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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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Southwest Airlines would use tax savings on planes, share buybacks

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co would use savings from a potential cut to the U.S. corporate tax rate to buy new planes and fund share buybacks, Chief Executive Gary Kelly said on Thursday.

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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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Firefighter killed battling massive California blaze

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A firefighter was killed while battling a massive wildfire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said on Thursday.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Santa Ana winds fuel growing California wildfire

Gusty Santa Ana winds, dry conditions and single-digit humidity in Southern California offered no relief Thursday to firefighters battling one of the largest wildfires in state history.

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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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Fierce winds to intensify as California wildfire grows

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California firefighting crews may face strong winds on Thursday that could feed a volatile wildfire which has grown into one of the biggest in state history.

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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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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.

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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.

California Today nytimes.com

California Today: California Today: North vs South, That Fading Rivalry

Thursday: A debate over NorCal versus SoCal, fire-resistant Getty Center, waiting for rain, Tavis Smiley show suspended and finally, Jewish humor for Christmas.

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.

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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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BRIEF-Teresa Elder Joins WideOpenWest As CEO

* WIDEOPENWEST INC- AUTHORIZED A STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM, COMMENCING IMMEDIATELY, TO REPURCHASE AN AGGREGATE OF $50 MILLION OF COMMON STOCK

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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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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.

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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.

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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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Fierce winds to intensify as firefighters battle California wildfire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California firefighting crews may face on Thursday another round of fierce gusts that have fed a volatile wildfire, one of the largest in the state's history, as they protect homes from flames and build control lines.

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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.

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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.

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BRIEF-Accenture To Buy Irish Creative Agency Rothco

* TO BUY ROTHCO , A FULL-SERVICE CREATIVE AGENCY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sweden to raise minimum pension age as retirees live longer

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden will raise the minimum age at which workers can take their state pension over the coming years, a move designed to match an increase in average life spans, the major political parties said on Thursday.

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China angered as U.S. considers navy visits to Taiwan

BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - China accused the United States on Thursday of interfering in its internal affairs and said it had lodged a complaint after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law an act laying the groundwork for possible U.S. navy visits to self-ruled Taiwan.

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Suicide bomber kills at least 15 at police academy in Somalia's capital

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman blew himself up inside a police training camp in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday and killed at least 15 officers, officials said.

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China summons Australian envoy over political meddling allegations

SYDNEY (Reuters) - China summoned Australia's ambassador to lodge a complaint last week over Canberra's allegation that Beijing had sought to interfere in Australian politics, a source familiar with the diplomatic action told Reuters on Thursday.

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Moscow, Cairo may sign deal on Friday to resume Russian flights to Egypt: TASS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and Egypt may sign an agreement on Friday allowing to resume Russian civilian flights to Egypt, the TASS news agency cited Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov as saying on Thursday.

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Suicide bomber kills at least 13 in police academy attack in Somali capital

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide bomber in police uniform blew himself up inside a police training camp in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday, killing at least 13 police officers, officials said.

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Australia's population growth outpaces world as migrants rush in

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's population is expanding at the fastest pace in the developed world as skilled migrants flock to the resource-rich nation, a fillip to economic growth overall but perhaps also a source of puzzling weakness in wages.

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Britain's May urges EU leaders to move on with Brexit talks

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, describing it as a fair deal that offers a good base for a discussion of future ties.

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Indonesia court rejects petition to bar consensual sex outside marriage

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's constitutional court on Thursday narrowly rejected a controversial petition to bar all consensual sex outside of marriage in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country.

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Indonesia's constitutional court rejects petition to bar consensual sex outside marriage

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's constitutional court on Thursday rejected a petition to bar all consensual sex outside of marriage.

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Odebrecht paid firms linked to Peru's Kuczynski $4.8 million: document

LIMA (Reuters) - Brazilian builder Odebrecht transferred $4.8 million to companies linked to Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski between 2004 and 2012, some of which was paid to a company Kuczynski controlled when he held senior government roles, according to a document the company sent to Congress.

