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Macron vows to help restart Serbia-Kosovo dialogue
AFP, Belgrade
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday vowed to help restart dialogue and reach a long-lasting agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, former war foes who have been locked in a diplomatic spat for months.
Visiting Serbia's capital Belgrade, Macron said that he would organise a meeting in the coming weeks with the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel "in order to find a global and sustainable solution".

Duterte 'seriously considering' cutting ties with Iceland
AP, Manila
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is "seriously considering" cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland, which spearheaded a resolution that asked the U.N.'s top human rights body to look into the thousands of deaths of suspects under his anti-drug crackdown.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters late Monday that the Iceland-initiated resolution, which was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council in a vote last week in Geneva, showed "how the Western powers are scornful of our sovereign exercise of protecting our people from the scourge of prohibited drugs."

Quake off Indonesia's Bali causes minor damage, sparks panic
AFP, Denpasar
A strong earthquake struck off the Indonesian holiday island of Bali on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey said, causing residents to flee their homes and damaging several buildings.
The quake, which had a magnitude of 5.7, hit at 7.18am local time (0018 GMT) and was centred 82.1 kilometres (50.9 miles) southwest of the island's capital Denpasar, according to the USGS.

Kuwait deports 8 arrested Islamists to Egypt
AP, Cairo
A leading rights group says Kuwait has deported eight arrested Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, convicted at home on terrorism charges. Human Rights Watch says Monday the eight were "unlawfully returned", "despite the serious risk of torture and persecution they face in Egypt."
Kuwait last week said it detained members of the Brotherhood, with some sentenced in Egypt to 15 years behind bars. The country's state-run KUNA news agency said Sunday authorities deported "the wanted Egyptians."

Yemen's warring sides meet over flashpoint Port city
AP,  Sanaa
Yemen's warring sides concluded an overnight meeting on Monday that discussed the redeployment of forces from the flashpoint port city of Hodeida, officials said.
This was the first meeting since February between the Shiite rebel group, known as the Houthis, and the forces loyal to the internationally recognized government.
Under a December cease-fire agreement, both sides were to redeploy their forces from Hodeida, something considered an important first step toward ending the civil war.
Hodeida is the main entry point for humanitarian aid to Yemen, where over four years of war have spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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India's Muslims split in response to Hindu temple verdict

India's Muslims split in response to Hindu temple verdict

AP, New Delhi :India's largest Muslim political groups are divided over how to respond to a Supreme Court ruling that favors Hindus' right to a disputed site 27 years

China's defence budget increased 850pc over 20 years: Pentagon

China's defence budget increased 850pc over 20 years: Pentagon

PTI, Washington :China's defense budget has grown 850 per cent in the last 20 years from $20 billion to $170 billion in 2018, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers

Uber reveals it received 6,000 sexual assault claims in US in two years

Uber reveals it received 6,000 sexual assault claims in US in two years

AFP, :Nearly 6,000 instances of sexual assault, including more than 450 cases of rape, were reported to Uber in the United States in 2017 and 2018, the ride-sharing company

News In Brief

Verdict in Musharraf treason case on Dec 17PTI, IslamabadThe verdict in the high treason case against former Pakistan dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf would be pronounced on December 17,

Independence not on ballot, but on voters' minds in Scotland

Independence not on ballot, but on voters' minds in Scotland

AP, Scotland :Ask voters in this picturesque university town in eastern Scotland how they're voting in next week's election, and they're likely to transition seamlessly from talking about which

US considering troop boost to counter Iran

US considering troop boost to counter Iran

AFP, Washington :The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter Iran, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the

Macron pension reform: France braces for severe disruption amid strike

Macron pension reform: France braces for severe disruption amid strike

France is enduring severe disruption as millions of workers threaten to strike in protest at being forced to retire later or face reduced pensions.School and transport workers will join police,

At 50, Europe's oldest nuclear plant not ready to retire

At 50, Europe's oldest nuclear plant not ready to retire

AFP, Beznau :Europe's oldest functioning nuclear reactor, at Switzerland's Beznau plant, will turn 50 next week - a lifespan deemed dangerously long by environmentalists who are demanding that it be

Pentagon denies US mulling 14,000 more troops for Middle East

Pentagon denies US mulling 14,000 more troops for Middle East

The Pentagon on Wednesday denied a report that the United States was weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East in the face of a perceived threat

Moon calls for Chinese role in denuclearizing North Korea

Moon calls for Chinese role in denuclearizing North Korea

AP, Seoul :South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday the global diplomatic push to defuse the nuclear standoff with North Korea is at a "critical crossroads" and called for China