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South Africa ANC vote too close to call, markets on edge

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ANC began counting ballots on Monday to determine who will lead the party which has ruled since the end of apartheid but is tarnished by scandals and allegations of corruption.

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Kremlin says U.S. tip-off about planned attack 'saved many lives'

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that a U.S. tip-off about a planned attack in St Petersburg had helped save many lives and that Russia and the United States should try to cooperate in the same way in future.

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Lighter winds next week may help battle against California wildfire

(Reuters) - Lighter winds expected in California early next week should help firefighters in their battle against one of the largest and most destructive wildfires in the state's history, the National Weather Service has said.

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China defends trade with U.S. as Trump set to brand it a competitor

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry on Monday defended trade with the United States as a win-win scenario ahead of a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump laying out a new national security strategy that makes clear that China is a competitor.

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India's muted response to Trump's Jerusalem move stokes Arab unease

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A dozen Arab ambassadors have asked India to clarify its position on the U.S recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, diplomatic sources said, after New Delhi's muted response suggested a shift in support for the Palestinian cause.

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Myanmar government says case against Reuters journalists can proceed

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's civilian President Htin Kyaw, a close ally of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has authorized the police to proceed with a case against two detained Reuters reporters accused of violating the country's colonial-era Official Secrets Act, a senior government spokesman said.

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Power restored to Atlanta airport after daylong outage paralyzes travel

(Reuters) - One of the heaviest travel weeks of the year began with the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights on Sunday at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, where a power outage that lasted nearly 11 hours left passengers stranded in darkened terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

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Power restored to Atlanta airport after outage led to partial shutdown

(Reuters) - One of the heaviest travel weeks of the year began with the cancellation of hundreds of flights on Sunday at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, where a power outage left passengers stranded in darkened terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

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Toronto homicide police take lead in probe of billionaires' deaths

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian homicide detectives have taken the lead in investigating the mysterious deaths of pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey Sherman, after the couple were found dead in their Toronto mansion on Friday, police said on Sunday.

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Power outage leads to partial shutdown of Atlanta airport

(Reuters) - Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday as a power outage left passengers at the world's busiest airport stranded in darkened terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

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U.N.'s Zeid toughens warning of 'genocide' in Myanmar

GENEVA (Reuters) - The top U.N. human rights official has said he would not be surprised if a court one day ruled that acts of genocide had been committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, according to a television interview to be shown on Monday.

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Atlanta's Hartsfield airport hobbled by power outage

(Reuters) - Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday as a power outage left passengers at the world's busiest airport stranded in darkened terminals or in aircraft idling on tarmacs.

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M&T Bank's CEO Robert Wilmers dies: bank

NEW YORK (Reuters) - M&T Bank's chairman and chief executive officer, Robert Wilmers, died on Saturday night at home after nearly 35 years leading the Buffalo, New York-based company, the bank said on Sunday.

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U.S. helped thwart major attack in St. Petersburg: U.S., Russia say

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States provided intelligence to Russia that helped thwart a potentially deadly bomb attack in St. Petersburg, U.S. and Russian officials said on Sunday, in a rare public show of cooperation despite deep strains between the two countries.

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Flights delayed at Atlanta airport after power outage

(Reuters) - Flights were delayed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday after a partial power outage, officials said, leaving passengers at the world's busiest airport stranded in dim terminals.

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Female British embassy worker found strangled near Beirut

BEIRUT/LONDON (Reuters) - A female British embassy worker has been found strangled near a highway outside Beirut, a Lebanese security source said on Sunday.

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U.N. to vote Monday on call for U.S. Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Monday on a draft resolution that would insist decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded, diplomats said on Sunday, after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel's capital.

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Explainer: Myanmar wields colonial-era law against Reuters journalists

(Reuters) - Myanmar has accused Reuters reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act, a little-used hangover from colonial rule. Sam Zarifi, secretary general of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), said the law can ensnare working journalists "at any time".

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Suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan's Quetta before Christmas, killing nine

QUETTA, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers stormed a packed Christian church in southwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least nine people and wounding up to 56, officials said, in the latest attack claimed by Islamic State in the country.

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Iran tells France's Macron not to 'blindly follow' Trump

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron over his tough stance toward Tehran and said Paris would soon lose its international credibility if it "blindly follows" U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Cuba’s Castro and Russian oil executive meet in Havana

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro and the head of Russian oil company Rosneft met in Havana on Saturday, the latest sign the two countries are readying a major energy agreement.

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Erdogan says Turkey aims to open embassy in East Jerusalem

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey intends to open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognize it as the capital of Palestine.

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Twin suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan's Quetta ahead of Christmas, killing eight

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers attacked a packed Catholic church in southwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least eight people and wounding up to 45 before one of them blew himself up and police killed the other, officials said.

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Gunmen kill five in attack on church in Pakistan's Quetta

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Two suicide attackers opened fire inside a church in southwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least five people and wounding up to 16 before being stopped by police guards, officials said.

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Palestinian billionaire Masri released by Saudis; says they 'gave him all respect'

AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al Masri, a Palestinian billionaire and Jordan's most influential businessman, was released after several days of detention in Saudi Arabia, who he said gave him "all respect".

