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U.N. to assess if either side trying to 'sabotage' Syria talks

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The mediator of U.N.-led Syria talks in Geneva plans to assess next week whether either side is trying to sabotage the talks, he told reporters on Thursday, after President Bashar al-Assad's negotiators announced they would turn up five days late. [Source]

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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.

cnn.com

Batali shows the dark side of hospitality ideal

I've never been assaulted by Mario Batali, who stepped away from his restaurant business and ABC television show amid allegations of sexual misconduct this week. But I know someone who allegedly was.

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Aurora Cannabis wins rights for licensing talks with CannaRoyalty

(Reuters) - Canadian medical marijuana maker Aurora Cannabis Inc has won the rights to negotiate a licensing deal with CannaRoyalty Corp that will allow it to sell a range of cannabis-infused consumer products.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Birth Defects nytimes.com

Baby Born With Heart Outside Her Body Is Saved by U.K. Surgeons

Vanellope Hope Wilkins, who had her first operation within an hour of birth, is believed to be first newborn in Britain to survive the corrective procedure.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Toyota, Panasonic consider joint development of EV batteries

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp said on Wednesday they are considering jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), a partnership that could help Panasonic extend its market lead in automotive lithium-ion batteries.

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UPDATE 1-Toyota, Panasonic consider joint development of EV batteries

* Panasonic sees batteries as key to doubling auto biz revenue (Adds analyst comment, Toyota EV background, Panasonic battery background)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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REFILE-WRAPUP 1-S.Korea considers cryptocurrency tax as regulators grapple with "speculative mania"

* Bitcoin weaker, but Bitcoin-related shares in Seoul recover

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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.

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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.

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South Korea considers cryptocurrency tax as regulators grapple with 'speculative mania'

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Wednesday it may tax capital gains from cryptocurrecy trading as global regulators worried about a bubble, with Australia's central bank chief warning of a 'speculative mania" that has seen the digital asset making rip-roaring gains.

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WRAPUP 1-S.Korea considers cryptocurrency tax as regulators grapple with "speculative mania"

* Bitcoin weaker, but Bitcoin-related shares in Seoul recover

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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.

cnn.com

USA Today bashes Trump as 'not fit to clean the toilets' in Obama's presidential library

USA Today isn't known for its blistering op-eds. Which makes the one the paper's editorial board just published on President Donald Trump all the more savage.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

environmentNews reuters.com

Exxon deal aside, tough proxy season looms at U.S. energy firms

BOSTON/HOUSTON (Reuters) - Climate activists said on Tuesday they would take a tough shareholder resolution off the table at Exxon Mobil Corp after the company agreed to provide new details about how climate change could affect its business.

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UPDATE 1-Exxon deal aside, tough proxy season looms at U.S. energy firms

BOSTON/HOUSTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Climate activists said on Tuesday they would take a tough shareholder resolution off the table at Exxon Mobil Corp after the company agreed to provide new details about how climate change could affect its business.

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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.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority nytimes.com

Inside the New York Subway Tunnel Bombed By a Terror Suspect

One day after a would-be suicide attacker set off a bomb in a New York City subway tunnel, locals were already back to using it. Here's a look inside.

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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.

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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.

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BRIEF-OSC Issues Notice Of Hearing To Consider Application Filed By Cannimed Therapeutics

* ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION ISSUES NOTICE OF HEARING TO CONSIDER APPLICATION FILED BY CANNIMED THERAPEUTICS TO INTERVENE IN HOSTILE AURORA BID- ‍​OSC WEBSITE

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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.

cnn.com

Young boxers think outside the ring

Growing up in Detroit was not easy for Khali Sweeney.

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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.

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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.