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Mexico Senate committees pass controversial security bill

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Senate committees on Wednesday approved a controversial security bill that human rights groups say risks granting excessive power to the armed forces in their already checkered role in combating organized crime in the country.

Agriculture and Farming nytimes.com

More Victims of the California Wildfires: Avocados and Lemons

The largest of the fires has damaged a portion of the harvest in the country’s most productive region for both crops.

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Ecuador court sentences VP to six years in jail in Odebrecht graft case

QUITO (Reuters) - An Ecuadorean court on Wednesday sentenced Vice President Jorge Glas to six years in jail after finding him guilty of receiving bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht [ODBCT.UL] in return for handing the scandal-ridden firm state contracts.

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BRIEF-Western Alliance Bancorp Says Ken Vecchione Will Be Promoted To CEO In Q1 2018

* WESTERN ALLIANCE BANCORPORATION DETAILS TIMING FOR CEO ROLE TRANSITION IN 2018

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

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

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Merkel's conservatives keen, but SPD still coy on German government talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said they were willing to open formal talks on forming a government with Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) - but her chosen partner was expected to take two more days to decide how to proceed.

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Canada says defense firms can now sell small arms to Ukraine

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada said on Wednesday that defense contractors would be allowed to sell weapons such as automatic firearms and electric stun guns to Ukraine, a move the government in Kiev has long pressed for.

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Firefighters defend homes as huge California wildfire rages on

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters grappling with a wildfire that has burned out of control for 10 days on California's scenic coastline, destroying more than 700 homes, sought on Wednesday to defend homes from flames whipped by resurgent Santa Ana winds.

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Putin must nudge Syria into U.N. peace deal, mediator says

GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged Russia on Wednesday to convince its ally the Syrian government of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the nearly seven-year-old war.

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Britain's May defeated in parliament over Brexit blueprint

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May's government was defeated on Wednesday, when lawmakers forced through changes to its Brexit blueprint that ministers said could endanger Britain's departure from the European Union.

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Turkish police summon FBI official: Anadolu

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police summoned a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official on Wednesday over statements made in a U.S. court by a former Turkish police investigator who fled the country last year, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.

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Brazil's Temer back in hospital for prostate tests

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer canceled his scheduled meetings on Wednesday and flew to São Paulo for tests to evaluate surgery he had in October to reduce the size of his prostate, his office said.

businessNews reuters.com

U.S. court removes creditor hurdle to a Westinghouse bankruptcy plan

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - A U.S. judge shot down on Wednesday a request by creditors of Westinghouse Electric Co LLC for a bigger role in the nuclear technology company's bankruptcy just days after its parent company Toshiba Corp proposed a restructuring plan.

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British lawmakers defeat May's government on Brexit law

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Wednesday, voting to change her Brexit blueprint in a move which could complicate her efforts to sever ties with the European Union.

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Merkel courts Germany's skittish SPD as talks open on government

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) held their first formal talks on forming a government with Angela Merkel's conservatives on Wednesday, more than two months after the national election that plunged Europe's largest economy into unaccustomed uncertainty.

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Despite Tillerson overture, White House says not right time for North Korea talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No negotiations can be held with North Korea until it improves its behavior, a White House official said on Wednesday, raising questions about U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offer to begin talks with Pyongyang anytime and without pre-conditions.

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Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar, face official secrets charges

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's government said on Wednesday that police had arrested two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The reporters had been working on stories about a military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rahkine State that has caused almost 650,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

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White House says not right time for North Korea talks, despite Tillerson overture

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No negotiations can be held with North Korea until it improves its behavior, a White House official said on Wednesday, raising questions about U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offer to begin talks with Pyongyang anytime and without pre-conditions.

worldNews reuters.com

White House says not right time for talks with North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There can be no negotiations with North Korea until it "fundamentally improves its behavior," a White House official said on Wednesday, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offer to begin direct talks with Pyongyang anytime and without pre-conditions.

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EU reopens feud over quotas for hosting refugees

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Rivals from the two sides of the European Union's migration dispute will meet in Brussels on Thursday in a goodwill gesture just as the bloc reopens a bitter feud over hosting refugees.

