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Rouhani, Putin discuss US exit from N deal
AP, Qingdao
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he would like to discuss the situation following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Speaking at the start of his Saturday's meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao, China, Rouhani hailed close ties between Russia and Iran. Iran has an observer status in the SCO, and Putin said that Moscow would support the full-fledged Iranian membership.

UN SC elects five members for two-year term
Reuters, United Nations
The United Nations General Assembly voted on Friday to elect Germany, Belgium, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia for a two-year term in the Security Council starting on Jan. 1, 2019.
The council is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions and has the power to impose sanctions and authorize the use of force.

Musharraf to run for Pak polls
AP, Islamabad
The party of Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf announced Saturday that he will run for a seat in parliament in July 25 national elections.
The move comes after the country's Supreme Court conditionally allowed Musharraf to return from Dubai, where he has been living in self-exile to avoid arrest on criminal charges. Musharraf's party said he will campaign for a seat representing the northern town of Chitral.

Bombs in Iraqi city of Kirkuk kill 1
AP, Baghdad
An Iraqi security official says three bombs have exploded in the northern city of Kirkuk killing a woman and wounding 18 others.
Brig. Gen. Ali Kamal said the blasts occurred late Friday night in three different places. He added that two of them did not inflict any casualties.
Kamal said Saturday that the blast in al-Quds street in central Kirkuk killed the woman and wounded 18 others.

China to launch broader environmental
inspections
Reuters, Beijing
China will expand environmental inspections to more cities and regions in a new round of checks from this month to April next year, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said in a statement on Friday, part of a three-year anti-pollution plan.
Apart from smog-heavy Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and nearby areas, the inspections - to run from June 11 to April 28, 2019 - will also target the Yangtze River Delta region, including Shanghai, and Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, and some 11 cities in the northwestern provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi.

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Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

AP, Hsinchu :Taiwan held live-fire exercises along its east coast Thursday amid renewed threats from China to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.Artillery and assault

'Stupid' to suggest Trump a Russian agent: Putin's top aide

'Stupid' to suggest Trump a Russian agent: Putin's top aide

AFP, Moscow :A top Kremlin aide on Wednesday dismissed as ridiculous claims that US President Donald Trump has acted as an agent for Russia amid mounting controversy over his alleged

Vietnam prepares for Kim Jong Un visit amid talks of second summit with Trump

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Reuters, Hanoi  :Hanoi is preparing to receive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a state visit, two sources told Reuters, while officials and diplomats said Vietnam is keen to

Sudan protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant

Sudan protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant

AFP, Khartoum :One month after protests erupted across Sudan against rising bread prices, anti-government demonstrations have turned into daily rallies against a defiant President Omar al-Bashir who has rejected calls

Putin to receive a rock star welcome in Belgrade

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AFP, Belgrade :With T-shirts, mugs and murals bearing his face, Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to receive a rock star welcome on Thursday when he lands in Serbia, Moscow's

News In Brief

German justice minister backs second Brexit referendumReuters, Berlin A second referendum on Britain's exit from the European Union would make sense, German Justice Minister Katarina Barley told a German broadcaster

US eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities grow

US eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities grow

Reuters, Washington  :The United States is closely watching Chinese intentions toward Taiwan, concerned that Beijing's growing military prowess may increase the risk it could one day consider bringing the self-ruled

Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister

Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister

AFP, Paris :The European Union could push back the looming March 29 Brexit deadline if London made such a request, France's Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Wednesday."At the time

Democratic Senator Gillibrand to launch 2020 White House bid

Democratic Senator Gillibrand to launch 2020 White House bid

Democratic US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken Donald Trump critic and champion of women's issues including the #MeToo movement, announced Tuesday she was jumping into the 2020 presidential race.Nearly 22

Top Saudi aide fired over Khashoggi murder still wields influence: Report

Top Saudi aide fired over Khashoggi murder still wields influence: Report

Reuters, London :A Saudi royal advisor fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues to wield influence in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle, according to Western, Arab