Florida on Thursday, disrupting his speech at the campus that erected barricades and deployed hundreds of police officers to guard against violence.

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U.S. lawmakers want crackdown on Facebook, Twitter political ads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers, alarmed that foreign entities used the internet to influence last year's election, introduced legislation on Thursday to extend rules governing political advertising on television, print and radio to also cover social media like Facebook Inc .

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Facebook to launch news subscription feature, some big names opt out

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Thursday it has signed up 10 news publishers including the Washington Post and The Economist to take part in a trial that gives its mobile app users access to a limited number of articles a month and then the option to subscribe via the publishers' own websites.

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Putin dials up anti-U.S. rhetoric, keeps mum on re-election

SOCHI/MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin launched one of his most stinging critiques of U.S. foreign policy on Thursday, listing what he called some of the biggest betrayals in U.S.-Russia relations.

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Germany says worried about new generation of Islamic State recruits

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's domestic intelligence agency said on Thursday that minors returning from war zones in Syria and Iraq could grow into a new generation of recruits in Germany for the Islamic State group.

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Brazil court orders release of former Olympic committee chief

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Brazilian court ordered the release from jail of former head of the national Olympics committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman on Thursday, according to the court's press office.

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U.S. lawmakers want regulation of Facebook, Twitter political ads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers, alarmed over hackers' use of the internet to influence last year's election, introduced legislation on Thursday to extend the rules that apply to political advertising on television and radio to social media like Facebook Inc .

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Exclusive: New data shows race disparities in Canada's bail system

TORONTO (Reuters) - Black people in Canada’s most populous province spent longer behind bars awaiting trial than white people charged with many of the same categories of crimes in each of the past five years, according to data obtained by Reuters.

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Protesters denounce white nationalist's speech at Florida university

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Several hundred protesters marched at the University of Florida on Thursday to denounce a speech by a white nationalist, saying his white supremacy message had no place on the campus that was filled with police and barricades to guard against unrest.

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Leaders of Venezuela's bruised opposition to travel abroad to denounce 'voting fraud'

CARACAS (Reuters) - Key members of Venezuela's opposition, divided and dispirited after losing gubernatorial elections over the weekend, will travel abroad to denounce what it says is a "fraudulent" voting system under leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

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Maltese journalist probably killed by remotely detonated bomb, government says

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Police believe a bomb that killed a prominent journalist in Malta was attached beneath her car and triggered remotely, a government spokeswoman said on Thursday, giving the first details of the investigation.

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Facebook, Twitter lawyers to testify in Congress on Russia meddling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc will send their general counsels to testify on Nov. 1 before two Congressional panels investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the companies said on Thursday.

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Spain to suspend Catalonia's autonomy in response to independence threat

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain's central government said on Thursday it would suspend Catalonia's autonomy and impose direct rule after the region's leader threatened to go ahead with a formal declaration of independence if Madrid refused to hold talks.

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Maltese journalist probably killed by remotely detonated bomb: government

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Police believe a bomb that killed a prominent journalist in Malta was attached beneath her car and triggered remotely, a government spokeswoman said on Thursday, giving first details of the investigation.

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UPDATE 1-Facebook, Twitter lawyers to testify in Congress on Russia meddling

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc will send their general counsels to testify on Nov. 1 before two Congressional panels investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the companies said on Thursday.

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Florida college braces for protests over white nationalist's speech

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Hundreds of police officers wearing bulletproof vests were deployed at the University of Florida on Thursday to guard against unrest over a speech by a white nationalist that was expected to draw thousands in protest.

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CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Trump 'committed' to U.S. renewable fuels -Iowa governor

WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump sought to ease concerns on Wednesday that his administration would make major alterations to biofuels policy, telling Iowa's governor he was committed to a decade-old biofuels program even as a top official considers changing it.

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With tears and song, China welcomes Xi as great, wise leader

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese officials on Thursday heaped praise on President Xi Jinping's political ideology, unveiled a day earlier at a key Communist Party Congress, a sign that it could be enshrined in the party's constitution and further cement his power.

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In glyphosate review, WHO cancer agency edited out 'non-carcinogenic' findings

LONDON (Reuters) - The World Health Organization's cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.

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Facebook general counsel to testify before Congress on Nov. 1

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's general counsel will testify on Nov. 1 before a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the company said on Thursday.

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Facebook general counsel to testify before Congress Nov. 1

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's general counsel will testify on Nov. 1 before a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the company said on Thursday.

