EUROPE

Turkish forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attacks repulsed

AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) – Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, the army said, after Turkey launched artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border. The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia, supported by the United States but seen as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, said it had repulsed the Turkish ...

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Europe readies riposte to Trump's 'America First' push in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – European leaders will be out in force at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to defend multilateralism before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his “America First” message. Politicians, business chiefs, bankers and celebrities will meet in the Swiss Alps under the banner “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World” for the ...

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First day of U.S. government shutdown ends in standoff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers were locked in a standoff with Democrats on Saturday over the U.S. government shutdown, with Republicans saying they would not negotiate on immigration until the government is reopened. Funding for federal agencies ran out at midnight with no agreement in Congress, meaning the second year of Trump’s presidency began without a ...

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Seoul says North Korea's Olympic participation will aid peace and ease tensions

SEOUL (Reuters) – Seoul welcomed confirmation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that 22 North Korean athletes would compete in next month’s Winter Olympics, saying on Sunday it would aid peace and the easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula. In the first of a series of preparatory visits, North Korean music and arts officials arrived in South Korea on ...

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At least five dead in attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel

KABUL (Reuters) – Gunmen dressed in army uniforms who stormed Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel battled Afghan Special Forces for 13 hours in an overnight siege that left at least five people dead, officials and witnesses said on Sunday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw more than 150 guests flee, with some shimmying down tied-together sheets from upper-floor windows ...

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Tensions mount in Rohingya camps ahead of planned relocation to Myanmar

GUNGDUM, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Tensions mounted on Sunday at refugee camps in Bangladesh holding hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims over an operation to send them back to Myanmar, from where they have fled following a military crackdown. Dozens of refugees stood holding cloth banners opposing their transfer as United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee visited camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar ...

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Saudi energy minister: oil producers have consensus on cooperating after 2018

MUSCAT (Reuters) – OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers have a consensus that they should continue cooperating on production after the end of 2018, when their current agreement on production cuts expires, Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday. If oil inventories increase in 2018 as some in the market expect, producers may have to consider rolling the supply ...

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Germany's SPD to vote on coalition talks with Merkel's conservatives

BONN (Reuters) – Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) will decide on Sunday whether to start formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a move which would bring Europe’s economic powerhouse one step closer to a stable government. SPD leader Martin Schulz is facing a strong backlash from the party’s left and youth wings, which argue that the SPD should ...

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Kabul Intercontinental Hotel siege ends, all gunmen killed – government

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan Special Forces ended an overnight siege at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday, killing the last gunman from a group of three attackers who stormed the hotel, taking hostages and battling security forces for hours. Two gunmen were killed on Saturday night. It was initially reported that four gunmen had attacked the hotel. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib ...

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First day of U.S. government shutdown ends in standoff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers were locked in a standoff with Democrats on Saturday over the U.S. government shutdown, with Republicans saying they would not negotiate on immigration until the government is reopened. Funding for federal agencies ran out at midnight with no agreement in Congress, meaning the second year of Trump’s presidency began without a ...

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