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Russian pollster pulls pre-election research over closure fears

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's only major independent pollster, the Levada Center, said on Tuesday it had stopped publishing polls about the forthcoming presidential election because it feared the authorities might shut it down for perceived meddling.

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Pope expresses 'pain and shame' over Chile sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Pope Francis expressed his "pain and shame" over Chile's sexual abuse scandal on Tuesday in his first comments in the country on a crisis that has scarred the Roman Catholic Church's credibility.

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Palestinians see Gaza peace dividend pass them by

GAZA (Reuters) - Life began to look up for Gaza's Palestinians when reconciliation between its Hamas Islamist rulers and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in October brought a drop in crippling prices.

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Days after Hawaii alert gaffe, Japan issues false alarm about a missile launch

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.

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Ahead of UK summit, Macron visits migrants in port of Calais

CALAIS, France (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron visited a migrant reception center and quizzed refugees in Calais on Tuesday, taking stock of the pressure on the Channel port ahead of a summit with British Prime Minister Theresa May this week.

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Sudanese police fire tear gas, arrest protesters in Khartoum

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese police fired tear gas, struck demonstrators with batons and arrested several people at a protest against soaring living costs in the center of Khartoum on Tuesday.

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Now Japanese TV issues false alarm about a missile launch

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, but it corrected the error within minutes, messages on the NHK website showed.

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Erdogan says Turkish operation in Syria's Afrin to be supported by rebels

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey's planned military operation against Kurdish militia forces in Syria's Afrin region will be supported by Syrian rebel fighters.

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Kosovo Serb leader shot dead in northern town

PRISTINA (Reuters) - A Kosovan Serb leader, Oliver Ivanovic, who was awaiting trial over the killings of ethnic Albanians during the 1998-99 war, was shot dead outside his party office in the northern town of Mitrovica on Tuesday, a state prosecutor said.

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Iran says planned U.S.-backed force inside Syria would fan war

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday a new U.S.-backed, 30,000-strong force inside Syria would "fan the flames of war", echoing the vehement response of Syria, Turkey and Russia to the plan.

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EU 'still open' to Britain changing mind on Brexit

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Donald Tusk, the European Council president, weighed in to new British debate on whether to hold a second referendum on Brexit by saying on Tuesday that Britons would be welcome to stay in the European Union.

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UPDATE 2-China's CNPC forecasts 10 pct growth in gas consumption, bumper fuel exports

* Gas demand, import growth to drop, but remain in double digits * 2018 oil demand growth at 4.6 pct, down from 5.9 pct in 2017 * Net diesel exports to rise 47 pct, gasoline exports by 23 pct (Adds details on fuel surplus, comment, table, byline) By Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu BEIJING, Jan 16 (Reuters) - China's natural gas consumption will rise by 10 percent and imports by 13.4 percent in 2018, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) forecast on Tuesday, boosted by a steady push t

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Malaysia says it won't let politics derail Singapore train projects

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore and Malaysia vowed on Tuesday to push ahead with two ambitious rail projects linking the two countries as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak played down political uncertainty ahead of a general election to be held this year.

Fish and Other Marine Life nytimes.com

Huge Oil Spill Spreads in East China Sea, Stirring Environmental Fears

The disaster could be the worst oil spill in decades, and Greenpeace calls it a threat to “an important spawning ground” for fish and several whale species.

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Czech PM ready to face allegations as he fights for minority government

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Tuesday requested that lawmakers lift his parliamentary immunity so he can face allegations of fraud as he fights to win support for a minority government.

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Two killed when explosion destroys buildings in Belgium

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Two people were killed and 14 injured when an explosion in the Belgian city of Antwerp destroyed three buildings.

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BRIEF-China Lodging Group reports 87 pct occupancy rate for leased and owned hotels in Q4

* CHINA LODGING GROUP, LIMITED ANNOUNCES ITS PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR HOTEL OPERATION IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2017

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Fire rips through 17th century heritage building in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A huge fire destroyed most of a Dutch colonial heritage site dating back to the 17th century, including a maritime museum, in the north of the capital Jakarta on Tuesday.

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UPDATE 1-China's natural gas consumption to rise 10 pct on yr in 2018 - CNPC research

* Gas demand, import growth to drop, but remain in double digits

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Canadian suspect in Singapore bank robbery faces UK court on extradition

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) - A Canadian man suspected of a rare bank robbery in Singapore in 2016 faces a court appearance in Britain on Thursday after he was detained on a extradition request from Singapore.

cnn.com

Experts: Massive oil spill off China's coast may affect marine life for decades

A massive oil tanker that sank off the coast of China could affect marine life for decades, environmentalists and experts say.

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Pakistan clerics issue fatwa against 'un-Islamic' suicide bombings

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - More than 1,800 Pakistani Muslim clerics have issued an Islamic directive, or fatwa, forbidding suicide bombings, a book due to be unveiled by the government on Tuesday says.

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Bangladesh agrees with Myanmar to complete Rohingya return in two years

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has agreed to complete the process of returning Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar within two years after repatriation begins, the south Asian nation said on Tuesday, following a meeting of the neighbors to implement a pact signed last year.

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Philippines' Duterte had 'nothing to do' with news site's license: spokesman

MANILA (Reuters) - The office of Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte sought to distance itself on Tuesday from a regulator's decision to revoke the license of a prominent news site, rebuffing allegations the administration had initiated a crackdown on the media.

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PBOC official says China's centralized virtual currency trade needs to end: source

BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Chinese central banker says authorities should ban centralized trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services, an internal memo from a government meeting seen by Reuters showed.

