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Merkel upbeat SPD will approve talks with her conservatives

PARIS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she was optimistic that Social Democrats (SPD) would approve the start of formal coalition talks with her conservatives at a special party congress this weekend.

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U.S. funding hold will hurt U.N. effort to help Palestinian refugees: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a U.N. news conference on Friday that the U.S. decision to withhold funds for a U.N. agency that assists Palestinians would seriously undermine efforts to meet the needs of refugees.

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Iran nuclear deal cannot survive if U.S. pulls out: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday the Iran nuclear deal cannot survive if the United States pulls out the agreement.

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Ex-Honduran minister gets nearly two-and-a-half years prison in U.S. drug case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former member of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez's cabinet was sentenced by a New York federal judge to nearly 2-1/2 years in prison on Friday, after pleading guilty to attempting to launder drug money from the Central American country.

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BRIEF-National Access Cannabis Announces Private Placement Financing

* NATIONAL ACCESS CANNABIS ANNOUNCES PRIVATE PLACEMENT FINANCING

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BRIEF-American National Bankshares Announces Stock Repurchase Plan Of Up To 300,000 Shares

* AMERICAN NATIONAL BANKSHARES INC. ANNOUNCES A STOCK REPURCHASE PLAN

Trump, Donald J nytimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist: Donald Trump’s Radical Honesty

In his own wild way, this president is as truthful and transparent as they come.

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BRIEF-Betteru Education Announces Private Placement

* BETTERU EDUCATION - ANNOUNCE A NON-BROKERED PRIVATE PLACEMENT TO RAISE UP TO MAXIMUM OF $1 MILLION OR 2.2 MILLION UNITS AT DEEMED PRICE OF $0.46 PER UNIT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Cinedigm Announces Strategic Alliance With Starrise Media

* CINEDIGM ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH LEADING CHINESE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY STARRISE MEDIA TO RELEASE FILMS IN CHINA AND NORTH AMERICA

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French police clash with prison guards in protest over jail conditions

PARIS (Reuters) - French riot police clashed on Friday with striking prison guards who accuse the government of doing little to counter spiraling violence and Islamist activism inside the country's overcrowded jails.

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Syrians freeze to death crossing mountains into Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Nine Syrians froze to death crossing into Lebanon when an icy storm hit a smuggling route in the mountains near a border post with Syria, the Lebanese Army said on Friday.

cnn.com

Fury but no fire: World confused after Trump's first year

A year has passed and the lights are still on: we aren't speaking Russian, or at war with North Korea, or Iran. We've not started a self-defeating trade spat with China. And right-wing populists like Brexit pioneer Nigel Farage and France's Marine Le Pen are even less relevant than they were at the beginning of 2017.

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Exclusive: Trump's coal job push stumbles in most states - data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's effort to put coal miners back to work stumbled in most coal producing states last year, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.

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Slowly, Germany begins to ponder life after Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - She has not faced a credible challenge to her rule as German chancellor for more than 12 years. Now, members of Angela Merkel's conservatives are starting to look ahead to potential alternatives to lead their party and country.

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BRIEF-Penn Virginia Announces Retirement Of Executive Chairman And Appointment Of New Members Of The Board Of Directors

* PENN VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT OF EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND APPOINTMENT OF NEW MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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German election would further harm SPD, Schulz warns

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany's Social Democrats on Friday urged members of his center-left party to endorse coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives or risk facing new elections that could further damage the party.

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Could Taliban finally return to Afghan peace talks? Obstacles abound

KABUL (Reuters) - Exploratory meetings in Pakistan between a high-level Taliban delegation and a representative of a prominent Afghan politician have fueled speculation of a revival of long-stalled talks on ending Afghanistan's 16-year war that kills thousands each year.

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Far from home, Mexican migrants eager to influence presidential race

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tijuana native Alma Martinez will cast her first-ever vote for a Mexican president this July, but from across the country's northern border, where she is among hundreds of thousands of co-nationals whose participation could be decisive in a close race.

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1.3 million children displaced by Iraq's war with Islamic State: UNICEF

GENEVA (Reuters) - About half the 2.6 million people displaced in Iraq after a three-year war with Islamic State militants are children and persisting violence hampers efforts to ease their suffering, the United Nations said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Pavmed Announces Pricing Of Firm Commitment Common Stock Offering

* PAVMED ANNOUNCES PRICING OF FIRM COMMITMENT COMMON STOCK OFFERING

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Turkey shells Syria's Afrin region, minister says operation has begun

SUGEDIGI, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish artillery fired into Syria's Afrin region on Friday in what Ankara said was the start of a military campaign against the Kurdish-controlled area.

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Czech lower house votes to lift immunity of prime minister

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech lower house voted on Friday to allow prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej Babis in a case of alleged EU subsidy fraud, which has blocked his attempts at creating a government.

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BRIEF-AmTrust Financial Services Announces Retention Of Financial Advisor To Review Proposal By Stone Point Capital, CEO, Karfunkel Family

* AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. ANNOUNCES RETENTION OF FINANCIAL ADVISOR TO REVIEW PROPOSAL BY STONE POINT CAPITAL, THE CEO AND THE KARFUNKEL FAMILY Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Merkel and Macron look to turn warm ties into reform goals

PARIS (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron will spend more than five hours together in Paris on Friday, putting on a show of Franco-German unity as they try to agree on reforms to the euro zone.

