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Ex-Berwick MP Lord Beith pays tribute to the late Paddy Ashdown

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Blair's successor Gordon Brown said Lord Ashdown was "one of the towering political figures of our generation who spoke always as a strong European, a committed internationalist and a dedicated constitutional reformer". Lord Ashdown had in recent years campaigned alongside former Tory prime minister David Cameron and other leaders for Britain to remain within the European Union. Read More »

US agrees on inter-Korean groundbreaking ceremony for rail, road connection

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This could shake up the already fragile trilateral diplomacy to defuse a nuclear crisis which many feared could lead to a war a year ago. United States national security adviser John Bolton also said in early December that a second summit should be held, as North Korea has not lived up to its commitments."They have not lived up to the commitments so far", he said at The Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council conference in Washington. Read More »

North Korea ordered to pay $500 million over Otto Warmbier's death

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In March 2016, North Korea convicted Warmbier on a charge of state subversion and sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor, based on his purported "confession" to the crime, the lawsuit states. This year, a North Korean spokesman denied that Otto Warmbier had been tortured while in custody, Fox News reported. When his parents boarded a plane to see him upon arrival in the United States, they were 'stunned to see his condition, ' according to court documents. Read More »

Moroccans rally against extremism after Scandinavian tourist murders

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People place candles in a gathering in support of the families of two murdered foreign tourists near the Embassy of Denmark in Rabat, Morocco , on December 22, 2018. Imlil is a starting point for trekking and climbing tours of Mount Toubkal, which at 4,167 metres is the highest summit in North Africa. Electronic devices, unauthorised hunting rifles, knives and materials that could be used for bomb-making were found in the course of those raids. Read More »

Bob Corker jabs back at Donald Trump in Twitter beef

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On Sunday, Corker hit back at Trump after the president lashed out at him on Twitter. He added: " This is a made-up fight , so the President can look like he's fighting, but even if he wins, our borders are going to be insecure". In a Monday morning tweet, the president went after McGurk - as well as Sen. "I think this next three months could well determine whether he decides to run again or not", said Mr. Read More »

Sydney apartment high-rise evacuated after 'cracking' heard

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Police confirmed they had found a crack in the 33-storey Opal Tower , in Sydney Olympic Park , following reports of the noise on the 10th floor. NSW Fire and Rescue said it had specialist equipment at the scene to monitor any movement and police have set up an exclusion zone amid fears the building has serous structural damage. Read More »

Ohio Braces for Shutdown Over Latest Abortion Restrictions

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But the heartbeat bill has twice proven too extreme for Kasich, a potential 2020 presidential candidate who's spent the past two years in a quest for bipartisan consensus. One bans abortions at the first detectable heartbeat, while the other prohibits an abortion procedure common in the second trimester. "Ohio has added so many abortion restrictions that this was just about the only thing left to pass", Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst for pro-choice policy group the Guttmacher Institute ... Read More »

Indonesia tsunami death toll rises to 222

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The pope also appealed for people to show solidarity, and for the worldwide community to lend support, for those affected by the disaster. The Australian Embassy in Jakarta was making "urgent enquiries" to find out if any Australians were affected by the tsunami which hit Indonesia over the weekend. Read More »

Over 200 dead, 800 injured as tsunami hits Indonesia following volcanic eruption

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Officials also issued no formal tsunami warnings. He said that Indonesia's early warning system is set up to monitor earthquakes but not undersea landslides and volcanic eruptions, which can also generate deadly waves. This is because there are so many different variables and there is a "sweet spot" of exactly the right speed and volume of rocks slipping into and sea and deeper to generate a wave. Read More »

Killed In Explosions in Somalia

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Somalia's London-based Universal TV said on Saturday that three of its staff were among the fatalities, naming one as Somali and British dual national Awil Dahir. "We have confirmed seven people died in the two blasts and more than ten others wounded", local police spokesman Ibrahim Mohamed said. However the group continues to control large parts of rural southern and central Somalia. Read More »

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sentenced to seven years in prison

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On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court had announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference. Shortly before the announcement of the verdict, clashes erupted between supporters of Sharif and police in Islamabad . I have done nothing that would force me to bow my head. Read More »

Erdogan, Trump to 'coordinate' as United States pulls out of Syria

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Trump's decision on Syria was reportedly preceded by the deployment of forces from its Arab allies to Syria . In the past two years Turkey has conducted two offensives into northern Syria . U.S. officials have justified the decision by saying Islamic State had been defeated. Donald is right about that, and I agree with him. The plan also recommends the United States react more aggressively in Bahrain, whose Sunni Muslim monarchy has been suppressing majority Shi'ites, who are ... Read More »

Trump's budget director predicts government shutdown could last into 2019

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It would have extended government funding until February 8 to allow time for debate about issues including border security, but it contained no money for a wall. Schumer claimed that the shutdown would not be over until President Trump compromises and stops pushing for the border wall. "This is something that is unnecessary. Read More »

Kurdish official calls on United States to stop Turkish offensive

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In the past two years Turkey has conducted two offensives into northern Syria. Sunday's military deployment could mark a rapid change in the dynamics between the two countries after Trump announced American forces would quit Syria following a December 14 phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan . Read More »

Trump Forces Mattis Out Two Months Ahead Of Schedule

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The news came a day after Trump suddenly declared he will be pulling all 2,000 USA troops out of Syria and was widely considered a protest against the president's foreign policy. "Some thought I shouldn't, I thought I should", Trump tweeted . Mick Mulvaney , who will soon leave his post as White House budget director to serve as Trump's chief of staff, told ABC on Sunday Trump will not change his mind about the withdrawal, despite this week's protest resignations. Read More »

