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U.S. producer inflation, labor market strengthening

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. producer prices rose in September as the price of gasoline recorded its biggest gain in more than two years amid hurricane-related production disruptions at oil refineries in Texas. [Source]

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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.

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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.

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

Editorial: States Take On Election Hacking. Washington Ignores It.

The threat to the American voting process cries out for national leadership. But don’t expect help from President Trump.

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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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Pharmacist's 'deadly' choices sparked U.S. meningitis outbreak: prosecutors

BOSTON (Reuters) - A federal prosecutor told jurors on Friday that a Massachusetts pharmacist gambled with patients' lives by making drugs in unsafe ways that led to a deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, but a defense lawyer said he was no murderer.

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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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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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UPDATE 7-Oil prices flat; weak U.S. demand offsets Mideast tensions

* Global refiners import U.S. oil to make up for OPEC cuts (New throughout, updates prices and market activity; new byline, changes dateline, previously LONDON)

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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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RPT-Bookrunner announces revised price for BAWAG shares in float‍​

ZURICH, Oct 20 (Reuters) - A revised price range of 48 euros ($56.65) to 49 euros ($57.83) per share has been announced for the float of BAWAG, the Austrian bank majority owned by U.S. private equity group Cerberus Capital Management , one of the bookrunners said on Friday.

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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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Germany will await prosecution "ok" before delivering Israeli subs - Spiegel

BERLIN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Germany will wait for Israeli prosecutors to conclude all investigations in a corruption scandal involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before delivering three submarines in a $2 billion defence deal, German magazine Der Spiegel reported.

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BRIEF-Sea Ltd - priced IPO of 58.96 million ADRS at a price of $15 per ADS

* Sea ltd - priced IPO of 58.96 million ADRS at a price of $15 per ADS for a total offering size of approximately $884 million‍​ Source text (http://bit.ly/2irrlxR) Further company coverage: (Bangalore.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com)

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Prosecutors seek pharmacist's conviction over U.S. meningitis outbreak

BOSTON (Reuters) - A federal prosecutor on Friday told jurors that a Massachusetts pharmacist, charged with murder for his role in a deadly 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak, acted with a "depraved heart" while knowingly producing non-sterile drugs.

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U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly rebound in September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales unexpectedly increased in September as the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma began to dissipate, but a persistent dearth of properties for sale continued to weigh on overall activity.

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

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

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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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Obamacare whiplash leaves states, insurers with dueling price plans

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's reversals in the past week on maintaining Obamacare subsidies to insurers are sowing new confusion over what kind of health insurance will be available to consumers, and at what price, when enrollment for 2018 begins in two weeks.

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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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BRIEF-Ignyta says public offering of 10.0 million common shares priced at $16.00per share

* Ignyta announces pricing of public offering of common stock

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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.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

On Washington: Will Mitch McConnell Help His Friend Get a Health Care Deal?

Senator Lamar Alexander is going to need some help from Senator Mitch McConnell, a friend for nearly 50 years, if his health care compromise is to become law.

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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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BRIEF-WashingtonFirst Bankshares reports Q3 EPS of $0.41

* WashingtonFirst Bankshares, Inc. reports 13 percent increase in net income for the third quarter 2017

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

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

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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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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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Trump names Washington insiders to head antitrust, consumer protection agency

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The White House formally announced on Thursday the president will nominate Washington antitrust lawyer Joseph Simons to the Federal Trade Commission, along with Rohit Chopra, a former official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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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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Rose McGowan cancels film festival appearance

Rose McGowan has canceled an appearance at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Kansas just 24 hours before she was to be honored with the event's Ad Astra Award.

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FDA approves Gilead cancer gene therapy; price set at $373,000

(Reuters) - U.S. regulators approved on Wednesday a new therapy for a type of lymphoma, which was developed by Gilead Science Inc's Kite Pharma, marking the second approval for this potentially revolutionary approach to fighting cancer.