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France says no for now to Johnson's idea of giant Channel bridge

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - France on Friday politely rejected Boris Johnson's idea of building a giant bridge across the English Channel after Brexit, saying that, while far-fetched ideas were worth considering, there were plenty of major European projects to finish first.

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Sweden's government, Left party propose profit cap on welfare companies

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's center-left government and the Left Party has agreed to put forward a bill for a profit cap on private schools and care homes funded by taxpayers, they said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Seacor Marine Announces Confirmation Of "Stalking Horse" Bid To Form JV With Montco Offshore

* SEACOR MARINE ANNOUNCES CONFIRMATION OF “STALKING HORSE” BID TO FORM JOINT VENTURE WITH MONTCO OFFSHORE, INC.

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BRIEF-Prosperity Bancshares Announces Stock Repurchase Program

* PROSPERITY BANCSHARES, INC.® ANNOUNCES STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM

cnn.com

Artists mark one year of Trump as president

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration. It also marks the one-year anniversary of the Women's March his election inspired, the largest single-day protest in the nation's history.

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China to enshrine Xi's thought into state constitution amid national 'fervor'

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party will enshrine President Xi Jinping's political thought into the country's constitution, state media said on Friday, further solidifying his power following its addition last year to the party constitution.

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Somali authorities say troops rescue 32 children from 'terrorist school'

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali authorities said troops stormed a school run by al Shabaab on Thursday night and rescued 32 children who had been taken as recruits by the Islamist militant group.

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Desperate Cubans seek U.S. visas in Colombia after Havana embassy cutbacks

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban actress Aniet Hernandez lost all hope that she and her two children would ever join her husband in Miami when the Trump administration slashed staffing at the U.S. embassy in Havana in September and stopped almost all visa processing.

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China to enshrine Xi's thought into state constitution

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party will enshrine President Xi Jinping's political thought into the country's constitution, state media said on Friday, further solidifying his power following its addition last year to the party constitution.

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Turkish shelling marks start of Afrin operation, minister says

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's operation in Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin region has "de facto" begun with cross-border shelling, Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Friday.

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Russian student injures six in an ax attack at his school

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian teenager attacked a group of younger students with an ax, injuring six people, before setting his school on fire, investigators said on Friday.

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Turkish minister says military operation in Syria's Afrin should happen without delay

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Friday that a military operation in Syria's Afrin region should be carried out without delay and that Ankara and Moscow would continue talks about Turkey's planned military action.

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Serbia on course for EU by 2025, top EU official says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Serbia and Montenegro are likely be the next countries to join the European Union, possibly by 2025, the bloc's official in charge of membership bids said in an interview.

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Taiwan stymies new China flights amid route row, official says

TAIPEI/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Taiwan's aviation regulator has stalled applications for new flights from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines amid a row between Beijing and the self-ruled island over air routes, a regulatory official said on Friday.

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Let's build a bridge to Europe after we Brexit, Britain's Boris Johnson suggests

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's most prominent campaigner for leaving the European Union, Boris Johnson, has suggested building a giant bridge across the English Channel to France after Brexit, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey would reject any offer of partnership with the European Union that falls short of membership, Ankara's minister for EU affairs said, warning that the current situation gave Turkey no reason to maintain its migrant deal with the bloc.

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Taiwan stymies new China flights amid route row: official

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's aviation regulator has not approved applications from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines to increase flights during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, an official with the regulator told Reuters.

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Russia's Constitutional Court rejects Putin critic Navalny's election complaint: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Constitutional Court has refused to review a complaint from opposition leader Alexei Navalny over a ban on him running in a March presidential election citing legal problems with it, the RIA news agency reported on Friday.

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Russia's Putin takes dip in icy lake to mark Orthodox Epiphany

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin stripped off to his bathing trunks and immersed himself in the freezing waters of a lake late on Thursday, observing an Orthodox Christian ritual to mark the feast of Epiphany.

nytimes.com

Europe Edition: Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Pope Francis: Your Friday Briefing

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

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Duterte says may ban sending Filipinos to work in Kuwait due to abuses

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is considering banning workers being sent to Kuwait because of abuses he said were being inflicted on Filipino domestic helpers there and which led to several committing suicide in recent months.

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China detains rights lawyer critical of President Xi Jinping: wife

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing authorities on Friday took outspoken rights lawyer Yu Wensheng into custody as he was taking his child to school, his wife told Reuters, days after Yu said he was stripped of his legal license for criticizing President Xi Jinping.

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Google announces patent agreement with Tencent amid China push

BEIJING (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google has agreed to a patent licensing deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd as it looks for ways to expand in China where many of its products, such as app store, search engine and email service, are blocked by regulators.

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UPDATE 1-Google announces patent agreement with Tencent amid China push

* Deal comes as Google looks to expand its presence in China (Adds context, details from statement)

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Japan criticizes U.S. for military flights over school in Okinawa

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan criticized the U.S. military on Friday for breaking a pledge to avoid flying helicopters over a school next to its base in Okinawa, a rare flash of discord with Tokyo's main ally.

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South Korea President Moon's approval rating drops on Olympics furor

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has fallen to a four-month low, a poll showed on Friday, after a public backlash over a decision for South and North Korea to field a joint ice hockey team at next month's Winter Olympics.