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Supporters of Egypt presidential hopeful arrested, say security sources, family

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces have arrested three supporters of presidential hopeful and former prime minister Ahmed Shafik, security sources and members of his party said on Wednesday.

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Algeria's ruling caste set on orderly succession, when the time comes

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerians are facing the eventual departure of their long-serving president, the ailing Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in the knowledge that all is being done to ensure little changes when he goes.

environmentNews reuters.com

Renewed winds, dry conditions hamper fight to tame California wildfire

CARPINTERIA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters trying to tame a blaze that has destroyed hundreds of homes in Southern California were facing bone-dry conditions and the return of powerful wind gusts on Wednesday.

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Presidential hopeful wants Finland out of EU, says nationalists will bounce back

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland will leave the European Union and position itself as the Switzerland of the north to protect its independence if Laura Huhtasaari, the presidential candidate of the eurosceptic Finns Party has her way.

California Today nytimes.com

California Today: California Today: A Mayor for a City in Transition

Wednesday: The death of San Francisco’s mayor, California’s failing dams, wildfires, the Go-Go’s and the state Hall of Fame

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Nigerian court drops most asset declaration charges against Senate president

(This version of the December 12th story corrects headline and paragraph one to remove references to corruption)

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As resistance builds, Macron shifts focus away from euro reform

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron, concerned that a divisive discussion over euro zone reform might undermine his broader European agenda, has begun prioritizing other areas of EU cooperation, French officials say.

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In another blow to Zuma, South African top court orders influence-peddling inquiry

PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa's High Court ruled on Wednesday that President Jacob Zuma, under fire for alleged corruption, must set up a judicial inquiry into state influence-peddling within 30 days.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-WestJet Reports November Traffic Up 12.1 Percent Year Over Year

* ‍REVENUE PASSENGER MILES (RPMS), OR TRAFFIC, INCREASED 12.1 PER CENT YEAR OVER YEAR IN NOVEMBER​

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Poland's new prime minister: a gamble that could backfire

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's new prime minister faces a difficult balancing act trying to repair bruised relations with the European Union without alienating the eurosceptic government's core voters.

worldNews reuters.com

Brazil police raid homes of two members of Congress in bribery probe

BRASÍLIA (Reuters) - Brazilian police raided the offices and homes of two members of Congress on Wednesday in the latest corruption probe as the government makes a last-ditch effort to vote on an overhaul of the country's costly pension system.

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Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar: government

YANGON (Reuters) - Two Reuters journalists were arrested on Tuesday evening in Myanmar's main city, Yangon, a government spokesman said.

environmentNews reuters.com

Winds, dry conditions to hamper efforts to tame California wildfire

CARPINTERIA, Calif. (Reuters) - Powerful gusts of wind and bone dry conditions will remain overriding concerns for Californian firefighters on Wednesday as they seek to tame a huge blaze that has destroyed hundreds of homes.

worldNews reuters.com

Saudi King Salman says determined to confront corruption

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz said on Wednesday his government was determined to confront corruption with "justice and decisiveness" as the kingdom pushes ahead with its vision to wean the kingdom from dependence on oil.

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Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar: government spokesman

YANGON (Reuters) - Two Reuters journalists were arrested on Tuesday evening in Myanmar's main city, Yangon, a government spokesman said.

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Germany's SPD plays hard-to-get before first talks with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats said on Wednesday they would share power with Angela Merkel's conservatives only if ordinary voters get a fairer deal, seeking to reassure party skeptics hours before highly-sensitive talks between the two camps.

environmentNews reuters.com

After fires, Southern California faces risk of mudslides

CARPINTERIA, Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters in Southern California are slowly gaining control of one of the largest wildfires in state history, but residents may not enjoy much relief as experts said the flames are laying the groundwork for the next disaster - mudslides.

worldNews reuters.com

Rights group criticizes China for mass DNA collection in Xinjiang

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have collected DNA and other biometric data from the whole population of the volatile western region of Xinjiang, Human Right Watch said on Wednesday, denouncing the campaign as a gross violation of international norms.

businessNews reuters.com

Westfield $16 billion Unibail-Rodamco sale rings the bell on retail's next chapter

