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Chile's Pinera takes commanding lead in presidential vote

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Conservative challenger Sebastian Pinera was on track to win Chile's presidential election on Sunday, after pledging to end his center-left predecessor's progressive agenda and jump-start growth in one of Latin America's most developed economies.

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Macron sees February end to fight against Islamic State in Syria

PARIS (Reuters) - The military campaign against Islamic State in Syria should be completed in February following the end of fighting against the militant group in Iraq, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

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Iran airs 'confessions' of researcher facing death for spying

LONDON (Reuters) - Iranian state television broadcast on Sunday what it described as the confessions of an Iranian academic with Swedish residency who it said had provided information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.

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Colombia's ELN rebels willing to extend ceasefire if talks progress

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's leftist ELN rebels said on Sunday they are willing to extend a ceasefire set to expire next month if there is sufficient progress at peace talks with the government.

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Republicans confident tax bill to become law this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. Republicans said on Sunday they expected Congress to pass a tax code overhaul this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's end.

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Italy 5-star party keeps option on euro referendum open

MILAN (Reuters) - The leader of Italy's main opposition party said he was keeping the option of a referendum on the euro open in the event his party won elections and failed to convince Brussels of the need to change some of the euro zone's economic rules.

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Mexican human rights group mulls legal action against security law

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) may take legal action against a bill that would enshrine into law the use of the army in the country's long war against drug cartels, saying it could ask that the measure be ruled unconstitutional.

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Thousands protest in Romania against judicial changes

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Thousands of Romanians protested in freezing weather across the country on Sunday against attempts by the ruling Social Democrats to overhaul the judiciary, which critics said would threaten the rule of law.

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SPD leader wants Merkel to relinquish finance ministry: Handelsblatt

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) leader Martin Schulz wants Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives to leave the powerful finance ministry to his center-left party in coalition talks, a report in business daily Handelsblatt said.

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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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Kremlin says U.S. tip-off helped Russia halt terrorist attack

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for a tip-off that helped prevent a terrorist bomb attack on a cathedral in the Russia city of St Petersburg, the Kremlin said.

entertainmentNews reuters.com

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' scores massive $450 million in opening weekend

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," the latest chapter in the hugely popular franchise, debuted with a massive $450 million in global ticket sales over the weekend, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Sunday.

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Republicans confident tax bill will become law this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. Republicans said they expected Congress to pass a tax code overhaul this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's end.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' scores massive $450 mln in opening weekend

LOS ANGELES, Dec 17 (Reuters) - "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," the latest chapter in the hugely popular franchise, debuted with a massive $450 million in global ticket sales over the weekend, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Sunday.

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Ukrainian police clash with Saakashvili supporters in Kiev

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian police clashed with backers of opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili on Sunday and prevented them from forcing their way into Kiev's October Palace after a rally against President Petro Poroshenko.

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' scores $450 mln in global opening weekend

LOS ANGELES, Dec 17 (Reuters) - "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" debuted with a massive $450 million in global ticket sales over the weekend, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Sunday.

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Majority of Peruvians want president ousted, poll finds

LIMA (Reuters) - A majority of Peruvians want embattled President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to leave office, a poll showed on Sunday, as his approval ratings plummeted to new lows following revelations that businesses tied to him received payments from Brazilian builder Odebrecht.

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U.S. tip-off helped Russia halt terrorist attack: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to thank him for information that allowed Russia to prevent a terrorist attack on its soil, Interfax news agency quoted the Kremlin as saying.

politicsNews reuters.com

Senator-elect Jones not joining calls for Trump resignation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Doug Jones, who scored an upset victory last week in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama, said on Sunday he did not believe President Donald Trump needed to resign over sexual misconduct allegations against him.

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Remains of exiled Italian king return to Italy

MILAN (Reuters) - The remains of Victor Emmanuel III, who reigned as Italy's king through two world wars and died in exile in 1947, were flown back from Egypt on Sunday for reburial at a family mausoleum near Turin.

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Chile choosing between billionaire and ex-journalist for president

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chileans voted in a runoff presidential election on Sunday that will determine if the world's top copper producer stays on its center-left course or joins a tide of Latin American nations turning to the right in recent years.

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Car bomber attacks NATO convoy in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Sunday, killing one civilian and wounding four others but without causing casualties among international forces, officials said.

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Erdogan says Turkey will open embassy in East Jerusalem

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will 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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Children serenade pope on 81st birthday; he appeals for kidnapped nuns

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people, many of them children, serenaded Pope Francis on his 81st birthday on Sunday, as the pontiff appealed for the release of Catholic nuns kidnapped last month in Nigeria.

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East Libyan commander Haftar says will listen to 'will of free Libyan people'

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Eastern Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control parts of the country, said on Sunday he would listen to the "will of free Libyan people", in the strongest indication so far that he might run in elections expected next year.

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Philippines' Duterte, in about-face, says he supports same-sex unions

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday expressed his support for same-sex unions, after previously declaring his opposition to gay marriage, in an about-face that may displease bishops in the mainly Roman Catholic country.