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Palestinian billionaire Masri released by Saudis, to leave country soon, sources close to family say

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan's most influential businessman, the Palestinian billionaire Sabih al-Masri, returned to his home in Riydah after being detained by Saudi authorities and is expected to be allowed to leave the country soon, sources close to the family said on Sunday.

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Thousands flee as wildfire 'beast' grows to California's third-largest

VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - A raging California wildfire powered by fierce winds grew into the third-largest in state history on Saturday as forced evacuations turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and ash fell in some areas like heavy snow.

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Australia arrests man accused of trying to sell missile parts for North Korea

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian police said on Sunday they had arrested a man accused of working on the black market to sell missile components and coal on behalf of North Korea, the first charges ever brought in Australia over the sale of weapons of mass destruction.

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Hoping to extend maritime reach, China lavishes aid on Pakistan town

GWADAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - China is lavishing vast amounts of aid on a small Pakistani fishing town to win over locals and build a commercial deep-water port that the United States and India suspect may also one day serve the Chinese navy.

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U.N. council mulls call for U.S. Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would insist any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel's capital.

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Winds fuel California wildfire, state's third-largest on record

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state's third-largest on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly blaze since the beginning of the month.

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Zuma calls for party unity as ANC meets to elect new leader

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Jacob Zuma gave his last speech as African National Congress head on Saturday, as the only party in power since the end of apartheid prepared to pick its next leader, and likely future president, in a vote that was too close to call.

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Canadian police probe mysterious deaths of billionaire pharma couple

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman, founder of Apotex Inc, and his wife Honey, whose bodies were found in their Toronto mansion on Friday.

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Myanmar journalists' group to don black T-shirts over arrest of Reuters' reporters

YANGON (Reuters) - A group of Myanmar journalists said they would begin wearing black T-shirts on Saturday in protest at the detention of two Reuters reporters accused of violating the country's Official Secrets Act, as pressure builds on Myanmar to release the pair.

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Wounded North Korean defector transferred to South Korean military hospital

SEOUL (Reuters) - A North Korean soldier who suffered critical gunshot wounds during a defection dash across the border to South Korea has been transferred to a military hospital, a South Korean intelligence official said on Saturday.

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Venezuela talks to resume in January after government, opposition fail to reach deal

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government and opposition leaders will hold a new round of talks in January after failing on Friday to reach an agreement to ease a deep political and economic crisis in the troubled OPEC country.

Women and Girls nytimes.com

Global Health: Six Lessons in Helping African Women Avoid H.I.V.

Countering the bleak history of AIDS prevention in Africa, a nonprofit explains how it helped women hide H.I.V. prevention pills and deflect male anger.

Social Media nytimes.com

State of the Art: Facebook Conceded It Might Make You Feel Bad. Here’s How to Interpret That.

In a remarkable blog post, Facebook cited research showing that “passively consuming” social media made people feel worse. It also said it was trying to fix the problem.

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UPDATE 1-Turkish banker on trial denies helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions

NEW YORK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - An executive at Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank took the witness stand in a New York courtroom on Friday and denied charges that he participated in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions.

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UPDATE 1-Facebook defends itself against critics of social media

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Friday struck back against scientific researchers and tech industry insiders who have criticized the world's biggest social media network and its competitors for transforming how people behave and express emotion.

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Myanmar faces mounting calls for release of Reuters journalists

UNITED NATIONS/YANGON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that the United States was demanding "the immediate release" of two Reuters reporters arrested in Myanmar "or information as to the circumstances around their disappearance."

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Facebook defends itself against critics of social media

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Friday struck back against scientific researchers and tech industry insiders who have criticized the world's biggest social media network and its competitors for transforming how people behave and express emotion.

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Turkish banker on trial denies helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An executive at Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank took the witness stand in a New York courtroom on Friday and denied charges that he participated in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions.

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Tillerson urges long halt to North Korea weapons tests before any talks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday urged North Korea to carry out a "sustained cessation" of weapons testing to allow the two countries to hold talks about Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

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Fed's rosy economic scenario leaves inflation puzzle for Powell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As incoming Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell works through his holiday shopping list, he might consider the nearly 50 percent discount he could get buying Calvin Klein underwear online instead of at the local mall.

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Special Report: At a hotel near you - Cadavers in the banquet room

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida (Reuters) - LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida – Just outside the operating theater, the organizers of a medical conference wore Minnie Mouse ears.

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Republicans finish tax bill, will release details later in day

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican negotiators in the U.S. Congress put the finishing touches on a sweeping tax overhaul and will release the details later on Friday, including plans for an expanded child tax credit aimed at winning the support of two wavering senators.

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Big U.S. banks engage universities to fill unglamorous banking jobs

(Reuters) - Banks are grappling with how to recruit young people into businesses like trade finance and cash management, which are increasingly important drivers of revenue but perceived to be un-sexy compared with investment banking and trading.

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Israeli troops kill four Palestinians, wound 160 in protests over Jerusalem

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians and wounded 150 others with live fire on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital entered a second week.