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - For investors in Australia's Westfield Corp , its $16 billion sale to European property giant Unibail-Rodamco may mark a turning point for a mall industry under pressure to reinvent itself amid fierce online competition.

worldNews reuters.com

Swiss Gotthard road tunnel closed after fatal crash

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Gotthard road tunnel under the Alps in Switzerland is closed after a truck and a passenger car collided, killing two people and damaging the key transit route, police said on Wednesday.

worldNews reuters.com

France's Macron to attend Russia investor forum in 2018: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will be a guest of honor at an economic forum to be held in Russia's second-largest city St. Petersburg next year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, the RIA news agency reported.

worldNews reuters.com

Kremlin calls U.S. allegations of subversive activity 'groundless'

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday that U.S. allegations it was involved in a new generation of warfare, including internal political subversion, against the United States, were groundless and not backed by facts.

worldNews reuters.com

South Korean firms flock to Beijing hoping summit will hasten thaw with China

SEOUL (Reuters) - Hoping a thaw in relations with China will reopen opportunities after a diplomatic spat earlier this year cost many of them business, some 300 South Korean executives joined President Moon Jae-in for the start of his four-day trip to China on Wednesday.

worldNews reuters.com

At least 39 Yemenis dead in Saudi-led raid on police camp in Sanaa: official

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a military police camp in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people and wounding 90 more, including some prisoners, an official and witnesses said.

worldNews reuters.com

Britain cannot renege on Brexit commitments: EU's Barnier

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Britain cannot renege on commitments made to ensure Brexit talks with the European Union move on to discussions on the future relationship between the two, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator told the European Parliament on Wednesday.

worldNews reuters.com

Saudi-led coalition kills 39 in strike on police camp in Yemen capital: witnesses

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a military police camp in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people and wounding 90 more including some prisoners, an official and witnesses said.

worldNews reuters.com

Backed by Putin, Russian military pushes into foreign policy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - From Damascus to Doha, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has been showing up in unexpected places, a sign of the military's growing influence under Vladimir Putin.

worldNews reuters.com

China marks Nanjing Massacre anniversary but Xi low key

BEIJING (Reuters) - China marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre on Wednesday with a call to work with Japan for peace, but President Xi Jinping kept a low profile and left the main public remarks to another senior official.

worldNews reuters.com

U.S. urges Cambodia to reverse steps against democracy

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The United States has called on Cambodia to reverse steps that "backtracked on democracy" before a general election next year, a visiting U.S. official said on Wednesday.

worldNews reuters.com

Pakistani court summons police in case of missing peace activist

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani court on Wednesday summoned a police officer investigating the case of a missing peace activist who is believed to have been kidnapped by unidentified men this month.

worldNews reuters.com

Judges consider HK double murder appeal by convicted former British banker

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Three judges in Hong Kong's Court of Appeal are set to decide the fate of a former British banker who was jailed for life last year for the murder of two Indonesian women he tortured and raped after his appeal hearing closed on Wednesday.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says world must recognise East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Muslim nations must press the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, Turkey said on Wednesday as it opened an Islamic summit called in response to a U.S. decision to recognise the city as Israel's capital.

worldNews reuters.com

Poland's new government wins vote of confidence in parliament

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's new government led by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki won a vote of confidence in parliament just before midnight on Tuesday, voting records showed, opening the way for the Cabinet to start functioning.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says world must recognize East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey appealed on Wednesday for the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, as it opened an Islamic summit called in response to a U.S. decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital.

worldNews reuters.com

China marks Nanjing Massacre anniversary but Xi silent

BEIJING (Reuters) - China marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre on Wednesday with a call to work with Japan for peace, but President Xi Jinping kept a low profile and left the public remarks to another senior official.

worldNews reuters.com

Australian PM says government at risk if it loses Sydney by-election

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday his government's future was at risk if it lost a Sydney by-election this weekend and failed to regain its one-seat majority, forcing it to rely on independents to survive in power.

