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China launches
anti-halal campaign in Xinjiang
Reuters, Shanghai
The capital of China's Xinjiang region, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority, has launched a campaign against halal products to stop Islam penetrating secular life and fuelling "extremism".
In a meeting on Monday, the Communist Party leaders of Urumqi led cadres to swear an oath to "fight a decisive battle against 'pan-halalization'," according to a notice posed on the city's official WeChat account.
Everyday halal products, like food and toothpaste, must be produced according to Islamic law.

India train cars derail, 5 people killed
AP, Lucknow
Police say an express train has partially derailed in northern India, killing five passengers and injuring dozens more.
Police director general OP Singh said rescuers have responded to the scene where the train's engine and five cars derailed about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. It occurred at a railway station in Rae Bareli, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

Macron delays cabinet reshuffle
Reuters, Paris
President Emmanuel Macron postponed a planned reshuffle of his government on Wednesday, prompting new questions about his ability to keep his administration on track after several resignations and a slump in popularity.
The president and his prime minister have been weighing the reshuffle for a week following the departure of three ministers since late August, resignations that have challenged Macron's authority and stalled his reform ambitions.

Abortion is like hiring 'contract killer': Pope
AFP, Vatican City
Pope Francis on Wednesday compared having an abortion to hiring a "contract killer". "Interrupting a pregnancy is like eliminating someone," Francis said in an address to worshippers in the Vatican. "Getting rid of a human being is like resorting to a contract killer to solve a problem," he added.
His comments departed from the prepared text for his homily delivered during his weekly audience on Saint Peter's Square.

5 dead in torrential rainstorms in Spain
AP, Madrid
At least five people were confirmed dead and five more remained missing on Wednesday after torrential rainstorms caused flash flooding on the Spanish island of Mallorca, authorities said.
Two of the victims were British nationals, said Antonia Bauza, the deputy mayor of Sant Llorenc, the town hardest hit by the downpours, which is about 60 kilometers (40 miles) east of Mallorca's capital, Palma. Bauza told Cadena SER radio that two other victims were locals, including an elderly woman whose body was found in the basement of her house.

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