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Pakistani anti-corruption court indicts ousted PM Sharif

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Thursday indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter over allegations linked to ownership of London properties, opening a trial that could see the former leader jailed.

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Spain to suspend Catalonia's autonomy as it threatens with formal independence

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's central government said on Thursday it would suspend Catalonia's autonomy and impose direct rule after the region's leader threatened to go ahead with a formal declaration of independence if Madrid refused to hold talks.

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Florida police brace for protests with speech by white nationalist

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Hundreds of police will be deployed at the University of Florida on Thursday as thousands are poised to protest a speech by an avowed white nationalist, an event that prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency in preparation for possible violence.

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Iran's Guards say missile program will accelerate despite pressure

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said on Thursday its ballistic missile program would accelerate despite U.S. and European Union pressure to suspend it, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

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Iran's Guards say missile programme will accelerate despite pressure

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said on Thursday its ballistic missile programme would accelerate despite U.S. and European Union pressure to suspend it, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

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Spain threatens Catalonia with direct rule from Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's central government threatened on Thursday to suspend Catalonia's autonomy after the region's leader said it could go ahead with a formal declaration of independence if Madrid continued its "repression".

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South Africa remains committed to shale gas exploration, says minister

CAPE TOWN, Oct 19 (Reuters) - South Africa remains committed to shale gas exploration and was studying a court order revoking fracking regulations as it pushes to award the first exploration licenses by 2019, the mineral resources minister said on Thursday.

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Ardern to be next NZ 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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Iran's Guards say missile program will accelerate despite pressure: agency

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday that the country's ballistic missile program would accelerate despite pressure from the United States and European Union to suspend it, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

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Pakistani anti-corruption court indicts ousted PM Sharif and daughter

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Thursday indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter over allegations linked to ownership of London properties, pressing charges over accusations that could see the former leader jailed.

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Spain to trigger suspension of Catalan autonomy on Saturday

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's government will trigger on Saturday the Article 155 of the constitution, which allows to suspend Catalonia's political autonomy, the Prime Minister's Office said on Thursday.

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Taliban kill at least 43 Afghan troops as they storm base: officials

KABUL (Reuters) - The Afghan Taliban stormed a military base in the south of the country killing at least 43 troops on Thursday, the Defence Ministry said, with the militants putting the toll at at least 60.

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New Zealand Labour to form next government with support of small nationalist party

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Labour leader Jacinda Ardern will form the country's next government after gaining the support of a small nationalist party holding the balance of power following an inconclusive Sept. 23 election.

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'Nowhere to hide': North Korean missiles spur anxiety in Japan fishing town

ERIMO, Japan (Reuters) - Ever since North Korea lobbed two missiles far above this windswept fishing town on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, seaweed farmer Mitsuyo Kawamura says she's been on edge.

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China economy shows solid momentum as party meets, but property curbs bite

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economic growth looked set to accelerate for the first time in seven years this year, after hardly skipping a beat in the third quarter, but efforts to cut risks in property and debt are beginning to weigh on parts of the world's second-largest economy.

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China's third-quarter economic growth slows as expected, property measures bite

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economic growth slowed slightly in the third quarter, as expected, as the government's efforts to rein in property market and debt risks tempered activity in the world's second-largest economy.

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China suggests Xi's political ideology to be elevated in party constitution

BEIJING (Reuters) - Top Chinese officials have praised President Xi Jinping's political ideology unveiled at a key Communist Party Congress, an indication that he could cement his power with his new slogan being incorporated into the party's constitution.

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China third-quarter GDP growth slows as expected, property measures bite

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economic growth slowed slightly as expected in the third quarter as the government's efforts to rein in the property market and debt risks tempered activity in the world's second-largest economy.

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Special Report: Backroom battle imperils $230 million cryptocurrency venture

ZUG, Switzerland/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Just three months ago, a tech project called Tezos raised $232 million online in a wildly successful "initial coin offering," in which new digital currency is parcelled out to buyers. At the time, it was the most money ever raised from the public in the white-hot cryptocurrency sector.

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White House seeks to explain unreleased Niger statement

It's not clear why it took President Donald Trump 12 days to publicly comment on the deaths of US troops killed in an ambush in Niger, but it wasn't for lack of effort from some White House officials.

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Peru releases artificially hatched baby turtles into wild

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru released more than 5,000 baby turtles into an Amazonian nature reserve this week, part of a group of 700,000 being hatched artificially in 2017 to keep their eggs from being depleted by excessive hunting in the wild, a park official said on Wednesday.