worldNews reuters.com

Window falls from U.S. Marines helicopter onto school grounds in Japan's Okinawa

TOKYO (Reuters) - A window fell from a U.S. helicopter onto a school sports field near a U.S. Marines air base on Okinawa on Wednesday, the Marines said, the latest in a series of accidents that have fanned safety concerns on Japan's southern island.

worldNews reuters.com

Human Rights Watch calls on Singapore to relax free speech, assembly laws

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Singapore government's laws limiting critical speech and peaceful assembly are overly broad and make the country a repressive place severely restricting what can be said and published, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

cnn.com

Mom and son scramble 5 times to stay out of California wildfire's path

Emily Vedder's heartbreaking and heartwarming story of evacuation from the Thomas Fire has shadowed the path of the devilish inferno.

worldNews reuters.com

Tillerson overture to North Korea: U.S. ready to talk without pre-conditions

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

worldNews reuters.com

Brazil appeals court schedules early decision on Lula appeal

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian appeals court on Tuesday said it would decide on Jan. 24 on an appeal by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva against a corruption conviction that could bar him from running in the 2018 presidential race.

worldNews reuters.com

U.S. wary of Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is voicing skepticism about Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a major withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria and is arguing that his declaration of victory against Islamic State was premature.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Capital Southwest Says Net Proceeds Of Increased Public Offering Will Be About $48.5 Mln

* CAPITAL SOUTHWEST CORPORATION PRICES AN INCREASED PUBLIC OFFERING OF $50,000,000 - 5.95% NOTES DUE 2022

worldNews reuters.com

Latest fire in Chinese capital kills five despite safety blitz

BEIJING (Reuters) - A fire in a southern neighborhood of the Chinese capital, Beijing, early on Wednesday killed five people, the government said, just weeks after another deadly blaze in the city prompted a crackdown against migrant workers.

California nytimes.com

Quakes and Fires? It’s the Cost of Living That Californians Can’t Stomach

For many Californians, natural disasters are a moment to take stock and rethink the dream. But in the end, it almost always comes down to cost.

worldNews reuters.com

UK's May faces parliamentary showdown with Brexit rebels

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May's control of the Brexit process will undergo its stiffest parliamentary test yet on Wednesday, when she faces a showdown with rebels in her own party over the laws that will take Britain out of the European Union.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 2-Toshiba, Western Digital end chip dispute; joint investment to resume

* Western Digital drops effort to stop the chip sale to Bain group

worldNews reuters.com

U.S. aid chief says no sign Yemen port blockade easing to allow aid in

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There are no signs that a blockade of Yemen's ports by a Saudi-led military coalition has eased to allow aid to reach communities increasingly at risk of starvation, the head of the U.S. government's aid agency said on Tuesday.

technologyNews reuters.com

Toshiba, Western Digital end chip dispute; joint investment to resume

(Reuters) - Toshiba Corp and its chip business partner Western Digital Corp agreed to settle a long-running dispute over the embattled Japanese conglomerate's plans to sell its chip unit, the companies said in a statement, removing a key obstacle to the deal.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-Toshiba, Western Digital end chip dispute; joint investment to resume

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp and its chip business partner Western Digital Corp agreed to settle a long-running dispute over the embattled Japanese conglomerate's plans to sell its chip unit, the companies said in a statement, removing a key obstacle to the deal.

worldNews reuters.com

U.S.'s Tillerson, in new overture to North Korea, says ready to talk without pre-conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered on Tuesday to begin talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, appearing to back away from U.S. demands that Pyongyang must first accept that any negotiations would have to be based on North Korean nuclear disarmament.

worldNews reuters.com

U.N. envoy urges Security Council to visit Myanmar, Bangladesh

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A top U.N. official recounted to the Security Council on Tuesday "heartbreaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities" by Myanmar soldiers against Rohingya Muslim women, urging the body to visit the region and demand an end to attacks on civilians.

worldNews reuters.com

U.S. ready to talk but North Korea must be ready to change course: Tillerson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday the United States was prepared to talk to North Korea whenever it is ready but Pyongyang must come to the negotiating table willing to make choices to change course on its nuclear and missile programs.