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South Korean charged with murder of wife, son at Hong Kong Ritz-Carlton

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A South Korean man was formally charged on Tuesday with murdering his wife and six-year-old son at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Hong Kong.

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China's economy set to slow to 6.5 percent in 2018 as government turns off cheap money: Reuters poll

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy is expected to cool this year as a government-led crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution drag on overall activity, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

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UPDATE 1-Prodded by China, Qantas amends website references to Taiwan, other regions

SYDNEY/TAIPEI, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Australia's Qantas Airways said on Tuesday it had amended its website to no longer refer to Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries, rather than Chinese territories, after China issued a warning to foreign airlines last week.

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Google says "no changes" to mapping platform in China after report

BEIJING (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google said on Tuesday it has made "no changes" to its mapping platform in China, denying an earlier media report that claimed it was re-launching the function in China, where many of its services are blocked.

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UPDATE 1-Google says "no changes" to mapping platform in China after report

BEIJING, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google said on Tuesday it has made "no changes" to its mapping platform in China, denying an earlier media report that claimed it was re-launching the function in China, where many of its services are blocked.

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Japan investigates how to evacuate citizens from South Korea in crisis: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is examining how to evacuate its roughly 60,000 citizens from South Korea in the event of a crisis that closes airports, with military ships being used as shuttles, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Corporate Social Responsibility nytimes.com

DealBook: BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support

Laurence Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, the $6 trillion investment firm, plans to tell C.E.O.s in a letter that businesses must serve a social purpose.

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China rights lawyer says legal license revoked after criticizing President Xi Jinping

BEIJING (Reuters) - A prominent Chinese rights lawyer who wrote an open letter criticizing President Xi Jinping said on Monday that authorities had revoked his license to practice law.

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North Korea meeting to stress importance of sanctions - Canada

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A summit on curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions will focus in part on how to ensure countries fully implement all the sanctions imposed on the reclusive state, a Canadian government source said on Monday.

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Prodded by China, Qantas amends website references to Taiwan, other regions

SYDNEY, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Australia's Qantas Airways said on Tuesday it had amended its website to no longer refer to Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries, rather than Chinese territories, after China issued a warning to foreign airlines last week.

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Panama probes ex-officials in graft network suspected of taking bribes

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Panamanian prosecutors are investigating a network of over 30 people that includes former high-level officials suspected of taking bribes worth $40 million between 2011 and 2012 for public works projects, Attorney General Kenia Porcell said on Monday.

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Nikkei ekes out gains, strong earnings expectations provide support

TOKYO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average eked out gains on Tuesday, with expectations for strong corporate earnings underpinning sentiment.

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Pope arrives in Chile to bolster battered Church credibility

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Pope Francis arrived in Chile on Monday to start a trip aimed at bolstering the credibility of a local Church battered by a sexual abuse crisis.

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China consumer group seeks answers from Apple about slowing iPhones

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese consumer group has asked Apple for information about the slowing of older iPhones after operating system updates, demanding a reply before Friday, state news agency Xinhua reported.

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Collapse of Colombian bridge kills nine workers, injures five

BOGOTA (Reuters) - At least nine construction workers were killed and five injured when a partially-constructed bridge collapsed in central Colombia on Monday, an official from the disaster response agency said.

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At least 20 dead as clashes shut airport in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) - Fierce clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, killing at least 20 people, shutting the airport, and damaging planes during what the government said was a failed attempt to spring militants from a nearby prison.

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Romania's PM resigns after losing party's backing

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday after his Social Democrat Party (PSD) withdrew backing for him in an overwhelming vote, becoming the second premier to be ousted in seven months.

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Denmark will increase defense spending to counter Russia: PM

RIGA (Reuters) - The Danish government expects to win backing for a substantial increase in defense spending next month, to counter Russia's intensified military activity in eastern and northern Europe, the NATO-member's prime minister said Monday.

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Blast injures several in Belgium, terrorism ruled out: police

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An explosion injured several people and brought down a residential building in the Belgian city of Antwerp on Monday evening, police said, stressing the incident was not related to terrorism.

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Romania's PM resigns after Social Democrats withdraw backing

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday after his Social Democrat Party (PSD) leaders withdrew backing for him in an overwhelming vote, making him the second premier ousted by the party in less than seven months.

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Twenty dead as clashes shut airport in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) - Fierce clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, killing at least 20 people and shutting the airport during what the government said was a failed attempt to spring militants from a nearby prison.

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Romania's PM resigns after Social Democrats withdraw backing for him: sources

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday, after his ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) leaders withdrew political backing for him in an overwhelming vote, the second premier to be ousted by his party in less than seven months.

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Greek parliament approves more bailout reforms despite protests

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's parliament on Monday passed a swathe of reforms demanded by international lenders in exchange for fresh bailout funds, a success for the government but a blow to thousands of people protesting outside.

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UAE says Qatari jet fighters intercepted civilian flights

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday Qatari air force jets had twice intercepted its civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, but Qatar called the claim "completely untrue".

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Openness or protection? Czechs' choice echoes EU, U.S. votes

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czechs, like fellow voters from Europe to the United States, must weigh promises of a more outward-looking society against protection from the uncertainties of the global economy and immigration when they elect their president later this month.

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Google to relaunch map service in China: Nikkei

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google will relaunch its map service in China after an eight-year absence, Nikkei reported on Monday.

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Google to relaunch map service in China -Nikkei

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google will relaunch its map service in China after an eight-year absence, Nikkei reported on Monday.

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Nigeria's Buhari vows to punish all those behind ethnic violence

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will punish all those behind an outbreak of deadly clashes between cattle herders and farmers, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday pushing back at accusations that he failed to take action against members of his own ethnic group.