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Exclusive: White House to nominate Simons, Phillips, Chopra to FTC - White House official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House will nominate Joseph Simons, Noah Phillips and Rohit Chopra to the Federal Trade Commission, a White House official said on Wednesday.

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Spain-Catalonia standoff set to intensify as leaders take hard lines

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's political showdown with Catalonia is set to reach a new level on Thursday when political leaders in Madrid and Barcelona are expected to make good on pledges made to their supporters to stick to their tough positions over the region's future.

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Trump 'committed' to U.S. renewable fuels: Iowa governor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said U.S. President Donald Trump had told her he was committed to biofuels, at a time when the administration is eyeing changes to the quantities it demands suppliers use.

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Syrian militant group releases video of leader apparently uninjured

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Two weeks after Russia said it had critically injured the leader of the Tahrir al-Sham militant group in Syria, an undated video was published on Wednesday, purporting to show its leader Abu Mohamad al-Golani, apparently in good health.

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On Iran, U.S. asks U.N. Security Council: 'Where's the outrage?'

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States accused Iran on Wednesday of violating several United Nations Security Council resolutions, saying it would no longer "turn a blind eye" and asking the 15-member council of Tehran's behavior: "where's the outrage?"

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Three dead in shooting at Maryland workplace: sheriff

(Reuters) - Three people were killed and two wounded on Wednesday in a shooting at an Edgewood, Maryland, stone countertop company, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.

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U.S., Russia set for likely U.N. row over Syria toxic gas inquiry

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday it would push the United Nations Security Council to renew within days an international inquiry into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, setting the stage for a likely showdown with Russia.

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Four Britons kidnapped in Nigeria's Delta state -police

ABUJA (Reuters) - Four Britons have been kidnapped in Nigeria's southern Delta state, a police official said on Wednesday.

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Billionaire Branson targeted in $5 million scam 'straight out of le Carre'

LONDON (Reuters) - Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin group, has revealed he was targeted by a fraudster posing as Britain's defense minister who tried to get him to contribute $5 million to a supposed secret ransom payment.

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Khamenei says Iran will 'shred' nuclear deal if U.S. quits it

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would stick to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as long as the other signatories respected it, but would "shred it" if the United States pulled out, state TV reported.

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Turkey says will not submit to 'impositions' from United States in visa crisis

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will not submit to "impositions" from the United States over an on-going visa crisis and will reject any conditions it cannot meet, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

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Khamenei says Iran will shred multinational nuclear deal if U.S. tears it: TV

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Iran would not walk out of a multinational nuclear deal and welcomed backing given by its European signatories.

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U.S. wants evidence over detained staff to end Turkey visa dispute

ANKARA (Reuters) - A U.S. delegation has asked Turkey for information and evidence regarding consular staff whose detention has led to a diplomatic rift and suspension of visa services, private HaberTurk television channel reported on Wednesday.

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Seoul considers unilateral sanctions against North Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea is considering levying its own sanctions on North Korea as the isolated state ramps up tension with its missile and nuclear provocations, the South's vice foreign minister said on Wednesday, but no decision had been made yet.

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Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rams police truck, kills seven

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car into a police truck in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, police said.

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Smugglers offer new routes to Europe for jobless Tunisians

OFF THE TUNISIAN COAST (Reuters) - Tunisian smugglers are offering migrants seeking a fresh start in Europe a new route from Africa to Italy.

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China's Xi lays out vision for 'new era' led by 'still stronger' Communist Party

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping opened a critical Communist Party Congress on Wednesday with a pledge to build a "modern socialist country" for a "new era" that will be proudly Chinese, steadfastly ruled by the party but open to the world.

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Defeat of Islamic State in Raqqa may herald wider struggle for U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The defeat of Islamic State in its de facto capital Raqqa may only be the start of a wider struggle by the United States to contain any insurgency launched by the militant group and to stabilize the region, as Washington grapples with defining a comprehensive strategy in Syria.

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Pakistan blast kills at least six in southwestern city

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - An explosion ripped through a police truck on Wednesday to kill at least six people in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta, police said.

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China's Xi pledges to build 'modern socialist country'

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping opened a critical Communist Party Congress on Wednesday with a pledge to build a "modern socialist country" that will never copy the political systems of others and will remain open to the world.

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Hillary Clinton says U.S. threats of war with North Korea 'dangerous, short-sighted'

SEOUL (Reuters) - Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.

