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EUROPE POLITICS: ‘Devastating Consequences’ of Any War With North Korea: NATO Chief Warns

EUROPE POLITICS: ‘Devastating Consequences’ of Any War With North Korea: NATO Chief Warns

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The use of military force will have devastating consequences, I think nobody really wants that, therefore we need to continue to push for a negotiated solution.”

The NATO chief urged a diplomatic solution to the Korean Peninsula crisis.

“The US has the right to defend itself, to defend its allies, but at [the] same time, I am absolutely certain no one wants a military solution, so we still see a united effort to try to step up the pressure against North Korea,” Stoltenberg added.

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SYRIA POLITICS: 92% of Syrian Territory Free From Daesh: Russian Daily

SYRIA POLITICS: 92% of Syrian Territory Free From Daesh: Russian Daily

Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said that Russian jets hit 993 Daesh targets in the area of Dayr al-Zawr alone in 383 sorties over the past week. He also noted that the area under the control of Daesh has shrunk to 14,800 square kilometers (5,714 square miles), or less than 8 percent of Syrian territory.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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SOUTH AFRICA POLITICS: 800 Corruption Charges Finally Get Zuma to Face Prosecution

SOUTH AFRICA POLITICS: 800 Corruption Charges Finally Get Zuma to Face Prosecution

The president, who is accused of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering, has always insisted he is innocent.

Zuma and other government officials were accused of taking kickbacks from the $5bn purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and other arms manufactured by five European firms, including British military equipment maker BAE Systems and French company Thales.

Charges were first brought against Zuma in 2005 but dropped by prosecutors in 2009.

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CANADA POLITICS: US Creates More Tensions in NAFTA Talks

CANADA POLITICS: US Creates More Tensions in NAFTA Talks

The Trump administration says the clause, causing NAFTA to expire every five years unless all three countries agree it should continue, is to ensure the pact stays up to date. But Mexico and Canada insist there is no point updating the pact with such a threat hanging over it, arguing the clause would stunt investment by sowing too much uncertainty about the future of the agreement. The head of Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector labor union, said it was clear the United States did not want a deal.

“NAFTA is not going anywhere. This thing is going into the toilet,” Jerry Dias told reporters on Thursday.

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UK POLITICS: US Drone Kills British Jihadist Sally Jones

UK POLITICS: US Drone Kills British Jihadist Sally Jones

Sally Jones became known as the White Widow after her British jihadist husband Junaid Hussain was killed in a US drone strike in August 2015.

Following the death of Hussain, Sally Jones was reportedly placed in charge of the female wing of IS’ Anwar al-Awlaki batallion – a foreign fighter unit formed with the purpose of planning and executing attacks in the West.

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UK POLITICS: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I Would Vote to Remain in EU in a Second Referendum’

UK POLITICS: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I Would Vote to Remain in EU in a Second Referendum’

Jeremy Corbyn said: “There isn’t going to be another referendum, so it’s a hypothetical question but yes I voted Remain because I thought the best option was to remain, I haven’t changed my mind on that.”

“But we accept the result of the referendum therefore we want to make sure we obtain tariff-free access to the European markets and protection of all the rights and membership of agencies we have achieved through the European Union membership.”

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UK POLITICS: Deadlock! Brexit Talks Hit Money Impasse

UK POLITICS: Deadlock! Brexit Talks Hit Money Impasse

Barnier made clear, however, that despite new momentum from concessions given by May in a speech at Florence lsat month 22, British proposals on expatriate citizens’ rights and the Irish border still failed the EU test, while London’s refusal to spell out a detailed cash offer was “very worrying” for business.

“Regarding that question, we are at an impasse, which is very worrying for thousands of projects everywhere in Europe and also worrying for those who contribute,” EU’s Michel Barnier said.

With signs that nerves are fraying on both sides and some hardline Brexit supporters demanding that Theresa May just walk out of talks, both negotiators repeated that they were ready for any eventuality including a collapse. But, Barnier warned, “no deal would be a very bad deal”.

