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15 Saudi journos arrested in past year. Report
AFP, France
At least 15 Saudi journalists and bloggers have been arrested over the past year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday, following the disappearance of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
"In most cases, their arrests have never been officially confirmed and no official has ever said where they are being held or what they are charged with," RSF, which defends press freedom around the world, said in a statement.
Cases included that of Saleh al-Shihi, a journalist whose arrest was only confirmed in February when his family learned he had been sentenced to five years in prison, RSF said.

15 Afghan cops killed in clash with Taliban
Reuters, Kunduz
At least 15 Afghan border police were killed battling Taliban insurgents on Thursday, an official said, as fighting continues ahead of this month's elections, with 21 Taliban killed in an operation in Wardak, west of the capital Kabul.
Amruddin Wali, a member of the provincial council in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, said 15 members of the paramilitary border police were killed when Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint in Qala-e Zal district.

Three dead as strong quake hits Indonesia
AFP, Jakarta
An earthquake Thursday killed three people in Indonesia and rattled hotels where IMF delegates are attending a major summit, a fortnight after a quake-tsunami killed more than 2,000 elsewhere in the archipelago.
The 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Bali and Java islands in the early hours, jolting residents awake and sending them rushing into the streets.
US seeks to
'disturb' Xinjiang policies : China
AFP, Beijing
China on Thursday accused the United States of seeking to "disturb" its security policies after a US congressional report said Beijing's mass internment of Muslim minorities may constitute "crimes against humanity".
The report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China described the situation of human rights in China as "dire" and worsening, a trend epitomised by the internment of as many as one million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the far west Xinjiang region.

Kashmir rebel leader killed
AP, Srinagar
A Kashmiri scholar-turned rebel leader and his colleague were killed Thursday in a gunbattle with Indian troops, police and residents said, sparking violent anti-India protests by residents in the disputed region.

The incident could spark more unrest in a region that in recent years has witnessed renewed rebel attacks and public resistance against Indian rule.

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Brexit compromise talks collapse after six weeks

Brexit compromise talks collapse after six weeks

Britain's Labour opposition pulled the plug Friday on six weeks of Brexit compromise talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, blaming her evaporating authority as her premiership nears its death throes.Labour

UN Chief's call to 'save the Pacific to save the world'

UN Chief's call to 'save the Pacific to save the world'

AFP, Port Vila :UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was vital "to save the Pacific to save the world" as he wrapped up his brief South Pacific tour in Vanuatu

Maduro hails start of Norway-brokered talks with opposition

Maduro hails start of Norway-brokered talks with opposition

AFP, Caracas :President Nicolas Maduro welcomed Friday the "beginning of talks" with the Venezuelan opposition in Norway, after months of bloody clashes between the two sides."The talks have begun nicely

News In Brief

Former CIA agent gets 20-yr sentence for spying for ChinaAFP, WashingtonAn ex-CIA officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday for spying for China in a case called part

US warns airliners flying in Persian Gulf amid Iran tensions

US warns airliners flying in Persian Gulf amid Iran tensions

AP, Dubai :U.S. diplomats warned Saturday that commercial airliners flying over the wider Persian Gulf faced a risk of being "misidentified" amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The

Australian election vote count reveals close contest

Australian election vote count reveals close contest

AP, Canberra :The vote count in Australia's general election on Saturday was proving closer than opinion polls had predicted, with the ruling conservative coalition appearing more likely to form a

Taiwan legislature approves Asia's first same-sex marriage law

Taiwan legislature approves Asia's first same-sex marriage law

AFP, Taiwan : Taiwan's parliament legalised same-sex marriage on Friday in a landmark first for Asia as the government survived a last-minute attempt by conservatives to pass watered-down legislation.Lawmakers

More than 400 infected as HIV outbreak sparks panic in Pakistan

More than 400 infected as HIV outbreak sparks panic in Pakistan

AFP, Rato Dero : Parents nervously watch as their children wait to be tested for HIV in a village in southern Pakistan, where hundreds of people have been allegedly infected

Boris Johnson confirms will bid to be British PM

Boris Johnson confirms will bid to be British PM

AFP, London :Britain's Boris Johnson, the former foreign minister, ex-mayor of London and leading Brexit campaigner, confirmed Thursday he will run for the premiership when Theresa May quits, British

Iran's top diplomat presses efforts to save nuclear deal

Iran's top diplomat presses efforts to save nuclear deal

AP, Tehran : Iran's foreign minister traveled Friday to China on his Asian tour aimed at keeping world markets open to Tehran amid an intense sanctions campaign from the U.S.