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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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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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BRIEF-Staffing 360 Solutions Q3 revenue rose 9 pct to $50 mln

* Staffing 360 Solutions pre-announces third quarter 2017 results

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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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BRIEF-KMG Chemical prices upsized offering of 3 mln shares for gross proceeds of about $162 mln

* KMG announces upsizing and pricing of common stock offering

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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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BRIEF-Pattern Energy prices offering of 8 mln Class A stock at $23.4 per share

* Pattern Energy announces pricing of public offering of its Class A common stock

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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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PRECIOUS-Gold prices steady amid firm dollar

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices were nearly unchanged early on Thursday as the dollar held firm on the back of strong U.S. Treasury yields. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was steady at $1,281.24 an ounce at 0053 GMT. It hit an over one-week low of $1,276.73 in the previous session. * U.S. gold futures for December delivery were flat at $1,283 per ounce. * The dollar index was nearly unchanged at 93.320. It was flat versus the yen * The U.S.

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U.S. FDA approves Gilead cancer gene therapy; price set at $373,000

(Reuters) - U.S. regulators approved on Wednesday a new therapy for a type of lymphoma, which was developed by Gilead Science Inc's Kite Pharma, marking the second approval for this potentially revolutionary approach to fighting cancer.

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UPDATE 2-U.S. FDA approves Gilead cancer gene therapy; price set at $373,000

Oct 18 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators approved on Wednesday a new therapy for a type of lymphoma, which was developed by Gilead Science Inc's Kite Pharma, marking the second approval for this potentially revolutionary approach to fighting cancer.

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Exclusive: Trump selects Washington lawyer Joe Simons to head FTC - official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump has selected Joseph Simons, an antitrust attorney from a Washington law firm, to head the Federal Trade Commission, a White House 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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Nippon Chemi-Con indicted over price-fixing -U.S. Justice Dept

WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A federal grand jury indicted Japan's Nippon Chemi-Con Corp for its role in a wide-ranging and long-running conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

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Gilead cancer immunotherapy wins U.S. approval with $373,000 price

(Reuters) - A new therapy for a type of lymphoma developed by Kite Pharma, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc, won U.S. approval on Wednesday, marking the second approval for this potentially revolutionary approach to fighting cancer.

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UPDATE 1-Gilead cancer immunotherapy wins U.S. approval with $373,000 price

Oct 18 (Reuters) - A new therapy for a type of lymphoma developed by Kite Pharma, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc, won U.S. approval on Wednesday, marking the second approval for this potentially revolutionary approach to fighting cancer.

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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?"

Freedom of the Press nytimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor: When the Price of Reporting Is a Car Bomb

The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta illustrates the stakes for journalists pushing back against power.

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BRIEF-Sandy Spring Bancorp, WashingtonFirst Bankshares stockholders approve merger

* Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. and WashingtonFirst Bankshares, Inc. receive stockholder approvals for acquisition

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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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Cancer drug prices rising far faster than inflation

(Reuters Health) - The prices of injectable cancer drugs - even older medicines around since the 1990s - are increasing at a rate far higher than inflation, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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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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U.S. housing starts hit one-year low in September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. homebuilding fell to a one-year low in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted the construction of single-family homes in the South, suggesting housing probably remained a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.

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Austria's far-right sets interior ministry as price for joining next coalition

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPO) will only join the next coalition government if it can run the interior ministry, its leader said on Wednesday, following the party's strong showing in a parliamentary election.

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CANADA STOCKS-Higher oil prices prop up TSX futures

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Wednesday as oil prices rose on an expected fall in U.S. inventories and geopolitical tensions around oil-rich Iraq and Iran.

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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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PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up from one-week low

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Wednesday from a one-week low with the dollar holding steady, but speculation that President Donald Trump might pick a policy hawk to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve weighed on the metal. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.1 percent to $1,286.10 an ounce at 0053 GMT. It hit a one-week low of $1,281.31 in the previous session. * U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.2 percent at $1,288.3 per ounce. *

companyNews reuters.com

Online micro-lender Qudian' IPO prices at $24 per ADS - sources

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Chinese online micro-credit provider Qudian Inc's initial public offering was priced at $24 per American depository share, according to sources close to the matter, above the expected range of $19-$22 each.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Radcom projects about $9.6 mln in ‍​revenue for the quarter ended September 30

* Says projects that its estimated, unaudited revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 was approximately $9.6 million ‍​

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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.