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Trump administration appeals against 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to quickly overturn a lower court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

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Google announces patent agreement with China's Tencent

BEIJING, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Alpahbet Inc's Google said it had agreed to a patent cross-licensing deal with Chinese social media and gaming firm Tencent Holdings Ltd, the U.S. company said on Friday.

cnn.com

'Girther' hashtag debuts after Trump's physical

He's the anti-exercise President, but will Trump follow doctor's orders and hit the gym? CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.

United States Politics and Government nytimes.com

The Chaos President vs. His Iron-Fisted Chief of Staff

President Trump’s public airing of grievances with John Kelly was perhaps an inevitable clash between two temperamentally similar but philosophically different alpha males.

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Car plows through Copacabana sidewalk, kills baby, injures 15

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A speeding car plowed through evening strollers on a crowded sidewalk of Rio's famed Copacabana beach on Thursday in an apparent accident, killing an 8-month old baby and injuring 15 people, police said.

South Korea nytimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist: President Trump Brings People Together

North and South Korea have agreed to march their athletes together under one flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month.

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Trump administration appeals 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday said it had asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling last week that blocked President Donald Trump's move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

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BRIEF-Americold Realty Trust Announces Pricing Of IPO

* SAYS INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING OF 45.3 MILLION COMMON SHARES PRICED AT $16.00PER SHARE

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BRIEF-HTG Molecular Diagnostics Announces Pricing Of Public Offering Of Common Stock

* HTG MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS ANNOUNCES PRICING OF PUBLIC OFFERING OF COMMON STOCK

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BRIEF-Urogen Pharma Announces Pricing Of Public Offering Of Ordinary Shares

* UROGEN PHARMA ANNOUNCES PRICING OF PUBLIC OFFERING OF ORDINARY SHARES

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U.S. won't pay $45 million pledged for Palestinian food aid for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will not provide $45 million in food aid for Palestinians that it pledged last month as part of the West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal led by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

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African U.N. envoys suggest Trump meet leaders in Ethiopia after 'shithole' remark

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - African U.N. envoys suggested on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump meet with African leaders in Ethiopia this month after he was reported to have described some immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from "shithole" countries.

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BRIEF-Aptar Announces George Fotiades To Replace Chairman King Harris

* APTAR ANNOUNCES CHAIRMAN KING HARRIS TO RETIRE IN MAY; GEORGE FOTIADES ELECTED AS INCOMING CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD; TWO NEW DIRECTORS APPOINTED Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-PAVmed Announces Firm Commitment Public Offering Of Common Stock

* PAVMED ANNOUNCES FIRM COMMITMENT PUBLIC OFFERING OF COMMON STOCK Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant with first child

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday she was pregnant with her first child, and planned to take a short break after the birth in June.

cnn.com

Trump's dealmaking mythology meets DC reality. Again.

For his entire adult life, and with special vigor during the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump has insisted on his skills as a master negotiator.

cnn.com

Trump's first year gets mixed reviews

CNN's Bill Weir talks to voters in Monticello, Iowa one year into Donald Trump's presidency.

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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announces she is pregnant with first child

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that she was pregnant with her first child, which was due in June.

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Sudanese authorities detain Reuters, AFP reporters in Khartoum

CAIRO (Reuters) - Sudanese authorities have detained a Reuters stringer and an AFP reporter who were covering protests in the capital Khartoum, the external information council, which deals with foreign media organizations, said.

cnn.com

Tapper: Trump's wall has changed

After White House chief of staff John Kelly told Democratic lawmakers that President Trump's early promises of a border wall were not fully informed, the President insists he has remained consistent. CNN's Jake Tapper compares the President's rhetoric on the subject over time.

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Pope lands in Peru as president seeks help in political crisis

LIMA (Reuters) - Pope Francis arrived in Peru on Thursday, as the Andean nation's president appealed to him to help put the country back on track after a political crisis nearly ousted him from office a month ago.

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Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett killed in U.S. helicopter crash

(Reuters) - Exiled Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett and four other people were killed in a helicopter crash in a remote northern part of the U.S. state of New Mexico, officials and his political party said on Thursday.

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Jordan says Israel apologizes for deaths of two Jordanians at embassy

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Thursday that Israel had formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.

Trump, Donald J nytimes.com

Letters: ‘I Voted for Donald Trump, and I Regret It’

Two readers express their disappointment in his presidency.

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Turkey seeks Russian approval for air campaign against Afrin

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey dispatched its military chief to Moscow on Thursday, seeking approval for an air campaign in Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin region, although Damascus warned it could shoot down any Turkish planes in its skies.

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'Be my guest': France's Macron spells out reasons for Britain to stay in EU

SANDHURST, England (Reuters) - "Be my guest," French President Emmanuel Macron told Britain on Thursday, saying he would welcome any move by Prime Minister Theresa May to stay in the European Union's single market.

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France to launch international group targeting toxic gas attacks

UNITED NATIONS/PARIS (Reuters) - France has asked some 30 countries to work together to preserve evidence of chemical weapons attacks and impose sanctions on those responsible after Russia ended an international inquiry into who is to blame for using toxic gas in Syria.

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U.S. urges Turkey to remain focused on Islamic State, not attack Syria's Afrin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department urged Turkey on Thursday not to take military action against Afrin region in Syria and called instead for Ankara to remain focused on fighting Islamic State militants in the region.