environmentNews reuters.com

Firefighters wrestle to control massive California wildfire

CARPINTERIA, Calif. (Reuters) - A massive California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 700 homes in its path of destruction crept closer to the upscale hillside community of Montecito on Tuesday despite calmer winds that slowed its progress.

worldNews reuters.com

Mexico's presidential front-runner vows more welfare, formalizes bid

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican front-runner for next year's election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, formalized his bid for the presidency on Tuesday and promised his government would spend on the young, elderly and farmers.

worldNews reuters.com

Venezuela to start criminal probe into ex-oil czar Ramirez

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela said on Tuesday it would start a criminal investigation into powerful former oil czar Rafael Ramirez, in an escalation of a purge of alleged corruption that has resulted in the arrest of dozens of oil executives.

worldNews reuters.com

Lafarge paid 13 million euros to armed groups to keep operating in Syria: rights group

PARIS (Reuters) - French cement group Lafarge paid close to 13 million euros ($15.2 million) to armed groups including Islamic State militants to keep operating in Syria from 2011-2015, human rights lawyers said on Tuesday.

worldNews reuters.com

EU pushes to curb Africa migration more, still split on hosting refugees

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will discuss how to further curb immigration from across the Mediterranean over dinner on Thursday, but are as divided as ever on how to take care of refugees who still make it to Europe.

worldNews reuters.com

Russia not withdrawing forces from Syria, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it has not observed any meaningful withdrawal of Russian combat forces from Syria, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement on Monday of a significant pullout.

worldNews reuters.com

EU readies 'David Davis-proof' Brexit summit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union plays down talk by Britain's Brexit minister that last week's interim accord is not binding and will launch new talks on Friday that are "David Davis-proof", a senior EU official said.

worldNews reuters.com

France's Le Drian says 'no' to Iran Mediterranean axis

PARIS (Reuters) - France's foreign minister criticized Iran's regional ambitions, saying Paris could not accept Tehran's military expansion to the Mediterranean, and accused Russia of failing to use its influence to push U.N.-led Syrian peace talks and curb violence.

worldNews reuters.com

Venezuela to open criminal probe of ex oil czar Ramirez: prosecutor

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela will open a criminal investigation of former oil czar Rafael Ramirez, the country's chief prosecutor said on Tuesday, as part of a broad shakeup of the OPEC nation's oil industry that has resulted in the arrest of dozens of executives.

worldNews reuters.com

U.N. warns of new Syrian refugee wave to Europe if aid dries up

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syrian refugees could again seek to reach Europe in droves if aid programs are not sustained in five neighboring countries hosting the bulk of them, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

worldNews reuters.com

Bulgaria freezes assets of independent media publisher

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria has frozen assets and property and bank accounts belonging to businessman and media owner Ivo Prokopiev, who said the state was trying to silence the country's independent media.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-The North West Company Q3 Shr C$0.42

* THE NORTH WEST COMPANY INC. ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS AND A QUARTERLY DIVIDEND

Wildfires nytimes.com

Nonfiction: Are the American West’s Wildfires Inevitable?

Michael Kodas’s “Megafire” and Edward Struzik’s “Firestorm” analyse the misguided history and dire results of America’s wildfire management policy.

worldNews reuters.com

German soldier accused of planning to kill politicians, frame refugees

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German soldier was charged on Tuesday with plotting to kill senior politicians because of their support for refugees and trying to make it look like asylum seekers carried out the murders.

worldNews reuters.com

South Africa's Zuma rejects reports his office is drafting emergency laws

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma has rejected local news reports that his office has started drafting regulations for a state of emergency, the president's office said on Tuesday.

environmentNews reuters.com

California and Washington state join carbon pledge in defiance of Trump

PARIS (Reuters) - California and Washington state joined five nations on the Pacific coast of the Americas on Tuesday to agree to step up the use of a price on carbon dioxide emissions as a central economic policy to slow climate change.

worldNews reuters.com

Poland's new PM says government policy to remain unchanged

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's new Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday in his policy speech that the Law and Justice (PiS) party government's policy will remain unchanged and it will be focused on supporting families.