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Insurgents burn bus in southern Thailand

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Armed insurgents stopped and torched a Bangkok-bound passenger bus on a highway in southern Thailand on Sunday, police said.

nytimes.com

Alabama, California, Donald Trump: Your Weekend Briefing

Here’s what you need to know about the week’s top stories.

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Italy's ruling PD party slips further in polls, newspaper reports

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's ruling Democratic Party (PD) has lost further ground over its rivals after political infighting and fallout from a banking scandal, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.

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South Africa's ANC set to elect leader to replace scandal-ridden Zuma

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ANC is set to elect a successor to President Jacob Zuma in a leadership vote by a party that has ruled since the end of apartheid but lost its luster in a welter of scandal and corruption allegations.

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Brexit will not be derailed, says UK's May ahead of crunch cabinet meetings

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday she would not be derailed from leaving the European Union, laying the groundwork for difficult meetings this week in which she will try to unite a divided cabinet behind her vision for post-Brexit Britain.

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Two Danish journalists wounded in Islamist knife attack in Gabon

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - An attacker wielding a knife and crying "Allahu Akbar" has wounded two Danish journalists in Gabon's capital Libreville, the Gabonese defense minister said.

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Chinese military transport plane flies near Taiwan

TAIPEI (Reuters) - At least one Chinese Air Force Yun-8 transport plane conducted a long-haul flight near Taiwan on Sunday, the island's Defence Ministry said, amid simmering tensions between the two rivals.

Baldwin, Alec nytimes.com

‘S.N.L.’ Takes On Omarosa Resignation (or Firing?)

Right before Christmas, “S.N.L.” delivered a holiday message from the White House, with President Trump (Alec Baldwin) and company decorating a tree.

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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".

technologyNews reuters.com

French aerospace giant Thales agrees acquisition of Gemalto: statement

PARIS (Reuters) - French aerospace and defense technology group Thales has agreed to buy chipmaker Gemalto at a price of 51 euros per share, with the aim of creating a "world leader in digital security", the companies said in a joint statement on Sunday.

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Gunmen attack Christian church in Pakistan, at least one dead

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Attackers detonated a bomb and opened fire on worshippers inside a Christian church in southwestern Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least one person and wounding several others, officials said.

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Billionaire, former journalist face off for Chile presidency

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chileans vote in an uncertain runoff presidential election on Sunday that will determine if the world's top copper producer stays on its center-left course or joins a tide of Latin American nations turning to the right in recent years.

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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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RPT-Wall St Week Ahead-Healthcare draws election-year worry, but 2016 repeat not seen

NEW YORK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - With another election year looming, investors in the healthcare sector are wary the coming months could reopen wounds suffered during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

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Tens of thousands of Indonesians rally over Trump's Jerusalem stance

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Muslims marched from the main mosque in Indonesia's capital to a square in Jakarta on Sunday to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Second prototype of China's C919 jet conducts test flight: state TV

BEIJING (Reuters) - A second prototype of China's home-built C919 passenger jet took off for a test flight in Shanghai on Sunday, state television reported, another step forward in the country's ambitions to muscle in to the global jet market.

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North Korea threat on agenda when South Korean foreign minister visits Japan

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's foreign minister will visit Japan this week to meet her Japanese counterpart, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, with Seoul and Tokyo seeking to boost cooperation over the handling of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

sportsNews reuters.com

McGregor plans return to MMA for next fight

The Sports Xchange) - Forget about Conor McGregor stepping back into the boxing ring anytime soon. It appears that the 29-year-old will head back to fight in the octagon, not the squared circle.

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Honduran helicopter crash kills six, including president's sister

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The sister of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and five others died when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed on Saturday, the Honduran military said.

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Brazil's Workers Party formalizes support for ex-president Lula

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's leftist Workers Party (PT) approved a resolution on Saturday formally supporting the candidacy of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as the nation's left continues to rally around the leader despite a corruption conviction.

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Foreign minister warns UK cannot become 'vassal state' of EU

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Britain must strike a strong trade deal with the European Union after Brexit and avoid becoming a subordinate state of the bloc, foreign minister and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson has told the Sunday Times newspaper.

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More than half of Britons now want to stay in EU: poll

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A poll has found that 51 percent of Britons would now keep European Union membership while 41 percent want to leave the bloc, a near reversal of last year's referendum result.

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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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Elysee plays down opulence of Macron birthday at Loire chateau

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates his 40th birthday this weekend in the grounds of a former royal palace, in what some opponents called another tactless show of wealth.

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Argentina fires head of navy over submarine tragedy

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina fired the head of its navy a month after a submarine disappeared in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members onboard, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

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Egyptian presidential hopeful apologizes to arrested supporters

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafik apologized on Saturday to supporters who were arrested this week and called on authorities to resolve the situation.

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Argentina fires head of navy after submarine tragedy

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina fired the head of its navy a month after a submarine disappeared in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members onboard, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

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Nazareth Christmas celebrations will be held as normal: mayor

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Nazareth, the Israeli Arab city where Jesus is thought to have been raised, will celebrate Christmas as usual, its mayor said, denying the festivities would be curtailed in protest at the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Libyan coast guard rescues more than 250 migrants trying to reach Italy

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's coastal guard has rescued more than 250 illegal migrants trying to leave the North African country in small boats bound for Italy, officials said on Saturday.