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Israeli troops kill three Palestinians, wound scores in protests over Jerusalem

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead three Palestinians and wounded 150 others on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital entered a second week.

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Tillerson urges lull in North Korea 'threatening behavior' before any talks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday called for a "sustained cessation of North Korea's threatening behavior" before talks could occur between Washington and Pyongyang, but did not specify a length of time for a lull.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

With Concession to Rubio on Child Credit, G.O.P. Is Set to Release Compromise Tax Plan

Republican lawmakers have agreed to expand the child care tax credit so that it benefits more low-income Americans, a move intended to win back the support of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

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Israeli troops wound more than 40 Palestinians in protests over U.S. Jerusalem move

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot and wounded more than 40 Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital entered a second week.

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In Syria, Russia securing position as Assad presses war

BEIRUT (Reuters) - With the map of Syria's conflict decisively redrawn in President Bashar al-Assad's favor, his Russian allies want to convert military gains into a settlement that stabilizes the shattered nation and secures their interests in the region.

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Exclusive: Italy plans big handover of sea rescues to Libya coastguard

ROME/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Italy wants Libya's coastguard to take responsibility within three years for intercepting migrants across about a tenth of the Mediterranean even as Libyan crews struggle to patrol their own coast and are accused of making deadly mistakes at sea.

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Erdogan says Turkey seeking to annul Trump decision on Jerusalem at U.N.

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey is launching an initiative at the United Nations to annul a decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

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U.S. says concerned about Myanmar's silence over where Reuters journalists are being held

YANGON (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in Myanmar said on Friday it was concerned that there had been no word on the whereabouts of two Reuters journalists three days after they were detained, and that authorities had not allowed their families to visit them.

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CSX CEO Hunter Harrison takes medical leave amid rail overhaul

(Reuters) - CSX Corp said on Thursday its Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison was taking medical leave, an announcement that comes amid of a controversial turnaround plan at the No. 3 U.S. railroad that has drawn customer criticism and scrutiny from regulators. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Harrison, 73, was taking a leave of absence due to unexpected complications from a recent unspecified illness.

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World trade order in a wobble as Washington snubs WTO status quo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The frustration of Roberto Azevedo was evident when, as director general of the World Trade Organization, he summed up the results of a three-day ministerial conference in Buenos Aires in the past week. There were simply none.

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Congo child soldiers awarded $10 million compensation in landmark ruling

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - International war crimes judges awarded $10 million in compensation on Friday to child soldiers recruited by convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga - the largest reparation of it kind.

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Erdogan says Turkey starting initiatives at U.N. to annul U.S. decision on Jerusalem

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey is starting initiatives at the United Nations to annul a decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

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Kremlin: Putin and Trump agreed to exchange information on North Korea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump had agreed in a phone call to exchange information about North Korea and cooperate on possible initiatives to resolve a crisis around the Asian nation.

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Mexico plots open trade course to escape Trump's NAFTA threats

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's 'America First' brand of economic nationalism is pushing Mexico to seek sanctuary in more open commercial ties elsewhere to soften the blow of a possible breakdown of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

cnn.com

DOJ: Release of FBI texts wasn't wrong

Top Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday sent a letter to the head of the Justice Department's press shop, quizzing her on how members of the media obtained text messages sent by a former member of the special counsel team on the eve of an appearance by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein before the committee.

cnn.com

Facebook, Netflix and others react

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Homegrown attacks rising worry in U.S. as Islamic State weakens abroad

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The online video's message was clear: Supporters of Islamic State who could not travel overseas to join the militant group should carry out attacks wherever they were in the United States or Europe.

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Facebook to use its News Feed to push more videos to users

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc said on Thursday it would begin to promote videos more prominently inside its News Feed, leveraging the social network's centerpiece product to build interest in episodic shows and compete more directly with YouTube.

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'Bad news for our enemies': EU launches defense pact

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union nations, now unfettered by Britain's decision to quit, achieved a 70-year-old ambition on Thursday to integrate their defenses, launching a pact between 25 EU governments to fund, develop and deploy armed forces together.

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Apple releases its most expensive computer

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World shares little changed amid slate of central bank meetings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets were little changed on Thursday after policy meetings from major central banks in Europe, while some U.S. shares were buoyed by news that the Republicans' tax legislation could face final votes in Congress before year-end.

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U.N. chief presses for release of arrested Reuters journalists in Myanmar

TOKYO/YANGON (Reuters) - The arrest of two Reuters journalists in Yangon this week was a signal that press freedom is shrinking in Myanmar and the international community must do all it can to get them released, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.

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Arms supplied by U.S., Saudi ended up with Islamic State, researchers say

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Arms provided by the United States and Saudi Arabia to Syrian opposition groups frequently ended up in the hands of Islamic State, an arms monitoring group that analyzed weapons found on the battlefield said on Thursday.

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Saudi hopes purge will help push to join anti-illicit funding body

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has high hopes that a campaign of arrests to crack down on corruption will improve its chances of joining the Financial Action Task Force, a global body dedicated to combating illicit money flows.

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Seven decades in the making, a defense pact comes to the EU

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union nations are set to achieve a 70-year-old ambition to integrate their defenses on Thursday, signing a pact between 25 EU governments to fund, develop and deploy armed forces together after Britain's decision to quit the bloc.

