Mattis to discuss N. Korea threat on Asia trip

CLARK, Philippines, (AFP): US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Monday that curbing military threats from North Korea would be high on the agenda on his Asian tour this week, ahead of a visit by Donald Trump. Tension has been high on the divided peninsula for months with Pyongyang staging its..

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Abe eyes fresh term as Japan votes under N. Korea threats Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

TOKYO, (AFP): Millions of Japanese braved typhoon conditions Sunday for a snap election likely to hand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a fresh mandate to revive the world's third-largest economy and press his hardline stance on North Korea.  If pre-election surveys prove correct, Abe's conservative..

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2 former presidents break with tradition to denounce Trump Saturday, October 21st, 2017

WASHINGTON, (AP): Former presidents are shedding a traditional reluctance to criticize their successors, unleashing pointed attacks on the Trump White House and the commander in chief — but without mentioning him by name. Remarks on the same day by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack..

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European business deals with Iran are safe: Tillerson Friday, October 20th, 2017

WASHINGTON (AFP): The United States does not intend to disrupt European business deals with Iran, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday.  Tillerson, speaking one week after President Donald Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal and..

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Biggest refugee camps in the world Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

PARIS, (AFP): Bangladesh has announced plans to build a refugee camp that could accommodate around 800,000 Rohingya Muslims pouring over the border from Myanmar.  The camp would be the largest in the world and has raised concerns about the risks of concentrating vulnerable people, such as the..

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Trump dubs sexual harassment claims ‘totally fake news’ Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

WASHINGTON, (AFP): US President Donald Trump on Monday dubbed all sexual assault allegations against him "fake news" after his campaign was subpoenaed as part of a defamation suit brought by a former reality show contestant.  "All I can say is it's totally fake news. It's fake and made-up stuff..

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US, S. Korea begin major navy drill Monday, October 16th, 2017

SEONGNAM, South Korea, (AFP): The United States and South Korea on Monday launched a joint naval exercise in a fresh show of force against North Korea over its growing missile and nuclear threats. Tensions over the North's weapons programmes have soared in recent months, with Pyongyang carrying..

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Pope names 35 new saints, most of them martyrs

VATICAN CITY, (AFP): Pope Francis declared 35 new saints on Sunday, nearly all of them martyrs drawn from the bloody history of Catholicism's spread in Latin America.  Before a crowd of some 35,000 in St Peter's square, the pontiff carried out the rite of canonisation for 30 martyrs massacred in..

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Fire in Saudi capital kills 10 Sunday, October 15th, 2017

RIYADH, (AFP): A fire at a carpentry workshop in the Saudi capital has left 10 people dead and three others injured, the kingdom's civil defence said Sunday.  "The Riyadh civil defence put out a fire that broke out at a carpentry workshop in the Badr district of Riyadh," the Saudi civil defence..

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France’s Audrey Azoulay wins vote to be next UNESCO chief Saturday, October 14th, 2017

PARIS, (AP): UNESCO's executive board voted Friday to make a former French government minister the U.N. cultural agency's next chief after an unusually heated election that was overshadowed by Middle East tensions.  The board's selection of Audrey Azoulay over a Qatari candidate came the day..

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California fire toll rises to 33, winds cause concern

San Francisco, (AFP): The death toll from California's wildfires has risen to 33 as firefighters made some progress in containing the infernos but said intensifying winds were a concern. "We're not out of this emergency, not even close," said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor's..

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California fires kill 31, deadliest in state’s history Friday, October 13th, 2017

SANTA ROSA, United States,(AFP): The death toll from raging California wildfires rose to 31 Thursday as body recovery teams used cadaver dogs to locate victims, making it the deadliest series of blazes in the state's history.  The fires, which began on Sunday, have swept through California's wine..

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Brexit talks ‘deadlocked’, EU’s Barnier says

BRUSSELS, (AFP): Brexit negotiations are deadlocked on the crucial issue of Britain's exit bill but a breakthrough remains possible in the next two months, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday.  Wrapping up a fifth round of talks with David Davis, Britain's Brexit minister,..

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Floods, landslides kill 37 in Vietnam, scores missing Thursday, October 12th, 2017

HANOI, (AFP): At least 37 people were killed and another 40 are missing as floods and landslides ravaged northern and central Vietnam, disaster officials said Thursday.  Heavy rains lashed swathes of the country this week, with northern Hoa Binh province the hardest hit with 11 dead and 21..

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N. Korea hacked Seoul’s war plan: report Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

SEOUL, (AFP): North Korean computer hackers have stolen hundreds of classified military documents from South Korea including detailed wartime operational plans involving its US ally, a report said Tuesday.  Rhee Cheol-Hee, a lawmaker for the ruling Democratic party, said the hackers had broken..

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In his marathon opening address during the conference of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chinese President Xi Jinping has spoken about “principal contradiction”..