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Social Democrats clear path for Merkel’s fourth term

Germany’s second biggest party said Sunday its members have in their high-stakes referendum approved a plan to join Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, clearing the last hurdle in the way of the veteran leader’s fourth term. But the chancellor, in power for 12 years, will go into her fourth term with far weaker cards than before, as she had to pay ...

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At joke-filled dinner, Trump suggests US will meet with N Korea

“Now we are talking and they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago. They said that‘we would like to talk.’ And I said ‍so would we, but you have to denuke, you have to denuke,” Trump told attendees at the annual Gridiron Club dinner. “We will be meeting and we’ll see if anything positive happens,” he added. ...

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Fears of rising PNG death toll after region’s ‘worst quake in century’

Local communities are struggling to cope with the aftermath of a major earthquake that hit Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands almost a week ago, reports said Sunday, amid fears of a rising death toll. The highlands in the Pacific nation’s interior about 600 kilometres (373 miles) north-west of Port Moresby were struck by a 7.5-magnitude tremor early Monday, and also ...

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4 soldiers, 10 jihadists killed in Egypt Sinai campaign

Egypt’s military said on Sunday four soldiers and 10 jihadists were killed in a military operation in Sinai against Islamic State group jihadists. The deaths raise military casualties to at least 16 dead, along with more than 100 jihadists, since the start of the operation on February 9, according to previous army tolls. The army launched the campaign after Egyptian ...

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Falcon cuts divisive figure in Venezuela’s election

Henri Falcon, the main opponent to unpopular President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela’s presidential election, is in the unusual position of being unloved by both Maduro’s ruling socialists and the main opposition alike. Falcon, 56, rejected calls from the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) this weekend to join their boycott of the May 20 election, insisting his victory would end Venezuela’s ...

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‘Dreamers’ deadline to come and go with no action by US Congress

Congress will hit an initial deadline Monday for resolving the fate of “Dreamers,” with nothing to show for months of negotiations over nearly two million immigrants who arrived in the US illegally as children. When President Donald Trump last September scrapped a program that shielded large numbers of young arrivals from deportation, he gave lawmakers six months to craft a ...

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White House on lockdown after shots fired

The White House was placed on lockdown and the surrounding area cordoned off by emergency personnel Saturday after an apparent gunshot was heard. The US Secret Service said on Twitter that it was responding “to reports of a person who allegedly suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound along the north fence line of @White House.” It said medical personnel were “responding ...

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Regime forces advance in Syria’s battered Ghouta

Government forces seized territory inside Syria’s rebel enclave Eastern Ghouta Saturday, intensifying fighting as tens of thousands of civilians in the besieged enclave near Damascus awaited urgently needed aid. On another front in Syria’s seven-year civil war, Turkish air strikes killed 36 pro-regime fighters in a Kurdish enclave near Turkey’s border. Syria’s war has killed more than 340,000 people and ...

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed to visit Britain, US in March

  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to travel to the United States for a visit from Mar 19 to the first week of April, a Saudi official said on Wednesday. A Saudi government source said earlier the prince was expected to visit Washington, New York and Boston, adding that the details of the trip had yet to ...

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5 dead as storm brings wind, floods and snow to US Northeast

At least five people were killed after a major winter storm pounded the US East Coast on Friday, with strong winds, heavy rain and snow disrupting thousands of flights and forcing the closure of federal government offices in Washington. Coastal flooding alerts were issued from New Jersey to Massachusetts with winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings and high wind warnings ...

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