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U.S. retail sales surge; weekly jobless claims fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in November as the holiday shopping season got off to a brisk start, pointing to sustained strength in the economy that could pave the way for further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes next year.

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BRIEF-Apple Inc Releases iMac Pro

* APPLE INC - IMAC PRO IS AVAILABLE ON DECEMBER 14, STARTING AT AN APPLE RETAIL PRICE OF $4,999 (US) Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula

BEIJING (Reuters) - War must not be allowed to break out on the Korean peninsula and the issue must be resolved through talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the danger of "sleepwalking" into conflict.

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BRIEF-Guyana Goldfields Plans To Release Optimized Mine Plan For Aurora Gold Mine In Q1

* GUYANA GOLDFIELDS INC. CONTINUES TO OPTIMIZE THE AURORA GOLD MINE

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Russia's Putin, on track for easy re-election, laments dearth of rivals

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he faced no credible high-profile political opponents as he prepared to run for re-election in March, but would work to try to create a more balanced political system.

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U.N. chief says arrest of Reuters journalists shows erosion of press freedom in Myanmar

TOKYO (Reuters) - The arrest of two Reuters journalists in Yangon this week was a signal that press freedom is shrinking in Myanmar and the international community must do all it can to get them released, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.

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U.N. probes alleged abduction of North Korean restaurant workers, official says

SEOUL (Reuters) - A senior United Nations human rights official on Thursday said he was investigating North Korea's allegations that a dozen restaurant workers who arrived in the South from China last year were abducted against their will.

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Putin says will run as independent candidate for new Kremlin term

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking a new term in office in a March election, said on Thursday he would run as an independent candidate while hoping for support from more than one political party.

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In-flight sexual assaults often unreported; airlines need to step up

SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - When a 17-year-old Bollywood actress took to social media this week alleging she was sexually assaulted on an airplane, she appeared to catch the airline industry off-guard.

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Israel closes Gaza border crossings after Palestinian rocket strikes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced the closure of its Gaza border crossings on Thursday in response to daily rocket fire from the enclave over the past week after U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital stoked Palestinian anger.

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South Africa's Zuma appeals court ruling on state prosecutor's appointment: local media

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has filed an appeal against a court ruling that his appointment of a state prosecutor to decide whether to reinstate corruption charges against him was not valid, local media reported on Thursday.

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U.N.'s Guterres warns against 'sleepwalking' into war over North Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, warning against the danger of "sleepwalking" into war, said on Thursday that Security Council resolutions on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs must be fully implemented by Pyongyang and other countries.

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U.N. resolutions on North Korea must be fully implemented: Guterres

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea's nuclear and missile programs must be fully implemented by Pyongyang and other countries.

cnn.com

Moore releases video, refuses to concede

Republican Roy Moore released a video following Alabama's US Senate election. He says he will not concede to Democrat Doug Jones.

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Turkish banker accused of helping Iran launder money seeks mistrial

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Lawyers for a Turkish banker on trial in New York on charges that he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions asked a judge on Wednesday to declare a mistrial, saying testimony by a former Turkish police investigator should not have been allowed in court.

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U.S. agency to vote on net neutrality rules despite outcry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Internet service providers clashed with Democrats and celebrities like "Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill ahead of a vote on the Trump administration's plan to revoke net neutrality rules barring the blocking or slowing of internet traffic.

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U.S. judge orders accused New York bomber detained ahead of trial

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bangladeshi man accused of attempting a suicide bombing in a busy New York City commuter hub will remain in federal custody while he awaits trial on charges that include supporting a foreign terrorist organization, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-France proposes age-of-consent rule for Facebook users

PARIS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - All French children under the age of 16 will have to seek parental approval to open an account on Facebook or any other social network under draft legislation presented on Wednesday.

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U.N. expert says torture persists at Guantanamo Bay; U.S. denies

GENEVA (Reuters) - An independent U.N. human rights investigator said on Wednesday that he had information about an inmate being tortured at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention facility, despite Washington banning "enhanced interrogation techniques" almost 10 years ago.

Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates nytimes.com

Facebook Sees Little Evidence of Russian Meddling in ‘Brexit’ Vote

The social media giant’s statement came in response to questions from the British Parliament, but a member of Parliament called Facebook’s answer insufficient.

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Muslim leaders call on world to recognize East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Muslim leaders condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and called on the world to respond by recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

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Facebook says Russian-linked accounts spent just 97 cents on ads over Brexit

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Russian-based operatives placed three adverts on Facebook in the run-up to Britain's 2016 referendum on EU membership, spending just 97 cents to raise the issue of immigration, the social media platform said on Wednesday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Facebook And WWE Launch Live In-Ring Series On Facebook Watch

* FACEBOOK AND WWE® LAUNCH LIVE IN-RING SERIES ON FACEBOOK WATCH

technologyNews reuters.com

France proposes age-of-consent rule for Facebook users

PARIS (Reuters) - All French children under the age of 16 will have to seek parental approval to open an account on Facebook or any other social network under draft legislation presented on Wednesday.

