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File image - Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks to supporters during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the taking of the national palace by the sandinistas guerrilla at 1978, in Managua, Nicaragua August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

World

Despite the sentence, the country’s constitution establishes that no Nicaraguan can spend more than 30 years in prison.

A farm leader who helped lead protests last year against President Daniel Ortega was sentenced on Monday to 216 years in prison, days after business leaders asked the government to release inmates considered political prisoners.

Trump Warns Venezuelan Military to Abandon Maduro

World

Trump, in Miami, appealed to Venezuelan soldiers to ignore orders from President Nicolas Maduro and accept the amnesty offer made by the head of the national assembly, Juan Guaido, ...

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a speech partly intended to be heard by members of the military of Venezuela, called for the end of socialism in that country, saying the United States seeks “a peaceful transition of power but all options are open.”

Presidential candidate Nayib Bukele of the Great National Alliance (GANA) casts his vote next to his wife Gabriela Rodriguez during the presidential election in San Salvador, El Salvador, February 3, 2019.

World

"At this moment we can announce with total certainty that we have won the presidency," Bukele told the crowd.

Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, claimed victory Sunday in El Salvador's presidential election.

Pope arrives in UAE for historic Gulf visit, condemns Yemen war

World

All Gulf states except Saudi Arabia allow Christian worship in churches or church compounds and other premises with special licenses. In Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims pray in secret gatherings in private homes and embassies.

Pope Francis on Sunday became the first pontiff to set foot on the Arabian Peninsula, just hours after issuing his strongest condemnation yet of the war in Yemen, where his host the United Arab Emirates has a leading military role.

nti-corruption outsider, Nayib Bukele. Image credit - news wires

World

“We’re fed up of so much corruption, the Front (FMLN) and ARENA had their time to do something and they didn’t.”

Salvadorans will vote in the first round of a presidential election on Sunday, with an energetic former mayor campaigning as an anti-corruption outsider set to win the top job and end decades of a two-party system.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Jan. 17, 2019.

World

U.S. defense and intelligence officials charge those violations date to at least 2014, when Russia began deploying its 9M729 missile following years of tests designed to skirt the treaty's constraints.

The United States on Friday fired a diplomatic warning shot at Russia, making good on threats to begin its withdrawal from a key arms control agreement and thus taking the next step toward what some politicians and analysts see as a burgeoning arms race.

Maduro v Guaido : The two men locked in Venezuela power struggle - Image credit - global news

World

"I'm willing to sit down for talks with the opposition so that we could talk for the sake of Venezuela's peace and its future," he said.

More than a week into a standoff with the opposition, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that he is willing to negotiate.

Buoyed by protesters and US, Maduro rival Guaido claims Venezuela presidency

World

At a rally in the east of the capital Caracas that drew hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, Guaido accused Maduro of usurping power. He promised to create a transitional government that would help the country escape its hyperinflationary economic collapse.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning the backing of Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Nicolas Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013, to break relations with the United States.

File image - June 12th, 2018, US President Trump (r) meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

World

The latest flurry of diplomacy comes little more than a year after Trump was threatening to wipe North Korea off the map, with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests rattling nerves in East Asia.

President Donald Trump will meet for the second time with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February, the White House said Friday, after a top general from Pyongyang paid a rare visit to Washington.

Mexican pipeline blast during fuel raid kills at least 21

World

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched a major crackdown on rampant fuel theft, which the government said cost the country more than $3 billion last year.

At least 21 people were killed and 71 were injured on Friday when a pipeline ruptured by suspected fuel thieves exploded in central Mexico as dozens of people tried to fill up containers, state and federal authorities said.

File photo - John Bolton

World

The Pentagon complied with the request, but it is not known whether the options for an Iran strike were also provided to the White House or if President Donald Trump knew about it.

The White House’s national security team last fall asked the Pentagon to provide it with options for striking Iran after a group of militants aligned with Tehran fired mortars into an area in Baghdad that is home to the U.S. Embassy, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Jan. 1, 2019.

World

Thunderstorms early Monday evening threatened the yearly fireworks show in Sydney, but an estimated one million people gathered around various points ...

Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding Pacific Island Nations were among the first countries to ring in 2019 with fireworks and other celebrations.