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BRIEF-H&R Announces $250 Million Senior Unsecured Debenture Financing

* H&R REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST - THE DEBENTURES WILL CARRY A COUPON RATE OF 3.416% AND WILL MATURE ON JANUARY 23, 2023

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Turkey detains five activists, including husband of freed German journalist: party

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish police on Thursday detained at least five members of two leftist parties, including the husband of German journalist Mesale Tolu, who was freed from prison last month, the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) said on social media.

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BRIEF-Manitex International Announces $6.3 Mln Order For 42 Straight Mast Cranes

* MANITEX INTERNATIONAL, INC. ANNOUNCES $6.3 MILLION ORDER FOR 42 STRAIGHT MAST CRANES

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Jordan says Israel apologizes for killing of two Jordanians in embassy incident

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Thursday that Israel had formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that has soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.

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BRIEF-Crown Holdings Announces Pricing Of Senior Notes

* CROWN HOLDINGS - ‍HAS PRICED ITS OFFERINGS OF EUR 500 MILLION PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF 2.875% SENIOR UNSECURED NOTES DUE 2026​

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Zimbabwe fires more than 30 police commanders: state-owned Herald newspaper

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has fired more than 30 senior police commanders as part of a process to clean up the image of the force, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported in its online edition on Thursday quoting unnamed police sources.

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Jordan says Israel apologizes for killing of two Jordanians in embassy incident: government spokesman

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said on Thursday that Israel has formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that has soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.

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MOVES-Bank of America names MacDonald new global TMT head; Zakkour departs

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp has appointed Jack MacDonald to be head of global technology, media and telecom investment (TMT)banking, following the departure of Anwar Zakkour, the banker who formerly led the TMT group, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

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BRIEF-ZK International Group Announces $1.2 Million Contract With The Xingrong Group

* ZK INTERNATIONAL GROUP CO., LTD. ANNOUNCES $1.2 MILLION CONTRACT WITH THE XINGRONG GROUP, ONE OF CHINA'S LARGEST WATER SUPPLY AND TREATMENT COMPANIES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Russia accuses Washington of leaking diplomats' bank details

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry on Thursday accused U.S. officials of leaking to the media confidential financial details of Russian diplomats working in the United States, and demanded that those responsible be punished.

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EU keen to avoid a fight with Warsaw but will want real concessions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A new charm offensive should buy Poland time in its confrontation with the EU over backsliding on democracy, but Warsaw will have to make some real policy changes to match the warmer words or risk losing some funds from the bloc.

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Macedonia told to resolve Greece dispute and implement reforms to join NATO

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Macedonia's must resolve a decades-long dispute over its name, implement judicial reform and build good relations with neighboring countries to join NATO, the Western military alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

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Venezuela talks off in row over fugitive ex-policeman's death

CARACAS (Reuters) - Talks between Venezuela's government and the opposition coalition foundered on Thursday after the opposition denied providing information that led to the death of a rogue former policeman and six other anti-government militants.

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Mexico rejects Trump claim it world's most dangerous country

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico on Thursday dismissed a claim by U.S. President Donald Trump that it was the most dangerous country in the world and reiterated it would not fund the construction of a wall along the U.S. southern border.

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BRIEF-Nuuvera Inc. Announces Increase To Bought Deal Financing

* NUUVERA INC - PURSUANT TO UPSIZED DEAL TERMS, UNDERWRITERS HAVE AGREED TO PURCHASE, 8.2 MILLION UNITS AT C$5.50 PER UNIT FOR GROSS PROCEEDS OF C$45 MILLION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Mkango Announces Shareholder Approval For Talaxis Transaction

* MKANGO ANNOUNCES SHAREHOLDER APPROVAL FOR TALAXIS TRANSACTION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Shutting out immigrants is not Christian, pope says

IQUIQUE, Chile (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Thursday that it is not Christian to shut out immigrants, urging nations to welcome people whose lives had been "watered down" by poverty, injustice and exploitation.

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Train crashes in Mexico City suburb, killing at least five

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A train derailed in a densely populated Mexico City suburb on Thursday morning, killing at least five people, local authorities said.

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Italy's Berlusconi says he is ready to be premier if European court lifts ban

ROME (Reuters) - Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday he was ready to lead Italy again if the European Court of Human Rights scrapped a ban on him holding public office.

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Suspected Boko Haram attack in Niger kills at least four soldiers

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram fighters have killed at least four soldiers and a civilian in an attack on a military post in Niger's southeastern Diffa region, local officials and two security sources said on Thursday.

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Train crashes in Mexico City suburb, killing at least 5

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A train derailed in a densely populated Mexico City suburb on Thursday morning, killing at least five people, local authorities said.

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BRIEF-Gendis Announces Insider Bid And Abridgement Of Deposit Period

* GENDIS ANNOUNCES INSIDER BID AND ABRIDGEMENT OF DEPOSIT PERIOD

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BRIEF-Kite Announces Clinical Collaboration With Pfizer

* KITE ANNOUNCES CLINICAL COLLABORATION TO EVALUATE INVESTIGATIONAL COMBINATION OF YESCARTA™ (AXICABTAGENE CILOLEUCEL) AND PFIZER’S UTOMILUMAB IN LARGE B-CELL LYMPHOMA

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HRW says Trump is 'disaster' for human rights, fuels authoritarians

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's record on human rights in his first year in office has been a "disaster" and has encouraged oppression by authoritarian leaders from China to Russia, the head of Human Rights Watch said in an interview on Wednesday.