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Thousands of Romanians mourn former king Michael

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Thousands of Romanians lined the streets of Bucharest on Saturday for the funeral of the country’s former king Michael, one of the last surviving World War Two European heads of state.

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Austrian conservatives bring far right into government

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria is set to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government after the anti-immigration Freedom Party and Sebastian Kurz's conservatives struck a coalition deal they plan to present on Saturday.

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Russian and French foreign ministers discussed situation in Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed the situation in Syria and other issues during a phone conversation on Dec. 14, the Russian ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

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Australian PM future safeguarded in crucial Sydney by-election

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's conservative coalition government regained its razor-thin parliamentary majority on Saturday after inner Sydney voters re-elected a former professional tennis player in a special poll triggered by a constitutional crisis.

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Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, a Palestinian billionaire and the chairman of Jordan's largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday.

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U.S. says did everything possible to help Italy cyber investigation

ROME (Reuters) - The United States has denied suggestions it undermined an investigation into a massive data breach at the Italian cybersecurity firm Hacking Team, saying it did everything it could to help in the case.

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Thai tour guide arrested for inappropriate behavior at Buddhist temple

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai authorities have arrested a local tour guide for indecent behavior at a temple after she posted a photograph online that showed her standing on a pagoda, police said on Saturday.

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Kurz's Austrian conservatives bring far right into government

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's conservative leader Sebastian Kurz has brought the far right Freedom Party (FPO) into government, striking a coalition deal he aims to cement with his own party and Austria's president on Saturday.

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Peru's Congress prepares to oust President Kuczynski

LIMA (Reuters) - President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's chances of surviving the political crisis gripping Peru faded on Friday after Congress passed a motion to start "presidential vacancy" procedures with enough votes to unseat him within a week.

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South Africa to increase spending on higher education: Zuma

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa will raise subsidies to universities to 1 percent of gross domestic product over the next five years from nearly 0.7 percent at present as recommended by a commission on higher education funding, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

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Detained asylum-seekers win right to sue PNG government for compensation

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A Papua New Guinea court has given hundreds of asylum-seekers who were held for years in a controversial Australian detention center the right to sue the PNG government for compensation, Australian media reported on Saturday.

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Canadian police probe 'suspicious' deaths of billionaire couple

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police said they were investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

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Australian PM's future at stake in crucial Sydney by-election

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Voters began casting ballots in a Sydney by-election on Saturday that could determine the future of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is hoping to regain his parliamentary majority and safeguard his leadership.

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Canada police probe 'suspicious' deaths of billionaire, wife

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police said they were investigating the mysterious deaths of the billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, Barry Sherman, and his wife, Honey, who were found dead in their Toronto mansion on Friday.

worldNews reuters.com

Ramaphosa, Dlamini-Zuma in tight race to lead South Africa's ruling ANC

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress holds an election this weekend - seen as too close to call - to replace Jacob Zuma as party leader, with the winner also likely to become the next president.

politicsNews reuters.com

Final Republican tax bill slashes U.S. corporate rate, voting next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional Republicans on Friday unveiled the final version of their dramatic U.S. tax overhaul - debt-financed cuts for businesses, the wealthy and some middle-class Americans - and picked up crucial support from two wavering senators ahead of planned votes by lawmakers early next week.

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Mexico presidential race roiled as leftist front-runner embraces right wing party

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The front-runner in Mexico's 2018 election has embraced a small, socially conservative party in his bid for the presidency, sparking criticism among progressives that could splinter his support in what is expected to be a tight race.

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Canadian pharmaceutical billionaire, wife found dead in Toronto

(Reuters) - The billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, Barry Sherman, and his wife Honey, were found dead in their Toronto home on Friday under circumstances that police described as "suspicious."

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Canadian billionaire found dead in Toronto: Ontario health minister

(Reuters) - The billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex, Barry Sherman, and his wife Honey, were found dead in Toronto on Thursday, Ontario's health minister said on Twitter.

Computers and the Internet nytimes.com

What’s Next After the Repeal of Net Neutrality

Here is a guide to what will happen in the coming weeks (and maybe years), including potential changes from companies and numerous lawsuits.

worldNews reuters.com

Argentine Congress to make fresh attempt at pension debate on Monday

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's lower house of Congress will try on Monday to debate the government's pension bill, lawmakers said on Friday, after the first attempt at discussing it this week ended with violent protests that forced the legislature to suspend session.

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Austria's Kurz strikes deal to bring far right into government

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian conservatives led by Sebastian Kurz reached a coalition deal with the anti-immigration Freedom Party on Friday, paving the way for Austria to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government.

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Pence trip to Middle East overshadowed by Trump's Jerusalem decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will underscore the U.S. partnership with Israel during a trip to the Middle East next week while seeking to shore up U.S. relations with the Arab world after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Peru president fights for political life as impeachment looms

LIMA (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Peru's opposition-ruled Congress filed a motion on Friday to impeach center-right President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on grounds he was morally unfit to lead after he resisted calls to resign over alleged corruption.

