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Syria's Assad lashes out at France's Hollande ahead of polls
16 Feb 2017 at 12:42am
BEIRUT (AP) ? Syrian President Bashar Assad has lashed out at his French counterpart ahead of France's April presidential election, accusing Francois Hollande of sponsoring terror in Syria.
Assad vows to retake Raqa and 'every inch' of Syria
16 Feb 2017 at 12:35am
President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday said Raqa is not a priority target for his forces, saying his goal is to retake "every inch" of Syrian territory. "Raqa is a symbol," Assad said in an interview with French media, while asserting that jihadist attacks carried out in France were "not necessarily prepared" in the Islamic State group (IS) stronghold in Syria. "You have ISIS close to Damascus, you have them everywhere," Assad said, using another acronym for IS.
Exclusive: EU preparing early China summit in message to Trump - sources
16 Feb 2017 at 12:28am
By Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is preparing an early summit with China in April or May in Brussels to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of a more protectionist and inward-looking Washington, three EU officials said. China and the EU hold a summit every year, usually in July, and a date has yet to be fixed formally for 2017. One of the officials said Beijing had requested it to take place as early as possible.
Murdered North Korean lived quiet, but open life in Macau
16 Feb 2017 at 12:25am
By James Pomfret MACAU (Reuters) - Before he was killed in Malaysia, Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, lived quietly in the Asian gambling hub of Macau, avoiding controversy and seemingly relaxed about personal safety, according to sources close to him. One veteran casino industry source, who has known him for over a decade, said he last met the affable, portly Kim at the Four Seasons Hotel in Macau last month, when he was eating cake and having a drink in the lobby coffee shop. "He didn't seem nervous at all." Five years ago, Kim Jong Nam pleaded with his half-brother, Kim Jong Un, to withdraw a standing order for his assassination, according to the South Korean intelligence agency.
Asian Winter Games offer athletes ideal prep for Olympics
15 Feb 2017 at 11:56pm
SAPPORO, Japan (AP) ? With the Winter Olympics just a year and a short distance away, the Asian Winter Games will be the ideal stage for the continent's leading winter athletes to fine tune for Pyeongchang 2018.
Johnson goes after elusive win at Riviera
15 Feb 2017 at 11:51pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Dustin Johnson has five tournaments he would love to win.
All eyes on US' Tillerson at G20 in diplomatic debut
15 Feb 2017 at 11:22pm
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday will make his diplomatic debut at a G20 gathering in Germany, where his counterparts hope to find out what "America First" means for the rest of the world. Host nation Germany has billed the two-day meeting as a chance for the club of leading economies to discuss how to work together on challenges ranging from climate change to the Syrian war at a time of geopolitical upheaval. Tillerson will also have his first sitdown with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Bonn, talks that will be closely scrutinised for any hint of a rapprochement as controversy swirls over White House ties to the Kremlin.
Binali Yildirim: Turkey's last prime minister?
15 Feb 2017 at 9:39pm
Campaigning with gusto for a "Yes" vote in Turkey's referendum on a new constitution, it may seem surprising Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is an impassioned champion of the plan to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since if the new blueprint is approved, Yildirim's own job will be axed. Under the draft constitution approved by parliament and set to be put to the people on April 16, the post of prime minister will be extinguished for the first time and replaced by one or more vice presidents.
Former U.S. Justice Department official warns Europe on election hacking
15 Feb 2017 at 6:09pm
By Dustin Volz SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A former Justice Department official who served in the Obama administration said European countries must be willing to respond forcefully to efforts by Russia or others to use cyber attacks to meddle in their elections, saying the U.S. response fell short. Former Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who ran the national security division at the Justice Department and oversaw the pursuit of cyber criminals, said the United States did not do enough to deter the hacking and leaking of Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign. ?We weren?t bringing deterrence at all to the table.? The U.S. intelligence community said hacks were carried out by Russia in order to disrupt the election and eventually help Republican Donald Trump win.
The Trump presidency on Feb 15 at 8:29 p.m. EST
15 Feb 2017 at 5:34pm
(Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday: RUSSIA A crisis over the relationship between Trump's aides and Russia deepens as a growing number of Trump's fellow Republicans demand expanded congressional inquiries into the matter. The Trump administration offers the job of national security adviser to U.S. Vice Admiral Robert Harward, sources say, but it is not clear if he accepted.
Pence's mission in Europe: clarify Trump's foreign policy vision
15 Feb 2017 at 4:20pm
By Roberta Rampton and Noah Barkin WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence heads to Europe this week to meet with allies seeking clarity on the Trump administration's foreign policy strategy and its stance toward Russia after the resignation of the top White House national security aide. Pence, who has hewn more closely to Republican orthodoxy than his boss President Donald Trump, will attend the Munich Security Conference this weekend and will visit Brussels.
Thiago-inspired Bayern hand Arsenal 5-1 rout
15 Feb 2017 at 2:14pm
Arsene Wenger's future was plunged into further doubt on Wednesday as Thiago Alcantara inspired Bayern Munich to a 5-1 rout of hapless Arsenal to leave the Gunners facing a seventh straight Champions League last-16 exit. Bayern extended their Champions League record to 16 straight home wins by flooring the Gunners with three goals in ten second-half minutes. "That was a good performance, which perhaps wasn't so expected," said Thiago, who scored twice.
Once promising midfielder Josh Gatt signs with Minnesota
15 Feb 2017 at 2:06pm
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) ? Josh Gatt, an upcoming speedy midfielder in the U.S. national team program before a knee injury sidelined him for almost all of three years, is joining Minnesota United for its first season in Major League Soccer.
The Trump presidency on Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. EST
15 Feb 2017 at 1:00pm
(Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday: RUSSIA Senior Republicans issue their boldest challenge yet to Trump, promising to get to the bottom of the relationship between his aides and Russia, and calling for ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn to testify before Congress. The Trump administration offers the job of national security adviser to U.S. Vice Admiral Robert Harward, sources say, but it is not clear if he accepted. The Kremlin says U.S. media reports about Russian intelligence connections to Trump's presidential campaign are groundless.
France warns Russia against meddling in election
15 Feb 2017 at 12:29pm
France on Wednesday issued a stern warning to Russia against meddling in its upcoming presidential elections, after US intelligence accused Moscow of interfering in America's vote to boost Donald Trump. "We will not accept any interference whatsoever in our electoral process, whether by Russia or any other state," said Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The warning came as aides to one of the leading French candidates this week accused Russia of trying to derail his bid.