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Trump's ex-aide Bannon to appear again before House intelligence panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former White House strategist Steve Bannon was expected to return on Thursday to testify before the House of Representatives' intelligence committee, two days after refusing to answer questions about his time with the Trump administration or the transition period leading to it.

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China is a disruptive force, U.S. Pacific military chief says

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. military's Pacific command called China a disruptive power in the Indo-Pacific region on Thursday and urged countries in the area to build capabilities and work together to ensure free and open seas.

cnn.com

Trump's first year: The report card

It has been a crazy year in Washington. A new president came to town making big promises about how he would upend everything that was wrong with politics and assured his supporters that nothing could get in his way. So how did he do?

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Egypt, Ethiopia leaders say Nile dam must not ruin relations

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa.

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BRIEF-CNB Bank Shares And Jacksonville Bancorp Announce Agreement To Merge

* CNB BANK SHARES, INC. AND JACKSONVILLE BANCORP, INC. ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO MERGE

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Russian police search St Petersburg HQ of opposition leader Navalny

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police searched the campaign headquarters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St Petersburg on Thursday ahead of a presidential election on March 18, a video feed streamed live to the Internet by Navalny's supporters showed.

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BRIEF-Vermillion Announces Agreement With Bluecross Blueshield Of Illinois

* VERMILLION ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD OF ILLINOIS Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Nuuvera Announces $35 Mln Bought Deal Offering

* NUUVERA SAYS ENTERED INTO AGREEMENT WITH UNDERWRITERS, WHO HAVE AGREED TO PURCHASE, ON "BOUGHT DEAL" BASIS, 6.4 MILLION UNITS OF CO AT C$5.50/UNIT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Mineworx Announces Alliance With Murdock Capital Partners

* MINEWORX TECHNOLOGIES - ‍ACCORDING TO TERMS OF AGREEMENT MURDOCK WILL ACT AS CORPORATE MARKET ADVISORY CONSULTANT TO MINEWORX​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Five Oaks Investment Announces New Strategic Direction And Entry Into New External Management Agreement With Affiliate Of Hunt Companies

* FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT CORP. ANNOUNCES NEW STRATEGIC DIRECTION AND ENTRY INTO NEW EXTERNAL MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT WITH AFFILIATE OF HUNT COMPANIES, INC.

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EU offers Swiss leeway on settling disputes: sources

ZURICH (Reuters) - The European Union has proposed letting a special arbitration court settle some disputes under a new treaty it is trying to strike with neutral Switzerland, sources involved in the discussion said.

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Pope's help sought in Peru on Incan temple taken during conquest

LIMA (Reuters) - In his 2015 trip to Bolivia, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the "grave sins" committed against native people in the Americas in the name of the Catholic Church.

worldNews reuters.com

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa announces election in four to five months

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, a newspaper on Thursday quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first time since independence the southern African state will conduct a vote that does not involve Robert Mugabe.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Extraction Oil & Gas Announces Preliminary Q4 2017 Production

* EXTRACTION OIL & GAS ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY FOURTH-QUARTER 2017 PRODUCTION; ESTIMATED CRUDE OIL VOLUMES NEAR THE HIGH END OF GUIDANCE RANGE WHILE TOTAL EQUIVALENT VOLUMES EXCEED MIDPOINT Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Extraction Oil & Gas Announces Tender Offer For Any And All Of Its 7.875% Senior Unsecured Notes Due 2021

* EXTRACTION OIL & GAS, INC. ANNOUNCES TENDER OFFER FOR ANY AND ALL OF ITS 7.875% SENIOR UNSECURED NOTES DUE 2021

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Nigeria's Buhari says doesn't know if he will seek re-election

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday he does not know if he will seek re-election in 2019 and the decision is personal and also for Nigerians.

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More Rohingya flee Myanmar as Bangladesh prepares to start repatriation

TEKNAF, Bangladesh (Reuters) - More than 100 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since Wednesday, with the latest refugees saying army operations are continuing in troubled Rakhine State, raising doubts about plans to send back 655,500 who had already fled.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Wyndham Worldwide, La Quinta Announce Acquisition Agreement

* WYNDHAM WORLDWIDE AND LA QUINTA HOLDINGS ANNOUNCE ACQUISITION AGREEMENT

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BRIEF-La Quinta Names Keith Cline President And CEO Of Corepoint Lodging

* LA QUINTA HOLDINGS NAMES KEITH A. CLINE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF COREPOINT LODGING INC.

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Philippines' Duterte urges Congress to pass bill for self-rule in Muslim region

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged Congress to pass a bill granting self-rule to the country's Muslim minority, warning that its collapse would see separatist rebels abandon a peace process and declare war again.