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UK POLITICS: ‘Wait for Leave Voters to Die, Then Rejoin EU’: Richard Branson’s Brexit Strategy

UK POLITICS: ‘Wait for Leave Voters to Die, Then Rejoin EU’: Richard Branson’s Brexit Strategy

“The older generation is dying off. Whether there’s a second referendum before Brexit happens, I’m sure the Tory party will do their best not to allow that to happen, within five years there will be a government in power in Britain that will ask Europe for a chance for Britain to re-enter,” Sir Richard Branson said the billionaire.

“And because there are so many young people who will be a little older by then, and so many older [people] who voted for Brexit will have died off, I think Britain will become a part of Europe again.”

“Britain was doing really well before the Brexit announcement. Since the Brexit announcement, we’ve dropped to the bottom of all European countries, as far as Brexit is concerned, and this is just a taste of what is going to happen,” Sir Branson said.

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LIBERIA POLITICS: Main Parties Calls for Halt to Election Results

LIBERIA POLITICS: Main Parties Calls for Halt to Election Results

The NEC was originally expected to release preliminary results on Thursday.

“The Liberty Party is deeply troubled by the discovery of numerous incidents of irregularities and fraud that occurred during the elections,” Liberty Party national chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.

“We are calling on NEC to immediately halt further announcements of election results. If NEC does not cooperate with our request, we will take the appropriate legal action,” he said.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest modern republic, was founded by freed U.S. slaves in 1847 but its last democratic power transfer dates back to 1943.

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POLAND POLITICS: US Used Zapad Drills to Illegally Build Up Forces in Poland: Russia

POLAND POLITICS: US Used Zapad Drills to Illegally Build Up Forces in Poland: Russia

“Amid the hysteria over Russia’s planned military incursion right from the Zapad-2017 drills, the 2nd armored division of the US arrived quietly in Poland and was deployed there also with its armored vehicles,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, as quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency.

“At the same time, the military equipment of the 3rd US armored brigade still remains in Poland and the Baltic republics,” he said.

The spokesman said an “unprecedented” and “fraudulent media campaign” against Russia accompanied “the Pentagon’s operation.”

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Official! Fatah, Hamas Reach Reconciliation Deal

PALESTINE POLITICS: Official! Fatah, Hamas Reach Reconciliation Deal

“EUBAM Rafah maintains readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point when the security and political situations will allow,” said Mohammad Al-Saadi, press officer for the EU Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support.

Hamas and Fatah were also discussing a potential date for presidential and legislative elections and reforms of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is in charge of long-stalled peace efforts with Israel. The last Palestinian legislative election was in 2006 when Hamas scored a surprise victory. This sparked the political rupture between Hamas and Fatah which eventually led to their short civil war in Gaza.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Speedy Ruling on Citizenship Crisis Not Guaranteed: High Court Says

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Speedy Ruling on Citizenship Crisis Not Guaranteed: High Court Says

“The court is aware of the need for a speedy decision, but it is not always possible to do so immediately,” said chief justice, Susan Kiefel.

The court’s decision will determine whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can maintain his shaky grip on power. Should the court rule that Joyce, the sole lower house lawmaker caught up in the crisis, is ineligible, Turnbull will need to win the support of one of three independent lawmakers to keep his minority government.

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USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

“They came up with a plan that protects the things they are concerned about but doesn’t recertify, which the president made clear he was not going to do. That ship has sailed,” according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and U.S. lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

“He’s not walking away from it. The chances of him walking away from it go down if they work with him on making it better,” the official said.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Trump Says, Pyongyang Missile Program ‘Very, Very Far Advanced’, and He Blames Barack Obama for it

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Trump Says, Pyongyang Missile Program ‘Very, Very Far Advanced’, and He Blames Barack Obama for it

Their scientists are highly capable, and most of them have studied in Russia,” Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program told BBC Urdu, according to a translation of it published by Dawn.