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U.S. says identified target for sanctions over Myanmar crackdown

WASHINGTON/YANGON (Reuters) - The United States has identified one person it might impose sanctions on over the brutal crackdown in Myanmar against minority Rohingya Muslims and is examining others, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday.

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Security tight as Germany marks anniversary of Christmas market attack

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has tightened security at Christmas markets across the country a year after a deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel under fire from victims' relatives for her handling of the case.

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'Day of Rage' - a knife, a fake bomb belt, a death

NEAR RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - I went to the road just outside Ramallah, as on previous days, because that is one of the places in the West Bank where Palestinians have been protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

companyNews reuters.com

Chile stocks mark highest weekly gain in 8 years

SANTIAGO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Chile's IPSA stock index ended up 7 percent on the week on Friday, its highest weekly gain in eight years and coming ahead of Sunday's presidential election, as the price of copper, the country's main export, rose.

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SPD agrees to talks on joining German government, Merkel urges quick action

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to open exploratory talks on forming a government with Chancellor Angela Merkel, party leader Martin Schulz said, providing a chance to end a rare period of political deadlock in Europe's largest economy.

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U.S. says it wants Syrian government to negotiate 'seriously' with opposition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday urged supporters of the Syrian government to press it to "participate fully" in negotiations with the opposition, saying a lack of a political resolution in the war-torn country threatened indefinite instability.

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Victims of Mexico military abuses shudder at new security law

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Human rights activist Juan Carlos Soni fears a new security law passed by Mexico's Congress on Friday could mean his death after he suffered beatings, electrocution and abduction at the hands of the armed forces four years ago.

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Man with knife shot at Amsterdam airport; suspect is known offender

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutchman wielding a knife was shot by military police on Friday at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and taken into custody, an official said.

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Brazil's Temer says pension bill 2 to 3 dozen votes short

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's government has secured between 270 and 280 of the 308 votes needed to approve a bill to overhaul the country's bloated social security system in February, President Michel Temer said on Friday.

worldNews reuters.com

Peru lawmakers file motion to impeach president Kuczynski

LIMA (Reuters) - Opposition lawmakers in Peru's Congress presented a motion on Friday seeking to impeach President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski for "moral incapacity" due to his ties to Brazil's Odebrecht, a company that has admitted to paying bribes across Latin America.

worldNews reuters.com

Supporters of Hungarian Jobbik opposition party protest over crackdown

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - About a thousand Hungarians protested on Friday against a crackdown on the main opposition party Jobbik which has been threatened by a record political campaign fine that the party leader describes as a "death sentence" for democracy.

companyNews reuters.com

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for first week in six -Baker Hughes

By Scott DiSavino Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. energy companies this week cut oil rigs for the first time in six weeks in spite of prices rising close to their highest in over two years and drillers starting to boost spending plans for next year. The oil rig count fell by four to 747 in the week to Dec. 15, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future

worldNews reuters.com

'Congratulations': EU moves to Brexit phase two but warns will be tough

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union agreed on Friday to move Brexit talks onto trade and a transition pact but some leaders cautioned that the final year of divorce negotiations before Britain's exit could be fraught with peril.

worldNews reuters.com

Protesters block roads in Honduras as electoral crisis rumbles on

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduran security forces fired tear gas on Friday at opposition protesters who had blocked major roads, and demanded a full recount of last month's contentious election that pitched the Central American nation into crisis.

worldNews reuters.com

Mexico's Senate picks new electoral prosecutor amid graft spat

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate on Friday named the country's new top prosecutor for election-related crimes, after the official previously in the post was fired amid a graft scandal involving a close former aide of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Subways nytimes.com

New York’s Next Subway Chief Will Mull Closing Lines for Repairs

Andy Byford, the city’s incoming transit president, says that making real progress in the subway system will require hard choices.

worldNews reuters.com

Austria's Kurz poised to bring far right into government

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria is poised to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government as Sebastian Kurz's conservatives and the anti-immigration Freedom Party inched towards a coalition deal on Friday.

worldNews reuters.com

Man with knife shot at Schiphol airport, taken into custody - police

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A man wielding a knife was shot by military police on Friday at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and taken into custody, an official said.

companyNews reuters.com

Wall St Week Ahead-Healthcare draws election-year worry, but 2016 repeat not seen

NEW YORK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - With another election year looming, investors in the healthcare sector are wary the coming months could reopen wounds suffered during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkish minister calls for witness in U.S. trial to be repatriated: ministry sources

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's justice minister has told his U.S. counterpart that a former Turkish police investigator who testified at the trial of a Turkish banker in New York was wanted by Ankara and should be sent back to his country, justice ministry sources said.

worldNews reuters.com

U.N. chief urges communication with N.Korea to avoid escalation

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Friday it was time to immediately re-establish and strengthen communication channels with North Korea, including inter-Korean and military to military channels, to reduce the risk of a misunderstanding escalating into conflict.

politicsNews reuters.com

Rubio repeats concerns on U.S. tax bill ahead of expected vote next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Friday repeated his concerns that an expansion of child tax credit in a tax bill his party's leaders hope to pass next week is too little to win his support, keeping a cloud over prospects for the legislation's passage.

