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Turkey says 260,000 Syrians have returned to 'Euphrates Shield' operation area

ANKARA (Reuters) – A total of 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to a swathe of land in northern Syria where Turkey carried out a cross-border operation dubbed “Euphrates Shield”, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday. Turkey launched Euphrates Shield in 2016 to drive away Islamic State militants and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from its border with Syria. Ankara […]

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Japan' Rakuten, KDDI to tie up, challenging NTT Docomo, SoftBank

TOKYO (Reuters) – Rakuten Inc on Thursday unveiled a tie-up with telecom company KDDI Corp as the Japanese e-commerce firm aims to enter the mobile phone services business, challenging bigger rivals NTT Docomo and SoftBank Group Corp. KDDI will give Rakuten access to its nationwide roaming services, while Rakuten will provide KDDI its expertise in mobile payments, the two companies […]

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Mao Zedong's Red Flag car gets driverless makeover

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s iconic Red Flag, the vehicle of choice of former revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, is going hands-free. Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc said on Thursday it would launch a fully autonomous passenger car next year in a partnership with Hongqi, or Red Flag, the car brand long favored by China’s political elite. Hongqi, owned by carmaker China […]

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In Indonesia's tin islands, plane crash leaves deep scars

PANGKAL PINANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – As Indonesia struggles to determine why an airliner crashed this week with the loss of all 189 people on board, there is nowhere the impact of its second-worst air disaster has been felt as deeply as the sleepy, palm-fringed Bangka-Belitung islands. Lion Air flight JT610, an almost new Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route […]

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Sex abuse by officials 'endemic' in North Korea: rights group

SEOUL (Reuters) – Sexual abuse by officials in positions of authority in North Korea appears to be “endemic”, a watchdog group reported on Thursday, as activists complain the isolated country’s rights record is being ignored amid an international push to improve relations. Investigators with U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed more than 60 North Koreans who had left the country […]

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South Korea Supreme Court allows conscientious objection to military service in landmark ruling

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Supreme Court said on Thursday that conscientious objection is a valid reason to refuse mandatory military service, a landmark change in the court’s decades-long stance that is expected to impact about 930 pending cases. The full-bench decision overturns about five decades of precedents that punished conscientious objectors for refusing mandatory military service and is in […]

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U.S. says 'climate is right' for talks to end war in Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Wednesday reinforced its call for a ceasefire in Yemen and said the “climate is right” for the combatants to return to U.N.-backed peace talks to end the more than three-year war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday both urged an end to hostilities and resumption of talks […]

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Life's a beach for Brazil's Bolsonaro as spaceman joins his team

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who nearly died from a stab wound while campaigning last month, donned a bulletproof vest on Wednesday and headed to the beach in Rio de Janeiro to attend an acrobatic air show in his honor. Bolsonaro won the presidential race on Sunday, easily overcoming his leftist opponent with a vow […]

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