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BRIEF-Phillips 66 Says Co's President Tim Taylor Will Retire

* PHILLIPS 66 SAYS CO'S PRESIDENT TIM TAYLOR WILL RETIRE AT THE END OF THIS YEAR Further company coverage:

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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.

cnn.com

President threw his support behind Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexually abusing teens

Alabama voters are casting their ballots today as the nation watches their US Senate election between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

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Trump administration holds talks with airlines, keeps pressure on Gulf carriers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration met with major airlines on Tuesday to discuss complaints that some Gulf states are unfairly subsidizing state-owned carriers, keeping up pressure on the Middle East airlines at the center of a spat with U.S. rivals.

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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.

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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.

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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.

politicsNews reuters.com

White House to host fresh biofuels talks to help refiners: sources

(Reuters) - The White House will host talks between the rival oil and ethanol industries on Wednesday in hopes of brokering a deal to help refiners struggling to meet the country's biofuels policy, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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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.

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White House to host fresh biofuels talks to help refiners -sources

Dec 12 (Reuters) - The White House will host talks between the rival oil and ethanol industries on Wednesday in hopes of brokering a deal to help refiners struggling to meet the country's biofuels policy, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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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.

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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.

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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.

cnn.com

These are the senators calling for the President to resign

A growing number of senators have called for President Donald Trump's resignation in the face of such sexual harassment and assault accusations.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

cnn.com

Hey, President Trump, you should definitely come to visit London

Dear President Donald Trump, I've heard some rumors in the British media that you're considering a trip over to the United Kingdom.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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'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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

BRIEF-India's Mukesh Ambani Considers IPO Of Jio Wireless Carrier- Bloomberg,Citing Sources

* INDIA'S MUKESH AMBANI CONSIDERS IPO OF JIO WIRELESS CARRIER- BLOOMBERG,CITING SOURCES

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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

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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.

Ghani, Ashraf nytimes.com

News Analysis: Afghan President’s Critics Losing Patience Over Delayed Vote

Opponents of the increasingly isolated Ashraf Ghani are holding rallies, issuing ultimatums and calling for a tribal referendum on his performance in office.

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.

businessNews reuters.com

Exclusive: South Africa's Steinhoff considers sale of PSG, KAP stakes to lift liquidity -sources

JOHANNESBURG/ FRANKFURT (Reuters) - South Africa's Steinhoff is considering selling stakes worth a combined $1.4 billion in local companies PSG Group and KAP Industrial to help plug a liquidity gap at the retailer, two sources familiar with the matter said.

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Thai PM says no trade with North Korea, ahead of U.S. envoy's visit

BANGKOK (Reuters) - No trade takes place between Thailand and North Korea, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday, ahead of an expected visit by a U.S. envoy seeking to step up pressure on North Korea over its weapons programs.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe flies to Singapore, first trip since ouster

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe has left the country for medical checks in Singapore, his first foreign travel since the army forced him from office last month, a state security official said on Tuesday.

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

JUBA (Reuters) - The death toll from intercommunal fighting between two clans in South Sudan's Great Lakes region last week has reached at least 170, an official said, up from 45, reflecting a new source of violence in a country devastated by a four-year civil war.

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Return of defeated IS fighters 'real threat' to Russia: RIA cites FSB chief

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former militants from "bandit units" in Syria are now a real threat after the defeat of Islamic State, as many of them may be now planning to return to Russia, the RIA news agency cited the head of Russia's FSB security service as saying on Tuesday.

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EU suspends funding for Cambodian election

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The European Union has suspended funding for Cambodia's 2018 general election because the vote cannot be credible after the dissolution of the main opposition party, according to a letter sent to the national election committee on Tuesday.

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Cuba tells U.S. suspension of visas is hurting families

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba told senior U.S. officials during talks on migration in Havana on Monday that the U.S. decision to suspend visa processing at its embassy on the island was "seriously hampering" family relations and other people exchanges.

cnn.com

Moore: Don't let outsiders control Alabama election

Republican Roy Moore cast the sexual allegations he faces as an outside effort to tank his Senate candidacy Monday night at his final rally before Tuesday's special election.