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Nigeria's Buhari doesn't know if he will seek re-election: radio interview

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday he does not know if he will seek re-election in 2019.

politicsNews reuters.com

Trump administration's infrastructure plan taking shape

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is finalizing its long-awaited infrastructure plan, which would push most of the financing of projects to private investment and state and local taxpayers, according to sources familiar with the proposal taking shape.

worldNews reuters.com

Gunmen in Pakistan kill two women working to eradicate polio

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Gunmen in Pakistan shot and killed two women working on a polio eradication campaign on Thursday, the latest in a string of attacks on efforts to protect children from the crippling and sometimes deadly disease.

nytimes.com

Donald Trump, North Korea, Apple: Your Thursday Briefing

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

worldNews reuters.com

Amsterdam's Schiphol scraps all flights due to storm

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - All flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport were canceled on Thursday due to a severe storm, as gusts of up to 140 kph (90 mph) blew down trees and damaged buildings.

worldNews reuters.com

Czech PM Babis, wary of who becomes president, rushes to form new government

PRAGUE (Reuters) - New Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis is rushing to form a new government, possibly by the end of February, before a new presidential term begins.

worldNews reuters.com

Israeli commandos kill Palestinian gunman blamed for West Bank ambush

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli police killed a Palestinian gunman and captured another in a clash in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, saying they were part of a cell responsible for an ambush in which a Jewish settler was shot dead.

worldNews reuters.com

Bus fire kills 52 Uzbeks traveling in Kazakhstan: Kazakh government

ALMATY (Reuters) - A bus fire in north-western Kazakhstan killed 52 Uzbek citizens on a route used by migrant workers heading to Russia, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

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Hong Kong pro-independence protest leader appears in court for 'rioting'

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A young protest leader calling for Hong Kong's independence from China appeared in court on the rare charge of rioting on Thursday as two co-defendants failed to show up, the latest case highlighting a new generation of opposition to Chinese rule.

worldNews reuters.com

After Trump denial, Netanyahu clarifies remarks on timeframe for U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a step back on Thursday from comments, challenged by U.S. President Donald Trump, that envisioned a one-year timeframe for the planned relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

worldNews reuters.com

Survey shows Filipinos more satisfied with Duterte government than any other

MANILA (Reuters) - Public satisfaction with the performance of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's government rose in December to the highest level on record since one of the country's top pollsters started conducting opinion surveys in 1980s.

worldNews reuters.com

Cambodia's Hun Sen appoints son-in-law to senior police post

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen has appointed his son-in-law as deputy national police chief, in a move apparently aimed at consolidating his power ahead of an election this year.

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South Africa's Ramaphosa talks tough on state graft, signals departure from Zuma

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday welcomed moves taken by prosecutors against companies accused of corruption and said the ruling party would impose the policy certainty needed to attract investment to the country.

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Bus catches fire in Kazakhstan, killing 52 Uzbeks: Kazakh Interior Ministry

ALMATY (Reuters) - A bus caught fire in a remote part of Kazakhstan on Thursday, killing 52 citizens of neighboring Uzbekistan, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

Bus catches fire in Kazakhstan, killing 52: Interior Ministry

ALMATY (Reuters) - Fifty-two people were killed after a bus they were traveling in caught fire in Kazakhstan's north-western Aktau region, the country's interior ministry said on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa says to hold elections in four to five months

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, a newspaper on Thursday quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first time since independence the southern African state will conduct a vote that does not involve former ruler Robert Mugabe.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Axis Auto Finance announces upsize of previously announced financing

* AXIS AUTO FINANCE ANNOUNCES UPSIZE OF PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED FINANCING

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Russia starts shipping S-400 air defense missile system to China: TASS cites source

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has started delivering its S-400 surface-to-air missile system to China under the terms of a contract signed in 2014, the TASS news agency cited an unnamed source in the Russian military-industrial complex as saying on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

Tillerson to visit London, hopes to visit new embassy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday he would make a one-day visit to Britain next week where he hoped to visit the new U.S. embassy.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Meyer Burger announces preliminary FY 2017 net sales of about CHF 473 mln

* MEYER BURGER ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2017

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Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said "some people misspoke".

worldNews reuters.com

Tillerson says U.S. has no intention to build border force in Syria

ABOARD U.S. GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday denied that the United States had any intention to build a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue, which has incensed Ankara, had been "misportrayed."

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Patrick Industries announces pricing Of upsized offering Of $150 mln convertible senior notes due 2023

* PATRICK INDUSTRIES, INC. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF UPSIZED OFFERING OF $150 MILLION CONVERTIBLE SENIOR NOTES DUE 2023

cnn.com

Trump: Predecessors left N. Korea to a president 'that scored the highest on tests'

Fresh off a White House doctor declaring his health excellent, President Donald Trump swiped at his predecessors on North Korea, while saying he "scored the highest on tests."

worldNews reuters.com

Macau police hunt VIP dealer after $6 million theft from Wynn

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Police in the world's largest gambling hub of Macau are hunting for a dealer suspected of stealing HK$48 million ($6 million) worth of casino chips from Wynn Macau, authorities in the Chinese-controlled territory said on Thursday.

worldNews reuters.com

Oil from sunken Iranian tanker diffusing in East China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) - Oil from an Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea has diffused into four separate slicks, covering a combined area of just over 100 square kms (39 square miles), Chinese authorities said late on Wednesday.

cnn.com

Conan: Trump's comments are irrelevant

CNN's Anderson Cooper sits down with show host Conan O'Brien to discuss his upcoming trip to Haiti following President Trump's comments about the country.

worldNews reuters.com

Colombia's FARC says two ex-fighters killed after campaigning

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Two former fighters from Colombia's FARC rebels were killed in Antioquia province after campaigning for a political candidate for the now-demobilized guerrilla group, the FARC said in a statement on Wednesday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Keane Announces Upsize And Pricing Of Public Secondary Offering By Selling Stockholder