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Greek parliament approves bailout reforms for new loans

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's parliament approved a bill for fiscal, energy and labor reforms prescribed by the country's international lenders in exchange for fresh bailout funds.

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Bahrain court upholds jail sentence against rights activist Rajab

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain's top court on Monday upheld a two-year prison sentence imposed last year by a lower tribunal on rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab over comments he was alleged to have made to journalists, a rights group said.

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Ugandan lawyers seek to quash Museveni 'president for life' law

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's leading lawyers sought on Monday to overturn a law that critics say would allow incumbent leader Yoweri Museveni to effectively become president for life.

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Baghdad reports 'atmosphere of trust' in talks with Kurdistan region

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's central government said "an atmosphere of trust" marked talks held on Monday with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region to resolve a conflict that triggered armed clashes in October.

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Erdogan: we will 'strangle' U.S.-backed force in Syria "before it's even born"

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to "strangle" a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria "before it's even born," as Washington's backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.

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Olympics: Norwegian biathlete Bjoerndalen misses out on Games selection

(Reuters) - Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, will not take part in this year's Games in Pyeongchang after missing out on selection for the team, the Norwegian Biathlon Association said on Monday.

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Syrian Kurdish leader hopes new force will counter threats from Turkey, Damascus

QAMISHLI, Syria (Reuters) - Kurdish-led regions of Syria are looking to a new U.S.-backed border force to protect them in the face of growing threats from Turkey and Damascus, a senior Kurdish politician told Reuters.

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U.S. diplomat has talks Pakistan amid tension over Trump 'deceit' tweet

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A senior U.S. diplomat had talks in Pakistan on Monday following an outcry over President Donald Trump's accusation that the nuclear-armed South Asian state had engaged in "lies and deceit" as a U.S. ally in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

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Ten dead as clashes shut airport in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) - Heavy clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, leaving at least 10 people dead and shutting the airport during what the government said was an attempt to spring militants from a nearby prison.

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Israel's Netanyahu pushes for India free trade deal during rare visit

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India and Israel will begin work on a free trade pact that Israel has been pushing for, officials said on Monday, as Benjamin Netanyahu began a first visit by an Israeli prime minister in 15 years.

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Venezuelan rogue police pilot says he is wounded as authorities close in

CARACAS (Reuters) - - Self-identified rogue helicopter pilot Oscar Perez appeared with a bloody face in a series of Instagram videos on Monday, saying that he was surrounded by authorities who were shooting at him in a poor neighborhood outside Caracas.

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Nephew of assassinated president Sadat says Egypt too repressive for election bid

CAIRO (Reuters) - The nephew of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat said on Monday he would not, as widely expected, challenge incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the presidential election because an environment of fear surrounds the vote.

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Iran frees 440 people arrested during protests

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran has freed 440 people arrested in Tehran during anti-government protests, a judiciary official said, amid continuing uncertainty over how many were detained around the country.

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Madrid to keep ruling Catalonia if exiled ex-leader reelected: PM

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain will continue to rule the regional administration of Catalonia directly from Madrid in the event that its self-exiled former leader Carles Puigdemont is chosen as president by the Catalan parliament, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday.

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Philippines' president made call on China's sea research - spokesman

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally made a decision to let China conduct scientific research off the Philippines' Pacific coast, his spokesman said on Monday, despite concern among critics about threats to maritime sovereignty.

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China to block cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralized trading: Bloomberg

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities plan to block domestic access to Chinese and offshore cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralized trading, Bloomberg reported Monday citing sources.

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Saudi hotel to reopen after being used as prison in corruption purge

RIYADH (Reuters) - The luxury Riyadh hotel used as a prison during Saudi Arabia's crackdown on corruption will reopen for business next month, according to a company employee and its website, suggesting authorities are close to settling the cases of many suspects.

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North Korean orchestra to perform in South during Olympics amid easing tensions

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea agreed during rare talks on Monday to send a 140-strong orchestra to perform during the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, Seoul said, amid easing tensions after a months-long standoff over the North's weapons programs.

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Pope warns world is one step away from nuclear war

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Monday he was really afraid about the danger of nuclear war and that the world now stood at "the very limit".

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Britain scrambles two Typhoon jets to intercept Russian planes

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain scrambled two Royal Air Force Typhoon jets on Monday from Scotland to intercept Russian planes near the United Kingdom's airspace, a defense ministry spokesman said.

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Tunisia arrests 41 more after fresh anti-austerity protests

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police arrested 41 more protesters after fresh violent protests against austerity measures in the North African country, the interior ministry said on Monday, bringing the number of arrested to around 850.

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Erdogan says Turkey will crush 'terror army' in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday the United States was trying to create a "terror army" on Turkey's southern frontier by training a Syrian border force including Kurdish militia, and pledged to crush the force before it came into being.

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Madrid to keep direct rule of Catalonia if former leader reelected: PM

MADRID (Reuters) - Madrid will continue to run Catalonia's government if sacked former leader Carles Puigdemont is voted regional president by the Catalan parliament while in self-imposed exile in Brussels, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday.

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Stricken tanker leaves large oil slick in East China Sea

TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - A burning Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea on Sunday in the worst oil ship disaster in decades has produced a large oil slick, Chinese media and Japanese authorities said on Monday, as worries grew over damage to the marine ecosystem.

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UAE says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian flight

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Bahrain, which Qatar denied, escalating a months-old feud between the Gulf Arab states.

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Four Pakistani soldiers killed in Indian fire across tense Kashmir frontier

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Four Pakistani soldiers were killed on Monday in shelling by Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region, the Pakistani army said, the latest clash between the nuclear-armed neighbors who have also been exchanging heated challenges.