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France cautious over U.S. 'evidence' on Iran weaponry in Yemen

PARIS (Reuters) - France reacted cautiously on Friday to U.S. evidence which allegedly proved Iran supplied weapons to Houthi militia in Yemen, saying it was still studying information at its disposal and the United Nations had yet to draw any conclusions.

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Trump says U.S. wants Russia's help on North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that Washington hoped to receive more help from Russian President Vladimir Putin in efforts to convince North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear weapons program.

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Belgian trial of Paris attacker Abdeslam postponed: court

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Belgian trial of one of the suspects behind the 2015 Islamist attacks in Paris has been postponed, a Brussels court said.

worldNews reuters.com

From life as thugs to baking, El Salvador's ex-gang members seek peace

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - Gang life in the poor Central American country of El Salvador is hard, but for a dozen former members of the feared 18th Street Gang, building a new life outside is no less difficult.

cnn.com

Four dead, hundreds wounded as protests over Jerusalem hit second week

Four Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded Friday in the West Bank and Gaza during clashes between Israeli troops and protesters opposed to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

companyNews reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares limp toward third week of gains, Bitcoin roars to new high

* Wall Street set to rebound after concerns about U.S. tax reforms

Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) nytimes.com

E.U. Leaders Agree to Begin Next Phase of Brexit Talks

Their acceptance of a “divorce deal” opens the way for discussions on a transitional period and the nature of trade relations with Britain

worldNews reuters.com

'Congratulations': EU launches next phase of Brexit but warns of tough talks ahead

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union agreed on Friday to move Brexit talks onto trade and a transition pact but some leaders cautioned that the final year of Britain's divorce negotiations could be fraught with peril.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Petrobras to announce revised capex plan next week -CEO

SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA will announce a revision to its investment plan next week, Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said on Friday.

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Russian ex-minister Ulyukayev jailed for eight years over $2 million bribe

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was found guilty of soliciting a $2 million bribe from Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin and sentenced to eight years in jail on Friday.

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Brazil's Temer to leave hospital, return to Brasilia

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer was cleared to leave hospital in Sao Paulo on Friday and will return to Brasilia in the afternoon, his office said.

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Amazon to pay 100 million euros to settle Italy tax dispute: statement

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's inland revenue service said on Friday it had reached an agreement with Amazon to settle outstanding tax claims covering the period 2011-2015.

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Pakistani top court rejects bid to bar opposition leader Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition to disqualify cricket hero and opposition leader Imran Khan from parliament for not declaring assets, months after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was removed by the court on a similar charge.

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Catalan election to return hung parliament: poll

MADRID (Reuters) - An election in Catalonia will fail to conclusively resolve a political crisis over an independence drive in the region, the final surveys before the Dec. 21 vote showed on Friday.

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BRIEF-Rigel Announces Resignation Of Ryan Maynard, Executive Vice President And CFO Effective December 31, 2017

* RESIGNATION OF RYAN MAYNARD, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2017

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'Congratulations PM May': EU backs new phase in Brexit talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union agreed on Friday to move talks forward with London on Britain's exit from the bloc as leaders warmed to the British premier, but there was little clarity on trade issues and Austria warned the Irish border issue remained a "riddle".

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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa says elections must be credible, free and fair

HARARE (FX BUZZ) - Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Friday the ruling ZANU-PF party should aim to always compete in elections which are credible, free and fair.

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Russian court jails ex-minister Ulyukayev for eight years in bribery case

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court sentenced ex-economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev to eight years in prison on Friday after finding him guilty of taking a $2 million bribe from Igor Sechin, the CEO of oil giant Rosneft.

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Thyssenkrupp has offered help to Argentina over disappeared submarine

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Thyssenkrupp, has offered assistance to Argentinian authorities in an investigation into the disappearance of a submarine last month, a spokesman said on Friday.

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NATO sounds alarm on banned Russian missile system

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO allies on Friday publicly raised concern about a Russian cruise missile system that the alliance says may break a Cold War-era pact banning such weapons, in a show of support for Washington.

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Death toll rises to six after school bus, train collide in France

PARIS (Reuters) - The death toll from a collision which saw a train rip a school bus in half rose to six on Friday after doctors in southern France lost the battle overnight to save two of those left seriously injured, a source close to the investigation said.

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Germany owes Europe a stable government, top SPD boss says

BERLIN (Reuters) - A senior Social Democrat (SPD) politician said Germany needed a stable government able to play a leadership role in the European Union, in the clearest signal yet that the party would open coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

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Death toll from train, bus collision in France rises to six: source

PARIS (Reuters) - The death toll from Thursday's collision between a train and a school bus has risen to six, a source familiar with the investigation said on Friday, as investigators combed the mangled wreckage.

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Middle-class Egypt adapts to survive as austerity bites

CAIRO (Reuters) - Swapping new cars for cheaper models, cutting back on pricy supermarket shopping and giving up holidays abroad, middle-class Egyptians are finding strategies to stay afloat after a currency reform a year ago sent their living costs soaring.

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Global shares limp toward third week of gains, dollar hobbles

LONDON (Reuters) - World shares fell on Friday and the dollar slipped against major and heavyweight emerging market currencies, as nagging uncertainty about a U.S. tax cuts package dovetailed with broad-based end-of-year caution.