Departments Affected by Partial US Government Shutdown

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Social Security has its own funding source and will issue its usual checks. Doctors and hospitals will receive their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. During the last shutdown, the Statue of Liberty was closed for two days before the state of NY made a decision to pony up the money necessary to keep it open. Read More »

United Nations team arrives in Yemen

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But the Saudi-led coalition backing the government bombed an air base in the rebel-held capital of Sanaa on Wednesday, and Yemeni officials have also reported sporadic artillery and automatic weapons fire. Hodeida, the main port on the Red Sea used to feed Yemen's 30 million people, has been the focus of fighting this year, raising fears overseas that a full-scale assault could cut off supplies to almost 16 million people suffering from severe hunger. Read More »

Trump and Erdogan discuss 'slow' USA military pull-out from Syria

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Instead, during a lengthy phone call on December 14, Trump shocked even those in his inner circle by yielding to a suggestion from Erdogan to reverse the Pentagon's Syrian strategy. Turkey however welcomed the Trump's decision. Erdogan has vowed to dislodge the Kurdish fighters from along its border with Syria. But the partnership had soured relations between Ankara and Washington . Read More »

David's Forecast - Lots of sun and mild for Sunday

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If you're heading to family and friends for Christmas Day, the weather will cooperate with plenty of sunshine and cold temperatures. Some spots could see as much as an inch of rain, before things turn colder toward the end of the week with a chance for snow showers through Saturday. Read More »

Donald Trump concedes on wall funding, not steel slatted fencing

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Trump also said on Twitter he would be inviting lawmakers to the White House on Saturday to discuss the situation - saying the talks would be on border security - but did not provide details on who would attend. Monday and Tuesday, Christmas Eve and Christmas, respectively, are federal holidays, meaning the federal government would already be closed. "Sixty votes in the Senate, a majority in the House and President Trump's signature". Read More »

Afghan generals worry over U.S. troop withdrawal

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Ro Khanna that would effectively end USA military intervention on behalf of Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni civil war. Word of Trump's decision followed a two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi earlier this week between USA special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives at which the sides discussed a withdrawal of global forces and a ceasefire in 2019. Read More »

Trump buries the hatchet with Erdogan over Syria

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But the partnership between the U.S. and the Kurds has enraged neighbouring Turkey , which views the Kurdish YPG militia - the main fighting force in the SDF - as an extension of a banned Kurdish group fighting for autonomy in Turkey. Erdogan's latest diatribe against Israel comes just days after US President Donald Trump abruptly announced he would withdraw all American troops from Turkey, a decision The Associated Press reported he made during a phone call with the Turkish leader. Read More »

Santa Tracker to continue in event of government shutdown

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The twitter account for NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command announced Friday that Santa will be tracked on Christmas Eve regardless of whether or not a government shutdown has gone into effect. One year, she took a call from a boy who began reading a very long Christmas list. "I think she wanted Santa to be quiet and not wake her up", she said. Read More »

At least 62 dead, scores injured as tsunami hits western Indonesia

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Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (1430 GMT) following the eruption of a volcano known as the "child" of the legendary Krakatoa , national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said . Read More »

A man climbed the National Christmas Tree and refused to get down

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U.S. Secret Service shut down the street in front of the executive mansion as a precaution, according to Anna Giaritelli, a reporter for the Washington Examiner who was an eyewitness and posted on Twitter about the incident. The man made it about 15 feet up the tree before coming down on his own at about 7 p.m., Delgado said. The tree is on the Ellipse just south of the White House. Read More »

Catalonia Govt Chief Says Majority of Catalans Back Self-Determination

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In a rare joint statement issued after their talks, Spain's central government and the regional government of Catalonia affirmed their commitment to "an effective dialogue which will lead to a political proposal which has widespread support among Catalan society" which will "guarantee a solution" to the Catalan crisis. Read More »

As temperatures fall, a chance of snow is ahead for Christmas Eve

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Snow showers will end late in the morning. While temperatures remain mild for the time of year and parts of Scotland will be bathing in sunshine, elsewhere today it'll be another wash-out. While we may not officially have a White Christmas, chances are we will have snow. 'A few moments spent checking things like fuel, oil, coolant and screenwash levels and the condition and pressure of tyres could make the difference between a stress-free journey and one plagued by a breakdown. Read More »

One killed, another wounded in Vienna shooting

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There was no immediate information on their identities. Located only a few hundred meters away from Vienna's iconic St. Stephen's Cathedral, the incident took place at Austrian Figlmueller restaurant. Police tweeted that there was no danger to the public, however. The police said that we are talking about the murder, the objective of which was a specific person, and exclude the version of act of terrorism. Read More »

Missing Mom's Fiancé Arrested and Charged With First-Degree Murder

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Authorities arrested Patrick Frazee almost one month after Berreth, the mother of his 1-year-old daughter, vanished on Thanksgiving Day near Woodland Park, a city between Denver and Colorado Springs. Jeremy Loew, a private lawyer who had represented him, previously said Frazee co-operated with investigators and provided DNA samples. Authorities are still combing Berreth's house for clues, May said. Read More »

What happens in a partial government shutdown

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The Polar Express railway near the Grand Canyon will continue to run, because it is operated by a third-party company rather than the National Park Service. Though public housing authorities and tribally designated housing entities are not part of the federal government and are not required to shut down, some of their funding is provided by the federal government, so they may need to reduce or change normal operating hours. Read More »