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China's Xi says anti-graft campaign has 'overwhelming momentum'

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's campaign against corruption has achieved overwhelming momentum, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, in a speech at the start of a Communist Party Congress.

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China's Xi to open Communist Party congress, likely signaling plans for next five years

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday opens a critical Communist Party congress expected to cement his authority with a closely watched address signaling how he intends to put that power to use during a second five-year term.

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Las Vegas gunman's estate could offer rare redress for victims

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Victims of mass shootings in the United States often win little or no damages from perpetrators but the Las Vegas massacre may be different because the shooter is thought to have been a wealthy man, lawyers said.

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US investigators believe a company financed by Putin's 'chef' financed a group that spread fake news last year

Yevgeny Prigozhin is a Russian oligarch dubbed "chef" to President Vladimir Putin by the Russian press. In 2002, he served caviar and truffles to President George W. Bush during a summit in St. Petersburg. Before that, he renovated a boat that became the city's most exclusive restaurant.

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Venezuela's Maduro defends disputed vote, opposition divided

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro defended Venezuela's "secure" election system on Tuesday as opponents struggled to present a united front over allegations of fraud in a nationwide vote surprisingly won by the ruling socialists.

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Head of Facebook's secretive hardware unit to step down

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook Inc's secretive hardware unit, will step down early next year, she said on Tuesday.

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BRIEF-Head of Facebook's secretive hardware lab Regina Dugan says she is leaving Facebook "to focus on building and leading a new endeavor" - Facebook post

* Head of Facebook's secretive hardware lab Regina Dugan says she is leaving Facebook "to focus on building and leading a new endeavor" - Facebook post Source text: http://bit.ly/2ihLWow Further company coverage:

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U.S. indicts major Chinese traffickers for selling fentanyl online

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted two major Chinese drug traffickers on charges of making illegal versions of fentanyl and selling the highly addictive drug to Americans over the internet and through international mail.

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After victory in Raqqa over IS, Kurds face tricky peace

RAQQA, Syria/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Kurdish groups who led the fight against Islamic State in its former capital Raqqa must navigate a complex peace to avoid ethnic tension with the city's Arab majority and to secure critical U.S. aid.

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Catalonia refuses to renounce independence, anti-government protests form

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia refused on Tuesday to bow to the Spanish government's demand that it renounce a symbolic declaration of independence, setting it on a political collision course with Madrid later this week.

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Special Report: They fled danger for a high-stakes bet on U.S. immigration courts

OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - The two Honduran women told nearly identical stories to the immigration courts: Fear for their lives and for the lives of their children drove them to seek asylum in the United States.

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Kurds abandon territory in the face of Iraq government advance

BAGHDAD/KIRKUK (Reuters) - The Baghdad government recaptured territory across the breadth of northern Iraq from Kurds on Tuesday, making startingly rapid gains in a sudden campaign that has shifted the balance of power in the country almost overnight.

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Russian opposition leader's fraud conviction arbitrary, Europe's top rights court says

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Europe's top human rights court ruled on Tuesday that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's conviction for fraud in 2014 had been "arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable" and ordered Russia to pay him compensation.

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Suspected U.S. drone strikes kill 31 on Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier

PARACHINAR/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Two suspected U.S. drone strikes on Tuesday killed 11 people on the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border, following a strike a day earlier that killed 20, government and militant sources said.

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Madrid, Catalonia clash over jailed pro-independence leaders as protests called

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Authorities in Madrid and Barcelona locked horns over whether two jailed Catalan pro-independence leaders were political prisoners, as their detention looked set to reignite secessionist protests.

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China's Xi set to codify legal clout, anti-graft campaign at congress

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Communist Party once shunned the rule of law, preferring to rely on what Chairman Mao Zedong called "rule of man" – essentially using the authority of party leaders to govern.

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Iraqi forces seize more territory in advance against Kurds

BAGHDAD/KIRKUK (Reuters) - The Baghdad government recaptured territory across the breadth of northern Iraq from Kurds on Tuesday, widening a sudden and dramatic campaign that has shifted the balance of power in the country almost overnight.

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J&J reports 11.9 percent fall in quarterly profit

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson , which completed its $30 billion acquisition of Swiss biotech Actelion in June, reported a 11.9 percent fall in quarterly profit as costs rose.

