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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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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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Alaska oil companies settle dispute over Trans-Alaska Pipeline tariff charges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The state of Alaska will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in a settlement with oil companies over the value of North Slope crude oil shipped through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAP), officials announced.

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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.

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BRIEF-Primero Extends Revolving Credit Facility To Dec. 22, 2017

* PRIMERO EXTENDS REVOLVING CREDIT FACILITY TO DECEMBER 22, 2017 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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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.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

As a Must-Pass Republican Tax Bill Headed for the Finish Line, Rubio Saw an Opening

On Thursday, Marco Rubio took a stand: He threatened to vote no unless House and Senate negotiators expanded the child tax credit.

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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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REFILE-UPDATE 2-Elliott takes stake in Akamai Tech, says shares undervalued

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed a 6.5 percent stake in Akamai Technologies on Friday, and said the company's $9.7 billion market value did not reflect the uses of its platform, which speeds up content delivery over the internet.

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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.

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Honduran politician sentenced to three years in U.S. for money laundering

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A member of a prominent Honduran family who once served in the nation’s cabinet was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty to a U.S. money laundering charge.

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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.

domesticNews reuters.com

Student borrowers under most stress in New York City's poorest areas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's poorest neighborhoods are home to the city's student borrowers under the most stress, according to a central bank report released on Friday showing "troublingly high" loan default and delinquency rates mainly in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

healthNews reuters.com

Executive function declines long-term after 'transient' brain attacks

(Reuters Health) - People who have so-called transient neurological attacks, including brief mini-strokes, may develop cognitive problems that linger for months, a recent study suggests.

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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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BRIEF-Metlife Says In 2018 Baseline Capital Management Plan Would See Return Close To $5 Bln To Common Shareholders

* METLIFE INC - EXPECT TO HAVE CASH COMMITMENTS OF BETWEEN $2.0 BILLION & $3.0 BILLION OVER 2017 AND 2018 RELATING TO LIABILITY MANAGEMENT TRANSACTIONS

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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.

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

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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.

technologyNews reuters.com

EU agrees clampdown on bitcoin platforms to tackle money laundering

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states and legislators agreed on Friday on stricter rules to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing on exchange platforms for bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the EU said in a statement.

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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.

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Amazon becomes Mexico's top online retailer in 2017 -report

MEXICO CITY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc likely doubled its sales to become the biggest internet retailer in Mexico this year, helping to grow the country's nascent e-commerce market by a third, according to a report by market research firm Euromonitor International.

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LPC: Petsmart's loan under pressure after weak 3Q earnings

NEW YORK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Pet supplies retailer Petsmart’s US$4.2bn leveraged loan has fallen in the US secondary market after the company reported sluggish third quarter results on Monday and investors anticipate a weak fourth quarter, two sources close to the matter said.

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.

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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.

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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.

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EU agrees stricter bitcoin rules against money laundering, terrorist financing

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union agreed stricter rules to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing on bitcoin platforms on Friday.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Engie, Elecnor win licenses to build power lines in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - French energy group Engie SA and Celeo Redes, a firm controlled by Spain's Elecnor , won licenses on Friday to build and operate power transmission lines in Brazil for 30 years during a government-sponsored auction in Sao Paulo.

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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.

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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.

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'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.

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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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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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-China Finance Online And China Investment Securities Sign Strategic Cooperation

* CHINA FINANCE ONLINE AND CHINA INVESTMENT SECURITIES SIGN STRATEGIC COOPERATION TO DEVELOP INTELLIGENT FINANCE TECHNOLOGY TO EMPOWER INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERVICES

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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".

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

businessNews reuters.com

Oil prices rise on North Sea pipeline outage, but growing US output looms

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices moved up on Friday, lifted by the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and ongoing OPEC-led production cuts, although rising output from the United States kept a lid on markets.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 3-Oil prices rise on North Sea pipeline outage, but growing US output looms

* IEA says oil market could be in surplus in H1 2018 (Updates prices)

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

businessNews reuters.com

Oil prices rise on North Sea pipeline outage, but rising U.S. output looms

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices moved up on Friday, lifted by the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and ongoing OPEC-led production cuts, although rising output from the United States kept a lid on markets.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

Soccer nytimes.com

Bars on the Windows, Laughter Between the Lines

An Italian nonprofit organizes soccer matches inside the country’s prisons in an effort to foster healthy relationships between inmates and their children.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

cnn.com

World's largest all-glass underwater restaurant

A warning to travelers heading below sea level to dine at luxury Maldives resort Hurawalhi's 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.

Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) nytimes.com

Theresa May, Once a ‘Dead Woman Walking,’ Reaches a First Finish Line

Mocked for months as weak and robotic, the British prime minister has earned sympathy in Brussels — and some respite at home — by doggedly carrying on.

cnn.com

See inside underwater restaurant

The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is the world's largest of its type. A $200 prix-fixe menu accompanies a view teeming with coral life.

domesticNews reuters.com

New York woman charged with laundering money to help Islamic State

(Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors said Thursday that they had charged a Long Island, New York woman with laundering more than $85,000 in fraudulently obtained money through Bitcoin to help Islamic State.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

CORRECTED-UPDATE 10-Oil prices up on pipeline outage support

* IEA joins OPEC, EIA, raises forecast for U.S. 2018 output growth

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 3-Delta Air Lines to place order for Airbus jets

NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Thursday it will place a firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets and an optional order for 100 of the aircraft.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

healthNews reuters.com

Perrigo lines up bid for Merck's consumer health unit: sources

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Generic drugmaker Perrigo has decided to enter the fray for Merck KGaA's consumer health unit, sources told Reuters, and is preparing an indicative offer for the $4.7 billion business ahead of a deadline on Friday.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-Perrigo lines up bid for Merck's consumer health unit -sources

* Perrigo to submit non-binding offer for Merck KGaA's OTC unit

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-‍Northern Trust Company Increased Prime Rate To 4.50 Pct​

* NORTHERN TRUST CORP - ‍NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY HAS INCREASED ITS PRIME RATE FROM 4.25% TO 4.50%, EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2017​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 806 749 1136)

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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.

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.

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Nilfisk Responds To Merger Recommendation from Primestone Capital

* NILFISK - IS AWARE OF A PUBLIC FILING MADE BY MAJOR SHAREHOLDER PRIMESTONE CAPITAL WITH SEC

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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.

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.

technologyNews reuters.com

Google Brain co-founder teams with Foxconn to bring AI to factories

(Reuters) - Andrew Ng, co-founder of some of Alphabet Inc -owned Google's most prominent artificial intelligence projects, on Thursday launches a new venture with iPhone assembler Foxconn to bring AI and so-called machine learning onto the factory floor.

technologyNews reuters.com

Online shopping won't grow forever, says Unibail boss creating malls giant

SYDNEY/PARIS (Reuters) - Online shopping has its limits and physical stores will never go out of fashion, says the CEO of Unibail-Rodamco which is betting $16 billion on buying Westfield to create a global mall giant.

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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.

businessNews reuters.com

Delta Air Lines to place order for Airbus jets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Thursday it will place a firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo jets and an optional order for 100 of the aircraft. Delta, the No. 2 U.S. airline by passenger traffic, said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects deliveries to begin in the first quarter of 2020, with new aircraft arriving through 2023.

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Alaska Airlines Says Begins Nonstop Service Between San Francisco Airport And Kailua-Kona Airport

* ALASKA AIRLINES SAYS BEGINS NONSTOP SERVICE BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND KAILUA-KONA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bangalore.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com)

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Glaxosmithkline Submits Regulatory Application For Single-Dose Tafenoquine For Treatment Of Plasmodium Vivax Malaria

* SUBMITS REGULATORY APPLICATION FOR SINGLE-DOSE TAFENOQUINE FOR TREATMENT OF PLASMODIUM VIVAX MALARIA TO AUSTRALIA'S THERAPEUTIC GOODS ADMINISTRATION​

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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.

topNews reuters.com

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

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

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-Anti-pipeline group goes back to work against Keystone XL

SEWARD, Neb., Dec 13 (Reuters) - Nebraska's main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL project's recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Deutsche Bank Raises Prime Lending Rate To 4.50 Pct

* DEUTSCHE BANK- CO'S NEW YORK BRANCH, DEUTSCHE BANK NEW YORK, SUBSIDIARY DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS RAISED PRIME LENDING FROM 4.25% TO 4.50%

companyNews reuters.com

Turkish banker accused of helping Iran launder money seeks mistrial

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

worldNews reuters.com

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.

Health Insurance and Managed Care nytimes.com

Strong Demand for Health Insurance as Deadline Looms

Nearly 4.7 million people have signed up for health insurance despite cutbacks in federal efforts to promote enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Keycorp Raises Its Prime Lending Rate To 4.50 Percent

* KEYCORP RAISES ITS PRIME LENDING RATE TO 4.50 PERCENT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

worldNews reuters.com

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 7-Oil slips as U.S. gasoline stock build overshadows crude draw

* U.S. crude stocks down 5.1 mln bbls, gasoline up 5.7 mln-EIA

worldNews reuters.com

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.

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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.

PersonalFinance reuters.com

Activist investor Primestone urges Tennant to merge with Nilfisk

COPENHAGEN/LONDON (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Primestone Capital on Wednesday urged U.S. cleaning equipment company Tennant and Danish peer Nilfisk to consider merging after building up minority...

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UPDATE 2-Activist investor Primestone urges Tennant to merge with Nilfisk

COPENHAGEN/LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Primestone Capital on Wednesday urged U.S. cleaning equipment company Tennant and Danish peer Nilfisk to consider merging after building up minority stakes in both firms.

PersonalFinance reuters.com

DoubleLine's Gundlach says investors should add commodities in portfolios: CNBC

NEW YORK (Reuters) - DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach said on Wednesday that his best investment idea for the new year is commodities, against the backdrop of increasing global economic activity and...

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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.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 6-Oil slips as U.S. gasoline stock build overshadows crude draw

* U.S. crude stocks down 5.1 mln bbls, gasoline up 5.7 mln-EIA

worldNews reuters.com

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.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Fitch Says Overcapacity, Online Shift Differentiate EU, U.S. Retail

* FITCH SAYS OVERCAPACITY, ONLINE SHIFT DIFFERENTIATE EU, U.S. RETAIL

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.

worldNews reuters.com

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.