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German conservatives seek to allay SPD fears over coalition deal

BERLIN (Reuters) - A senior member of Germany's conservatives said a blueprint on forming a coalition government with the Social Democrats (SPD) would be further refined, in remarks seemingly intended to appease opponents of the deal.

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Johnson fears 'waste of time' watered-down Brexit - report

LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign minister Boris Johnson has told friends he is worried that Britain will accept a Brexit deal that leaves it subordinate to Brussels, making the 2016 EU referendum a "total waste of time", the Sun newspaper reported on Monday.

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Russia will not support U.S. bid to change Iran nuclear deal: Lavrov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday Moscow will not support attempts by Washington to modify the Iran nuclear deal.

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Armed group clashes shut airport in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Clashes broke out around Mitiga airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, causing the suspension of all flights.

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Exclusive: China's JD.com targets $2 billion fundraising at logistics unit - sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's second-biggest e-commerce firm JD.com has kicked off a fundraising round at its logistics unit with a target of at least $2 billion, and eventually plans to list the business overseas, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

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Koreas agree to hold Olympics talks on Wednesday, Seoul says

SEOUL (Reuters) - North and South Korea agreed to hold working talks on Wednesday on the North sending athletes to next month's Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul's unification ministry said, as months-long tensions over the North's weapons programs ease.

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Syrian army to end U.S. presence in the country: state TV citing FM source

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army is determined to end any form of U.S. presence in the country, state television said on Monday, citing an official source in the foreign ministry.

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Scores injured as Indonesia stock exchange building lobby floor collapses

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A mezzanine floor overlooking the main lobby of the Indonesian Stock Exchange building collapsed on Monday, injuring scores of people, many of them students, under slabs of concrete and other debris, officials and witnesses said.

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Russia will not support U.S. attempts to change Iran nuclear deal: Lavrov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday Moscow will not support attempts by Washington to change the Iran nuclear deal.

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Greeks strike over right-to-strike, paralyze public transport

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek bus, subway and city rail services were disrupted on Monday with some flights grounded as public transport workers and air traffic controllers walked off the job to protest a reform bill they fear will restrict their right to strike.

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Myanmar says temporary camp will house 30,000 Rohingya targeted for repatriation

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar is building a camp to temporarily house 30,000 Rohingya Muslims targeted for repatriation after fleeing violence in Rakhine State, state media reported on Monday, as Myanmar and Bangladesh meet to discuss how to implement a repatriation deal.

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Russia will work to preserve Iran nuclear deal, FM Lavrov says

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow will work to preserve the existing Iran nuclear deal despite Washington threatening to withdraw from it.

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Indonesia police rule out bomb as exchange floor collapse injures at least a dozen

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A mezzanine floor overlooking the main lobby of the Indonesia Stock Exchange building collapsed on Monday, injuring at least a dozen people under a shower of glass and other debris, an exchange employee and witnesses said.

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RPT-INSIGHT-China's COFCO makes painful cuts in drive to lead global food trade

LONDON/PARIS/BEIJING, Jan 12 (Reuters) - China's COFCO International is in the throes of a staffing upheaval as the group pursues its professed ambition of sitting at the top table of global agricultural traders.

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Second floor of Indonesia Stock Exchange collapses, around a dozen people injured

JAKARTA (Reuters) - The second floor of the Indonesia Stock Exchange building collapsed on Monday, said an exchange employee, injuring around a dozen people who were carried on stretches from the building.

environmentNews reuters.com

Stricken oil tanker leaves 10-mile oil slick in East China Sea: CCTV

TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - The burning Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea on Sunday in the worst oil ship disaster in decades has produced a 10-mile long oil slick as black smoke continued to billow from the site, Chinese media and Japanese authorities said on Monday.

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People evacuated from Indonesia Stock Exchange after reports of collapsed structure: Metro TV

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Dozens of people were seen running from the Indonesian stock Exchange in central Jakarta on Monday, Metro TV showed, after unconfirmed reports of a collapsed structure inside the building.

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North Korea requests talks on Olympics with South on Jan. 17: South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has requested working talks on sending its athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics be held on Jan. 17 at the truce village of Panmunjom, the South's unification ministry said in a mobile text message.

Czech Republic nytimes.com

In Czech Election, a Choice Between Leaning East or West

A presidential vote will help decide whether the Czech Republic continues to be drawn east toward Russia and China or fully re-embraces the European Union.

worldNews reuters.com

Indonesia's Golkar Party appoints new parliamentary speaker amid graft probe

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's Golkar Party has appointed Bambang Soesatyo as parliamentary speaker, after the previous speaker was indicted in a $170 million corruption scandal late last year, the party's secretary general Muhammad Sarmuji said on Monday.

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China sees 1,300 fugitives returned from overseas in 2017: China Daily

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A total of 1,300 fugitives were returned to China from overseas last year, including 347 corrupt officials, the China Daily reported on Monday, citing figures from the country's corruption watchdog.

environmentNews reuters.com

China punishes officials for tampering with smog monitoring

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has punished officials in the provinces of Jiangxi and Henan for tampering with pollution monitoring equipment in order to reduce smog readings, the environment ministry said in a notice on Sunday.

worldNews reuters.com

Colombia's ELN rebels must halt attacks, restart talks: U.N.

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's ELN rebel group must cease attacks and re-start peace talks with the government to end more than a half-century of war, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, amid renewed violence after the end of a ceasefire between the two sides.

