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Russian MPs ban US media from parliament
AFP, Moscow
Russian lawmakers on Wednesday voted to ban US media labelled as "foreign agents" from accessing the lower house of parliament in response to the US Congress stripping state channel RT of its credentials.
The move came a day after Moscow named nine US media outlets including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "foreign agents" after RT was forced to accept the same status in the US.

Greece, Turkey seek closer ties
Reuters, Athens
Turkish President Tayip Erdogan will make a historic visit to Greece this week, a sign that relations between the two countries are improving, although a long list of grievances remains on both sides.
Erdogan visited Greece as prime minister, in 2004 and 2010, but he will be the first Turkish head of state to visit Athens since Celal Bayar in 1952. He is also scheduled to visit Thrace in northern Greece, home to a large Muslim community.

Israel expanding ME ties: Netanyahu
Reuters, Jerusalem
 Israel is expanding ties throughout the Middle East but not with Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, accusing his country's arch-foe of trying to dominate the region.
Addressing a Jerusalem diplomatic conference, Netanyahu said Israel has relations "with nearly every single one" of nations that do not formally recognize it, due to their growing need for its economic and security expertise.

Australia's HC to rule in new citizenship test case
Reuters, Sydney
 Australia faces a series of by-elections that could topple the government, which trails in opinion polls and has lost its slender majority, in a bizarre citizenship crisis that has engulfed both sides of parliament.
Senator Katy Gallagher and lower-house member David Feeney, both from the opposition Labor party, were referred to the High Court on Wednesday to determine whether they hold British, as well as Australian, citizenship.

Indonesia cyclone death toll rises to 41
AFP, Jakarta
A tropical cyclone that pounded Indonesia's main island of Java has killed 41 people, the country's disaster agency said Wednesday, more than double the initial toll, with tens of thousands displaced by severe flooding and landslides.
Among the victims of Cyclone Cempaka were 25 people killed by a single landslide in east Java last week, the agency said.

China plans to set up robot station on the moon
PTI, Beijing
  China is planning to establish a robot station on the moon to conduct bigger and more complicated experimental research on lunar geography, a media report said today.
The station could slash the costs of returning rock samples to Earth, said Jiao Weixin, a Peking University space science professor.

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