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Turkey, Russia and Iran to discuss Syria in Istanbul

Reuters, Ankara

Turkey and Russia agreed on Wednesday that their next three-way summit with Iran to discuss the conflict in Syria will be held in Istanbul, a Turkish presidential source said.
The source said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's President Vladimir Putin also agreed in a telephone call to speed up the establishment of military observation posts in Syria's Idlib region, and discussed the humanitarian situation in eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

Dy PM's affair with staffer grips Australia

AFP, Sydney

An affair between Australia's married deputy prime minister and a younger member of his staff, who is now pregnant, gripped the country Thursday, reigniting questions over MPs' private lives.
Barnaby Joyce, leader of the National Party which rules in a coalition with the Liberals, is best known internationally for threatening to euthanise Hollywood star Johnny Depp's two dogs when they were brought into Australia illegally.

Macron's govt to boost military spending

AP, Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron's government is unveiling a bill to boost military spending, notably amid demands by NATO and U.S. President Donald Trump for European countries to pitch in more for their own defense.
The bill being presented Thursday at a Cabinet meeting foresees 295 billion euros ($364 billion) in overall defense spending from 2019 to 2025. That includes 1.7 billion euros in additional spending each year through 2022, particularly to modernize equipment, improve cyberdefenses and intelligence.

US names 3 Pakistanis as "terrorist facilitators"

AFP, Washington

The United States named three Pakistanis on Wednesday as key "terrorist facilitators", saying they worked closely with a well-known backer of Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban known as Shaykh Aminullah.
The US Treasury placed Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan, and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan on its blacklist of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists," in an effort to disrupt the group's ability to obtain and distribute financing.

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Australia, Japan to deepen defence ties after historic Darwin visit

Australia, Japan to deepen defence ties after historic Darwin visit

AFP, Australia : Australia hailed a "deeply symbolic" visit to Darwin by the Japanese Prime Minister on Friday, more than 75 years after the northern city was bombed in World

May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis

May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis

Reuters, London : British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and

UN-backed court rules Khmer Rouge leaders committed genocide

Reuters, Phnom Penh :A U.N.-backed court found two leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge guilty of genocide on Friday, almost four decades after the ultra-Maoist regime which oversaw the "Killing

After brawl, pandemonium halts Sri Lanka’s Parliament

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AP, Colombo :Pandemonium reigned in Sri Lanka's Parliament as lawmakers supporting disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa violently demonstrated in the house to prevent the proceedings from taking place on

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Trump to visit California wildfire victimsAP, Washington President Donald Trump will fly Saturday to California to meet victims of wildfires that have killed at least 59 people and destroyed

Trump's summit no-show draws Asian nations closer together

Trump's summit no-show draws Asian nations closer together

Reuters, Singapore : US President Donald Trump didn't make it to this week's summit of Asian nations in Singapore, but his influence was still keenly felt among the leaders who

US could lose war against Russia or China, warns panel

US could lose war against Russia or China, warns panel

AP, Washington :The United States military has "lost its edge" and could potentially lose a war against Russia or China, a report by a bipartisan panel established by Congress

Yemeni govt backs UN peace talks but Hodeida still at risk

Yemeni govt backs UN peace talks but Hodeida still at risk

AFP, Hodeida (Yemen) :Yemen's president has supported a UN push for fresh talks to end almost four years of fighting in his war-torn country, but analysts warn even a

Israel Defence Minister resigns over Gaza ceasefire

Israel Defence Minister resigns over Gaza ceasefire

BBC Online :Israel's defence minister has resigned over the cabinet's decision to accept a ceasefire ending two days of fighting with Palestinian militants in Gaza.Avigdor Lieberman denounced the move

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S Korea dismantles guard posts with dynamite, excavatorsAP, South KoreaSouth Korea exploded a front-line guard post Thursday, sending plumes of thick, black smoke into the sky above the border