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Russian prosecutors call for jailed actor to be freed
AFP, Moscow
Russian prosecutors on Thursday asked a court to free a jailed actor and give him a non-custodial sentence in a case that has sparked protests and a star-studded solidarity campaign, in an apparent climbdown for the authorities.
Actor Pavel Ustinov, 23, was this week sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for violence against police at an opposition protest, despite his insistence he was simply a bystander.

US expels 2 Cuban diplomats, citing 'influence operations'
AP, Washington
The U.S. announced Thursday that it is expelling two Cuban diplomats and restricting travel of members of Cuba's permanent mission to the United Nations as leaders gather from around the world for the annual U.N. General Assembly.
The Cuban diplomats who are being expelled are attached to the U.N. mission and tried to "conduct influence operations against the United States," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. She provided no details on the allegations and the diplomats' names weren't released.

Blast in Yemen kills 6 govt troops, Saudi officer
AP, Sanaa
Yemeni security officials said Wednesday an explosion targeting a government military convoy killed at least six Yemeni troops and one Saudi Arabian officer.
The blast took place in the eastern Hadramawt province, far from the part of Yemen controlled by the Houthi rebels, and also wounded at least 13 soldiers, many of them Saudi. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has carried out similar attacks in the area.

Tropical storm kills two in Houston, halts flights
Reuters, Houston
Tropical Storm Imelda dumped torrential rains over the Houston-area, killing at least two people, while rescuers in boats pulled hundreds from flooded cars, the airport temporarily halted flights and tens of thousands of people lost power.
Heavy rains had abated by Thursday evening, although flash flood watches remained in effect through Friday morning and rescuers were still working to reach stranded motorists and those trapped in homes late into the night as floodwaters were slow to drain off.

Turkish coast guards rescue 15; child missing
AP, Brussels
Turkish coast guards have rescued 14 migrants and their Turkish smuggler after their rubber boat sank off Turkey's Aegean coast while trying to reach Greece. A search-and-rescue mission is still underway to find a missing infant.
The Turkish Coast Guard said the boat went down Friday off Turkey's Aegean resort of Yalikavak, on the Bodrum peninsula.

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Some worries about nuclear weapons at Turkey base

Some worries about nuclear weapons at Turkey base

AP, Washington  :Frayed U.S. relations with Turkey over its incursion in Syria raise a sensitive question rarely discussed in public: Should the United States remove the nuclear bombs it has

Violence escalates in Barcelona after 500,000 separatists rally

Violence escalates in Barcelona after 500,000 separatists rally

AFP, Barcelona :Violent clashes escalated in Barcelona late Friday, as radical Catalan separatists hurled rocks and fireworks at police, who responded with teargas and rubber bullets, turning the city centre

Last Soviet leader Gorbachev urges Russia, US to hold nuclear talks

Last Soviet leader Gorbachev urges Russia, US to hold nuclear talks

Reuters, Moscow :Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, warned on Friday that the world was drifting into a dangerous era of militarised politics and appealed to Moscow and Washington to

Chile President declares state of emergency after violent protests

Chile President declares state of emergency after violent protests

AFP, Santiago :Chile's president declared a state of emergency in Santiago Friday night and gave the military responsibility for security after a day of violent protests over increases in the

Lebanon paralysed by nationwide protests over proposed taxes

Lebanon paralysed by nationwide protests over proposed taxes

AP, Beirut :Nationwide protests paralyzed Lebanon on Friday as demonstrators blocked major roads in a second day of rallies against the government's management of a severe economic crisis and proposed

News In Brief

High-profile cases turn spotlight on domestic violence in RussiaAFP, MoscowNatalia Tunikova's partner pushed her towards the open balcony in their high-rise Moscow flat, before punching her to the floor. Fearing

Fighting in Kurdish-held Syrian town despite cease-fire

Fighting in Kurdish-held Syrian town despite cease-fire

AP, Ceylanpinar :Fighting continued Friday morning in a northeast Syrian border town at the center of the fight between Turkey and Kurdish forces, despite a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that went

Pompeo seeks to reassure Israel amid Syria turmoil

Pompeo seeks to reassure Israel amid Syria turmoil

AP, Jerusalem :Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Israel's prime minister on Friday to reaffirm the countries' close ties at a time when many in Israel fear the

Venezuela wins seat on UN rights body despite opposition

Venezuela wins seat on UN rights body despite opposition

AP, United Nations :Venezuela won a contested election for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday despite a campaign by over 50 organizations and many countries

China wanted executive fired for supporting Hong Kong protests: NBA chief

China wanted executive fired for supporting Hong Kong protests: NBA chief

AFP, Washington :China demanded that a Houston Rockets executive be sacked for supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said.Rockets general manager Daryl Morey ignited