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Khamenei calls US officials 'first-class idiots'
AP, Tehran
Iran's supreme leader on Wednesday called U.S. officials "first-class idiots," mocking American leaders as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo toured the Mideast to promote the White House's tough stance on Iran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments were unusually harsh, reflecting the broader tension between Iran and the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Pompeo meets Sisi amid concern over US ME policy
AFP, Cairo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Thursday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo, part of a tour to address concerns of American allies in the Middle East.
The visit by Washington's top diplomat comes amid confusion in the region over a surprise plan by President Donald Trump's administration to pull US troops out of Syria.

Mexico finds 20 bodies near US border
Reuters, Mexico City
Mexican authorities discovered 20 bodies on Wednesday, 17 of them burned, near the city of Nuevo Laredo, close to the U.S. border, a security official said.
Five burned vehicles were also found near the bodies in the town of Miguel Aleman, across the Rio Grande from Texas in the northern state of Tamaulipas, the official said in a statement, without providing details.

Three protesters  killed in Sudan
AFP, Khartoum
Three protesters died after police broke up an anti-government demonstration in Sudan, police said Thursday, as thousands chanted support for President Omar al-Bashir at a rival rally in Khartoum.
Wednesday's competing rallies in the Sudanese capital followed a month of angry street protests over a government decision to triple the price of bread at a time when the country faces an acute shortage of foreign currency and soaring inflation.

Los Angeles teachers postpone strike
Reuters, Los Angeles
A union representing more than 30,000 Los Angeles teachers on Wednesday postponed until next week a threatened strike over lingering contract negotiations with the country's largest school district, citing a last-minute legal snag.
United Teachers Los Angeles had called a strike for its members in the city's 900 public schools for Thursday if an agreement was not reached before then over such issues as pay, staffing, and class sizes.

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NZ bans sale of assault gun, semi-auto rifles

NZ bans sale of assault gun, semi-auto rifles

 AFP, Wellington :New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced an immediate ban on the sale of assault rifles and semi-automatics Thursday in a muscular response to the Christchurch terror attack

India drops 7 spots in list of happiest nations, still behind Pak, China

India drops 7 spots in list of happiest nations, still behind Pak, China

PTI, United Nations  :Indians are not as happy in 2019 as they were in 2018 and the country figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year, on this

Islamic State will be wiped off map imminently, says Trump

A bullish US President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that the Islamic State group would be wiped off the map within hours, as he unfurled printouts showing the jihadists' shrinking presence

EU chief says Brexit delay possible if MPs approve deal

EU chief says Brexit delay possible if MPs approve deal

The EU could approve Britain's request for a short delay to Brexit but only if UK MPs next week vote through the withdrawal deal they have twice rejected, European Council

Hunger stalks Yemen's remote villages after four years of war

Hunger stalks Yemen's remote villages after four years of war

Reuters, Yemen :As Yeman's war grinds into its fifth year with peace efforts stalling, ten-year-old Afaf's father sees little hope he will be able to give his starving daughter the

News In Brief

Afghan presidential election delayed to Sept 28AFP, Kabul: War-torn Afghanistan has delayed its presidential election until September 28, officials announced Wednesday, the second time the ballot has been put back

May tries to save Brexit plan ahead of EU summit

May tries to save Brexit plan ahead of EU summit

British Prime Minister Theresa May will write to EU President Donald Tusk with a plan for delaying Brexit beyond March 29, her spokesman said Tuesday, admitting the parliamentary deadlock had

Trump reaffirms US considering 'all options' to bring down Venezuela's President Maduro

Trump reaffirms US considering 'all options' to bring down Venezuela's President Maduro

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reaffirmed that "all options" are being considered in his drive to bring down Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro."All options are on the table," he

Abel Prize for maths awarded to woman for first time

Abel Prize for maths awarded to woman for first time

AFP, Oslo : Women took another step forward in the still male-dominated world of science Tuesday, as American Karen Uhlenbeck won the Abel Prize in mathematics for her work on partial

"Democracy in UK all but dead": Trump Jr slams PM May over Brexit

US President Donald Trump's eldest son rebuked UK Prime Minister Theresa May over her faltering Brexit tactics Tuesday, claiming she had unnecessarily prolonged Britain's EU withdrawal by ignoring his father's