In a first, Trump makes surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq

World

Trump’s unannounced visit to Iraq followed in the footsteps of two of his predecessors, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, who both made surprise trips to see troops. For security reasons, the visits are usually kept secret until after the president arrives.

President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria.

The producers’ alliance, known as OPEC+, plans to lower output by 1.2 million barrels per day, of which OPEC’s share is 800,000 bpd, next year, and some ministers have even suggested taking further action.

Oil rose to around $51 a barrel on Wednesday on perceptions that a price slide to 2017 lows prompted by economic worries had been overdone amid an OPEC-led effort to tighten supply.

Putin (C) says Russia is ready to deploy new hypersonic nuclear missile.

World

Russia has said the new missile system, one of several new weapons Putin announced in March, is highly maneuverable, allowing it to easily evade missile defense systems.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would deploy its first regiment of hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles next year, saying the move meant his country now had a new type of strategic weapon.

People survey damage Sunday outside the shopping mall following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu, Indonesia, two days earlier. | AP

World

Indonesia's national disaster agency said Monday that 281 people were killed, 1,016 injured and 57 people are missing.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo surveyed the destruction Monday caused by a tsunami along the country's Sunda Straits.

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shout slogans against the government outside an accountability court in Islamabad, Dec. 24, 2018.

World

Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison in July over the purchase of luxury apartments in London. He appealed that sentence and was released on bail in September, ...

An anti-graft tribunal sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison for corruption on Monday, drawing criticism from his party, which said the decision was a "black spot" on the justice system.

Flags of Canada and China are placed for the first China-Canada economic and financial strategy dialogue in Beijing, China, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool

World

The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s [HWT.UL] chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on Dec 1.

China accused Britain and the European Union of hypocrisy on Monday for expressing concern about China’s detention of two Canadian citizens, saying they had double standards for not mentioning a senior Chinese executive arrested in Canada.

Iran Guards hold war games as U.S. carrier enters Gulf. Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari

World

The U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis entered the Gulf on Friday and was shadowed by Revolutionary Guards speedboats.

 Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards launched war games in the Gulf on Saturday, state television reported, after a U.S. aircraft carrier entered the waterway amid rising tension with Washington over reimposed U.S. sanctions.

Pope gives Rome homeless Christmas gift of new clinic in Vatican

World

Charities say homeless people suffer particularly from foot ailments because they rarely remove their socks and shoes, and also wear ill-fitting shoes, causing ailments such as fungal infections, blisters and calluses.

Pope Francis has given the homeless a Christmas gift of a new clinic in St. Peter’s Square where they can get free medical help, the Vatican said on Saturday, announcing his latest move to help Rome’s destitute.

A British Airways Airbus 320-232 aircraft prepares to land at London Gatwick Airport. Image credit - Daily Sabah

World

The airport had already been closed for 26 hours straight this week, one of the year’s busiest days for air travel, with cancellations that affected more than 110,000 passengers.

 Two arrests were made Friday after drone sightings shut down the U.K.'s second-largest airport for a 26-hour period over Wednesday and Thursday and for a third time on Friday.

US begins Syria troop withdrawal as Trump says IS group ‘defeated’

World

"We won," Trump said in a video message posted on Twitter later Wednesday. "So our boys, our young women, our men they're all coming back and they're coming back now."

The White House on Wednesday confirmed US troops were being withdrawn from Syria as President Donald Trump claimed the Islamic State (IS) group had been "defeated" there.

UK puts troops on standby as plans for 'no-deal' Brexit stepped up

World

The news came amid continued opposition to Prime Minister Theresa's May draft divorce deal, just 14 weeks before the country leaves the EU.

The British government on Tuesday said it was allocating two billion pounds ($2.5 billion) to fund Brexit and putting 3,500 troops on stand-by after ministers agreed to make no-deal planning "an operational priority".

Cuba 'to scrap same-sex marriage law' in new constitution

World

The measure would have changed the definition of parties in a marriage from man and wife to "between two people."

Cuba will leave out of its new constitution changes that would have paved the way for legal same-sex marriage, despite majority support in local assemblies, a government official said Tuesday.