Price, Roy (1967- ) nytimes.com

Roy Price Quits Amazon Studios After Sexual Harassment Claim

Amazon’s original-programming division was already considering a change in strategy before the accusation against its top executive.

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

Jailed British-Iranian charity worker received letter from ex-UK PM Cameron: prosecutor

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A British-Iranian charity worker serving a jail sentence in Tehran received a letter from ex-prime minister David Cameron that showed she had ties to the British government, a prosecutor said on Tuesday, according to Mizan, the news site of the Iranian judiciary.

domesticNews reuters.com

Louisiana prosecutor creates 'culture of fear' for witnesses: lawsuit

(Reuters) - New Orleans prosecutors used forged subpoenas, false evidence and the threat of jail to create "a culture of fear" to compel crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with investigators, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

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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.

domesticNews reuters.com

Lockdown lifted at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police lifted a lockdown at Howard University in the U.S. capital on Tuesday after finding no sign of a reported gunman on the campus, authorities said.

lifestyleMolt reuters.com

Two more Washington restaurants shine with Michelin stars

(Reuters) - Washington's dining scene received some extra sparkle on Tuesday as Michelin bestowed stars to two more restaurants in its second annual guide of the city's best eateries, which will go...

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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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UPDATE 1-China's Qudian IPO seen priced above range - sources

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Online micro-credit provider Qudian Inc's initial public offering could be priced above the expected range of $19-$22 per American depositary share, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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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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BRIEF-MongoDB anticipates IPO price of class A common stock between $20 and $22 per share‍​ - SEC filing

* MongoDB Inc says anticipate that initial public offering price of the class A common stock will be between $20.00 and $22.00 per share‍​ - SEC filing

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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.

businessNews reuters.com

China factories grapple with soaring prices as pollution crackdown bites

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - Chinese exporters at the country's biggest trade fair are more optimistic about global demand now than six months ago but Beijing's crackdown on pollution is ramping up costs and product prices, hurting smaller factories and foreign buyers.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

On Washington: Trump and McConnell See a Way to Make Conservatives Happy

Under pressure to deliver legislatively, the president and the Senate majority leader are seeking to aggressively install conservative jurists at the appeals and district court level.

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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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Aflac Inc prices yen-denominated subordinated debentures

* Aflac incorporated prices ¥60 billion of yen-denominated subordinated debentures

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BRIEF-Abeona Therapeutics prices offering of five million shares at $16 per share

* Pricing underwritten public offering of five million shares of common stock at a public offering price of $16.00 per share​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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PRECIOUS-Gold prices hold steady amid firm dollar

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady early on Tuesday, after dipping below $1,300 an ounce in the previous session, as the dollar held firm on strong U.S. Treasury yields. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was unchanged at $1,293.60 an ounce at 0055 GMT. It shed 0.8 percent in the previous session. * U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,296 per ounce. * The dollar held gains against the yen and euro on Tuesday, supported

businessNews reuters.com

Oil prices firm as Iraq tensions escalate, shares extend rally

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices held firm on Tuesday after Iraqi forces seized the oil-rich city of Kirkuk from largely autonomous Kurdish fighters while Asian shares look set to extend their bull run on optimism about upcoming earnings.

companyNews reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil prices firm as Iraq tensions escalate, shares extend rally

* Oil highest since Sept as Iraq govt seizes Kurdish-held Kirkuk

cnn.com

Sugary drink sales plummeted with price hike

From Colombia to South Africa, France to India, governments around the globe are exploring whether taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages might curb obesity rates. Do these fines actually work to prevent people from choosing sweet drinks?