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Suspected U.S. drone strikes kill 26 on Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier

PARACHINAR/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A second suspected U.S. drone strike on Tuesday killed six people on the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border, after a strike a day earlier that killed 20, government and militant sources said.

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Maltese journalist's son says she was murdered for exposing corruption

VALLETTA (Reuters) - The son of Malta's best-known investigative journalist said on Tuesday his mother was killed by a car bomb because of her work exposing political corruption.

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Islamic State cleared from Syria's Raqqa: monitoring group

RAQQA, Syria (Reuters) - U.S.-backed militias have completely taken Syria's Raqqa from Islamic State, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

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UK hate crimes surge on Brexit and militant attacks

LONDON (Reuters) - Hate crimes in Britain surged by the highest amount on record last year, official figures showed on Tuesday, with the vote to leave the European Union a significant factor.

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California wildfire evacuees allowed home as crews search for bodies

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - More evacuees were expected to return home on Tuesday in Northern California where the state's deadliest wildfires have killed at least 41 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

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Islamic State in Raqqa mounts last stand around city stadium

RAQQA, Syria (Reuters) - U.S.-backed militias said on Tuesday they are battling Islamic State around Raqqa stadium, the jihadists' last foothold in their former Syrian capital, after seizing a nearby hospital.

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Philippine president declares Marawi liberated as battle goes on

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the southern city of Marawi liberated from pro-Islamic State militants on Tuesday, although a military spokesman said 20-30 rebels were still fighting it out and were holding about 20 hostages.

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U.S.-backed militias say they take major Raqqa position from ISIS

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has taken the National Hospital in Raqqa, one of Islamic State's last remaining bastions in its former Syrian capital, a militia spokesman said on Tuesday.

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Philippine president declares Marawi City liberated from militants

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared Marawi City liberated from pro-Islamic State militants who have held the heart of the city for 148 days, media and a government minister said.

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U.S. official says not ruling out eventual direct talks with North Korea

TOKYO/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said on Tuesday, hours after Pyongyang warned nuclear war might break out at any moment.

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A divided Iraq tests U.S. influence as fight against Islamic State wanes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - After years of focusing divided Iraq on a shared fight against the Islamic State group, the United States is now straining to leverage its limited influence to avoid a full-blown conflict between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces it has armed and trained.

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U.S. renews call for Cambodia to release opposition leader from prison

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The United States renewed a call for Cambodia's government to release the country's main opposition leader Kem Sokha from prison, after parliament voted to change election laws that would re-distribute his party's seats if it was dissolved.

cnn.com

FBI releases early draft of Comey's statement on Clinton

The FBI posted a document Monday that suggests former FBI Director James Comey began drafting what became his infamous July 2016 statement about Hillary Clinton's private server months ahead of time, releasing a heavily redacted copy of the exchange.

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Facebook buys teen app tbh

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc has acquired tbh, an app popular among teens, as the world's largest social network looks to attract more users.

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Venezuela vote dispute increases threat of new foreign sanctions

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition cried foul on Monday over the ruling socialists' surprise win in gubernatorial elections, raising the prospect of more foreign sanctions against the country as France and the United States both criticized the vote.

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U.S. police deaths on duty spiked in 2016: FBI

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday.

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Dispute over Venezuela vote could spark more unrest, sanctions

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition refused on Monday to recognize a surprise win for the ruling socialists in weekend gubernatorial elections, raising the prospect of new protests and foreign sanctions against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

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North Korea warns states: Don't join any U.S. action and you're safe

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea warned countries at the United Nations on Monday in a statement: don't join the United States in military action against the Asian state and you will be safe from retaliation.

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Nordstrom family suspends attempt to take U.S. retailer private

(Reuters) - Nordstrom Inc said on Monday that a founding family group had suspended attempts to take the U.S. department store operator private because of difficulties in arranging debt financing for its bid ahead of the key holiday shopping season.

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Iraqi forces seize oil city Kirkuk from Kurds in bold advance

BAGHDAD/KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces captured the major Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk on Monday, responding to a Kurdish referendum on independence with a bold lightning strike that transforms the balance of power in the country.

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U.S. Army Sergeant Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion, endangering troops

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to deserting his duties in Afghanistan in June 2009 and endangering the lives of fellow troops, a step toward resolving the politically charged case that could send him to prison for life.

