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Sydney smoke crisis 'longest on record'
AFP, Sydney
Australian bushfires have caused unprecedented pollution in Sydney and along the country's east coast, officials said Thursday, with smoke and dust burning residents' eyes and prompting a spike in respiratory complaints.
Hundreds of bushfires have burned out of control since September up and down the eastern seaboard, blanketing cities from Sydney to Brisbane in smoke for weeks on end.

14 missing in deadly Ukraine fire
AFP, Kiev
Fourteen people remain missing from a fire that claimed a student's life in Ukraine's southern port city of Odessa, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday.
The fire broke out in a college building in central Odessa on Wednesday, killing a 16-year-old female student and injuring 27 others. The blaze had been contained by Thursday morning, but dozens of firefighters were still combing through the partly destroyed walls of the six-storey building.

Four dead, four missing after gas explosion in Poland
AFP, Warsaw
Four people were killed and another four were reported missing after a gas explosion destroyed a house in a ski resort in the south of Poland late Wednesday, local authorities said.
Around 100 firefighters were still scouring the debris of the house in Szczyrk on Thursday morning in search of possible survivors. The local prefect, Jaroslaw Wieczorek, said that one of the bodies recovered was a child and the other three were adults.

Quake hits Xinjiang, no casualties
Xinhua, Urumqi
A 4.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Baicheng County of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at around 10:46 a.m. Thursday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).
The epicenter was monitored at 41.73 degrees north latitude and 81.65 degrees east longitude.

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Trump lawyers raise defenses as pressure grows for witnesses

Trump lawyers raise defenses as pressure grows for witnesses

AP, Washington :President Donald Trump's legal team is raising a broad-based attack on the impeachment case against him even as it mostly brushes past allegations in a new book that

US airstrikes in Afghanistan hit heaviest levels since 2010

US airstrikes in Afghanistan hit heaviest levels since 2010

AFP, Kabul :American warplanes dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than at any other time in at least a decade, according to the US Air Force, as Washington intensified

'Like I'm trapped': Africans in China lockdown see no escape

'Like I'm trapped': Africans in China lockdown see no escape

AP, Johannesburg :The normally bustling supermarket in Wuhan was deserted, looking more foreign than ever. Khamis Hassan Bakari walked the aisles and saw just two other shoppers, and fear sank

Fighting sharply rises in Yemen, endangering peace efforts

Fighting sharply rises in Yemen, endangering peace efforts

AP, Sanaa :A drastic escalation in fighting between the Saudi-led military coalition and Houthi rebels in Yemen has killed and wounded hundreds of people over the past week, officials and

Sahel violence having devastating impact on children: UN

Sahel violence having devastating impact on children: UN

AFP, Dakar :Hundreds of children in the Sahel were killed, maimed or forcibly separated from their parents last year, the United Nations said Tuesday, as a jihadist conflict rages across

News In Brief

Qatar appoints new Prime MinisterAFP, DohaQatar's ruler appointed a new prime minister on Tuesday, the state news agency reported, replacing veteran regime insider Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.New

Public holiday extended in China to curb coronavirus epidemic

Public holiday extended in China to curb coronavirus epidemic

AFP, Beijing :Chinese authorities have ordered the extension of a public holiday in an effort to contain an epidemic that has killed 56 people and infected nearly 2,000 worldwide, state-run

Indian-Americans protest in 30 US cities against Citizenship law on Republic Day

Indian-Americans protest in 30 US cities against Citizenship law on Republic Day

PTI, Washington :India's 71st Republic day celebrations in the US on Sunday were marred by protests and marches, albeit peaceful ones, against recent changes in the citizenship law by large

Bolivia’s President asks all ministers to resign

Bolivia’s President asks all ministers to resign

AFP, La Paz :Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez asked all her ministers to resign a little more than three months before a general election, a statement from the presidency said

China virus toll spikes despite massive lockdown

AFP, Wuhan :The toll from China's viral epidemic spiked on Monday to 80 dead with hundreds of new infections despite unprecedented quarantines and travel lockdowns, as foreign governments scrambled to