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Accused NYC bomber to formally face terrorism charges as soon as Wednesday

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bangladeshi man accused of attempting a suicide bombing in one of New York City's busiest commuter hubs is expected to be formally charged as early as Wednesday with supporting a foreign terrorist organization and other crimes.

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U.N. expert says inmate U.S. torture continues at Guantanamo Bay

GENEVA (Reuters) - An inmate at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is still being tortured, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said in a statement on Wednesday.

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U.N. expert says U.S. torture continues at Guantanamo Bay

GENEVA (Reuters) - An inmate at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is still being tortured, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Palestinian leader says Trump's Jerusalem 'crime' prevents U.S. peace role

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Muslim leaders on Wednesday that a U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a crime which showed that Washington should no longer play a role in Middle East peace talks.

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Iran urges Muslim nations to defend Palestinians after Trump move

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday all Muslim nations should work together to defend the rights of Palestinians following Donald Trump's decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Tech sector loses champion in death of San Francisco mayor

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco technology companies including Twitter, Salesforce.com, Uber and Airbnb lost an important ally on Tuesday with the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee.

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Trump's Jerusalem decision shows lack of respect for Palestinian nation: Iran's Rouhani

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital shows the United States lacks any respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted on Wednesday.

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Exclusive: After Grenfell fire, same builders rehired to replace dangerous cladding, Reuters finds

LONDON (Reuters) - Some building companies that installed dangerous cladding on social housing blocks across Britain are now winning new contracts following the Grenfell Tower blaze to remove their original work and install panels that can pass safety tests, a Reuters review shows.

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U.S. prepares to open doors on billion-dollar London embassy

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States' diplomatic team in London, custodians of one of the most significant bilateral relationships of the last 100 years, will next month move into a new home: a billion-dollar, 12-storey glass cube overlooking the River Thames.

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Tillerson says U.S. ready to talk to North Korea; Japan wants pressure

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key U.S. demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations.

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Tillerson says U.S. ready to talk to North Korea; Kim promises more weapons

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key U.S. demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations.

cnn.com

FBI agent's anti-Trump messages released to Congress

A series of text messages exchanged between top FBI employees that were critical of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump were released to lawmakers Tuesday evening on Capitol Hill amid increasing demands to see them, according to documents reviewed by CNN.

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un fetes rocket scientists, promises more weapons

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un vowed to develop more nuclear weapons on Tuesday while personally decorating scientists and officials who contributed to the development of Pyongyang's most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15.

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Crucial details of Republican tax plan in flux as deal deadline looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Crucial details of the Republican tax plan, including the proposed corporate rate, were in flux late on Tuesday as negotiators from the U.S. Congress rushed to finalize the plan ahead of a self-imposed Wednesday deadline.

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Tillerson, in new overture to North Korea, says ready to talk without pre-conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered on Tuesday to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from U.S. demands that Pyongyang must first accept that any negotiations would have to be about giving up its nuclear arsenal.

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Advocates ready legal showdown with FCC on net neutrality

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Net neutrality advocates said they are gearing up for a legal fight after abandoning attempts to convince the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to keep 2015 rules aimed at maintaining an open internet.

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U.S. slaps terror charges on accused Times Square bomber

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against the suspect in Monday's attempted suicide bombing in one of New York City's busiest commuter hubs, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organization.

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Times Square bomb suspect charged; Bangladesh questions wife

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against a Bangladeshi man, accusing him of using a weapon of mass destruction in Monday's bombing of a Manhattan commuter hub.

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Facebook to book advertising revenue locally amid political pressure

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Social media giant Facebook said on Tuesday it would start booking advertising revenue locally instead of re-routing it via its international headquarters in Dublin although the move is unlikely to result in it paying much more tax.

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New York charges Times Square bomb suspect; Bangladesh questions wife

DHAKA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York officials on Tuesday said they charged a Bangladeshi man with terrorism, accusing him of setting off a pipe bomb a day earlier in a crowded Manhattan commuter hub, as investigators in his home country questioned his wife.

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U.S. producer prices rise strongly, point to firming inflation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. producer prices rose in November as gasoline prices surged and the cost of other goods increased, leading to the largest annual gain in nearly six years.

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Investigators search for clues in attempted New York subway bombing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investigators are searching for reasons a Bangladeshi man set off a bomb strapped to his body in a New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour in what is being characterized as an attempted terrorist attack.

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Five years after Sandy Hook, U.S. gun-control advocates switch strategy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five years after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, advocates who are disappointed with the failure of efforts to limit access to firearms are changing their strategy.

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Subway bomber wounds self, three victims in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man set off a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, immediately calling it an attempted terrorist attack.

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Trump wants to send U.S. astronauts back to moon, someday Mars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At a time when China is working on an ambitious lunar program, President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States will remain the leader in space exploration as he began a process to return Americans to the moon.

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'Amateur' bomber targets New York commuters; suspect held

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man with a homemade bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion at a New York commuter hub during rush hour on Monday morning, wounding himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack.

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Ex-contractor says he shut Trump's Twitter account by accident

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The contractor who shut down Donald Trump's Twitter account has told Reuters he did so by mistake, but says he believes some of the U.S. president's recent tweets breach the social network's ban on hate speech.