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South Korea's Moon, China's Xi to talk North Korea, trade in Beijing summit

SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) - Reining in North Korea's nuclear ambitions will top South Korean President Moon Jae-in's agenda in Beijing during a visit this week aimed at breaking the ice after a furious row with China over Seoul's deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.

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Wife of disgraced Mexican governor taking 'refuge' in UK: report

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The wife of a detained former Mexican governor is living in Britain and has demanded back artwork, golf clubs and crystal that were seized by the government, according to a letter obtained by news site Animal Politico.

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Prominent Australian opposition lawmaker quits over claims of China links

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Prominent Australian opposition Senator Sam Dastyari said on Tuesday he would resign from parliament after a series of allegations emerged about his links with Chinese-aligned interests in Australia.

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British banker to appeal against life sentence for Hong Kong double murder

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A British banker, jailed for life in Hong Kong last year for the murder of two Indonesian women he tortured and raped in his luxury apartment, is due to launch an appeal on Tuesday.

cnn.com

1 sentence explains Trump's view of presidency

In this terrific New York Times piece on Donald Trump in the White House, one line stood out to me as absolutely critical to understanding how the 45th President of the United States approaches the job.

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PM May's deputy to keep job after pornography claims, ITV says

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May's senior minister will not have to resign over claims that police found pornography on a work computer and that he made an inappropriate sexual advance against a young woman, ITV political editor Robert Peston said on Monday.

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Leading French conservative quits party after right winger wins leadership

PARIS (Reuters) - Right-wing heavyweight Xavier Bertrand quit France's main conservative party, The Republicans, on Monday, highlighting the challenges its new chief will face in trying to keep the party together.

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Turkey, Russia will meet to finalize S-400 defense deal in coming week

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish and Russian officials will meet to finalize Turkey's S-400 surface-to-air missile systems deal in the coming week, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

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Tillerson set to meet Trudeau for North Korea crisis talks: source

OTTAWA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week for talks on how to address the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, an Ottawa source said on Monday.

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Ukrainian judge frees Saakashvili from detention

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili was freed from detention on Monday, after a Ukrainian judge turned down the prosecutors' request to place him under house arrest - the latest twist in his dramatic standoff with the authorities.

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Morawiecki sworn in as Polish PM amid dispute with EU

WARSAW (Reuters) - Mateusz Morawiecki was sworn in as Poland's new prime minister on Monday and European Council President Donald Tusk called on the new leader to pursue European unity.

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Ukrainian judge turns down request to place Saakashvili under house arrest

KIEV (Reuters) - A Ukrainian judge on Monday turned down the prosecutors' request to place Ukrainian opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili under house arrest, paving the way for his release from detention.

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Chemicals distribution group Azelis considers 2018 IPO -sources

MADRID/FRANKFURT, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Belgium-based chemicals distribution group Azelis is considering a 2018 stock market listing as its private equity owner seeks to benefit from high sector valuations, sources close to the matter said.

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Exclusive: Detained Saudi billionaire al-Sanea seeks to end debt dispute

DUBAI (Reuters) - A detained Saudi billionaire who led the collapsed Saad Group is seeking to repay part of a multi-billion dollar debt to creditors under a deal that could allow his release, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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Tillerson set to meet Trudeau for N. Korea crisis talks: source

OTTAWA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week for talks on how to address the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons, an Ottawa source said on Monday.

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Poland's Morawiecki sworn in as new prime minister

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was sworn in by President Andrzej Duda as the country's new prime minister on Monday, replacing Beata Szydlo, who became a Deputy Prime minister.

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Putin, Egypt's Sisi discuss restart of flights, sign nuclear deal

CAIRO (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday, agreeing to resume civilian flights which Moscow halted more than two years ago after militants bombed a Russian tourist jet over the Sinai.

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Iran will treat jailed aid worker as Iranian citizen-foreign ministry

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran will treat a British-Iranian aid worker as an Iranian citizen and she will serve her sentence as determined by the judiciary, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

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Putin, in Syria, says mission accomplished, orders partial Russian pull-out

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin flew into Syria and ordered "a significant part" of Moscow's military contingent there to start withdrawing on Monday, declaring their work largely done.

