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Iran does not want 'new
tensions' in ME
AFP, Tehran
 Iran does not want "new tensions" in the Middle East, President Hassan Rouhani told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, after Israel carried out strikes against what it called Iranian targets in Syria.
"Iran has always sought to reduce tensions in the region, trying to strengthen security and stability," Rouhani told Merkel in a telephone call, according to a statement on the website of Iran's presidency.

Najib's brother says Malaysia needs change
Reuters, Kuala Lumpur
Congratulating Mahathir Mohamad on Friday for winning Malaysia's election, the younger brother of the defeated former prime minister Najib Razak lamented the failure of past governments to overcome "structural rigidities and vested interest".
The 92-year-old Mahathir, who had been prime minister for 22 years until his retirement in 2003, had run a fierce campaign to bring down his former protege Najib, accusing him of corruption on a massive scale.

Modi begins two-day Nepal visit
AP, Kathmandu
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a two-day visit to Nepal on Friday as the two South Asian nations work to improve relations that were strained over Indian-backed ethnic protests in Nepal in 2015.
Modi first flew to Janakpur in southern Nepal, where he prayed at a revered Hindu temple and addressed a public rally, before heading to the capital, Kathmandu, for official meetings.

China flies bombers around Taiwan again
Reuters, Beijing
Bombers and fighter jets from China's air force conducted encirclement drills around Taiwan on Friday, the latest round of increasingly frequent military manoeuvres near the self-ruled island that Taipei has denounced as intimidation.
China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory, and its hostility towards the island has grown since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

Kenya dam bursts death toll rises to 34
AFP, Nairobi
At least 34 people died after a dam burst in central Kenya, sweeping away their homes while many of them were asleep, police said Thursday.. After a severe drought, weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides that have left 164 dead.

UK, French, German FMs to meet on Tuesday
Reuters, Brussels
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will host a meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the Iran nuclear deal after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of it. The group will also then meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the European External Action Service said in a statement.

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