“Hydrogen bombs are much more powerful than atom bombs. For instance, an atom bomb may destroy the area in the radius of 1.5 to two kilometers, but a hydrogen bomb can devastate an entire city,” Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan said.

US President Donald Trump said: “It should have been handled by numerous – not just Obama, but certainly President Obama should have taken care of it. Now it’s at a point where it’s very, very far advanced. Something has to be done. We can’t allow this to happen.”

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Court Freezes Rousseff’s Assets Over 2006 Refinery Deal

BRAZIL POLITICS: Court Freezes Rousseff’s Assets Over 2006 Refinery Deal

Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last year for breaking budget rules, was chief of staff for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the time of the refinery purchase and chaired the Petrobras board of directors.

In 2014, when the operation was being investigated for alleged graft, then-President Dilma Rousseff said she had been given incomplete information by directors responsible for the deal.

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USA POLITICS: Top-Secret US Military Documents Stolen By North Korean Hackers

USA POLITICS: Top-Secret US Military Documents Stolen By North Korean Hackers

South Korean Member of Parliament and member of the ruling Democratic party Lee Cheol-hee told local media that the hackers broke into a military data center in September 2016 and stole the most up-to-date blueprint for a military conflict with North Korea, called Operational Plan 5015, Financial Times reported.

The United States and its ally South Korea have been at loggerheads with the North over Pyongyang’s weapons and nuclear programs.

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USA POLITICS: Confirmed! ‘No Risk-Free Options’ on North Korea’: US Army Chief of Staff Milley Says

USA POLITICS: Confirmed! ‘No Risk-Free Options’ on North Korea’: US Army Chief of Staff Milley Says

“There are no good, easy, you know, risk-free options here. This is extraordinarily difficult, extraordinarily dangerous. No one should underestimate it,” US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters during a news conference on the sidelines of the Association of the US Army’s annual meeting in Washington.

“A full-blown war on the Korean Peninsula will be horrific by any stretch of the imagination. No one has any doubts about that. It would be horrible, there’s no question about it, but so would an intercontinental ballistic missile striking Los Angeles or New York City. That would be equally horrible,” General Mark Milley said.

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USA POLITICS: US Bombers Fly Over Korea in Show of Force as Trump, Top Defense Officials Discuss Options

USA POLITICS: US Bombers Fly Over Korea in Show of Force as Trump, Top Defense Officials Discuss Options

The two US Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday. After entering South Korean airspace, the two bombers carried out air-to-ground missile drills in waters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to waters between it and China to repeat the drill, the release said.

China’s influential Global Times tabloid expressed alarm at how far the rhetoric on both sides had gone and how it had increased the risk of a “fatal misjudgment”.

“War would be a nightmare for the Korean Peninsula and surrounding regions. We strongly urge North Korea and the U.S. to stop their bellicose posturing and seriously think about a peaceful solution,” it said.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

“They understand better than we that the North Korean regime is bluffing, this regime has always been bluffing,” the expert said, “This is a mature attitude from the people [of the country] neighboring [North Korea], who are living just a few dozen kilometers from the threat.”

For its part, Russia which has 17 kilometers (11 mi) of terrestrial frontier and 22.1 km (12 nautical miles) of maritime border with North Korea warned against the further aggravation of situation in the region.

“As for the Korean Peninsula, of course, Moscow has been calling and continues to call on all parties to the conflict and parties that have relation to these affairs to show restraint and avoid any steps that could only aggravate the situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

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BOLIVIA POLITICS: Evo Morales’ Bid to Extend Term Backfires

BOLIVIA POLITICS: Evo Morales’ Bid to Extend Term Backfires

Morales’ administration criticized the demonstrations on Tuesday, saying that the country’s right-wing opposition wants to make sure that the president cannot run for a fourth term in the 2019 race.

“Any constitutional reform needed can be implemented when the will of the people is at stake,” Justice Minister Hector Arce told TV channel Cadena A.

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