* KEANE ANNOUNCES UPSIZE AND PRICING OF PUBLIC SECONDARY OFFERING BY SELLING STOCKHOLDER

Trump, Donald J nytimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist: Donald Trump Gets His Sanity Grades

Relax, this man knows his camels.

politicsNews reuters.com

Trump administration bars Haitians from U.S. visas for low-skilled work

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Haitians will no longer be eligible for U.S. visas given to low-skilled workers, the Trump administration said on Wednesday, bringing an end to a small-scale effort to employ Haitians in the United States after a catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

worldNews reuters.com

Palestinian gunman killed in Israeli raid in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - At least one Palestinian gunman was killed in a raid by Israeli armed forces on the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank late on Wednesday, Palestinian health officials and local residents said.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says could act in Syria unless Washington withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, as the Pentagon downplayed its plans to train the Syrian fighters.

cnn.com

Tillerson's staff prints out the President's tweets for him to read

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's staff prints out President Donald Trump's tweets for him to read, Tillerson said Wednesday, noting he does not have any social media accounts of his own.

cnn.com

White House chief of staff tells Democrats he worked to change the President's stance on immigration

White House chief of staff John Kelly, in talking about the wall and immigration, told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that some of President Donald Trump's positions as a candidate were uninformed, sources told CNN.

worldNews reuters.com

With eye on Brexit talks, May to deepen security ties with France

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - Britain and France will agree on Thursday to deepen security cooperation, a move which Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will win her goodwill in talks on leaving the European Union.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Canopy Growth Corp Announces $175 Million Bought Deal Financing

* CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION ANNOUNCES $175 MILLION BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING

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Tillerson: Evidence sanctions 'really starting to hurt' North Korea

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday the United States is receiving evidence that international sanctions are "really starting to hurt" North Korea, and praised China for putting pressure on Pyongyang.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says it could act in Syria unless Washington withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other regions across the border unless the United States withdraws support for a Kurdish-led force there.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-GSV Capital Announces Expiration Of Tender Offer For Outstanding Notes

* GSV CAPITAL CORP. ANNOUNCES EXPIRATION AND FINAL RESULTS OF TENDER OFFER FOR ITS OUTSTANDING 5.25% CONVERTIBLE SENIOR NOTES DUE 2018 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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Exclusive: Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump denied on Wednesday that the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take place within a year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the controversial move to happen by then.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Phillips 66 Partners Announces 5 Pct Raise In Quarterly Cash Distribution

* PHILLIPS 66 PARTNERS ANNOUNCES 5 PERCENT INCREASE IN QUARTERLY CASH DISTRIBUTION

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U.S. signals open-ended presence in Syria, seeks patience on Assad's removal

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - The United States signaled on Wednesday an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader U.S. strategy to prevent Islamic State's resurgence, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran's influence.

worldNews reuters.com

British lawmakers back Brexit legislation, stiffer tests yet to come

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers voted in favor of the government's legislative blueprint for Brexit on Wednesday, marking a victory for Prime Minister Theresa May over political opponents who want a softer approach to leaving the European Union.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey will take steps in Syrian border region if demands not met: Deputy PM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will not hesitate to take steps in Afrin and other regions across its border with Syria to ensure its national security if its demands are not met, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Wednesday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-TD Canada Trust Announces Change To Prime Lending Rate

* TORONTO-DOMINION BANK - ‍TD CANADA TRUST INCREASED PRIME LENDING RATE BY 25 BASIS POINTS TO 3.45 PER CENT, EFFECTIVE JAN 18, 2018​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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U.N. chief says don't harm Iran nuclear deal over unrelated issues

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Wednesday that any issues not directly related to the Iran nuclear deal "should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement," his spokesman said amid U.S. concerns with Tehran.

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Germany, Turkey resume bilateral meetings, still at odds over reporter's arrest

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and Turkey on Wednesday resumed bilateral government consultations that had been suspended after Ankara's arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel in February 2017, an issue that continues to divide the two NATO allies.

worldNews reuters.com

North Korea rejects sanctions talk, ready for 'successful' Olympics: diplomat

GENEVA (Reuters) - North Korea rejects as a "provocation" a U.S.-led meeting in Vancouver that discussed tougher sanctions that Pyongyang will fight, a senior North Korean diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday.

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In challenge to Madrid, Catalan assembly elects separatist speaker

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's parliament picked a separatist speaker on Wednesday, signalling the possible return of sacked nationalist Carles Puigdemont as the region's leader and the renewal of full-blown political confrontation with Madrid.

worldNews reuters.com

Farage backs off second Brexit referendum talk as EU says UK still welcome

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Leading British anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage rowed back on Wednesday from remarks favoring a second referendum on Brexit, a week after he unleashed a new round of debate and a chorus of invitations from European politicians for Britain to reconsider.

worldNews reuters.com

Turkey says will respond immediately to any threats from Western Syria

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will respond immediately to any threats from Western Syria that could harm the country or its citizens, the National Security Council (MGK) said on Wednesday.

politicsNews reuters.com

U.S. senator compares Trump's attacks on media to Stalin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Jeff Flake on Wednesday castigated President Donald Trump for his attacks on the media, comparing his fellow Republican to former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and charging that Trump inspires modern-day authoritarians.