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BRIEF-Rosetta Stone appoints Jessie Woolley-Wilson to board of directors

* Rosetta Stone Inc appoints Jessie Woolley-Wilson to board of directors Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Rosetta Stone says board unanimously voted to increase size to seven members​

* Rosetta Stone Inc - ‍board of directors of co unanimously voted to increase size of its board by one seat to seven members​ - SEC filing Source: (http://bit.ly/2gecQt7) Further company coverage:

worldNews reuters.com

Big drop in asylum seekers illegally crossing into Canada in September

TORONTO (Reuters) - The number of asylum seekers walking across the U.S. border into Canada illegally dropped by more than two-thirds in September from August, government data showed on Monday, as officials seek to dispel myths around the country's refugee system.

cnn.com

Producers Guild kicks out Harvey Weinstein

The Producers Guild of America has become the latest Hollywood organization to condemn Harvey Weinstein, moving to expel the film mogul from its ranks in a meeting on Monday.

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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.

Restaurants nytimes.com

The Chef: Edward Lee Takes His Show to Washington

The Brooklyn-born chef, well established in Louisville and on TV, brings his Asian-infused Southern cooking to a new audience.

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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.

Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline nytimes.com

Are the Days of Low Oil Prices Receding?

The Kurdish vote for independence in Iraq is the latest geopolitical crisis to affect a market already weighing the impact of possible new sanctions on Iran.

companyNews reuters.com

MOVES-Macquarie hires Tom Price for commodities research

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Macquarie has hired Tom Price to replace Colin Hamilton in its commodities research unit, sources close to the matter said, adding that Price was on gardening leave until he started his new job early next year.

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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.

companyNews reuters.com

Credit card data shows delinquencies rose in Sept

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Credit card delinquency rose for the third straight month in September, data from JPMorgan Chase & Co and card issuer Discover Financial Services suggested on Monday.

politicsNews reuters.com

Republican U.S. Senator Cochran postpones return to Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Thad Cochran has delayed his return to Washington following a medical procedure, his office said on Monday, possibly complicating passage of a budget blueprint that is needed to push through the Republicans' plan for tax reform.

companyNews reuters.com

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market rebounds on banks, oil prices

DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rebounded on Monday as higher oil prices boosted petrochemical shares while banks rose in response to Alinma Bank's better-than-expected earnings.

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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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CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens higher as resources rally on commodity prices

TORONTO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened higher on Monday, as higher commodity prices fueled energy and mining stocks to lead the market higher.

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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.

technologyNews reuters.com

Huawei aims to challenge Apple and Samsung on technology as well as price

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Huawei [HWT.UL] has unveiled a new line of smartphones that match or even improve on key features offered by Apple or Samsung while undercutting their rivals on price.

cnn.com

Washington is turning against the US Senate

Some conservatives in the House of Representatives believe they've found a way to shield themselves from loss in 2018: run against the US Senate even if it means running against their own GOP colleagues.

topNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

CANADA STOCKS-TSX futures higher as oil prices rise

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Futures for Canada's main stock index edged higher on Monday as oil prices rose after fighting escalated between Iraqi and Kurdish forces, raising concerns over oil exports from Iraq.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Heat Biologics sets subscription price of $0.62/shr for its intended rights offering to certain existing security holders

* Says subscription price of $0.62 per share for its intended rights offering to certain of co's existing security holders - SEC filing​ Source text for Eikon: (http://bit.ly/2wZmeaM) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-BP Midstream sees IPO of 42.5 mln common units priced between $19 and $21 per common unit

* Sees IPO of 42.5 million common units priced between $19.00 and $21.00 per common unit - SEC filing

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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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-ReTo Eco-Solutions sees IPO of 2.8 mln common shares priced between $4.50 to $5.50 each

* ReTo Eco-solutions Inc sees IPO of 2.8 million common shares priced between $4.50 to $5.50 each - SEC filing Source text: (http://bit.ly/2yoqfa7) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-JPMorgan Chase credit card delinquency and charge-off rates for September

* JPMorgan Chase & Co - Credit card delinquency rate 1.22 percent at September end versus 1.16 percent at August end ‍​

topNews reuters.com

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.

Vance, Cyrus R Jr nytimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor: The Myth of the Progressive Prosecutor

They get credit for changing the game, even when they continue draconian practices.

topNews reuters.com

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.