environmentNews reuters.com

Firefighters wrestle to control California wildfire as winds persist

VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters on Tuesday fought to take further control of a massive California wildfire, the fifth largest in the state's history, as relentless wind gusts and bone-dry weather were expected to persist throughout the week.

businessNews reuters.com

Europe's Unibail bids $16 billion for Westfield to counter online threat

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE/PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's biggest property firm Unibail-Rodamco is to buy U.S. and UK mall operator Westfield Corp for $16 billion, a defensive move to create a global leader in a sector grappling with the online shopping challenge led by Amazon .

worldNews reuters.com

Russia will keep bases in Syria to strike at insurgents: Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will keep a naval and an air base in Syria capable of carrying out strikes against insurgents if required after a partial military pull-out announced by President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

worldNews reuters.com

Partial power-share can end German political dilemma, some in SPD say

BERLIN (Reuters) - Wary of renewing a coalition with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany's Social Democrats are instead contemplating a so-called "cooperation" arrangement that would see them agree on a minimal program but leave contested matters up for debate.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkish teachers linked to Ergogan foe detained in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - One Afghan and three Turkish teachers linked to an organization regarded with suspicion by the Turkish government were detained by Afghan intelligence officials on Tuesday, the organization's head said.

worldNews reuters.com

Tight race as South Africa's ANC prepares to elect Zuma successor

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress holds an election this weekend to replace Jacob Zuma as party leader in a closely fought contest whose winner is likely to emerge as the nation's next president.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Capital Southwest Announces Offering Of Notes

* CAPITAL SOUTHWEST CORP- TO USE NET PROCEEDS FROM OFFERING TO REPAY OUTSTANDING INDEBTEDNESS UNDER EXISTING CREDIT FACILITY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

worldNews reuters.com

Tillerson to back North Korea diplomacy, reject Syria's Assad: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in remarks later on Tuesday, plans to say that he is optimistic about North Korea denuclearization talks and that there is no role for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's future, a U.S. official said.

worldNews reuters.com

'We are one': Palestinian Christians and Muslims unite against Trump's Jerusalem call

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Less than an hour after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Palestinians protested by turning off the lights on the Christmas tree outside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Capricor & California Institute For Regenerative Medicine​ Entered Into Amendment 3 To CIRM Notice Loan Award

* CAPRICOR SAYS ‍ON DEC 11, CO, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR REGENERATIVE MEDICINE​ ENTERED INTO AMENDMENT NO. 3 TO CIRM NOTICE OF LOAN AWARD - SEC FILING

environmentNews reuters.com

Firefighters look to gain on California wildfire as winds persist

VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters on Tuesday hoped to take further control of a massive California wildfire, the fifth largest in the state's history, as relentless wind gusts and bone-dry weather were expected to persist.

worldNews reuters.com

France expects slow but massive impact from labor reforms: minister

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron's labor reforms will be slow to bear fruit but eventually have a massive impact on France's stubbornly high unemployment, his labor minister said Tuesday after data showed a slowdown in new job creation.

worldNews reuters.com

Denmark's government at risk in row with nationalists over Syrian refugees

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Demands from the nationalist Danish People's Party (DF) that Syrian refugees be sent home as soon as possible are threatening to bring down the country's centre-right minority government.

worldNews reuters.com

French government dampens Corsican nationalists' autonomy hopes

PARIS (Reuters) - France's government on Tuesday ruled out major concessions towards autonomy sought by Corsica's nationalists after they won a regional election, but said it was open to talks that took account of the island's distinctive character.

California Today nytimes.com

California Today: California Today: A Tax Challenge for Sacramento

Tuesday: Proposition 13, Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco dies, Mulholland Drive and a box of chocolates.

worldNews reuters.com

Two dead in Gaza blast, Israeli military denies it carried out an attack

GAZA (Reuters) - Two Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants riding on a motorcycle in Gaza were killed in an explosion on Tuesday, health officials said. Israel's military denied accounts by local residents that they were killed in an air strike.

worldNews reuters.com

Be careful, murdered Iranian activist's daughter tells European exiles

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The daughter of an Iranian Arab activist killed in the Netherlands last month linked his death to political conflict in the Middle East, and warned other exiles in Europe to be on their guard.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey chides Arabs for 'weak' reaction ahead of Jerusalem summit

