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Venezuelans cast ballots in opposition vote
Reuters, Caracas
Venezuela's opposition holds an unofficial referendum on Sunday to increase pressure on President Nicolas Maduro as he seeks to create a legislative superbody that his adversaries call the consolidation of a dictatorship.
The symbolic poll, which will also ask voters if they want early elections, is intended to further dent Maduro's legitimacy amid a crippling economic crisis and three months of anti-government protests that have led to nearly 100 deaths.

Fire in eastern China kills 22
Reuters, Beijing
At least 22 people were killed when a house in China's eastern Jiangsu province caught fire on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency cited local authorities as saying.
The fire broke out before dawn at a two-storey residential house in Yushan town in Changshu city, Xinhua said.
Three were injured. The blaze has been put out, and investigation into the cause is under way, it said.

Israel to reopen Jerusalem holy site
AP, Jerusalem
Israel will gradually reopen a Jerusalem holy site Sunday after taking the rare step of shutting it down following a deadly assault there that sparked concerns of a fresh round of violence.
For the first time in decades, Israel closed the site - known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount - on Friday after an attack by three Arab citizens of Israel who opened fire from the sacred site with automatic weapons and killed two police officers before being shot dead inside the compound.

Palestinian shot dead in West Bank
AFP, Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers and police on an arrest mission in the town of Nabi Salah in the occupied West Bank shot dead a Palestinian who attempted to open fire at them early Sunday, the army said.
"The forces encountered the suspect, who attempted to open fire at them," a statement from the Israeli army read. "In response to the immediate threat forces fired towards the attacker resulting in his death."
Palestinian security forces identified the suspect as 34-year-old Amar Dagharah from Kafr Ein, a town near Nabi Salah in the central West Bank.

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German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks

German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks

Reuters, Berlin :Germany's would-be coalition partners continued talks on Friday after all-night negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives saying they would compromise further on

Zimbabwe's ruling party to hold rally as anti-Mugabe tide rises

Zimbabwe's ruling party to hold rally as anti-Mugabe tide rises

Reuters, Harare :President Robert Mugabe's own ruling ZANU-PF party wants him to step down and plans to hold a rally in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Saturday to make the

Elizabeth appoints 1st woman in 650 years to top job in Houses of Parliament

Xinhua, London :British Queen Elizabeth II approved Friday the appointment of Sarah Clarke as the new Black Rod in the House of Lords, a job held by 60 men

Syria toxic gas inquiry to end after Russia again blocks UN renewal

Syria toxic gas inquiry to end after Russia again blocks UN renewal

Reuters, United Nations :An international investigation into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria will end on Friday after Russia blocked for the third time in

UN climate envoys agree on way forward, ignoring Trump

UN climate envoys agree on way forward, ignoring Trump

AFP, Bonn :Negotiations to bolster the climate-saving Paris Agreement, crafted over two decades, closed in Bonn Saturday, deflated but not derailed by Donald Trump's rejection of the treaty and

News In Brief

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing for 3 daysAP, RafahGaza's border crossing into Egypt is running under the Palestinian Authority's control for the first time in a decade.Egypt opened the

Lebanon's PM arrives in Paris for talks with Macron

Lebanon's PM arrives in Paris for talks with Macron

Reuters, Paris :Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon's prime minister this month while in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Paris on Saturday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, a

Russia casts 10th UN veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Russia casts 10th UN veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Reuters, United Nations :Russia cast its 10th veto on Thursday of United Nations Security Council action on Syria since the war began in 2011, blocking a U.S.-drafted resolution to

Belgian judge weighs extradition bid for Catalan ex-leader

Belgian judge weighs extradition bid for Catalan ex-leader

AFP, Brussels :A Belgian court will on Friday consider whether to send axed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont back to Spain to face charges of rebellion and sedition over his

Chinese envoy in North Korea amid chill in ties

AP, Pyongyang :The highest-level Chinese envoy to North Korea in two years arrived in the country's capital on Friday to try to improve relations that have soured over Beijing's