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BRIEF-Adobe releases security update for Flash player to address vulnerability

* Adobe says released security update for adobe flash player for windows, macintosh, linux, chrome os to address a critical type confusion vulnerability Source text: (https://adobe.ly/2hJDgTT) Further company coverage:

cnn.com

China ambassador: How our 'opening up' is helping world economy

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U.S. Army Sergeant Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, accused of endangering fellow soldiers who searched for him after he walked off his combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, pleaded guilty on Monday to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

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Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk from Kurds in bold advance

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces captured the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk on Monday, responding to a Kurdish vote on independence with a bold lightning strike that transforms the balance of power in the country.

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Weinstein Co enters talks over potential sale

(Reuters) - The Weinstein Company has entered talks for a sale of the bulk of its assets with private equity firm Colony Capital, the two companies said in a statement on Monday. http://reut.rs/2ykT2if

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Iraq launches advance on Kurdish territory, seizes Kirkuk outskirts

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's central government forces launched an advance early on Monday into territory held by Kurds, seizing a swathe of countryside surrounding the oil city of Kirkuk in a bold military response to a Kurdish vote last month on independence.

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Venezuela vote dispute risks rekindling unrest, new sanctions

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition refused on Monday to recognize a surprise win for the ruling socialists in weekend regional elections, potentially rekindling protests and fresh foreign sanctions on the oil-rich country's moribund economy.

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EU defends Iran deal despite Trump, appeals to U.S. Congress

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union on Monday reaffirmed its support for a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers despite sharp criticism of the accord by President Donald Trump, and it urged U.S. lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

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Iraq forces seize Kirkuk outskirts in advance on Kurdish-held territory

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's central government forces launched an advance early on Monday into territory held by Kurds, seizing a swathe of countryside surrounding the oil city of Kirkuk in bold military response to a Kurdish vote last month on independence.

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Austria's conservative shift opens path to power for far right

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's shift to the right in a parliamentary election has paved the way for young conservative star Sebastian Kurz to become the country's next leader and opened a path for the resurgent far right to return to power.

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Madrid moves towards direct rule over Catalonia

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalan authorities must drop a bid for independence by Thursday, the Spanish government said, moving closer to imposing direct rule over the region after its leader missed an initial deadline to back down.

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EU vows to save Iran deal, fears for North Korea mediation

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union vowed on Monday to defend a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and urged U.S. lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions after President Donald Trump chose not to certify Tehran's compliance with the accord.

Car Services and Livery Cabs nytimes.com

Going Places: Is Uber Helping or Hurting Mass Transit?

Ride-hailing services have changed how people get around, and there is some evidence they are making traffic problems worse.

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Jockeying for cash: North Korea allows racetrack gambling as sanctions bite

SEOUL (Reuters) - Punters in North Korea who once risked three years hard labor for gambling are now able to bet on local horse races as the isolated country scrambles to unearth new sources of hard currency amid intensifying international sanctions.

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Madrid moves towards direct rule over Catalonia as deadline passes

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain's government set the clock ticking on Monday on imposing direct rule over Catalonia, after the region's leader missed a deadline to clarify whether he had declared independence.

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Austrian vote gives mandate to far right to enter coalition talks

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrians shifted to the right in Sunday's parliamentary elections, giving the far-right Freedom Party a mandate to enter coalition talks with young conservative victor Sebastian Kurz, who fell short of a parliamentary majority.

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EU foreign policy chief expects strong EU backing for Iran deal

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday she expected strong backing from EU foreign ministers for the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that the U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized.

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Death toll from Somalia bomb attacks tops 300

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - More than 300 people died after twin bomb explosions in Mogadishu, an official said on Monday, as locals packed hospitals in search of friends and relatives caught up in Somalia's deadliest attack in a decade.

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Iraq says captures positions south of Kirkuk including airbase

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces captured several positions south of Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters on Monday in their bid to regain control of the oil-rich city, which is part of a region that declared itself independent at a referendum last month.

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Catalan leader fails to spell out independence stance, calls for talks

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed to clarify on Monday whether he had declared Catalonia's independence from Spain last week, paving the way for the central government to take control of the region and rule it directly.

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Death toll in Somalia bombing jumps to 263: medical workers

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - At least 263 people were killed by twin bomb explosions in the heart of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, doctors said on Monday, confirming the deadliest attacks since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007.

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Venezuela vote dispute risks rekindling unrest, sanctions

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition refused on Monday to recognize a surprise win for the ruling socialists in a weekend regional election, potentially rekindling protests and fresh foreign sanctions on the oil-rich country's moribund economy.

