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North Korea not afraid of US military strike

North Korea said Monday it is not frightened by US threats of possible pre-emptive military action to halt its nuclear and missile buildup. A spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry slammed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent talk of tougher sanctions, more pressure, and possible military action, and said the North would not be deterred in its nuclear programme. …

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Veteran Northern Irish politician Martin McGuinness dies aged 66

Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister, died Tuesday of a rare health disease. He was 66. A key figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, McGuinness had been suffering from amyloidosis, a rare genetic disease, according to the Irish Times. The former leader of the Sinn Fein political party died at the Altnagelvin hospital in the northern Irish …

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US to ban laptops and tablets on flights from eight countries

The US is banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin baggage on flights from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries. A US government source told the BBC that the measure would affect nine airlines operating out of 10 airports. US media reported the order was sparked by intelligence gathered overseas. It will reportedly include all large …

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Sierra Leone pastor finds huge 706-carat diamond

A pastor in Sierra Leone has unearthed a 706-carat diamond, according to the government, in one of the largest precious stone finds ever made worldwide. The discovery was made by Pastor Emmanuel Momoh in an artisanal mine in the village of Koyadu in eastern Kono district, a government statement said on Thursday. “A 706-carat diamond was presented to President Dr …

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Trump budget: UN sounds alarm over foreign aid cuts

US President Donald Trump is seeking to reduce his country’s contribution to UN programmes, as part of cuts to funding of US diplomacy and foreign aid in his administration’s budget proposal. The spokesman for UN chief Antonio Guterres reacted fiercely to the plans on Thursday, saying “abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine …

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Venezuela arrests brownie and croissant bakers in ‘bread war’

Venezuela this week arrested four bakers making illegal brownies and other pastries as President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government threatens to take over bakeries in Caracas as part of a new “bread war”. Maduro has sent inspectors and soldiers into more than 700 bakeries around the capital this week to enforce a rule that 90 percent of wheat must be destined …

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US confirms Idlib air raid but denies targeting mosque

The US military says it carried out a deadly air strike on an al-Qaeda meeting in northern Syria and will investigate reports that more than 40 civilians were killed when a mosque was struck in the raid. The jets reportedly struck the village at the time of evening prayer so the mosque was full of worshippers, with local activists saying …

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Britain’s GCHQ agency denies wiretapping Donald Trump

Britain’s communications intelligence agency GCHQ has issued a statement denying it wiretapped Donald Trump during the US presidential campaign. The unusual move by the agency came after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cited claims first made on US TV channel Fox News earlier this week. GCHQ responded by saying the allegations were “nonsense, utterly ridiculous and should be ignored”. …

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Ben Affleck completes addiction treatment

Ben Affleck has revealed he has completed treatment for alcohol addiction. The actor disclosed his treatment in a statement on his Facebook page on Tuesday. “I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront,” he wrote. “I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I …

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