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First round of Volkswagen pay talks end without deal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German trade union IG Metall on Monday said a first round of wage talks at Volkswagen failed to produce a result, adding it was disappointed the carmaker did not present a counter-offer to its demand for a 6-percent wage hike.

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Emirates and flydubai resume operating some flights over Iraq

DUBAI (Reuters) - Emirates and flydubai have resumed using Iraqi airspace for flights to other countries, the Middle East airlines said on Monday, two days after Iraq declared victory in its years-long fight against Islamic state.

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Venezuelan migrants pose humanitarian problem in Brazil

BOA VISTA, Brazil (Reuters) - Last August, Victor Rivera, a 36-year-old unemployed baker, left his hometown in northern Venezuela and made the two-day journey by road to the remote Amazonian city of Boa Vista, Brazil.

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Russia's Putin, Egypt's Sisi discuss nuclear deal, Middle East tensions

CAIRO (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin met Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Monday for talks over a nuclear power plant and tensions in the Middle East following Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Buoyed by mayoral votes, Venezuela socialists eye presidency race

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro has set his sights on Venezuela's 2018 presidential election after the ruling Socialist Party as predicted dominated mayoral polls with the help of a partial boycott by a crumbling opposition.

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Iran foreign minister defends missile program, asks European support

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister on Monday defended its ballistic missile program and urged European countries not to be influenced by U.S. President Donald Trump's confrontational policy towards Tehran.

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Catalan protesters clash with police over 'plunder' of religious artefacts

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Protesters clashed with police trying to reclaim disputed religious artefacts from a museum in Catalonia on Monday, in the latest display of tension between Catalan separatists and Spain's central government ahead of a Dec. 21 election.

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Putin orders 'significant part' of Russian forces in Syria to withdraw

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin ordered "a significant part" of Russia's military contingent in Syria to start withdrawing on Monday, saying Moscow and Damascus had achieved their mission of destroying Islamic State in just over two years.

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Pictures of the Year: A picture and its story

(Reuters) - Reuters photographers witnessed the biggest stories of 2017 -- from Donald Trump's first year as U.S. president to the flight of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, from Venezuela's crisis to the fall of Islamic State and a tower block inferno in London.

cnn.com

Putin orders withdrawal of Russian troops in visit to Syrian base

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria during a visit to the war-torn country on Monday.

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Russia's Putin and Egypt's Sisi discuss Middle East tensions in Cairo

CAIRO (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin met Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Monday for talks on cooperation and tensions in the Middle East following Washington's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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BRIEF-Kimberly Blackwell To Become Vice President Of Early Phase Development And Immuno-Oncology At Lilly Oncology

* KIMBERLY BLACKWELL, M.D., TO BECOME VICE PRESIDENT OF EARLY PHASE DEVELOPMENT AND IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY AT LILLY ONCOLOGY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Kuwait replaces oil and finance ministers: state news agency

DUBAI (Reuters) - Kuwait replaced its oil and finance ministers in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, state news agency KUNA reported.

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Britain steps up battle against money laundering

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government said on Monday it will create a new national economic crime center to crack down harder on money laundering by drug dealers and people traffickers who are expected to net 90 billion pounds ($120.3 billion) this year.

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India's Rahul Gandhi appointed president of Congress party

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's main opposition party Congress on Monday appointed Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the country's most fabled political dynasty, as its president, the party announced.

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Putin orders Russian forces to start pulling out of Syria

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian forces in Syria to start withdrawing, saying that after a two year military campaign, Moscow and Damascus had achieved their mission of destroying Islamic State.

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S.African prosecutors extend deadline for Zuma to file arguments over revived graft charges

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday it had extended the deadline for President Jacob Zuma to submit arguments on why he should not be prosecuted for corruption.

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Merkel, Social Democrats seek clarity on coalition talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) say they hope to find clarity soon on prospects for a new ruling coalition as they gear up for exploratory talks this week.

