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North Korea conducts new test at rocket site, aims to 'overpower U.S. nuclear threats'

World

The reported tests come ahead of a year-end deadline North Korea has put forth for the United States to drop its insistence on unilateral denuclearization by Pyongyang.

North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at “restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.”, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

U.S.-China trade deal cuts tariffs for Beijing promise of big farm purchases

World

The U.S. has agreed to suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese-made cell phones, laptop computers and other consumer goods due to go into effect on Dec. 15, Trump said on Twitter.

The United States and China cooled their trade war on Friday, announcing a “Phase one” agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

North Korea says it has an unpleasant “Christmas gift” for Trump

World

Ri Thae Song, North Korea’s vice foreign minister in charge of U.S. affairs, accused Washington of being “keen on earning time” instead of making concessions.

North Korea said on Tuesday the United States was trying to drag out denuclearization talks ahead of the U.S. presidential election next year and issued a veiled threat to Washington to soften its demands, state media reported.

Malta Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. Reuters photo

World

Pressure grew both within and outside the party for him to quit after the probe into the 2017 car bomb killing of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia ...

Lawmakers from Malta’s ruling Labour Party met on Sunday to decide the future of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat amid a crisis sparked by the investigation into a murdered journalist.

UK PM Johnson pressured on jail terms after London Bridge attack

World

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, criticized the government’s sentencing policies.

The London Bridge attack pushed law and order towards the top of the British political agenda on Saturday, with days to go before a snap election, after police said the assailant had previously been convicted of terrorism offenses but freed early from prison.

Anti-government protesters attend the “Lest We Forget” rally in Hong Kong, China, December 1, 2019. Reuters photo

World

Activists pledged, however, to maintain the momentum of the anti-government movement that has seen protests roil the former British colony since June, at times forcing government offices, businesses, schools and even the international airport to shut.

Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, after a rare lull in violence, as residents took to the streets chanting “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”.

UK PM Johnson says UK will leave EU by January 31 at the latest

World

“If we can get a working majority then we will come on Jan. 31 at the absolute latest,” Johnson told LBC radio.

 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that Britain would leave the European Union by Jan. 31 at the latest if his Conservative Party win a majority in the election in two weeks time.

File image - U.S. President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. Reuters photo

World

“The best (thing) when you have close friends and allies like the U.S. and the UK is for neither side to get involved in each other’s election.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was best if U.S. President Donald Trump did not get involved in Britain’s upcoming election when he visits London for a NATO summit next week.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks at the "G20 Investment Summit" in Berlin, Germany on Nov. 19, 2019.

World

Egyptian security forces carried out a harsh crackdown in September to stamp out small but rare anti-government protests. The SSSP played a critical role ...

Egypt's government is using a secretive judicial agency designed to fight terrorism to detain peaceful protesters, journalists and critics on trumped-up charges without trial, Amnesty International said in a report released Wednesday.

A wounded protester is carried to receive first aid during clashes with security forces on Rasheed Street in Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 28, 2019.

World

The bloody shootings come in the wake of an attack on the Iranian consulate in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf Wednesday.

The French news agency is reporting 22 protesters were killed and scores wounded in Iraq's southern Thi Qar province after security forces opened fire with live ammunition on crowds of mostly young protesters in the provincial capital of Nasiriyah.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees a super-large multiple launch rocket system test in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS

World

North Korea fired two short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Thursday in a fourth test of its new “super-large multiple-rocket launcher”, ...

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed “great satisfaction” over the latest test of a large multiple-rocket launcher, state media said on Friday, a launch that experts said showcased improving performance by the system and its crews.

PM Hariri resigns as Lebanon crisis turns violent

World

Hariri’s resignation on Tuesday points to rising political tensions that may complicate the formation of a new government capable of tackling Lebanon’s worst economic crisis since its 1975-90 civil war.

Saad al-Hariri resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister on Tuesday, declaring he had hit a “dead end” in trying to resolve a crisis unleashed by huge protests against the ruling elite and plunging the country deeper into turmoil.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson . File image

World

Johnson told lawmakers he was going “to take the argument to Corbyn on One nation policies - spending on schools and hospitals and police... It wasn’t just about Brexit,” Halfon said.

Britain will hold its first December election in almost a century after Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally won parliamentary approval for a gamble on a snap ballot that he hopes will break the deadlock over Brexit.

Trump hails death of 'depraved' Islamic State leader Baghdadi in U.S. raid

World

Baghdadi had long been sought by the United States - which offered a $25 million reward for his capture - as leader of a jihadist group that at one point controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq, where it declared a caliphate.

Fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died “whimpering and crying” in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, fulfilling what he called his top national security goal.

A man passes an electronic billboard displaying a British government Brexit information awareness campaign advertisement in London, Britain, September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

World

Victory, while an imperfect indicator of possible support, would simply open up another opportunity for opponents to ambush the government with amendments that could wreck the Johnson’s plans.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces two pivotal Brexit votes in the British parliament on Tuesday that will decide if he can deliver on his pledge to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union in just nine days time.

Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wave to supporters after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

World

The liberal image of Trudeau, whose father opened the country to mass immigration, took a severe blow when pictures emerged early in the campaign of him wearing blackface in the early 1990s and in 2001.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held onto power after a closely fought election on Monday but were reduced to a minority government that will need the support in Parliament of a smaller left-leaning party.

A demonstrator hold a tire during a protest targeting the government over an economic crisis, in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon. Photo credit - Reuters

World

The latest unrest erupted out of anger over the rising cost of living and new tax plans, including a fee on WhatsApp calls.