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EU to move on Brexit talks, Irish 'riddle' remains

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is poised on Friday to move talks forward with London on Britain's exit from the bloc as leaders warm to the British premier but there was little clarity on trade issues and Austria warned the Irish border issue remained a "riddle".

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares limp toward third week of gains, dollar hobbles

LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - World shares fell on Friday and the dollar slipped against major and heavyweight emerging market currencies, as nagging uncertainty about a U.S. tax cuts package dovetailed with broad-based end-of-year caution.

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Russian ex-minister Ulyukayev found guilty of bribe-taking

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was found guilty on Friday of soliciting a $2 million bribe from Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin in a court case that has shone a rare light on infighting among the Russian elite.

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Japan's Yamato plans to open labor-saving facility next year

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's largest package delivery company, Yamato Transport Co, is considering plans to open a new distribution facility with labor-saving technology near Tokyo early next year, its chief executive said on Friday.

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Second phase of Brexit talks will be harder than first: EU's Juncker

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The second phase Brexit negotiations will be significantly harder than an already difficult first phase of talks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday.

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Russia says Iran nuclear deal breakdown would hurt effort to manage North Korea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a possible breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal would send the wrong signal when it came to trying to resolve the situation around North Korea, the RIA and Interfax news agencies reported on Friday.

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Britain says West must defend undersea cables from Russian navy

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and its NATO allies must defend deep sea cables against a potentially catastrophic attack by the Russia navy that could disrupt trillions of dollars in financial transactions, the head of Britain's armed forces warned.

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Russian parliament sets March 18 as presidential election date

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The upper house of the Russian parliament voted on Friday to set March 18 as the date of next year's presidential election.

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Cambodia's Hun Sen challenges EU and U.S. to freeze assets

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen encouraged the United States and European Union on Friday to freeze the assets of Cambodian leaders abroad in response to his government's crackdown on the opposition and civil society.

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South Africa's governing ANC to announce party leader on Sunday

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) will announce current president Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday as it looks to conclude a bruising leadership battle and focus on policy, a party spokesman told radio station 702 on Friday.

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Nikkei falls hit by telecom stocks, posts 1.1 pct weekly drop

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell to their lowest in more than a week on Friday, with mobile firms extending a sell-off on concerns of increased competition after e-commerce group Rakuten said it aims to become the country's fourth wireless carrier.

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Beijing evictions leave migrant workers in limbo as winter deepens

BEIJING (Reuters) - Winter is bringing a frigid existence and an uncertain future for migrant workers in Beijing deprived of electricity and heating as they resist a month-long campaign to evict them from the city's urban villages.

cnn.com

These states could be the next Alabama

Could the next Roy Moore be awaiting Republicans in Arizona or Nevada?

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Peru's Kuczynski says will not resign over Odebrecht scandal

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said late on Thursday that he would not resign over a scandal involving payments that Brazilian builder Odebrecht paid a decade ago to a company he controlled while holding public office.

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Australian abuse report calls for end to sanctity of confession

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia should introduce a law forcing religious leaders to report child abuse, including Catholic priests told of abuse in the confessional, said a report on Friday which detailed institutional abuse, particularly in the Catholic Church.

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Australian child abuse report calls for end to sanctity of confession, voluntary celibacy for clergy

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia should introduce a law forcing religious leaders to report child abuse, including Catholic priests who are told of abuse in the confessional, according to a report into institutional child abuse released on Friday.

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Nikkei falls to more than 1-week low; telecom stocks extend slide

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell to more than a week low on Friday morning, with mobile firms extending a sell-off on concerns of increased competition after Rakuten said it aims to become Japan's fourth wireless carrier.

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EU leaders clash over refugees

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Two years after the Mediterranean migrant crisis blew a hole in the European Union, a tentative effort to patch up differences over what to do with refugees underlined continuing rifts among the bloc's leaders.

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Chile presidential hopefuls end campaigns before Sunday vote

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's presidential hopefuls ended their campaigns in downtown Santiago on Thursday ahead of an uncertain runoff election whose outcome will determine whether the world's top copper producer turns to the right or maintains its center-left track.

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Asian shares edge up, on track for weekly gain

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Friday, on track for weekly gains, though sentiment was kept in check by Wall Street's weakness on concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform.

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Trump discusses North Korea situation with Putin: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Trump spoke by phone on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two leaders "discussed working together to resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea," the White House said in a statement.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares edge up, on track for weekly gain

TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Friday, on track for weekly gains, though sentiment was kept in check by Wall Street's weakness on concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform.

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Peru's Kuczynski loses support of inner circle: sources

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has lost support of senior officials in his government after Brazil's Odebrecht said it had transferred $4.8 million to companies linked to him, two government sources said on Thursday, and the opposition called for him to resign.

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May wins applause from EU leaders for Brexit efforts

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European leaders applauded British Prime Minister Theresa May for her work so far on Brexit, assuring her at a summit in Brussels that sufficient progress has been made to allow Britain to move on to the next stage of leaving the union.

