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Rakuten eying entry into Japan's mobile carrier market: source

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc plans to join a government auction for wireless spectrum to be held in January, potentially becoming the country's fourth major wireless carrier, a source briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

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

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

technologyNews reuters.com

Rakuten eyeing entry into Japan's mobile carrier market: source

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc plans to join a government auction for wireless spectrum to be held in January, potentially becoming the country's fourth major wireless carrier, a source briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso firms after Fed maintains U.S. rate outlook

By Bruno Federowski and Sheky Espejo Dec 13 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso currency and stocks firmed on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the cost of borrowing, but did not signal that it could pick up the pace of rate hikes next year. Signs of quicker U.S. economic growth had prompted speculation that the Fed could have forecast more rate hikes next year. But the U.S. central bank's forecast of three hikes in 2018 and 2019 was unchanged from its projections in September.

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

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

businessNews reuters.com

Dutch-Belgian supermarket to battle Amazon on two fronts

ZAANDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) - Unlike investors who sold off rival food retail stocks in response to Amazon's plan to buy Whole Foods, Ahold Delhaize boss Dick Boer took the news in stride.

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.

domesticNews reuters.com

Accused N.Y. bomber's family says attack 'our worst nightmare'

DHAKA (Reuters) - Zulifikar Haider hoped his daughter would live the American dream when she married a fellow Bangladeshi living in the United States, but that dream turned into a nightmare when the family saw pictures of her husband wounded after allegedly trying to set off a bomb in a crowded New York commuter hub.

technologyNews reuters.com

Three U.S. men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

(Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks.

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UPDATE 3-Three U.S. men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

Dec 13 (Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks.

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.

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Britain's May defeated in parliament over Brexit blueprint

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

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Turkish police summon FBI official: Anadolu

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

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Brazil's Temer back in hospital for prostate tests

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

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

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

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

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UPDATE 2-Medtronic settles states' probe into Infuse marketing for $12 mln

BOSTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Medtronic Plc has agreed to pay $12 million to resolve claims that the company engaged in a deceptive marketing strategy to promote its Infuse bone graft product used in spinal surgery, the Massachusetts attorney general said on Wednesday.

businessNews reuters.com

Exclusive: Saudi Aramco to push ahead with market share, expansion strategy - CEO

DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, aims to regain its lost market share after the OPEC-led supply-cut pact ends and plans to push ahead with a downstream expansion strategy to be on par with Big Oil, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

healthNews reuters.com

Medtronic settles states' probe into Infuse marketing for $12 million

BOSTON (Reuters) - Medtronic Plc has agreed to pay $12 million to resolve claims that the company engaged in a deceptive marketing strategy to promote its Infuse bone graft product used in spinal surgery, the Massachusetts attorney general said on Wednesday.

technologyNews reuters.com

Three men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

(Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court documents.

companyNews reuters.com

UPDATE 1-Medtronic settles states' probe into Infuse marketing for $12 mln

BOSTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Medtronic Plc has agreed to pay $12 million to resolve claims that the company engaged in a deceptive marketing strategy to promote its Infuse bone graft product used in spinal surgery, the Massachusetts attorney general said on Wednesday.

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UPDATE 2-Three men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

Dec 13 (Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court documents.

worldNews reuters.com

Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar, face official secrets charges

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

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

White House says not right time for talks with North Korea

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

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EU reopens feud over quotas for hosting refugees

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

domesticNews reuters.com

Three men to plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

(Reuters) - A former Rutgers University student and two other men have agreed to plead guilty to computer crimes related to the creation and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court documents.

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

companyNews reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks worldwide reach highs; U.S. Treasury yields fall

* Fed widely seen hiking interest rates for third time in 2017

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

cnn.com

Airplane draws one-of-a-kind Christmas tree in the sky

An Airbus plane out of Hamburg, Germany, took a particularly festive flight on Wednesday, mapping out an intricate Christmas tree over the country that could be clearly seen on flight radar sites.

politicsNews reuters.com

Republicans double down on attacks on Mueller after anti-Trump texts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers doubled down on attacks against Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday, after new details emerged about anti-Trump text messages sent by an FBI agent who worked on the Russia investigation.

businessNews reuters.com

Bitcoin fever exposes crypto-market frailties

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As bitcoin raced to another record high on Tuesday, one of the biggest providers of digital currency wallets, Coinbase, went down under the weight of traffic, leaving many of its more than 10 million customers unable to access their funds.

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

technologyNews reuters.com

U.S. says hacker to plead guilty for role in 2016 cyber attacks

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has caught one of the people involved in creating the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court papers.

worldNews reuters.com

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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BRIEF-Nasdaq Says Experiencing Issues With Market Data Dissemination, Affecting Certain Nordic Indexes

* NASDAQ SAYS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING ISSUES WITH MARKET DATA DISSEMINATION, AFFECTING CERTAIN NORDIC INDEXES

worldNews reuters.com

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.

technologyNews reuters.com

Germany monitoring bitcoin market impact: FinMin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is carefully monitoring the impact of cryptocurrencies on markets, a finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, as bitcoin surged and the futures of the best known cryptocurrency made their world debut on a U.S. stock exchange.

