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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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Mexican leader's visit with Trump shelved over wall

AFP, Washington : Mexico and the United States have shelved tentative plans for a visit to Washington by President Enrique Pena Nieto as tensions persist over a proposed border wall,

UN unanimously demands a 30-day cease-fire across Syria

UN unanimously demands a 30-day cease-fire across Syria

AP, United Nations :The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the

China says new US sanctions threaten cooperation over North Korea

China says new US sanctions threaten cooperation over North Korea

Reuters, Beijing :China reacted with anger on Saturday to new U.S. sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on nuclear-equipped North Korea, saying the unilateral targeting of Chinese firms and people

Merkel to appoint key party critic to cabinet

Merkel to appoint key party critic to cabinet

AFP, Berlin :German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to give a cabinet role to an outspoken critic within her conservative party, as she looks to quell surging discontent in

News In Brief

Cambodia votes in Senate electionReuters, Phnom Penh Voting got under way in Cambodia on Sunday in a Senate election that the ruling party of Prime Minister Hun Sen was

China sets stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely

China sets stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely

sReuters, Beijing :China's ruling Communist Party on Sunday set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, with a proposal to remove a constitutional clause limiting

New strikes hit Syria enclave after UN delays truce vote

New strikes hit Syria enclave after UN delays truce vote

AFP, Beirut  :Air strikes and rocket fire hit the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta for a seventh straight day on Saturday after the United Nations again delayed a

Trump Jr. drops planned foreign policy speech in India after criticism

Trump Jr. drops planned foreign policy speech in India after criticism

Reuters, New Delhi :U.S. President Donald Trump's son dropped a planned speech on foreign affairs in the Indian capital on Friday after ethics experts said he should avoid wading

World's last remaining wild horses aren't really wild after all

World's last remaining wild horses aren't really wild after all

Reuters, Washington :It may come as a disappointment to equine enthusiasts, but a new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population

Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

Ex-Trump aide pleads guilty, will cooperate in Russia probe

Reuters, Washington :A former senior official in Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators, and