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Israel strikes Gaza after blast wounds four soldiers

Gaza City, Palestinian Territories | AFP | Israeli jets struck the Gaza Strip on Saturday after four soldiers were wounded when an improvised explosive device blew up along the border with the Palestinian enclave. The explosion earlier Saturday, which left two of the Israeli soldiers severely injured, was one of …

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Myanmar farmers going against the grain with apps

Aye Ywar , Myanmar | AFP | A free app on farmer San San Hla’s smartphone is her new weapon in the war against the dreaded stem borer moth that blighted her rice paddy in southern Myanmar for the last two years. As she watches her workers haul in this …

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Thirteen killed in Mexican quake zone helicopter crash

Santiago Jamiltepec, Mexico | AFP | Thirteen people were killed in southern Mexico when a minister’s helicopter crash-landed on its way to the epicenter of a powerful earthquake that rattled the region, officials said Saturday. The 7.2 magnitude quake caused only material damage when it struck late Friday, but it …

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Russia’s propaganda tools in the 2016 US election

Washington, United States | AFP | Fake social media accounts, rallies for and against Donald Trump, paid protesters: Russia managed a vast propaganda operation to support the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election, according to a court indictment. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, investigating possible collusion between the campaign and …

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Merkel’s fate in SPD hands as members vote on power pact

Hamburg, Germany | AFP | Germany’s Social Democrats started campaigning Saturday ahead of a party referendum that spells the last threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of forming a new government, five months after an inconclusive election. In a vote expected to be tight, the more than 460,000 members of …

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Lavrov calls US election meddling claims ‘blabber’

Munich, Germany | AFP | Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday dismissed as “blabber” accusations that Moscow had interfered in the US election that brought President Donald Trump to power. “So as long as we don’t see facts, everything else is blabber,” Lavrov said at the Munich Security Conference, …

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S. Korea’s Moon says ‘too early’ for Pyongyang summit

Pyeongchang, South Korea | AFP | South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Saturday said it was too early to think about a summit with North Korea despite the Olympic-driven rapprochement with its nuclear-armed neighbour. Moon last week received an invitation from the North’s leader Kim Jong Un for a summit …

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IMF’s Lagarde warns on rate risk from US tax reform

Paris, France | AFP | IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned Saturday that economic stimulus from US tax cuts may lead to a rapid rise in interest rates which would weigh on countries with high debt levels. The International Monetary Fund was going to be “attentive” to the consequences of the …

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May pleads for ‘urgent’ post-Brexit EU security deal

  Munich, Germany | AFP | British Prime Minister Theresa May pleaded Saturday for an urgent deal with the European Union on post-Brexit security cooperation, warning that citizens’ lives were at stake. In a speech at the Munich Security Conference, she acknowledged that no deal currently exists between the EU …

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