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EU leaders lock horns over hosting refugees

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders locked horns at a summit in Brussels over the divisive issue of hosting refugees who reach Europe, reopening a two-year-old dispute that has shaken the bloc.

cnn.com

How Mueller's path was muddied in two weeks

On December 1, all eyes in Washington were fixed on former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI. It was another sign that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election was gaining steam.

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Putin, Trump discuss bilateral relations, Korean Peninsula situation: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed bilateral relations and situation in the Korean Peninsula during a telephone call, the Kremlin said in a statement early on Friday.

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Canada spy agency settles lawsuit alleging homophobia, racism

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's spy agency has settled a lawsuit by five employees who accused their bosses of homophobia, racism and Islamophobia and it will work to stamp out harassment, the head of the agency said on Thursday.

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Four French schoolchildren killed as train plows into bus

PARIS (Reuters) - Four adolescents were killed when a train smashed into a school bus on a level crossing outside the town of Perpignan in southwestern France on Thursday.

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While focus is on North Korea, China continues South China Sea buildup: think tank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank said on Thursday.

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Two dead, several wounded in stabbing in southern Dutch city Maastricht: police

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - At least two people were killed and several others wounded by stabbings in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht on Thursday evening, police said.

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One dead, several injured in stabbing in southern Dutch city Maastricht: police

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - One person was killed and several others injured in a stabbing incident in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht on Thursday evening, police said.

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After London setback, May wins Brexit cheer in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Making no secret of her desire to move on with Brexit talks, Prime Minister Theresa May told EU leaders on Thursday and won a round of applause for efforts so far in agreeing to an outline of divorce terms.

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Leadership of New York Times passes to next-generation Sulzberger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times on Thursday named a new publisher in 37-year-old A.G. Sulzberger, a fifth-generation descendant of Times leaders whose internal report on innovation has guided a newspaper known as "The Gray Lady" into the digital era.

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UPDATE 2-Leadership of New York Times passes to next-generation Sulzberger

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The New York Times on Thursday named a new publisher in 37-year-old A.G. Sulzberger, a fifth-generation descendant of Times leaders whose internal report on innovation has guided a newspaper known as "The Gray Lady" into the digital era.

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Colombia urgently crafting law to allow crime gangs to surrender

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's government is urgently working with Congress on a law that would lay out terms of surrender for crime gangs such as the Gulf Clan, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Thursday, after the gang declared a unilateral ceasefire.

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U.N. calls Syria talks a 'big missed opportunity', seeks new ideas

GENEVA (Reuters) - A round of Syria peace talks that ended on Thursday was a big missed opportunity but there may more talks next month if ideas can be found to encourage President Bashar al-Assad's government to engage, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said.

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EU agrees to extend economic sanctions on Russia until mid-2018

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to prolong for another six months the bloc's economic sanctions on Russia, imposed over the annexation of Ukraine's peninsula of Crimea and Moscow's support for rebels in east Ukraine.

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Mexico presidential front-runner taps finance minister choice

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The front-runner for Mexico's 2018 presidential election on Thursday said U.S.-trained economist Carlos Manuel Urzua was his choice for finance minister if he won the July election.

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In first, U.S. presents its evidence of Iran weaponry from Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday presented for the first time pieces of what it said were Iranian weapons supplied to the Iran-aligned Houthi militia in Yemen, describing it as conclusive evidence that Tehran was violating U.N. resolutions.

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U.S. jets fire flares to warn Russian jets in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. F-22 fighter aircraft fired warning flares on Wednesday after two Russian Su-25 jets entered an agreed upon deconfliction area in airspace east of the Euphrates river in Syria, the U.S. military said.

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More than 20 Islamic State militants killed in Syria: U.S.-led coalition

WASHINGTON/AMMAN (Reuters) - A Pentagon-backed rebel group and the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State killed more than 20 Islamic State fighters and detained a number of militants in the southern Syrian desert near a base, the coalition said on Thursday.

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Saudis welcome U.N. report, U.S. stand on Iran's missile supplies to Yemen's Houthis: agency

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed a United Nations report and a U.S. stand on Iran's missile supplies to Yemen's Houthis and demanded immediate action to hold Tehran accountable for its actions, state news agency SPA reported.

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Chile presidential hopefuls wrap up campaigning ahead of Sunday vote

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile's presidential hopefuls were to wrap up campaigning on Thursday, three days ahead of a tight runoff election whose outcome will determine whether the world's top copper producer will turn to the right or maintain its center-left track.

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Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary chief seeks to put troops under national army

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The commander of Iraq's biggest Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary group told its fighters on Thursday to take their orders from the national military and cut their ties with the group's political wing.

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In first, U.S. presents its evidence of Iranian weaponry from Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday presented for the first time pieces of what it said were Iranian weapons supplied to the Iran-aligned Houthi militia in Yemen, describing it as conclusive evidence that Tehran was violating U.N. resolutions.

worldNews reuters.com

Hamas will reverse Trump's Jerusalem move, leader tells Gaza rally

GAZA (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Palestinians including hundreds of gunmen rallied in Gaza on Thursday to mark the 30th anniversary of Hamas's founding and its chief vowed to reverse U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

worldNews reuters.com

U.S. military orders additional probe into August Somalia raid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of U.S. forces in Africa has ordered an additional investigation into an August raid in Somalia by Somali and American forces, the U.S military said on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

Train collides with school bus in southern France: local townhall

PARIS (Reuters) - A train collided with a school bus outside the town of Perpignan in southern France on Thursday and emergency services were at the scene, a local official said.