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Nine bodies found in truck in Mexican state of Veracruz

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Nine dismembered bodies were found piled in a truck on Saturday night in the violent Mexican state of Veracruz, the governor said on Sunday, describing the crime as a clash of rival gangs.

businessNews reuters.com

Oil dips away from 2014 highs on rising U.S. rig count, but analysts say market supported

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Monday as rising drilling activity in the United States pointed to higher future output, although output cuts led by OPEC and Russia as well as healthy demand kept crude near December 2014 highs reached last week.

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Violent protests resume in Tunisia after two days of calm

TUNIS (Reuters) - Violent protests erupted again on Sunday in two areas of the capital Tunis and another town after a relatively calm two days, the latest protests in the country against austerity measures.

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Peru ex-President Fujimori hospitalized with heart problems: media

LIMA (Reuters) - Alberto Fujimori, Peru's former authoritarian president who was freed from a 25-year prison sentence with a humanitarian pardon last Christmas Eve, was hospitalized with heart problems on Sunday, his doctor told local newspaper El Comercio.

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Peace efforts can only resume under international mediation: Abbas

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday he would only accept a broad, internationally-backed panel to broker any peace talks with Israel, but did not rule out a U.S. role in such a panel.

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Pumping on Colombia's Transandino pipeline halted after bomb attack

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Pumping on Colombia's southern Transandino pipeline was halted on Sunday after a bomb attack by the ELN rebels spilled crude into a river, state-run oil company Ecopetrol and the military said.

topNews reuters.com

China absence looms over Canada meeting on how to pressure North Korea

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Foreign ministers from around 20 nations gather on Tuesday to discuss how to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions through diplomatic and financial pressure, but China, seen as a key player in any long-term solution, will be absent.

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Hundreds protest against austerity in Tunis, tear gas fired

TUNIS (Reuters) - Hundreds of Tunisians held anti-austerity demonstrations in the capital on Sunday and in one district police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of stone-throwing youths on the seventh anniversary of the ousting of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

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UAE says Qatari royal leaves after claim he was being detained

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that an exiled member of Qatar's ruling family who had appeared in a video recording saying that he was being held against his will had left the UAE.

Air Pollution nytimes.com

Op-Ed Contributor: Why China’s Good Environmental Policies Have Gone Wrong

Haste and zeal to please an increasingly authoritarian government have created unexpected problems.

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Poland's government reshuffle boosts support for ruling party

WARSAW (Reuters) - Public support for Poland's ruling conservatives has risen while backing for the biggest opposition party fell as a recent government reshuffle helped ease voters' dissatisfaction with Warsaw's clashes with the EU, an opinion poll showed.

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Iraqi PM Abadi to seek re-election, in alliance with Iran-backed group

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday announced he would stand for re-election on May 12 at the head of a cross-sectarian bloc, and received the support of a powerful Shi'ite group close to Iran.

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Japan PM Abe honors 'Japanese Schindler' in Lithuania

KAUNAS, Lithuania (Reuters) - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the former Japanese consulate in Lithuania on Sunday to commemorate a Japanese diplomat credited with saving an estimated 6,000 Jews from almost certain death in 1940.

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Majority of Greeks against use of "Macedonia" in any solution to name dispute: poll

ATHENS (Reuters) - A majority of Greeks do not want the term "Macedonia" used in any solution to a long-running dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name, a poll showed on Sunday.

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Hundreds attend anti-austerity protests in Tunis amid heavy police presence

TUNIS (Reuters) - Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated peacefully against government austerity measures in the capital after nearly a week of sometimes violent protests on Sunday, the seventh anniversary of the ousting of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

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German SPD leaders aim to improve on coalition deal with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Leading members of Germany's Social Democrats vowed on Sunday to press for improvements to a coalition blueprint they have agreed with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, seeking to win over skeptical party members who can torpedo the agreement.

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South Africa protests to U.S. embassy over Trump "shithole" remark

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has protested to the U.S. embassy in Pretoria about reported remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump that some immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from "shithole" countries.

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Church credibility in focus as Pope heads for Latin America

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis starts a trip to Chile and Peru on Monday, attempting to inject new confidence in the staunchly Catholic countries where the Church's credibility has been severely damaged by sexual abuse scandals.

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Fear and doubt should not determine response to immigrants, Pope says

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Mutual fears between immigrants and their new communities are understandable, but must not prevent new arrivals from being welcomed and integrated, Pope Francis said on Sunday in a special Mass to mark the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

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Dual national arrested in Iran during unrest: judiciary

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian authorities have arrested a dual national who was taking pictures during recent unrest, Iran's judiciary spokesman was quoted as saying on Sunday, as security forces sought to contain the most widespread protests in the country since 2009.

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South Africa's ANC leader says issue of Zuma's future "will be dealt with": eNCA

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The new leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, Cyril Ramaphosa, said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the issue of whether President Jacob Zuma should step down "will be dealt with."

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Bomb wounds Hamas official in Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A bomb blast wounded an official of the Palestinian group Hamas in the Lebanese city of Sidon on Sunday, destroying his car, security sources and the Hezbollah movement's al-Manar television station reported.

cnn.com

Oil tanker burning in the East China Sea sinks

An oil tanker burning in the East China Sea has sunk a week after it collided with another vessel, according to Chinese state media.

cnn.com

Iran's Rouhani mocks Trump's failure to keep election pledge

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked Donald Trump for failing to kill off the Iran nuclear deal despite the US leader's 2016 election promise to do so.

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Plane skids off Turkish runway on Black Sea coast, passengers unhurt

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Pegasus Airlines flight skidded off the runway of a Turkish coastal airport and ended up halfway down a steep slope into the Black Sea, but no passengers or crew were hurt, Turkish media reported on Sunday.