Security forces fired tear gas and chased down protesters in Beirut on Friday after tens of thousands of people across Lebanon marched to demand the demise of a political elite they accuse of looting the economy to the point of collapse.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan. Image credit - Newswires

World

But if implemented it would achieve all the main objectives Turkey announced when it launched its assault on Oct. 9: control of a strip of Syria more than 30 km (20 miles) deep, with the Kurdish militia, once U.S. allies, obliged to pull out.

Turkey agreed on Thursday to pause its offensive in Syria for five days to let Kurdish forces withdraw from a “safe zone” Ankara had sought to capture, in a deal hailed by the Trump administration and cast by Turkey as a complete victory.

File image - US President Donald Trump (L) and president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R).

World

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said late on Friday that Turkey would retaliate against any steps aimed at countering its efforts to fight terrorism, in response to the announcement of possible U.S. sanctions against Turkey.

President Donald Trump’s administration is set to impose economic sanctions on Ankara, potentially as early as this week, for its incursion into northern Syria, one of the few levers the United States still has over NATO-ally Turkey.

File image: Russian President Vladimir Putin

World

Putin said the “internal political agenda” was not allowing Trump to take steps aimed at a drastic improvement of bilateral relations, adding Moscow would in any case work with any U.S. administration to ...

Moscow is not blaming U.S. President Donald Trump for failing to improve U.S.-Russian relations, a pledge he had made during his election campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Arab broadcasters.

File image - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

World

“Today the Guards have a powerful presence inside and outside Iran...America’s hostile approach has increased the Guards’ greatness,” Khamenei said.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Sunday to develop more advanced and modern weapons, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, amid rising regional tensions.

File photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing, China May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

World

China sent troops into remote, mountainous Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there with an iron fist ever since.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups.

Smoke rises from the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain as it is pictured from the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

World

Turkish media reported troops entering Syria at four points, two of them close to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad and two close to Ras al Ain further east.

Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Wednesday, pounding them with air strikes and artillery before starting a cross-border ground operation that could transform an eight-year-old war.

Turkish and American soldiers stand near a former YPG military point during a joint U.S.-Turkey patrol, near Tel Abyad, Syria, on Sept. 8, 2019.

World

The news came late Sunday after President Donald Trump spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone earlier in the day.

Turkey is set to invade Syria, as the country had been threatening in recent months, with the U.S. saying it will remove all of its forces from the "immediate area," according to the White House.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks as he and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

World

For Zelenskiy, it was a far-reaching diplomatic disaster.

For U.S. President Donald Trump, White House publication on Wednesday of a memo summarizing his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy fueled a domestic political crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the United Against Nuclear Iran Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S. September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Darren Ornitz

World

The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it placing sanctions on five Chinese nationals and six entities, including ....

The United States is imposing new sanctions on certain Chinese entities and people who it accuses of knowingly transferring oil from Iran in violation of Washington’s curbs on Tehran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

World

“We shall respond decisively and strongly to any sort of transgression to and violation of our security and territorial integrity,” Rouhani said in his speech.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanded on Wednesday that the United States “pay more” for any agreement that goes beyond the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Washington abandoned.

Netanyahu (L) tapped by Israel's president to form new government

World

As prime minister, Netanyahu would be under no legal obligation to resign if formal charges were filed. But any other cabinet post might not offer him that protection.

Israel’s president tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday with assembling a new government after power-sharing talks with his strongest rival, Benny Gantz, failed following an inconclusive election.

UK court rules Johnson suspended parliament unlawfully, PM defiant

World

In his comments in New York, Johnson sought to portray the court ruling as the latest attempt by Brexit opponents to thwart the will of the people as expressed in the 2016 referendum.

The UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Boris Johnson’s decision to shut down parliament in the run-up to Brexit was unlawful, but a defiant prime minister said he disagreed and vowed that Britain would leave the EU by Oct. 31, come what may.

Israeli president begins talks to form new government

World

Complicating matters is Blue and White's refusal to sit with Netanyahu because he faces a likely indictment on corruption charges.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin began two days of crucial talks Sunday with representatives of all parliamentary factions before selecting his candidate for prime minister, after a deadlocked repeat election was set to make forming any new government a daunting task.

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad l Mohammed/File Photo

World

Ahead of the U.N. General Assembly, Riyadh says it wants a peaceful resolution, but if the probe proved the strike came from Iran then “this would be considered an act of war”.

Saudi Arabia will seek to make a case at a global gathering in New York this week for concerted action to punish and deter arch-foe Iran after strikes on Saudi oil plants rattled global markets and exposed the kingdom’s vulnerability to attack.

United States wants to avoid war with Iran: Mike Pompeo

World

Pompeo says U.S. mission is to avoid war with Iran but measures in place to deter

The United States aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops ordered to be deployed in the Gulf region are for “deterrence and defense,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for wearing brownface makeup in 2001, to reporters on the Liberal party leaderÕs election campaign jet in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in a still image from video September 18, 2019. CBC via REUTERS

World

“I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and put make-up on. I shouldn’t have done it,” a grim-faced Trudeau said in comments carried live on Canadian television.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on Wednesday for wearing brown face make-up in 2001 after an embarrassing picture emerged less than five weeks before an election in which he faces a tough fight.

File image - President Trump

World

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after U.S. ally Saudi Arabia displayed remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in a crippling attack on its oil sites that was “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.

File image - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a meeting with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg, September 16, 2019.

World

File image - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a meeting with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg, September 16, 2019.

Britain’s Supreme Court will hear a third and final day of legal arguments on Thursday over whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

File image - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

World

The ballot’s wildcard, former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, emerged as a likely kingmaker as head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party.

Israel’s election remained too close to call Wednesday morning, with television stations carrying unofficial results showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz.

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