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Thousands of new Rohingya refugees flee violence, hunger in Myanmar to Bangladesh

COX'S BAZAR (Reuters) - Hungry, destitute and scared, thousands of new Rohingya refugees crossed the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar early on Monday, Reuters witnesses said, fleeing attacks by Buddhist mobs and hunger that the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing.

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Venezuela socialists win regional vote, opposition sees fraud

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro's government won a majority of governorships in Sunday's regional election, according to official results, drawing fraud suspicions from the opposition whom polls had shown was poised for a big win.

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Venezuela socialists win most governorships in vote: electoral body

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's electoral body said the leftist government of Nicolas Maduro took a majority of governorships in Sunday's regional election, sparking accusations of fraud from the opposition.

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Iraq says vast areas taken from Kurds in Kirkuk, Kurds deny gains

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi government forces took control of "vast areas" in the region of Kirkuk, including oilfields west of the city, in the early hours of Monday, Iraqi state TV said, but the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) disputed the assertions.

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Venezuela opposition sees 'gigantic victory' in state vote

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leaders on Sunday hailed a "gigantic victory" in gubernatorial elections against President Nicolas Maduro's government after failing to dislodge him in protests earlier this year.

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China's precedent-breaking Xi Jinping gets set to bolster his power

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to amass even greater power at a Communist Party Congress this week, promoting close allies, having his guiding thought enshrined in the party constitution and possibly assuming a title to put him on par with Mao Zedong.

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Venezuela opposition seeks election victory over Maduro

CARACAS/PUERTO ORDAZ (Venezuela) (Reuters) - Venezuela's political crisis shifted from barricades to ballots on Sunday with nationwide gubernatorial elections likely to hand the demoralized opposition a major victory against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

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Downcast Venezuela opposition seeks blow to Maduro via ballot box

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's political crisis shifted from barricades to ballots on Sunday with gubernatorial elections that could hand the demoralized opposition a major victory against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

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Germany's Merkel suffers state vote setback as coalition talks loom

BERLIN/HANOVER (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) defeated Angela Merkel's conservatives in a vote in the northern state of Lower Saxony on Sunday, a setback for the chancellor as she prepares for tricky coalition talks at the national level this week.

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Death toll from blasts in Somalia's capital Mogadishu tops 200

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - More than 200 people were killed by twin bomb blasts that struck busy junctions in the heart of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, officials said on Sunday, marking the deadliest attacks since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007.

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Time running out for NAFTA talks, set to be extended: sources

ARLINGTON, Va. (Reuters) - Negotiators at talks to modernize NAFTA are running out of time and look set to extend the remaining rounds in a bid to meet an end-year deadline as tensions rise, three sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

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Trump hostility set to deepen Iran power struggles

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iranians quickly closed ranks against a hawkish new U.S. approach to Tehran, but Iran's powerful hardliners are set to exploit the latest dispute with Washington to weaken domestic rivals who are open to the West, analysts and insiders say.

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Death toll from Somalia bombings rises to more than 200

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - More than 200 people were killed in near simultaneous bombings in the Somali capital and more than 250 people were injured, officials said on Sunday, marking the most deadly such attack by Somalia's al Shabaab insurgency.

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Merkel in state vote setback as national coalition talks loom

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) defeated Angela Merkel's conservatives in a vote in the northern state of Lower Saxony on Sunday in a setback to the chancellor as she prepares for tricky three-way coalition talks at the national level this week.

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Kurds block Iraqi forces' access to Kirkuk's oil fields, airbase

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Kurdish Peshmerga fighters rejected a warning from an Iraqi paramilitary force to withdraw from a strategic junction south of Kirkuk, which controls the access to some of the region's main oilfields, a Kurdish security official said on Sunday.

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Hillary Clinton warns Britain on potential trade deal with Trump

LONDON (Reuters) - Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton cautioned Britain on Sunday over its push to secure a trade deal with U.S. President Donald Trump after it leaves the European Union.

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Final assault starts on Syria's Raqqa as some Islamic State fighters quit

AIN ISSA, Syria (Reuters) - U.S.-backed militias said they had launched their final assault on Syria's Raqqa on Sunday after a convoy of Islamic State fighters left the city, leaving only a hardcore of jihadists to mount a last stand.

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Britain, Germany committed to Iran nuclear deal: May's office

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and Germany agreed on Sunday they remained committed to the nuclear deal with Iran after a U.S. decision to decertify the agreement, a spokeswoman said after a call between Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Death toll from blasts in Somalia's capital Mogadishu rises to 85

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The death toll from twin bomb blasts that struck busy junctions in the heart of Somalia's capital Mogadishu has jumped to 85, making it one of the deadliest attacks since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007.