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Trump to start process of sending Americans back to moon: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Monday will sign a directive aimed at sending Americans back to the moon and eventually to Mars, the White House said.

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Explosion rocks New York commuter hub, suspect in custody

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An explosion rocked New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, one of the city's busiest commuter hubs, on Monday morning and police said one suspect was injured and in custody, with three other injuries reported.

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Verizon to pay $2.25 billion to NFL for five-year streaming deal: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc will pay around $2.25 billion for a five-year digital streaming partnership with National Football League, according to a source.

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One person in custody, several injured, in New York explosion

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An explosion rocked New York's Port Authority, one of the city's busiest commuter hubs in midtown Manhattan, during Monday morning's rush hour, injuring several people.

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EU tells Netanyahu it rejects Trump's Jerusalem move

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his case to Europe to ask allies to join the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but was met by a firm rebuff from EU foreign ministers who saw the move as a blow against the peace process.

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BRIEF-Edgewater Wireless Announces Fully Committed Non-Brokered Private Placement

* EDGEWATER WIRELESS ANNOUNCES FULLY COMMITTED NON-BROKERED PRIVATE PLACEMENT

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Verizon and NFL reach digital streaming agreement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc and the National Football League have reached an agreement for a multi-year digital streaming deal, Verizon said on Monday.

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Small Canadian miners in pole position for electric vehicle battery boon

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canadian developers of cobalt and lithium mines stand to benefit from a round of investments from the makers of electric vehicles and the batteries powering them, a potential game-changer for small miners short on money to develop deposits of these critical battery ingredients.

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Bakers, farmers struggle to make any dough on poor wheat crop

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago's iconic sandwiches - Italian beef heroes dripping with gravy, and hot dogs loaded with pickles and hot peppers - wouldn't be such culinary institutions without the bread.

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China's graft watchdog warns officials over 'concealed' extravagance

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese officials trying to hide dishonest spending with tricks such as throwing extravagant parties in private will be targeted in a sustained campaign to root out hedonism, the top anti-graft watchdog said on Monday.

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Russian military chief criticizes U.S., Japan and South Korea drills

TOKYO (Reuters) - Russia's military chief warned on Monday that military exercises by Japan, the United States and South Korea aimed at countering North Korea only raise hysteria and create more instability in the region.

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Seeking to extend martial law in Philippine south, Duterte says militants regrouping

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday asked Congress to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao for a year, arguing that Islamist militants have been regrouping since a five-month urban conflict ended there in October.

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Situation on Korean Peninsula risks moving into 'hot phase': Ifax cites Russian foreign minister

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The situation on the Korean Peninsula risks to move into a "hot phase", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Monday, the Interfax news agency reported.

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Britain committed to no hard Irish border, whatever outcome of Brexit talks - Davis

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Britain intends to prevent a hard border in Ireland after leaving the European Union whatever the outcome of talks with the bloc, UK's Brexit minister said on Monday, saying comments that this was not legally enforceable were taken out of context.

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Britain's May hails new optimism in Brexit talks after deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May will hail "a new sense of optimism" in Brexit talks on Monday, telling parliament Britain and the European Union should sign off on a deal at a summit this week "to move forwards together" to discuss future trade ties.

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Palace releases new portrait of Britain's Prince Philip

LONDON (Reuters) - Buckingham Palace released on Monday a new portrait of Prince Philip, painted by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans in the year that Queen Elizabeth's husband announced his retirement from active public life.

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Exclusive: U.S. mall owner GGP rejects Brookfield Property's $14.8 billion offer - sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - GGP Inc , one of the largest owners and operators of U.S. shopping centers, has rejected a $14.8 billion buyout offer from its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Property Partners LP , people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

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Iraq holds victory parade after defeating Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi military parade in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone celebrated final victory over Islamic State on Sunday, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi looking on as troops marched in formation, their bodies spelling "victory day" in Arabic.

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Palestinian stabs Israeli in Jerusalem; anti-Trump protest flares in Beirut

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli security guard at Jerusalem's main bus station on Sunday, police said, and violence flared near the U.S. Embassy in Beirut over U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Anti-Trump protests wane in Jerusalem, West Bank; flare in Beirut

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinian protests waned in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip on Sunday while violence flared near the U.S. embassy in Beirut over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Yazidis caught in 'political football' between Baghdad, Iraqi Kurds

SINJAR, Iraq (Reuters) - Since Iraqi forces pushed the Kurds out of the Yazidis' mountainous heartland of Sinjar in northern Iraq in October, residents are wondering what could happen to them next.

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Violence flares at protest near U.S. Embassy in Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canons at protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Sunday during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Iraq holds military parade celebrating victory over Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi military parade celebrating final victory over Islamic State is underway in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, an Iraqi military spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

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With foes absent, Venezuela's socialists to gain from local vote

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party looked set to sweep Sunday's nationwide mayoral polls, deepening opposition splits and consolidating President Nicolas Maduro's position ahead of a likely 2018 re-election campaign.

