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Maduro to seek re-election as Venezuela eyes vote by April

President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday he is ready to seek re-election after his allies pushed forward voting in a move widely seen as a bid to capitalize on disarray in the Venezuelan opposition and consolidate power amid a freefalling economy. Maduro’s comment came soon after the pro-government constitutional assembly ordered the presidential election be held by the end of April ...

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US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes

For the last few years, the United States could neatly sum its objective in Syria in a single, uncontroversial bullet point: fighting the Islamic State group. Now that the extremists have been squeezed from all but the last bits of their former territory, the Trump administration is struggling to define the boundaries of its mission, and how and when America’s ...

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GSP+ to be maintained for Pakistan – MEP Karim

Trade Chief MEP, Sajjad Karim, today expressed his belief that Pakistan was on the right course towards maintaining its GSP+ trade status. Dr Karim, who is Chairman of the South Asia Trade Monitoring Committee within the European Parliament, specifically convened the meeting to hear from the visiting Pakistani delegation, where they gave evidence on the country’s current state-of-play of GSP+ ...

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Out of character, Trump keeps his distance as shutdown ends 

As the shutdown of the federal government lumbered toward an end, President Donald Trump remained out of sight, suppressing his instincts to become part of the story by making a deal or picking a fight. Trump told allies over the weekend that he hated being on the sidelines, but he followed the recommendations of his staff and key congressional Republicans ...

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US shutdown: Senators trade blame ahead of new vote

US senators are attempting to agree on a bill to fund the government, which is in its second day of shutdown. However Democratic and Republican senators have so far largely traded blame for the shutdown. Democrats want President Trump to negotiate over immigration as part of a budget deal, but Republicans say no deal is possible while federal government services ...

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Japanese capital holds first N Korean missile attack drill

Tokyo held its first missile evacuation drill on Monday with volunteers taking cover in subway stations and other underground spaces that would double as shelters for the Japanese capital in the event of a North Korean missile strike. The choreographed evacuations at a fair ground and park ringing the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium involved around 300 volunteers. Small groups of ...

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EU GSP+ report on Pakistan demonstrates progress, but improvement needed still – MEP Karim

Trade Chief MEP, Sajjad Karim, today welcomed the European Union’s (EU) biennial report on the Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP+) arrangement with Pakistan, but highlighted the need for improvement still. The report, which covers the period 2016-2017, was published by the European Commission last Friday and shows the positive impact of the EU’s scheme on developing economies, including Pakistan in ...

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Philippines says it won’t be embroiled in US-China sea spat

The Philippines says it won’t get embroiled in a fresh spat between the US and China involving Beijing’s protest of an American warship passing near a Chinese-controlled shoal also claimed by the Philippines. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Sunday that “the United States can take care of its own interest” and added “we do not wish to be part ...

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Honduran security forces battle protesters as election chaos lingers

Honduran soldiers and police clashed with protesters blocking roads across the Central American country on Saturday, as discontent continues to fester nearly two months after a disputed presidential election. At least one person died as security forces launched tear gas against rock-throwing supporters of the center-left Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship and tried to clear impromptu roadblocks of burning tires ...

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Turkey says ground forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attack repulsed

Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, media cited the prime minister as saying, as Ankara stepped up artillery attacks on a US-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border. NATO’s second-largest army entered northern Syria shortly after 11am local time (0800 GMT), broadcaster HaberTurk cited Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as saying. The Syrian-Kurdish ...

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