WedJan172018

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International

Trump takes on US Senator Durbin on 'racial slur'

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US President Donald Trump has said he was "totally misrepresented" by those saying he used the term "s**thole" to describe African nations last week.


He was responding to a claim by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin that he used "vile and racist" language during a meeting on immigration reform, BBC reported on Monday.


Trump also said the allegation was hurting efforts to strike a deal to protect so-called Dreamer immigrants.

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Tunisia police arrest 200 to tackle protest

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Police arrested more than 200 people across the country as demonstrators took to the streets of Tebourba, a town west of the capital Tunis where a man in his 40s died in unrest Monday night.

Dozens of police hurt during clashes in Tunisia, the interior ministry said Wednesday, as anger over austerity measures spilt over into unrest.

 

The North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic transition since a 2011 revolt that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings, but seven years after the revolution tensions over economic grievances are high, AFP reports.

 

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Officials from North, South Korea begin rare formal talks

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Officials from North, South Korea begin rare formal talks 

Senior officials from North and South Korea began the rivals' first formal talks in about two years Tuesday to discuss how to cooperate in next month's Winter Olympics in the South and how to improve their long-strained ties.

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Huge Philippine procession secured tightly amid terror fears

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A massive crowd of mostly barefoot Filipino Catholics has joined an annual procession of a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ under extra-tight security after the Philippines came under a disastrous pro-Islamic State group attack last year.

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Korea talks to begin Friday

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In a rare more archrival North and South Korea are going to meet for first official dialogue in more than two years ahead of Winter Olympics.


North Korea has sent a list of its delegation for a rare high-level meeting with the South this week, the unification ministry in Seoul said Sunday.


The two Koreas agreed Friday to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years and are expected to discuss the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, AFP reports.

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Israeli PM backs Trump critique of Palestinian UN aid agency

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Israeli PM backs Trump critique of Palestinian UN aid agency 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he "completely agrees" with President Donald Trump's critique of the U.N. agency aiding Palestinian refugees, saying that UNRWA only perpetuates the problem and should cease from operating in the region.

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Afghan police: Kabul suicide attack death toll soars to 20

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Afghan police: Kabul suicide attack death toll soars to 20 

Afghan police say the death toll from the previous night's suicide attack in Kabul has jumped to 20, with another 27 policemen wounded.


The attack took place on Thursday night in the eastern part of the Afghan capital where dozens of security officers had congregated to protect a demonstration of shopkeepers that had been held earlier in the day.

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Peru bus plunge kills 48

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At least 48 people died when a bus tumbled down a cliff onto a rocky beach Tuesday along a narrow stretch of highway known as the "Devil's Curve," Peruvian police and fire officials said.


The bus carrying 57 people was headed to Peru's capital when it was struck by a tractor trailer shortly before noon and plunged down the slope, said Claudia Espinoza with Peru's voluntary firefighter brigade.


The blue bus came to rest upside down on a strip of shore next to the Pacific, the lifeless bodies of passengers strewn among the rocks.

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Trump threatens to cut aid to Palestinian territories

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President Donald Trump admitted the Middle East peace process was in difficulty Tuesday and threatened to cut US aid to Palestinians, currently worth more than $300 million a year.


"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect," Trump tweeted.

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Kim threatens while world leaders issue New Year greetings

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As 2017 drew to the end, world leaders around the world offered New Year greetings to their respective countries and beyond. Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used the occasion to warn the United States that his country's nuclear capabilities are now complete and the nuclear launch button is always on his desk.

Here is a selection of the wishes of some of the most important leaders around.

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UN operating budget cut by $285M; US claims credit for it

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The United Nations' budget is set to shrink by over $285 million next year - a 5 percent cut that the US government says it negotiated.


The U.N. General Assembly voted Sunday to approve the nearly $5.4 billion regular operating budget for 2018-2019. The Secretary-General's office says the new budget include cuts to most departments and offices.

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North Korea UN ambassador demands US prove ransomware claim

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North Korea UN ambassador demands US prove ransomware claim 

North Korea's envoy in charge of U.S. affairs at the United Nations demanded Washington provide evidence to back up its claim Pyongyang was behind the Wannacry ransomware attack, an allegation has said was a "baseless provocation" being used to generate tensions.


Pak Song Il told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from New York late Monday that Pyongyang sees the allegation as an effort to create an "extremely confrontational atmosphere."

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Russian officials bar Navalny from running for president

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Russian election officials on Monday formally barred Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president, prompting calls from him for a boycott of next year's vote.


The Central Election Commission decided unanimously that the anti-corruption crusader isn't eligible to run.


Navalny is implicitly barred from running for office because of a conviction in a fraud case which has been viewed as political retribution. He could have run if he was given a special dispensation or if his conviction was cancelled.

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Middle East needs two-state solution, Pope says in Christmas message

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Pope Francis leads the

Pope Francis used his Christmas message on Monday to call for a negotiated two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after US President Donald Trump stoked regional tensions with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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North Korea says new UN sanctions an act of war

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Civilians and members of the army attend one of the joint meetings, which were held across South Phyongan, Hwanghae and Hamgyong provinces, to celebrate North Korea's nuclear progress in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang Dec 4, 2017. Reuters

The latest UN sanctions against North Korea are an act of war and tantamount to a complete economic blockade against it, North Korea's foreign ministry said on Sunday, threatening to punish those who supported the measure.


The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday for its recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, seeking to limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers abroad.

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Thousands protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

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Thousands protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem 

Thousands of Israelis are rallying in the streets of Tel Aviv calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign over alleged corruption for the fourth consecutive week, while hundreds more gathered in Jerusalem for the first time in an anti-corruption demonstration.

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14 hurt as car driven ‘deliberately’ into pedestrians in Australia

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Police and emergency services attend to the scene of an incident involving a vehicle on Flinders Street, as seen from Swanson Street, in Melbourne, Australia Dec 21, 2017. Nine Network/Reuters TV via Reuters

A car deliberately ploughed into pedestrians at a crowded intersection in the Australian city of Melbourne on Thursday, injuring 14 people, police said, adding they had arrested the driver and a second man.


Police said the motive for the incident was not known but it had chilling echoes of several attacks by Islamist militants in various parts of the world over the past two years.

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