Germany's top court tells lawmakers to recognize 'third gender. Image credit - thelocalde

World

The government had to act after Germany's highest court ruled last year that people must be allowed to register as neither male nor female, ordering authorities to create a third identity or scrap gender entries altogether.

The German parliament has approved a third gender option for official records that will allow people to be registered as "diverse."

This undated handout photo provided by the French police, shows Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the shooting in Strasbourg, France, Dec. 11, 2018.

World

Cherif Chekatt, 29, is the suspected gunman who killed three and injured another 13 during a shooting in Strasbourg on Tuesday, ...

The suspect in a deadly shooting in France has been killed after a standoff with police, French officials said.

Senate votes to stop US support for Yemen war, condemns Saudi crown prince. ABC News

World

It’s the first time the Senate has voted to withdraw forces from a war Congress didn't approve.

The US Senate voted Thursday to withdraw U.S. military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen in a 56-41 vote, a sharp rebuke to President Donald Trump for his steadfast defense of the kingdom despite bipartisan outrage over the alleged Saudi role in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

STRASBOURG, France, Dec 11 (Reuters) – A gunman on a security watchlist killed at least two people and wounded at least 11 others.

World

Secular France has been grappling with how to respond to both homegrown jihadists and foreign militants following attacks in Paris, Nice, Marseille and beyond since 2015.

A gunman on a security watchlist killed at least two people and wounded at least 11 others near the picturesque Christmas market in the historic French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday evening before fleeing.

Jamal Khashoggi’s Last Words Revealed In Transcript: ‘I Can’t Breathe’ (CNN)

World

Turkish sources told Reuters a bone saw was used to dismember the journalist.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi repeatedly told his killers “I can’t breathe” during his final moments in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, CNN reported on Monday.

Nearly 1,400 arrests in French 'yellow vest' protests as government offers dialogue

World

Some 125,000 people across France donned yellow safety jackets to rally against President Emmanuel Macron and the high cost of living. In Paris, armored vehicles and thousands of police contained the demonstrators.

More than a thousand people were arrested across France on Saturday as police clashed with "yellow vest" demonstrators in the fourth week of anti-government protests.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer (CFO). Image credit - BBC

World

At a hearing Friday in Vancouver, a Canadian prosecutor argued that Meng — who has spent most of the past week at a women's detention facility in a suburb of Vancouver — should be denied bail pending possible extradition to the United States because she was a flight risk.

With many questions still unanswered, governments in both the United States and China appear to be working to limit the fallout from the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive and its possible impact on trade negotiations.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. AP Photo

World

The backpedaling by President Emmanuel Macron's government appeared designed to calm the nation, coming three days after the worst unrest on the streets of Paris in decades.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Tuesday announced a suspension of the controversial fuel tax increases planned for January 1 in a move aimed at bringing an end to weeks of violent "Yellow Vest" protests against the tax.

© AFP | A demonstrator holds a French flag as they walk amid the tear gas during a protest of Yellow Vests (Gilets jaunes) against rising oil prices and living costs, on December 1, 2018, in Paris.

World

The so-called "Yellow Vest" anti-government protests that have swept France over the last fortnight were sparked initially by a rise in taxes on diesel.

The French government is organising emergency meetings to respond to the wave of violence that broke out across the country over the weekend as part of the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement.

Mexican Air Force Presidential Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is pictured at a hangar before is put up for sale by Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico December 2, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

World

The $218 million presidential jet acquired in late 2012 is one of 60 government planes that will be sold, in addition to 70 helicopters, said Urzua.

The big, luxurious airplane used to ferry Mexico’s former president around the globe is about to fly away permanently in one of the first moves by the new president to rid the country of what he has derided as a towering symbol of excess.

Global efforts to thwart climate change far off course, UN says. Reuters image

World

With only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has seen a crescendo of deadly wildfires, flooding, heatwaves and hurricanes.

Humanity is falling further behind in the race against climate change. On Tuesday, the UN reported the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years.

Ukraine-Russia tensions rise as Kiev warns of 'full-scale war'. Image credit - newswires

World

"Maybe I won't have the meeting. Maybe I won't even have the meeting," he said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday warned of the threat of "full-scale war" and said Russia had sharply increased its military presence on their shared border as tensions escalate between the ex-Soviet neighbours.

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