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German conservatives reject 'United States of Europe' ahead of coalition talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - Senior members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on Saturday rejected the vision for a "United States of Europe" put forward by the Social Democrats (SPD), with whom they are hoping to form a governing coalition.

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U.N. envoy told North Korea urgent need to open channels to cut conflict risk

SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations political affairs chief told senior North Korean officials during a visit to Pyongyang this week that there was an "urgent need to prevent miscalculations and open channels to reduce the risks of conflict," the world body said.

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Trump blasts San Francisco murder acquittal, 'Dreamer' effort

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday juxtaposed a high-profile murder case involving an illegal immigrant from Mexico with efforts in Congress to protect undocumented immigrants brought into the United States when they were children.

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Palestinians to snub Pence during visit over Jerusalem move

CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during Pence's visit to the region this month, in a snub over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Palestinian Foreign Minister said on Saturday.

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Iraq declares final victory over Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State on Saturday after Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.

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Aftershocks likely from September test detected from North Korea nuclear site: USGS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two minor tremors were detected on Saturday from near North Korea's nuclear test site and were probably aftershocks from the country's massive nuclear test in early September, a U.S. Geological Survey official said.

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As coalition talks loom, German conservatives reject SPD's Europe idea

BERLIN (Reuters) - Senior members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on Saturday rejected the vision for a United States of Europe put forward by the Social Democrats (SPD), with whom they are hoping to form a governing coalition.

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Israeli strikes kill two Gaza gunmen, anti-Trump protests less intense

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed two Palestinian gunmen on Saturday after rockets were fired from the enclave, in violence that erupted over President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Russia says it is fully committed to nuclear missile pact

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Saturday it was fully committed to a Cold War-era pact with the United States banning intermediate-range cruise missiles, a day after Washington accused Moscow of violating the treaty.

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Islamic State completely 'evicted' from Iraq, Iraqi PM says

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.

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Israeli strikes kill two Gaza gunmen, but anti-Trump protests subside

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed two Palestinian gunmen on Saturday after rockets were fired from the enclave, in violence that erupted over President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Political Prisoners nytimes.com

Boris Johnson Arrives in Iran to Press for Release for Detained Briton

Britain’s foreign minister is expected to push for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested and jailed on sedition charges by Iran.

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Iraqi PM says Islamic State completely 'evicted' from Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.

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Israeli retaliation strikes kill two Palestinian gunmen in Gaza

GAZA (Reuters) - Israel launched fresh airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in response to rocket fire from the enclave and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas group said two of its gunmen were killed in the bombings.

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North Korea says U.N. envoy expressed willingness to ease tensions

SEOUL (Reuters) - The U.N. political affairs chief expressed willingness to ease tension on the Korean peninsula during a visit to North Korea this week, state media said on Saturday, amid a rising war of words over the North's missile and nuclear programs.

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Honduras opposition parties ask for disputed election to be annulled

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' two main opposition parties on Friday presented formal requests to annul the results of the still-unresolved presidential election, deepening a political crisis that has roiled the poor, violent Central American nation.

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Honduras opposition party asks for disputed election to be annulled

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' opposition Liberal Party on Friday presented a formal request to annul the results of the still-unresolved presidential election, deepening a political crisis that has roiled the poor, violent Central American nation.

Net Neutrality nytimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor: What Facebook Taught Me About Net Neutrality

In the early days of creating the social network, we were at the mercy of internet providers. They could easily have killed the company.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. top court blocks release of Trump 'Dreamer' immigrant documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday granted a request by President Donald Trump's administration to block the immediate release of documents concerning his decision to end a program that shielded from deportation hundreds of thousands of young adults dubbed "Dreamers" brought into the country illegally as children.

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Two dead in 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem, Palestinian president defiant

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - At least two people were killed in clashes with Israeli troops on Friday when thousands of Palestinians demonstrated against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the Palestinian president said Washington could no longer be a peace broker.

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One dead, scores hurt in Palestinian 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated, scores were hurt and at least one killed in clashes with Israeli troops on a "Day of Rage" against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Dolphins and Porpoises nytimes.com

Trilobites: Tracking Dolphins With Algorithms You Might Find on Facebook

Scientists leveraged machine learning techniques to sift through recordings of dolphin clicks, which could help with monitoring the health of the sea mammals.

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Scores injured, one dead as Palestinians hold 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated, scores were hurt and at least one killed in clashes with Israeli troops on a "day of rage" on Friday against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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BRIEF-Impax Receives Tentative fda Approval Of Generic Coreg CR (Carvedilol Phosphate) Extended-Release Capsules

* IMPAX RECEIVES TENTATIVE FDA APPROVAL OF GENERIC COREG CR® (CARVEDILOL PHOSPHATE) EXTENDED-RELEASE CAPSULES

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BRIEF-ITG Releases Nov 2017 U.S. Trading Volumes And Provides International Trading Commission Update

* ITG RELEASES NOVEMBER 2017 U.S. TRADING VOLUMES AND PROVIDES INTERNATIONAL TRADING COMMISSION UPDATE

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Special Report: How Monsanto's GM cotton sowed trouble in Africa

BOBO-DIOULASSO, Burkina Faso (Reuters) - In 2000, farmers in Burkina Faso, Africa's top cotton grower, were desperate. Their cotton fetched top prices because its high-quality fiber lent a luxurious sheen to clothing and bedsheets. But pests – bollworms – were threatening the crop.