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

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

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U.S.-backed Syrian forces, Iraqi army coordinate at border: SDF

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed militias in Syria said they have set up a joint military center with the Iraqi army to protect their common border region after ousting Islamic State.

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BRIEF-Steinhoff Chairman Wiese Is In Talks With Lenders To Seek Standstill On A 1.5 Bln-Euro Margin Loan- Bloomberg

* STEINHOFF CHAIRMAN CHRISTO WIESE IS IN TALKS WITH LENDERS TO SEEK A STANDSTILL ON A 1.5 BILLION-EURO MARGIN LOAN - BLOOMBERG, CITING SOURCES

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Indonesia detains 18 in pre-emptive bid to boost Christmas security

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian anti-terrorism police have detained 18 people with links to militant groups in a bid to cut the risk of attacks during Christmas and the New Year in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, police said on Monday.

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Saudi Arabia says cinemas will be allowed from early 2018

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Monday that public cinemas would be allowed in the conservative kingdom and the first cinemas were likely to open early next year.

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U.S. citizen on the run after busting out of Bali prison

DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesian police are hunting for a U.S. citizen who escaped on Monday from an overcrowded prison on the holiday island of Bali by cutting through steel bars in a ceiling, the jail's second breakout of foreign inmates this year.

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Indian police arrests French journalist after filming in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Indian police arrested a freelance French journalist in Kashmir for violating visa regulations, the city police chief said, after he was found filming for a documentary without permission.

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Indian police file sexual assault case against airline passenger for allegedly molesting Bollywood actress

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian police have filed a sexual assault case against an airline passenger after a 17-year-old Bollywood actress said the male passenger had molested her during a late New Delhi-Mumbai flight, police said on Monday.

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Bahraini civil society group under pressure after Israel visit

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahraini civil society group has defended sending a delegation to Israel as a gesture of tolerance and coexistence, state news agency BNA has reported, after news of the visit sparked wide anger on social media.

nytimes.com

Europe Edition: Donald Trump, Laurent Wauquiez, Syria: Your Monday Briefing

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

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Buoyed by mayoral votes, Venezuela's socialists eye 2018 presidency race

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro set his sights on Venezuela's 2018 presidential election after the ruling Socialist Party predictably dominated mayoral polls with the help of a partial boycott by a demoralized opposition.

Hurricane Maria (2017) nytimes.com

Lives at Risk Inside a Senior Complex in Puerto Rico With No Power

Conditions at the largest housing project for low-income seniors on the hurricane-ravaged island illustrate a health crisis for the most vulnerable.

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China starts formal legal proceedings against disgraced senior politician

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's prosecutor began on Monday formal legal proceedings against disgraced senior politician Sun Zhengcai, once considered a contender for top leadership, who has been accused of corruption and other crimes.

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Venezuela socialists winning local vote, Maduro joyous

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government was on course to sweep Venezuela's nationwide mayoral elections on Sunday, deepening opposition disarray and strengthening his hand ahead of a likely 2018 re-election campaign.

cnn.com

Venezuela's Maduro: Some opposition parties to be barred from presidential vote

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that some of the main opposition parties will not be allowed to run in next year's presidential election.

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China, Taiwan spar over Chinese diplomat's invasion threat

BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - A threat by a senior Chinese diplomat to invade Taiwan the instant any U.S. warship visits the self-ruled island has sparked a war of words, with Taipei accusing Beijing of failing to understand what democracy means.

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With foes abstaining, Venezuela mayoral contests to boost socialists

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelans voted on Sunday in mayoral races that the ruling Socialist Party looked sure to sweep, deepening opposition disarray and strengthening President Nicolas Maduro ahead of a probable 2018 re-election campaign.

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With foes abstaining, Venezuela mayoral contests look set to boost Socialists

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelans voted on Sunday in mayoral races that the ruling Socialist Party looked sure to sweep, deepening opposition disarray and strengthening President Nicolas Maduro ahead of a probable 2018 re-election campaign.

