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German far-right politician converts to Islam


– A politician in the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric, has resigned from its board and converted to Islam, the party said on Wednesday. But while Arthur Wagner quit his AfD leadership post in the eastern state of Brandenburg, he remained a member of …

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At UN, US takes swipe at Palestinian leadership


US Ambassador Nikki Haley took direct aim at Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Thursday, telling the United Nations Security Council that he lacked the courage needed for a peace deal. Haley spoke soon after President Donald Trump insisted that Palestinians had “disrespected” the United States and issued a new threat …

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31 dead in South Korea hospital blaze: Yonhap


At least 31 people were killed in a blaze at a hospital in South Korea on Friday, Yonhap news agency said, with dozens more injured. Video footage and pictures showed a helicopter flying above the building in Miryang, engulfed by heavy grey smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. The …

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Russia says Iran nuclear deal cannot be saved without US


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday ruled out the possibility of salvaging the Iranian nuclear deal if President Donald Trump decides to pull the United States out of the agreement. “This agreement cannot be implemented if one of the participants unilaterally steps out of it,” Lavrov told a news …

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Pence heads to Mideast amid Israel embassy storm


– US Vice President Mike Pence set off for the Middle East on Friday for a trip overshadowed by controversy over plans to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Pence had been due to travel in December last year, but Arab anger over President Donald Trump s decision …

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Istanbul district bans play about dictator by Erdogan critic


Istanbul authorities banned a planned performance on Friday of a play about a dictator, invoking powers granted under Turkey’s state of emergency imposed after a failed coup attempt against President Tayyip Erdogan. “Just a Dictator” is an extended monologue delivered by the ruler of an unspecified country about his rise …

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EU sets 2030 target for recyclable plastic packaging


The European Union unveiled plans Tuesday for all plastic packaging in Europe to be recyclable by 2030 and phase out single-use plastic like coffee cups to fight pollution. The strategy announced by the European Commission, the EU-executive, follows China’s decision to ban imports of foreign waste products for recycling, including …

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