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Scottish leader says will look at independence vote by end of year

LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday she would be able to make a judgment on whether to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of this year after a shape of a deal between Britain and the European Union becomes clear.

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Saudi Prince Alwaleed in settlement talks with government: sources

DUBAI/JEDDAH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, detained for over two months in an anti-corruption crackdown, is negotiating a possible settlement with authorities but so far has not agreed on terms, a senior Saudi official said.

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Exiled Cambodian opposition members set up new movement

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Foreign-based members of Cambodia's dissolved opposition party have launched a movement to demand the release of its detained leader and to call for free and fair elections and possibly protests.

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Hong Kong police arrest South Korean suspected of murdering wife, son at Ritz-Carlton

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police arrested a South Korean man on suspicion of murder on Sunday after his wife and seven-year-old son were found dead in a room at the five star Ritz-Carlton hotel.

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Venezuela government, opposition conclude talks without agreement

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - Members of Venezuela's leftist government and opposition leaders concluded a round of talks in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, failing to reach a deal to address the country's political and economic crisis.

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Iraqi PM Abadi to seek re-election in May vote

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Sunday his candidacy for the May 12 parliamentary elections to choose a prime minister.

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China to step up banking oversight in 'arduous' fight on financial risks

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will step up oversight in the banking sector this year to reduce financial risks, the country's banking regulator said, stressing that long-term efforts would be needed to control banking sector chaos.

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Mexican journalist killed amid wave of violence against media

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A journalist was killed on Saturday in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, adding to a wave of violence in one of the world's most dangerous countries for media workers.

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At least eight killed, dozens hurt in fire, stampede in Portugal

LISBON (Reuters) - At least eight people have been killed and dozens injured in a fire and stampede in a local leisure association in the town of Vila Nova da Rainha in northern Portugal on Saturday night, officials said.

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U.N. willing to send more aid for Venezuelans in Colombia

BOGOTA (Reuters) - The United Nations is willing to send more resources to Colombia to help the Andean country care for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing food shortages and economic devastation in their homeland, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday.

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Guatemala congressman arrested, accused in murders of two journalists

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Guatemala attorney general's office confirmed on Saturday the arrest of congressman Julio Juarez Ramirez, who is accused of plotting the murders of two journalists in 2015.

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Iran lifts block on Telegram app imposed during unrest: report

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran on Saturday lifted restrictions on the messaging app Telegram, the state news agency IRNA said, after blocking the popular service as security forces sought to contain the most widespread public protests in the country since 2009.

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Chelsea Manning seeks Maryland U.S. Senate seat: election filing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier who served seven years in military prison for leaking classified data, is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Maryland, according to Federal election filings seen on Saturday.

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Congo launches offensive against Ugandan rebels in its east

GOMA, Congo (Reuters) - Congolese troops began a military offensive in the eastern city of Beni on Saturday against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel armed group blamed for an attack that killed 15 United Nations peacekeepers last month.

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Tunisia will increase aid for poor in response to protests

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia plans to increase support for poor families and needy people by some $70 million, a government minister said on Saturday, after protests broke out in the North African country.

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Hundreds of Poles protest against proposed abortion restrictions

WARSAW (Reuters) - Hundreds of Poles gathered in front of the parliament building in Warsaw on Saturday evening to protest against proposals for tight restrictions on abortion debated by lawmakers this week.

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U.S. probes video apparently showing shooting of Afghan civilian

KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. military authorities are investigating a video widely circulated on Afghan social media that apparently shows a U.S. service member firing into a civilian truck driving along a road in Afghanistan, a spokesman said.

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Nigerian Shi'ite leader, rumored dead, makes first public appearance in two years

ABUJA (Reuters) - The leader of Nigeria's Shi'ite Muslim sect, rumored to have died in detention, made his first public appearance in two years on Saturday, after police arrested dozens of members of the group during protests calling for his release this week.

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Thousands protest against Austrian government's shift to the right

VIENNA/ZURICH (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets of Vienna on Saturday and called for members of the Austria's new right wing government to be boycotted by the rest of Europe.

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Chile government guarantees Pope's safety despite church attacks

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Pope Francis will not be at risk during his trip to Chile this week, despite a series of attacks at Catholic churches in the capital city of Santiago, Interior Minister Mario Fernandez said on local radio station BioBio on Saturday.

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Czech presidential vote sets up Zeman-Drahos second round clash

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Incumbent east-looking Milos Zeman won the first round of the Czech Republic's presidential election on Saturday but runner up Jiri Drahos may pose a strong challenge in the second round in two weeks, nearly complete results showed.

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Incumbent Zeman leads Czech presidential election: half votes counted

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Incumbent Milos Zeman led the first round of the Czech Republic's presidential election on Saturday with 41.99 percent of the vote, results from 51.3 percent of voting districts showed.

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Tunisia plans to increase support for poor families: source

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia plans to increase support for poor families and needy people, a government source said on Saturday, after protests broke out in the North African country.

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U.S. and allies must work more closely on North Korea: Japan expert

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States, South Korea and Japan must coordinate more closely on North Korea, with whom they are engaged in a "pre-negotiation bargaining process", a former Japanese defense official told Reuters.

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Left-wing German Social Democrats lobby against Merkel alliance

BERLIN (Reuters) - Left-wing German Social Democrats lobbied party members on Saturday against joining Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in a re-run of their 2013-2017 alliance, a week before delegates are asked to back a coalition blueprint.

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New U.S. sanctions attempt to influence Russia before election: Tass

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A new round of U.S. sanctions expected against Moscow is an attempt to influence Russia's domestic affairs ahead of a presidential election, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Saturday.