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China's top paper says Australian media reports are racist

BEIJING (Reuters) - Australian media reports on Chinese interference in Australia are racist and paranoid, China's top newspaper said on Monday, stepping up a war of words over concerns in Australia about Chinese influence in the country.

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

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

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Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias push towards Idlib province

AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias backed by Russian air power stepped up a military campaign against rebels in eastern Hama province in a push towards the rebel stronghold of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, rebels and witnesses said.

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Berlin police say bags of bullets found near Christmas market not linked to terrorism

BERLIN (Reuters) - There is no reason to suspect that two bags of bullets found near a Christmas market and mosque in western Berlin have anything to do with terrorism and the find was related neither to the market nor to the mosque, police said on Sunday.

cnn.com

Pence and Abbas won't meet, vice president's office confirms

Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed Sunday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet with Pence during his upcoming trip to the Middle East following the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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Hospital operators in merger talks to form U.S. industry leader: WSJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks about a merger between the two Catholic non-profits that would create the largest U.S. hospital chain, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

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Mexican opposition leader Anaya to seek presidency in coalition

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican opposition leader Ricardo Anaya said on Sunday he would seek to win the presidency in a left-right alliance after stepping down as head of the conservative National Action Party (PAN).

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UPDATE 1-Hospital operators in merger talks to form U.S. industry leader -WSJ

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks about a merger between the two Catholic non-profits that would create the largest U.S. hospital chain, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

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Grounded ferry in Calais refloated, passengers disembarked

LILLE, France (Reuters) - A P&O ferry with more than 300 people on board which had run aground in Calais harbor in northern France has been refloated and all passengers have disembarked, a P&O Ferries spokesman said on Sunday.

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Thousands of Romanians protest against proposed judicial reforms

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Thousands of Romanians rallied in the capital Bucharest and other cities on Sunday, protesting against plans by the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) to overhaul the country's judicial system which is seen as undermining efforts to combat corruption.

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Honduras tribunal says partial vote recount shows same result

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' electoral tribunal said on Sunday that a partial recount of votes from the disputed presidential election showed broadly the same result as previously, giving the lead to current President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

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Hospital operators in merger talks to create U.S. industry leader: WSJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in discussions about a merger that would create the largest hospital chain in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

companyNews reuters.com

Hospital operators in merger talks to create U.S. industry leader -WSJ

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in discussions about a merger that would create the largest hospital chain in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

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Kenya's opposition says postpones 'swearing-in' of alternative president

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's opposition said on Sunday it had postponed plans to swear in its leader Raila Odinga as an alternative president, easing political tensions and opening a window for possible talks with the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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Qatar goes ahead with $6.7 billion Typhoon combat jets deal with UK's BAE Systems

LONDON (Reuters) - BAE Systems and Qatar have entered into a contract valued at around 5 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) for the country to buy 24 Typhoon combat aircraft, the British defense group said on Sunday.

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Thousands of Saakashvili supporters stage protest against Ukraine president

KIEV (Reuters) - Several thousand people marched through central Kiev on Sunday to protest against the detention of Ukrainian opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili and call for the impeachment of President Petro Poroshenko.

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Pakistan says over 300 Baloch separatist militants surrender

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - More than 300 Baloch separatist militants have surrendered over the past few months, Pakistani government officials said, after a ceremony to mark the downing of guns and militants' return to civilian life.

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Dover-bound P&O ferry runs aground in Calais, no injuries

LILLE, France (Reuters) - A P&O ferry with more than 200 passengers on board has run aground in stormy weather in Calais harbor in northern France, but there are no injuries, the Pas-de-Calais prefecture said on Sunday.