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Airbnb pushes back on Singapore's tough home rental rules

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Short-term home rental service Airbnb on Friday called Singapore's regulatory framework "untenable" as authorities said they planned to hold discussions with home-sharing platforms and resident groups soon on how such accommodation may be allowed.

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Exclusive: U.S. spy chief orders changes in 'unmasking' policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. intelligence official has ordered tighter restrictions on how the names of Americans kept secret in intelligence reports can be revealed during presidential transitions, according to documents seen by Reuters.

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Rep. Franks resigns after staff members complain of harassment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Representative Trent Franks said on Thursday he would resign after two female staffers complained that he had discussed surrogacy with them.

businessNews reuters.com

Wall Street rising: Facebook, Alphabet, Lululemon gain

(Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Thursday, buoyed by popular technology companies including Facebook and Alphabet, while shares of yoga pants seller Lululemon Athletica also worked up a sweat.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Facebook Says Introduces New Gaming Features on Messenger

* FACEBOOK SAYS LAUNCHING NEW LIVE STREAMING CAPABILITY VIA FACEBOOK LIVE THAT MAKES IT SIMPLE TO PLAY AND SHARE GAMING EXPERIENCES ON MESSENGER

technologyNews reuters.com

France's Ubisoft delays three releases, back catalog sales remain strong

(Reuters) - French video game producer Ubisoft said on Thursday it was delaying the release of three games and lowering its 2017/18 sales goals while raising its targeted profit margin.

businessNews reuters.com

Wall Street rising: Facebook, Alphabet gain

(Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Thursday, buoyed by popular technology companies including Facebook and Alphabet, while shares of yoga pants seller Lululemon Athletica also warmed up.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Google Releases Content Removal Request Data for January-June 2017

* SAYS EXPANDING NATIONAL SECURITY LETTERS SECTION, RELEASING NEW DATA ON REQUESTS FROM GOVTS TO REMOVE CONTENT

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Hackers steal $64 million from cryptocurrency firm NiceHash

(Reuters) - Slovenian cryptocurrency mining marketplace NiceHash said it lost nearly $64 million in a hack of its payment system, the latest incident to highlight the risks that uneven oversight and security procedures pose to digital currencies such as bitcoin.

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Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising over Trump's Jerusalem plan

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - The Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.

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WikiLeaks faces U.S. probes into its 2016 election role and CIA leaks: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are facing multiple investigations by U.S. authorities, including three congressional probes and a federal criminal inquiry, sources familiar with the investigations said.

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Exclusive: U.N. watchdogs call for probe of Taser assaults in U.S. jails

GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. special rapporteur on torture urged U.S. authorities to investigate and weigh criminal charges against jail officials in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the “clearly gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering” from the use of Tasers on inmates, citing a Reuters report this week.

technologyNews reuters.com

Ubisoft delays three releases, lowers 2017/2018 sales outlook

(Reuters) - French video game producer Ubisoft said on Thursday it was delaying the release of three games and lowering its 2017/18 sales outlook.

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Democratic Senator Franken to resign: CNN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken was set to announce his resignation from office on Thursday, CNN reported, bowing to pressure from party colleagues after a string of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

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Tillerson says Ukraine is biggest obstacle to normal Russia ties

VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States would "badly" like to lift sanctions against Russia but will not do so until Moscow has pulled its forces out of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday, calling that the main obstacle to normal ties.

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Catalan separatists march in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Nearly 50,000 people marched through Brussels' European quarter on Thursday in support of Catalan independence and the region's president, who has avoided arrest in Spain by taking refuge in Belgium.

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Tillerson holds tough line on Russia sanctions over Ukraine

VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held his tough line on Russia during a visit to Europe on Thursday, saying in front of his Russian counterpart that Washington would keep sanctions in place until Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine.

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Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising in response to Trump's Jerusalem plan

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - The Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.

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Tillerson: Russia sanctions will stay until it withdraws from Ukraine

VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. sanctions against Moscow will remain in place until Russia withdraws from Ukraine, United States Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said on Thursday, speaking in front of his Russian counterpart at a security conference in Vienna.

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China's Sinopec sues Venezuela in sign of fraying relations

(Reuters) - Sinopec USA, a subsidiary of Chinese oil and gas conglomerate Sinopec, has sued Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in a U.S. court, claiming it never received full payment for an order of steel rebar.

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Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing longtime U.S. policy

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

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Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, defying allies, foes

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting Washington's friends and foes alike.

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Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, defying allies and foes

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - President Donald Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy on Wednesday and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, effectively taking sides in one of the thorniest issues in the Mideast dispute and upsetting Washington's friends and foes alike.

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Arabs, Europe, U.N. reject Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

LONDON (Reuters) - Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was ditching its leading role as a peace mediator.

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Gay man to run against Kentucky clerk who denied him marriage license

(Reuters) - A gay man who was denied a marriage license in Kentucky two years ago by a county clerk who refused to issue licenses for same-sex marriages will run to unseat her next year, he said on Wednesday.