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey criticized what it said was a feeble Arab reaction to the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying on the eve of Wednesday's Muslim summit in Istanbul that some Arab countries were scared of angering Washington.

worldNews reuters.com

Hundreds of thousands in Israel mourn 104-year-old ultra-Orthodox rabbi

BNEI BRAK, Israel (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews crammed into the streets of a Tel Aviv suburb on Tuesday to mourn a 104-year-old rabbi who had significantly influenced a succession of Israeli coalition governments.

worldNews reuters.com

Bomb kills bomb disposal expert in Somalia's Puntland, al Shabaab suspected

BOSASO, Somalia (Reuters) - An army colonel in the semi-autonomous Puntland region who also headed the region's bomb disposal unit was killed on Tuesday after a roadside bomb he was defusing exploded, a military official said.

worldNews reuters.com

Make EU gentleman's agreement with Britain binding: EU lawmakers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament will insist on quickly making the deal reached between the European Union and Britain on divorce terms legally binding, worried London may not honor a gentleman's agreement, the parliament's chief Brexit coordinator said.

worldNews reuters.com

War-scarred neighborhoods in Ukraine's rebel-held Donetsk

DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ruined houses, shell craters and deserted streets - this is a typical scene in the Oktyabrsky district of Donetsk, the largest city of Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel region that bears the same name.

worldNews reuters.com

Japan's Constitutional Democrats: a little party with big ambition

TOKYO (Reuters) - The leader of the small Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, which out-performed expectations in an October vote, now hopes that by offering clear policy alternatives he can oust Prime Minister Shinto Abe's coalition in the next election.

worldNews reuters.com

China warns against livestreaming after 'rooftopper' falls to death

BEIJING (Reuters) - A young Chinese climbing enthusiast's fatal fall from a skyscraper while making a selfie video on a $15,000 "rooftopping" dare has spurred warnings by state media against the perils of livestreaming.

businessNews reuters.com

Europe's Unibail-Rodamco bids $16 billion for Westfield in global shift

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Unibail-Rodamco, Europe's biggest property group, has agreed to buy shopping mall owner Westfield Corp for $16 billion, marking the biggest takeover of an Australian company and a shift in global retail property to counter online shopping.

worldNews reuters.com

Russian credit to cover part of S-400 missile deal with Turkey: agency

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will offer Turkey partial financing for Ankara's purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a Russian presidential aide.

worldNews reuters.com

Russia will keep bases in Syria to strike at 'terrorists': Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will keep a naval and an air base in Syria capable of carrying out strikes against "terrorists" if required after a partial military pull-out announced by President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

worldNews reuters.com

Kremlin: We see Trump's tweets as official statements

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump are viewed in Moscow as his official position and read by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

companyNews reuters.com

CORRECTED-UPDATE 4-France's Unibail-Rodamco bids $15.7 bln for Australia's Westfield

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE Dec 12 (Reuters) - France's Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy shopping mall owner Westfield Corp for $15.7 billion, in what would be the biggest takeover of an Australian company on record.

worldNews reuters.com

Japan air force drills with U.S. bombers, stealth fighters near Korean peninsula

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese F-15 fighters on Tuesday held drills with U.S. B1-B bombers, F-35 stealth aircraft and F-18 multirole combat jets

worldNews reuters.com

Kremlin says widespread Russian forces no longer needed in Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) - There is a no longer the need for widely-deployed Russian military forces in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures nytimes.com

Westfield, Owner of World Trade Center Mall, to Be Sold for $15.7 Billion

Unibail-Rodamco is set to acquire Westfield, owner of the Garden State Plaza in New Jersey and the shopping center at One World Trade Center, among others.

worldNews reuters.com

Death toll from fighting in South Sudan's Great Lakes rises to 170

JUBA (Reuters) - The death toll from inter-clan fighting in South Sudan's Great Lakes region last week - a new source of violence in a country devastated by a four-year civil war - has reached at least 170, officials said on Tuesday.