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

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Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar: government

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

entertainmentNews reuters.com

Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle to spend Christmas with UK royals

LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Harry's fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle, will join Queen Elizabeth and other senior Windsors for their family Christmas celebrations in what commentators said was a break with royal protocol.

worldNews reuters.com

Saudi King Salman says determined to confront corruption

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

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Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar: government spokesman

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

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

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

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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.

New York City nytimes.com

New York Today: New York Today: Can the City Prevent Terror Attacks?

Wednesday: Foiling lone-wolf attacks, free admission at the National Museum of Mathematics, and are New Yorkers too jaded?

worldNews reuters.com

Swiss Gotthard road tunnel closed after fatal crash

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

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EMERGING MARKETS-U.S. political woes lift emerging stocks, FX ahead of Fed

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks and currencies sailed higher on Wednesday ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike, lifted by U.S. assets nursing losses after President Donald Trump's Republicans suffered an election defeat.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares eye record high as Fed heads for hat-trick

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Global shares were within a whisker of another record high on Wednesday as markets traded on expectations of a third U.S. interest rate hike of the year, and waited to hear from the Federal Reserve how many more are likely in 2018.

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

China marks Nanjing Massacre anniversary but Xi low key

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

worldNews reuters.com

U.S. urges Cambodia to reverse steps against democracy

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

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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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BRIEF-‍Yandex, Sberbank enter into agreement for Yandex.Market joint venture​

* ‍YANDEX AND SBERBANK ENTER INTO BINDING AGREEMENT FOR YANDEX.MARKET JOINT VENTURE​

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares up, dollar dips as Republicans lose Alabama Senate race

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures, Treasury yields and the dollar dipped on Wednesday as Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama, while Asian shares gained as crude oil futures took back some lost ground.

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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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BRIEF-Shire Says New Formulation Of Oncaspar Receives Marketing Authorization In Europe

* SHIRE PLC SAYS NEW FORMULATION OF ONCASPAR RECEIVES MARKETING AUTHORIZATION IN EUROPE FOR PATIENTS WITH ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says world must recognise East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

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

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says world must recognize East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

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

worldNews reuters.com

China marks Nanjing Massacre anniversary but Xi silent

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares up, dollar dips as Democrat wins Alabama Senate race

* Democrat seen beating Trump-backed candidate in Senate race

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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.

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

Brazil appeals court schedules early decision on Lula appeal

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

companyNews reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares flat, Fed hike expectations underpin dollar

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Asian shares were treading water in early trade on Wednesday as crude oil futures steadied after a selloff, while a widely expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve underpinned the dollar.

worldNews reuters.com

Latest fire in Chinese capital kills five despite safety blitz

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

worldNews reuters.com

UK's May faces parliamentary showdown with Brexit rebels

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

companyNews reuters.com

CORRECTED-FDA proposes new fast path to market for certain medical devices

Dec 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed creating a new fast track to market for certain medical devices and a potential reduction in the amount of safety data required for approval.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-ESSA Pharma announces overnight marketed equity offering

* ESSA PHARMA - TO USE NET PROCEEDS OF OFFERING PRIMARILY TO CONTINUE ONGOING PRECLINICAL DEVELOPMENT OF CO'S ANITEN COMPOUNDS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

companyNews reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-European stocks close higher; Brent dips after hitting $65

* Dollar gains as Fed expected to raise rates (Updates to Europe close, adds commentary)

worldNews reuters.com

Venezuela to start criminal probe into ex-oil czar Ramirez

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

Russia not withdrawing forces from Syria, Pentagon says

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

worldNews reuters.com

EU readies 'David Davis-proof' Brexit summit

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

Bulgaria freezes assets of independent media publisher

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

businessNews reuters.com

U.S., European stock markets climb ahead of Fed meeting; oil hits peak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major U.S. and European stock indexes advanced on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting of U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, while oil prices reached $65 per barrel earlier in the day for the first time since mid-2015.

worldNews reuters.com

German soldier accused of planning to kill politicians, frame refugees

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

companyNews reuters.com

GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S., European stock markets climb ahead of Fed meeting; oil hits peak

* Dollar gains as Fed expected to raise rates (Updates to U.S. trading open; changes byline, dateline, previously LONDON)

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

Poland's new PM says government policy to remain unchanged

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

worldNews reuters.com

Turkish teachers linked to Ergogan foe detained in Afghanistan

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

worldNews reuters.com

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

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

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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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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's Bovespa drops 1 pct on pension jitters

SAO PAULO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index led declines among Latin American equities markets on Tuesday, falling more than 1 percent amid persisting uncertainty over the passage of pension reform legislation seen as key to the nation's fiscal health. Speaking to journalists in Argentina late on Sunday, President Michel Temer said a vote on streamlining Brazil's social security system could be delayed until early 2018 as the government struggles to gather support amon

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Trump denies accusations of sexual misconduct, attacks Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he did not know the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and alleged their claims were a political attack pushed by Democrats, rejecting renewed calls to look into his behavior.