worldNews reuters.com

Taliban leader approved Islamabad meeting on Afghan peace talks: sources

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A delegation approved by the Taliban's supreme leader visited the Pakistani capital this week for exploratory talks on restarting peace negotiations to end Afghanistan's 16-year war, two senior officials in the movement said.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Sherritt Announces Pricing Of $115 Million Unit Offering

* SHERRITT INTERNATIONAL CORP - ‍PRICING AND INCREASE IN SIZE OF ITS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED UNIT OFFERING OF $100 MILLION TO $115 MILLION​

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Congo armed groups uniting against President Kabila: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - Militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are uniting in opposition to President Joseph Kabila, a senior U.N. official there told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

sportsNews reuters.com

Doubts over McGregor as UFC announces title fight

(Reuters) - UFC president Dana White has said that the organization's lightweight title will be put up for grabs in a showdown between interim holder Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, casting doubts over the reign of current champion Conor McGregor.

worldNews reuters.com

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12, injure 48

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 48 others in an attack on Wednesday on the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for Borno said.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Cannabis Wheaton Announces International Supply Agreement With Aphria

* CANNABIS WHEATON ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL SUPPLY AGREEMENT WITH APHRIA

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Italy approves military mission in Niger, more troops to North Africa

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's parliament approved on Wednesday an increased military presence in Libya and the deployment of up to 470 troops in Niger to combat migration and the trafficking of people toward Europe, many of whom wash up on Italian shores.

worldNews reuters.com

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12, injure 48 in attack on Nigerian city of Maiduguri: government aid agency

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 48 others in an attack on Wednesday on the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, officials from the State Emergency Management Agency for Borno said.

worldNews reuters.com

Russia: Vancouver meeting is aggravating situation around North Korea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A meeting of 20 countries in the Canadian city of Vancouver to discuss ways to increase pressure on North Korea is making the situation on the Korean peninsula worse, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

cnn.com

Flake says President charts a 'dangerous path' with attacks on truth, asks Congress to be a check on him

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, took to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to rebuke the President for his repeated remarks on "fake news."

cnn.com

Senator compares Trump's rhetoric to Stalin

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) condemns President Trump on the Senate floor, comparing the President's attacks on the media to the tactics of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

worldNews reuters.com

Kidnappers abduct American, Canadian in Nigeria, two police killed: police official

KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Kidnappers have abducted one American and one Canadian in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, police said on Wednesday.

worldNews reuters.com

U.N. mediator invites Syria, opposition to Vienna talks next week

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said on Wednesday he had invited the Syrian government and opposition to a special meeting to be held next week in Vienna, Austria.

cnn.com

Sen. Jeff Flake defends free press — and criticizes the President for his constant cries of 'fake news'

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Defend culture but shun violence, pope tells Chile's indigenous Mapuche

TEMUCO, Chile (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged Chile's indigenous Mapuche people on Wednesday to shun violence, saying unity was the best weapon against "the deforestation of hope," as they struggle to defend their culture and reclaim ancestral lands.

politicsNews reuters.com

Trump's ex-aide Bannon strikes deal to avoid grand jury testimony: CNN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has struck a deal to be interviewed by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team instead of appearing before a grand jury, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to Bannon.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Scythian Biosciences Increases Size Of Its Previously Announced C$10 Mln "Bought Deal" Offering To C$12.5 Mln

* SCYTHIAN BIOSCIENCES CORP. ANNOUNCES INCREASE TO BOUGHT DEAL FINANCING WITH SERRUYA PRIVATE EQUITY AND THE DELAVACO GROUP AS OTHER STRATEGIC INVESTORS

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Mexico left-wing presidential contender retains lead: poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's left-wing presidential contender retained his lead in this year's election race as the ruling party hopeful failed to gain traction, a poll showed on Wednesday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Genocea Biosciences, Inc. Announces Pricing Of $55 Mln Concurrent Public Offerings

* GENOCEA BIOSCIENCES, INC. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF $55 MILLION CONCURRENT PUBLIC OFFERINGS

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Dentsply Sirona Says ‍CEO Appointment Donald Casey Jr. Will Be Paid An Annual Base Salary Of $925,000​

* DENTSPLY SIRONA SAYS ‍CEO APPOINTMENT DONALD M. CASEY JR. WILL BE PAID AN ANNUAL BASE SALARY OF $925,000​ - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2mHy2KG) Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Itron Announces Proposed Offering Of Additional $100 Mln Of 5.000% Senior Notes Due 2026

* ITRON, INC. ANNOUNCES PROPOSED OFFERING OF ADDITIONAL $100 MILLION OF 5.000% SENIOR NOTES DUE 2026

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BRIEF-Franklin Templeton Investments Announces Agreement To Acquire Edinburgh Partners

* FRANKLIN TEMPLETON INVESTMENTS ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE EDINBURGH PARTNERS

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Astronova Announces Appointment Of David Smith As CFO

* ASTRONOVA ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF DAVID S. SMITH AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

worldNews reuters.com

Top German Social Democrats urge party to back coalition talks with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Leading German Social Democrats (SPD) urged delegates on Tuesday to back coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and warned that shunning another tie-up would further damage the party's already dire ratings.

worldNews reuters.com

Vandal-proof statue of Thatcher outside UK parliament could be rejected again

LONDON (Reuters) - A second attempt to erect a statue of Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher outside parliament, just six months after a first proposal was thrown out over vandalism fears, looks set to fail after officials recommended it be rejected.