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P&O ferry runs aground in Calais, no injuries: prefecture

LILLE, France (Reuters) - A ferry with more than 200 passengers on board has run aground in stormy weather in Calais harbor in northern France, but there are no injuries, the Pas-de-Calais prefecture said on Sunday.

cnn.com

Protesters and police clash outside US embassy in Beirut

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a "terrorist" and "child murderer state" in an address Sunday as he criticized US President Donald Trump over his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Catalan separatists to lose majority in tight election: poll

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's independence movement could suffer a serious setback in elections this month, according to a poll published on Sunday, which suggests separatist parties will narrowly fail to secure a majority in the regional parliament.

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Philippines' Duterte to seek one-year extension of Mindanao martial law

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will ask Congress to extend martial law in the volatile southern island of Mindanao to quell an insurgency, cabinet officials said on Sunday.

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After Brexit, UK aims for trade deal with EU that tops Canada pact

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is aiming to secure a comprehensive free trade deal with the European Union and wants it to be signed shortly after it leaves the bloc in 2019, Brexit minister David Davis said on Sunday.

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Pope prays for nuclear disarmament

MILAN (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Sunday called on world leaders to work in favor of nuclear disarmament to protect human rights, particularly those of weaker and underprivileged people.

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UK's Johnson meets Iran president as he lobbies for jailed aid worker

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson held almost an hour of talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday after flying to Tehran to seek the release of a jailed British-Iranian aid worker.

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Nobel peace laureate group urges nuclear powers to adopt ban-the-bomb treaty

OSLO (Reuters) - The leader of the group that won this year's Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday urged nuclear nations to adopt a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent "the end of us".

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Yemen's Saleh buried in Sanaa with handful of relatives present: sources

DUBAI (Reuters) - Yemen's Houthi group has buried the body of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, allowing only a handful of relatives to attend, sources from his General People's Congress (GPC) party said on Sunday.

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Three arrested after attempted arson attack at Swedish synagogue

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Three people were arrested early on Sunday after an attempted arson attack at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.

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Syrian government returns to Geneva talks, Western envoys skeptical

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Syrian government's delegation returned to Geneva on Sunday for the resumption of talks with United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura after more than a week's absence, but Western diplomats voiced scepticism about its willingness to engage.

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Israel says it has destroyed Hamas attack tunnel from Gaza

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces on Sunday destroyed a "significant" cross-border attack tunnel from the Gaza Strip, which the military said was being dug by the enclave's dominant Islamist group, Hamas.

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Britain offered 'statement of intent' on Irish border to unlock talks: Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Brexit minister David Davis described the government's pledge to prevent any return to a hard border with Ireland after Britain leaves the European Union as "a statement of intent" rather than a legally binding move.

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Trump's Jerusalem decision could help militants: UAE's Sheikh Mohammed

DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital could provide a lifeline to militants after the setbacks they suffered this year, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned.

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Japan, U.S., South Korea to hold missile tracking drill amid North Korea crisis

TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States, Japan and South Korea will hold two days of missile tracking drills this week, Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force said on Sunday, as tensions rise in the region over North Korea's fast-developing weapons programs.

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Thousands march in Tel Aviv to protest against Netanyahu, corruption

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Thousands of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday for the second consecutive week against government corruption and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under criminal investigation over allegations of abuse of office.

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Argentina blocks two activists from entry on eve of WTO meeting

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina blocked two European activists from entering the country on the eve of the World Trade Organization's ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, the two told a local radio program on Saturday.

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

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

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U.N. says missiles fired at Saudi Arabia have 'common origin'

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations officials have found that missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen's Houthi rebels appear to have a "common origin," but they are still investigating U.S. and Saudi claims that Iran supplied them, according to a confidential report.

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Norway's Liberal Party seeks to join government

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's Liberal Party will launch formal negotiations to join the right-wing cabinet of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, it said on Saturday, although the government would still be ruling in a minority even if the small centrist group is included.

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Brazil's PSDB picks Sao Paulo Gov. Alckmin to lead it into 2018 race

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The centrist Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, elected four-time Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin as its leader on Saturday, making him its most likely presidential nominee in next year's elections.