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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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BRIEF-Portola Provides Update On European Marketing Authorization Application For Betrixaban

* PORTOLA PHARMACEUTICALS PROVIDES UPDATE ON EUROPEAN MARKETING AUTHORIZATION APPLICATION FOR BETRIXABAN

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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.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil hits 2-1/2 year high on pipeline shutdown, stocks take breather

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped to their highest in more than two years on Tuesday after the shutdown of a North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supply from an already tightening market.

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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.

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Germany's VDMA sees UK engineering market stagnating under Brexit

FRANKFURT, Dec 12 (Reuters) - German engineering association VDMA expects the British market to stagnate next year as manufacturers hold off investments in factory equipment while they wait for a degree of clarity in Brexit negotiations.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging stocks hit by Fed, China policy-tightening nerves

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Emerging equities fell on Tuesday after two days of strong gains as markets looked to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and potential policy tightening in China, though a rise in the oil price to mid-2015 highs underpinned energy producers.

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Bitcoin exchange Bithumb says 'right' regulations in South Korea would boost market

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Seoul-based operator of the world's busiest virtual currency exchange Bithumb said on Tuesday it will fully comply with potential regulations from the South Korean government and adequately capitalize itself to protect its clients.

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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.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil prices jump on pipeline outage, stocks take breather

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped on Tuesday after the shutdown of a North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supply from an already tightening market, while world stocks took a break from a three-day rally.

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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.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares take a time out, Brent breaks above $65

* Brent crude tops $65 a barrel for first time since mid-2015

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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.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares take breather, Brent breaks above $65

* Brent crude tops $65 a barrel for first time since mid-2015

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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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China video game craze drives booming e-sports market

WUHU, China/SHANGHAI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - In an industrial park on the edge of Shanghai, a dozen Chinese teenagers are taking a break from battling digital armies to focus on their yoga.

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FDA proposes new fast path to market for certain medical devices

Dec 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed creating a new fast track to market for certain medical devices and a potential reduction in the amount of safety data required for approval.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia wagers global cheer will outlive Fed tightening

SYDNEY, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Asian shares were trying to string together a fourth session of gains on Tuesday as optimism about global growth looked set to outlast an almost certain hike in U.S. borrowing costs this week.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Chile stocks see highest rise in two years on copper prices

By Felipe Iturrieta and Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Chilean stocks rose more than 2 percent on Monday, their highest daily rise in almost two years, driven by foreign buyers in large stocks and higher prices for copper, the country's main export. The IPSA index rose 2.69 percent to 5,018.67 points, its best performance since January 2016. The copper reference price on the London Metals Exchange rose 1.5 percent, its largest daily rise in almost two months. Shar

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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

White House claims Trump's immigration plans could have prevented attack

The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump's preferred immigration policies would have prevented the suspect in an attempted New York terrorist attack from entering the country.

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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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GLOBAL-MARKETS-Wall Street stocks tick higher; stocks rise worldwide

* Wall Street up after brief uncertainty on New York explosion

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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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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.

Subways nytimes.com

Footage Shows Aftermath of ‘Attempted Terrorist Attack’ at New York Transit Hub

Four people were injured in an explosion in the passageway connecting the Times Square and Port Authority subway stations. A suspect is in custody.

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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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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.

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BRIEF-FS Investments, KKR To Form Middle Market Alternative Lending Platform

* FS INVESTMENTS AND KKR PARTNERING TO FORM PREMIER $18 BILLION MIDDLE MARKET ALTERNATIVE LENDING PLATFORM

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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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GLOBAL-MARKETS-Bitcoin futures steal spotlight, momentum keeps pushing stocks up

* Expectant dollar hovers ahead of Fed rate rise (Updates prices, adds detail)

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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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EMERGING MARKETS-Dollar decline and data lift lira, emerging markets

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A weaker dollar and better-than-forecast economic data briefly lifted the Turkish lira to two-week highs on Monday, against a backdrop of generally firmer emerging assets and a half-percent rise in emerging equities.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures steal spotlight, momentum keeps pushing stocks up

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed and equity volatility neared a record low on Monday as investors focused on signs of strong economic growth ahead of a slew of central bank rate decisions, while the launch of bitcoin futures fed the market's cryptocurrency obsession.

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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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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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RPT-COLUMN-The boldest market call for 2018? The consensus: McGeever

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Credit markets should brace for a U.S. recession, the U.S. yield curve will invert and growth in America will reach President Trump's lofty and oft-derided target of 4 percent.

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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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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures rocket past $18,000; Asian shares buoyant

* Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

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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.

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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.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Bitcoin futures surge past $18,000; Asian shares firm

* Fed expected to hike rates this week; BoE, ECB also meeting

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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.

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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.