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North Korea not ready to hold talks with South Korea in Russia: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Politicians from North and South Korea will not hold direct talks in Russia on Monday about Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program despite attending the same event, Russian news agencies said on Sunday.

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Afghan Taliban deny former hostage's claims of murder, rape

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Taliban spokesman denied on Sunday accusations by a Canadian man that one of his children had been murdered and his wife raped while they were being held captive by militants who kidnapped them in Afghanistan in 2012.

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Death toll from bomb attacks in Somalia's capital rises to 85

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The death toll from two bomb attacks that tore through busy junctions in the heart of Somalia's capital Mogadishu has risen to 85, making it one of the deadliest attacks in the country since Islamist militants launched an insurgency in 2007.

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China steps up war on poverty, though some still left behind

BEIJING (Reuters) - Wang Qin, 59, collects scrap at a demolished residential district on the outskirts of Beijing, working 15 hours a day and struggling on her own to pay for her granddaughter's education.

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Downcast Venezuela opposition seeks blow to Maduro through ballot box

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's political crisis shifts from barricades to the ballot box on Sunday with gubernatorial elections that could hand the demoralized opposition a major victory against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

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Europe's migration crisis casts shadow over Austrian election

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election that could see 31-year-old conservative Sebastian Kurz become chancellor on a pledge to take a hard line on refugees and prevent a repeat of Europe's migration crisis.

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Grim reality of NAFTA talks sets in after tough U.S. demands

ARLINGTON, Va. (Reuters) - Negotiators from Canada and Mexico grappled with U.S. demands to drastically alter the North American Free Trade Agreement on Saturday, as talks over renewal of the pact vilified by President Donald Trump ran through a fourth straight day.

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California fires kill at least 38 as winds fuel 'unwieldy beast'

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Thousands more Californians evacuated their homes on Saturday as fierce wildfires spread due to constantly shifting winds, and officials expected the official death toll of 38 to rise with hundreds of people still missing.

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Harvey Weinstein expelled from Academy of Motion Pictures

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled producer Harvey Weinstein on Saturday, after allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women over the past three decades.

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U.S.-backed SDF to let Syrian Islamic State fighters leave Raqqa

AIN ISSA, Syria/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian Islamic State fighters are set to abandon Raqqa in a withdrawal agreed with U.S.-backed Syrian militias that have them surrounded, a militia spokesman said on Saturday, as the jihadists' defeat in their former Syrian capital edged closer.

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ECB still believes in eventual inflation, wage rise: Draghi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wages and inflation in the 19-country euro zone will eventually rise but more slowly than earlier thought, requiring continued patience from policymakers, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Saturday.

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Euro zone wages will take time to rise: Draghi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wages in the 19-country euro zone are rising slower than the European Central Bank hoped and will likely take more time to respond to improved growth, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Saturday.

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Danger of war, Germany warns after Trump's move on Iran nuclear deal

BERLIN (Reuters) - If the United States terminates the Iran nuclear deal or reimposes sanctions on Tehran it could result in Iran developing nuclear weapons and raise the danger of war close to Europe, Germany's foreign minister said on Saturday.

Blacks nytimes.com

Black Lawmakers Hold a Particular Grievance With Facebook: Racial Exploitation

Sheryl Sandberg’s meeting on Thursday with the Congressional Black Caucus afforded lawmakers a chance to vent over Russia’s exploitation of racial division.

Philanthropy nytimes.com

The Neediest Cases Fund: Tradition of Helping Neediest Cases Inspires Readers to Give Back

Donors to the fund, now in its 106th year, have followed in the footsteps of loved ones and mentors, and have also been motivated to contribute by stories they connected with.

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German minister upsets fellow conservatives over Muslim holidays

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has upset fellow members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc by proposing that Germany introduce Muslim public holidays.

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Spain to take control of Catalonia if gets ambiguous reply on independence

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government will take control of Catalonia if regional leader Carles Puigdemont replies ambiguously to Madrid's question about whether he has declared independence from Spain, the interior minister said on Saturday.

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French army charter plane crashes in Ivory Coast, four Moldovans killed

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Four Moldovan citizens were killed and two others were injured when a cargo plane chartered by the French military crashed into the sea near the airport in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, on Saturday, Ivorian and French officials said.