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South Africa to target investment, graft under new ANC leader

EAST LONDON, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa wants to attract foreign investors to help it kick-start economic growth and eradicate poverty and will crack down on corruption, the new leader of the ruling African National Congress said on Saturday.

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Erdogan says Turkey will crush Kurdish militia in Afrin

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey's military incursion in northern Syria's Idlib province would crush Kurdish militia forces that control the neighboring region of Afrin.

China nytimes.com

‘Frost Boy’ in China Warms Up the Internet, and Stirs Poverty Debate

A widely shared photograph of an 8-year-old who had icicles in his hair after a 2.8-mile trek to school has become a symbol of the plight of poor rural children.

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South Africa 'open for investment', new ANC leader Ramaphosa says

EAST LONDON, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa is open for investment and wants to offer policy certainty as it seeks to increase economic growth and eradicate poverty, the new leader of the ruling African National Congress said on Saturday.

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Egyptian fire kills Palestinian at sea: Gaza Health Ministry

GAZA (Reuters) - The Egyptian navy opened fire on a Palestinian fisherman at sea and killed him, the Gaza Ministry said on Saturday.

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China urges hotels to review websites as 'country' crackdown grows

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's tourism authority has urged accommodation companies to review their websites and apps to fix what Beijing deems to be inaccurate labeling of Taiwan or other Chinese-claimed territories as countries.

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Prime Minister cutouts a highlight of Thailand's Children's Day

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai children posed on Saturday with life-sized cutouts of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as the cardboard figures of the junta leader made an appearance at the annual Children's Day festival.

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Rohingya insurgents say 10 found in Myanmar grave 'innocent civilians'

YANGON (Reuters) - Rohingya Muslim insurgents said on Saturday that ten Rohingya found in a mass grave in Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state last month were "innocent civilians", and not members of their group.

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Costa Rica suspends airline amid probe of fatal plane crash

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Costa Rica's civil aviation agency suspended local airline Nature Air on Friday, two weeks after one of its small planes crashed near a tourist beach, killing two Costa Rican pilots and 10 U.S. citizens.

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Singapore charges three more suspects in Shell refinery oil heist

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singapore court on Saturday charged three men suspected of involvement in large-scale oil theft at Shell's biggest refinery, days after bringing charges against 11 under an extensive probe by authorities in the city state.

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Former Argentine vice president freed pending corruption trial

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's former economy minister and vice president, Amado Boudou, was freed from jail on Friday after an appeals court ruled that he was unlikely to interfere in a corruption case against him.

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Czechs pick between east-looking Zeman and pro-western challengers in presidential vote

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czechs wrap up voting on Saturday in the first round of a presidential election in which eight candidates are seeking to oust the incumbent Milos Zeman, whose inclination toward far-right groups and warm relations with Russia and China have split public opinion.

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Venezuela government, opposition resume talks in Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - Members of Venezuela's leftist government and opposition leaders resumed talks in the Dominican Republic on Friday, seeking to reach an agreement to ease a deep political and economic crisis in the OPEC country.

cnn.com

What Trump supporters think of his 'shithole' remark

Reports that Donald Trump referred to certain nations as "shithole countries" during a Thursday meeting in the Oval Office have inflamed his critics and drawn condemnation from the international community.

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Egypt to impose curfew on parts of North Sinai: official gazette

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will impose a curfew on parts of the North Sinai region starting on Saturday after the country extended its state of emergency, the official gazette said.

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Zimbabwe faces bloodshed if 'illegal regime' stays, Mugabe ally says

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe was sacked as president illegally and the international community must help remove the "military government" that has taken power or risk the country descending into chaos, an exiled Mugabe loyalist said on Friday.

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Spanish, Dutch deny joint plan to seek softer Brexit

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands and Spain have not reached an agreement about how Britain should leave the European Union, a Dutch Finance Ministry official said on Friday, denying an earlier report of a deal that drove sterling sharply higher.

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UPDATE 1-U.S. trade panel allows China aluminum sheet dumping probe to proceed

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday said in an initial finding that imports of aluminum alloy sheet metal from China harm U.S. producers, allowing a U.S. probe to proceed into whether the product was being dumped or unfairly subsidized.

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Sinatra at the Paris Ritz: the surreal moment when gangsters struck

PARIS (Reuters) - It was cocktail hour at the Paris Ritz when the silky tones of Sinatra segued into the sound of breaking glass, one guest said, recalling the surreal moment he saw axe-wielding gangsters nab fistfuls of jewels from the ultra-chic hotel.

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Syrian state media says Turkey helped rebel attack

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian state media on Friday cited field commanders as saying Turkey helped anti-government rebels launch a counter attack against the Syrian army and its allies in the northwest this week, underlining recent regional tensions over the fighting.

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Coalition deal leaves Merkel's fate in hands of Social Democrats

BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel has survived as German chancellor but the coalition deal she clinched on Friday puts her fate in the hands of her Social Democrat (SPD) partners and risks eroding support from her close allies before the end of her fourth term.

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A Picture and its Story: Syrian pulled from rubble mourns 'martyred' young son

EASTERN GHOUTA, Syria (Reuters) - His brow dripping with blood and his skin caked with brick dust, Abu Abdallah was pulled out from under the rubble of his house near Damascus after it was blown up in an air raid.

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Haiti 'shocked' by Trump comments, summons U.S. envoy

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haiti on Friday expressed shock at reports that U.S. President Donald Trump referred to the Caribbean nation as a "shithole," and summoned the top U.S. diplomat in the country for an explanation.

