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Iraq to host regional rivals Iran, Saudi Arabia at conference
Reuters, Baghdad
Iraq will host senior parliamentary officials from arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran on Saturday as Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi seeks to bolster his country's nascent role as a mediator in the region.
Delegations including the heads of parliament from Turkey, Kuwait, Syria and Jordan will also attend the one-day conference in the Iraqi capital to discuss regional security, diplomacy and economic issues.

3 climbers presumed dead in Canadian
avalanche
Reuters, Calgary
Three renowned professional alpinists are missing and presumed dead after an avalanche in Canada's Rocky Mountains, Parks Canada said on Thursday.
Climbing media named the men as American Jess Roskelley, 36, and Austrians David Lama, 28, and Hansjörg Auer, 35, saying they were killed after attempting to climb a challenging route on Howse Peak in Banff National Park.

Ukraine quite ahead of presidential election
AP, Kiev
Ahead of Sunday's hotly contested presidential election, Ukraine is observing a so-called "day of silence" in which campaigning is forbidden.
The campaign hit a dramatic high on Friday night when the comic actor who is far ahead in public opinion polls debated with President Petro Poroshenko in the country's largest sports stadium.

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Taliban aim to sign deal with US by end of month

Taliban aim to sign deal with US by end of month

AFP, Kabul :The Taliban are aiming to reach a withdrawal agreement with the US by the end of January and are prepared to "scale down" military operations ahead of signing

Pakistan court jails dozens of Islamists over Asia Bibi protests

Pakistan court jails dozens of Islamists over Asia Bibi protests

AFP, Islamabad :A Pakistani court has sentenced more than 80 Islamists to 55 years in prison each after protests linked to the 2018 acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman

World's shortest man, who measured 67.08 cm, dies in Nepal

World's shortest man, who measured 67.08 cm, dies in Nepal

AFP, Kathmandu :The world's shortest man who could walk, as verified by Guinness World Records, died Friday at a hospital in Nepal, his family said.Khagendra Thapa Magar, who measured  67.08

UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer

UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer

AP, London :The British government has announced plans for special events on the night of Jan. 31 when the country officially leaves the European Union but the country's treasury chief

Experts warn over scale of China virus as US airports start screening

Experts warn over scale of China virus as US airports start screening

AFP, Hong Kong :The true scale of the outbreak of a mysterious SARS-like virus in China is likely far bigger than officially reported, scientists have warned, as countries ramp up

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Louisiana, Alaskan tribes file UN climate change complaintAP, Baton RougeFour coastal Louisiana tribes and one in Alaska that say the U.S. government violated their human rights by failing to take

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait less than week after election

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait less than week after election

Reuters, Taipei :A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the island's defense ministry said, less than a week after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election by

Facebook misleading people, its behaviour shameful: Pelosi

Facebook misleading people, its behaviour shameful: Pelosi

Agencies, Washington : In a rare rebuke of Facebook, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the social networking platform of misleading the American people and "schmoozing" US President

Japanese suicides decline to lowest in over 40 years

Japanese suicides decline to lowest in over 40 years

Reuters, Tokyo :Suicides in Japan in 2019 fell to their lowest number in more than 40 years, police said on Friday, marking the 10th straight year of declines.Though suicide

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New Guatemala President cuts ties with VenezuelaReuters, Guatemala City:Guatemala's new President Alejandro Giammattei said on Thursday his country was cutting diplomatic ties with Venezuela and closing its embassy in