Sulzberger, A G nytimes.com

A.G. Sulzberger, 37, Is Named Next Publisher of The New York Times

In a move that will go into effect Jan. 1, he will replace his father, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who served as publisher for 25 years.

worldNews reuters.com

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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Despite parliament defeat, Britain's May on course to deliver Brexit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Theresa May said on Thursday she was on course to deliver Brexit and a new partnership with the European Union, shrugging off a parliamentary defeat that could weaken her hand as the decisive phase of talks begins.

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India PM Modi's party seen sweeping state polls in popularity boost

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling group will sweep an election in his home state of Gujarat, surveys showed on Thursday, shaking off the most serious challenge yet from a combined opposition.

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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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WRAPUP 1-U.S. retail sales surge; weekly jobless claims fall

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (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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Italy adopts living wills allowing patients to refuse treatment

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Senate passed into law on Thursday a bill allowing severely ill people to refuse treatment that would prolong their lives.

worldNews reuters.com

Splits on Italian right buoy opponents as campaigning starts

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy's far-right Northern League said on Thursday he was suspending contacts with his main political ally, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, because of a disagreement over how tough courts should be on murderers and rapists.

worldNews reuters.com

Exclusive: U.S. suspends aid to Somalia's battered military over graft

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The United States is suspending food and fuel aid for most of Somalia's armed forces over corruption concerns, a blow to the military as African peacekeepers start to withdraw this month.

Books and Literature nytimes.com

Books News: From Two Scholars, African-American Folk Tales for the Next Generation

In their new collection, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar have reintroduced stories from the African diaspora.

worldNews reuters.com

German police raid locations linked to Islamist militants

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police investigating four people suspected of planning an Islamist-motivated attack raided nine locations in Berlin and the eastern state of Saxony Anhalt on Thursday, prosecutors said.

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Brazil's Temer delays pension-vote talks as he recovers after surgery

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer has postponed meetings scheduled for Thursday to discuss a crucial pension reform vote as he recovers well in hospital following minor surgery, his office said, and he will not be back on the job until Friday.

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Austria's Kurz says pro-EU stance secured in deal with far right

VIENNA (Reuters) - Coalition talks between Austria's far-right Freedom Party and conservatives led by Sebastian Kurz are in the "home straight" and have laid down guarantees that the next government will be pro-European, Kurz said on Thursday.

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METALS-Copper near two-week high, China data supports

* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Recasts, updates prices, changes dateline, adds details/quote)

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Cameroon's Anglophones flee to Nigeria as crackdown grows

IKOM, Nigeria (Reuters) - When soldiers burst into her village in southwest Cameroon last month with guns blazing, small farmer Eta Quinta, 32, raced into the forest with three of her children.

worldNews reuters.com

EU's new eastern leaders stick to guns on refugees

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The new prime ministers of Poland and the Czech Republic vowed not to give any ground on the divisive issue of hosting refugees as they arrived in Brussels on Thursday for their first summit of European Union leaders.

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Iraq hangs 38 Sunni militants in mass execution: justice ministry

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq hanged 38 Sunni Muslim militants on Thursday after they were sentenced to death on terrorism charges, the justice ministry said in a statement.

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Austria's Kurz optimistic on coalition deal with far right by Christmas

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz said on Thursday that coalition talks with the far-right Freedom Party were in the "home straight" and a deal on forming a government should be reached by next week.

worldNews reuters.com

Putin says U.S. gripped by fabricated spymania, praises Trump

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the United States was in the grip of a fabricated spymania whipped up by President Donald Trump's opponents but he thought battered U.S.-Russia relations would recover one day.

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Putin says Russia won't be dragged into new arms race with U.S.A.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia would pay proper attention to the development of its army and navy, but it would not be dragged into a new arms race with the United States.

worldNews reuters.com

Kenyan police assaulted and raped women during election: rights group

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Several dozen women in Kenya said police officers attacked them during this year's election season and some said they were raped by men in uniform, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

Zimbabwe ex-leader Mugabe visits Singapore hospital: sources

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe visited a hospital in Singapore this week apparently for medical checks, his first trip outside his country since he was ousted from office last month, sources in Singapore said on Thursday.

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Indian Hindu tried to raise money with video of killing of Muslim: police

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A Hindu man in India tried to raise money for a campaign against minority Muslims by issuing an appeal for donations with a video he took and posted online showing him killing a Muslim, police said on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

After defeat at home, Britain's May urges EU leaders to move on with Brexit

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge European Union leaders to approve an agreement to move Brexit talks on to a second phase on Thursday, just hours after an embarrassing parliamentary defeat at home that weakens her hand.

worldNews reuters.com

Six months on, London holds memorial for Grenfell fire victims

LONDON (Reuters) - Survivors of a fire that killed 71 people six months ago in the Grenfell Tower social housing block in west London will join firefighters and members of the royal family at a national memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral on Thursday.