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Pope Francis to visit Peru as Fujimori pardon roils country

LIMA/VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis next week visits Peru, a country divided over former autocrat leader Alberto Fujimori, whose pardon from prison by the current president has reopened wounds from one of the country's darkest periods.

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'Thanks, but no thanks' - Norwegians reject Trump's immigration offer

OSLO (Reuters) - Many Norwegians rejected on Friday a suggestion by U.S. President Donald Trump that they would be more welcome to move to the United States than immigrants from "shithole countries" such as Haiti or African nations.

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White House praises China reduction in North Korea trade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House praised China's moves to reduce its trade with North Korea on Friday, saying it will help the U.S.-led effort to apply maximum pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

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France's Macron welcomes Merkel's deal with Social Democrats, says good for Europe

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday welcomed a deal in Germany between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democrat (SPD) that paves the way for a coalition government, saying its provisional terms were good for Europe.

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Jailed leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition makes first court appearance in 14 months

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition on Friday made his first public appearance since his arrest 14 months ago, standing before an Istanbul court on charges of insulting President Tayyip Erdogan.

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UK's former Brexit campaign boss says no desire for a re-run of the EU referendum

LONDON (Reuters) - British voters do not want a re-run of the referendum on European Union membership and any hint of another vote undermines the government's Brexit negotiations, the former CEO of Britain's main "Leave" campaign told Reuters.

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Fugitive former leader cannot rule Catalonia from abroad says Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government dismissed outright on Friday the possibility of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont ruling the region from self-imposed exile in Brussels, and said Madrid would contest any attempt to do so in the courts.

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In cradle of Tunisia's revolution, new unrest over broken promises

SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia (Reuters) - Shouting slogans and holding up placards outside a government office in the impoverished Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid, university graduates have a message for officials - give us jobs or you will face trouble.

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Palestinians protesting U.S Jerusalem move clash with Israeli troops

GAZA (Reuters) - Hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank on Friday in what they said was a protest against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Myanmar's Suu Kyi says army admission on killings a positive step

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday it was "positive" that the country's military was taking responsibility for the actions of troops, after the army said soldiers were involved in killing 10 captured Rohingya Muslims.

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Eastward-looking Zeman is favorite as Czechs vote for president

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czechs started voting on Friday in the first round of a presidential election in which eight candidates are seeking to defeat incumbent Milos Zeman, whose brash style and leanings toward eastern powers have sharply divided opinion.

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Russia kills militants behind Syria air base attack: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's defense ministry said on Friday it had found and killed the group of militants which attacked its air base in Syria in December, Russian news agencies reported.

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BRIEF-Chinanet Online Holdings Announces Entry Into Agreements For Registered Direct Placement Of $11 Mln Of Common Stock, Warrants

* CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS, INC. ANNOUNCES ENTRY INTO AGREEMENTS FOR REGISTERED DIRECT PLACEMENT OF $11 MILLION OF COMMON STOCK AND WARRANTS

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Syrian war will drag into next decade: senior Kurdish leader

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Russian-led effort to end the war in Syria will fail and the conflict looks set to extend into the next decade, a top Syrian Kurdish politician told Reuters in an interview.

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Thousands of Greeks protest over right to strike, hitting hospitals, transport and shipping

ATHENS (Reuters) - Thousands of Greek protesters marched in central Athens on Friday against new reforms, including restrictions on the right to strike, that parliament is set to approve next week in return for bailout funds.

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Flare-up with Israel tests Hamas effort to keep Gaza on low boil

ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER (Reuters) - The worst fighting on the Gaza Strip front since 2014 is being calibrated by Hamas, which wants to signal defiance of Israel and the United States while being careful not to trigger a new war for the enclave's penned-in Palestinians.

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Vandals attack churches in Chile three days ahead of Pope visit

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Vandals in Santiago attacked three churches before dawn on Friday, throwing homemade bombs that caused minor damage and leaving notes threatening Pope Francis just three days ahead of the pontiff's visit to Chile next week, police said.

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Greek police fire teargas at protesters after Athens march

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police fired teargas at protesters in Athens on Friday after a march of about 20,000 people against reforms parliament is set to approve on Jan. 15 including restrictions on the right to strike.

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In rut, Russian communists register surprise candidate to challenge Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Communist Party moved to overhaul its geriatric image on Friday, registering a wealthy 57-year-old farm boss to challenge incumbent Vladimir Putin for the presidency in a gamble it hopes will revive its electoral fortunes.

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New face emerges in Hong Kong democracy movement, as others face court

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Having seen a court disqualify her friend from holding a seat in Hong Kong's legislature, 21-year-old Agnes Chow stands ready to step into the breach by contesting his seat for a pro-democracy movement that has provoked China's wrath.

businessNews reuters.com

China's COFCO makes painful cuts in drive to lead global food trade

LONDON/PARIS/BEIJING (Reuters) - China's COFCO International is in the throes of a staffing upheaval as the group pursues its professed ambition of sitting at the top table of global agricultural traders.

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INSIGHT-China's COFCO makes painful cuts in drive to lead global food trade

LONDON/PARIS/BEIJING, Jan 12 (Reuters) - China's COFCO International is in the throes of a staffing upheaval as the group pursues its professed ambition of sitting at the top table of global agricultural traders.

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Pakistan army chief says nation felt "betrayed" at U.S. criticism

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's army chief told a top U.S. general the nation "felt betrayed" at criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the military said on Friday, after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit".

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China cracks down on foreign companies calling Taiwan, other regions countries

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's aviation authority on Friday demanded an apology from Delta Air Lines for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website, while another government agency took aim at Inditex-owned fashion brand Zara and medical device maker Medtronic Plc for similar issues.