• N. Korea launches space rocket in defiance of sanctions threats

    North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday, violating UN resolutions and doubling down against an international community already determined to punish Pyongyang for a nuclear test last month. There was no immediate confirmation that the final stage of the satellite-bearing rocket had successfully

    • AFP News
  • Trump, Republican rivals lock horns in key debate

    Donald Trump and his rival Republican candidates locked horns in the final debate before the crucial New Hampshire primary, under pressure to win after trailing second in Iowa. The billionaire, who boycotted the previous debate, stood center stage determined to cement his lead in the local polls despite

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  • Militants release Australian kidnapped in Burkina Faso

    An elderly Australian woman kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Burkina Faso has been released and efforts are underway to secure the release of her husband, officials said. Jocelyn Elliott, 84, and her husband, doctor Ken Elliott, 82, from Perth in Western Australia, were abducted on the night

    • AFP News
  • With no president in sight, Haiti gets transitional government

    Haitian politicians inked a last-minute agreement to install a transitional government Saturday, just hours before President Michel Martelly was scheduled to step down with no replacement in line. The agreement, signed by the presidents of both chambers of the National Assembly, keeps the country from

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  • Beyonce, in surprise new track, takes on police abuse

    Beyonce is back with her first new music in more than two years, a hip-hop-heavy track with nods to the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality. The pop superstar released a single and accompanying video, "Formation," on Saturday in a surprise one day before she is set to perform

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  • North Korea rocket launch window opens

    A one-week window opened Sunday for North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket -- widely-condemned by the international community as a disguised ballistic missile test linked to its nuclear weapons programme. Signs that a launch was imminent were confirmed when Pyongyang on Saturday shortened and

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  • Romania asks UNESCO to protect planned open-cast goldmine site

    Romania has asked the UN cultural agency UNESCO to give world heritage list status to a village where a Canadian firm is battling to locate a controversial open-cast goldmine. The village of Rosia Montana and a radius of two kilometres (just over a mile) were last month declared a site of historical

    • AFP News
  • Thousands march across Europe in anti-Islam Pegida rallies

    A march by Germany's anti-Islamic organisation Pegida drew thousands to the eastern city of Dresden on Saturday with rallies in support of the movement also held in a string of other European cities. In Prague, around 5,000 people turned out for a Pegida-inspired march organised by two far-right

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  • Colombia sees Guillain-Barre syndrome spike amid Zika cases

    More than 22,600 cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Colombia, which is seeing a sharp increase in a rare neurological disorder linked to the disease, authorities said Saturday. The news comes one day after Colombia, the country hit the second-hardest by the mosquito-borne disease after Brazil

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  • UK-bound Iranian migrants rescued from small boat in Channel

    Four Iranian migrants making a rare attempt to reach Britain by boat from France on Saturday were rescued in the nick of time after their vessel took on water and was close to capsizing, officials said. Rescuers were only alerted after one of the migrants made it back to the beach at Sangatte in northern

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  • Former victim leaves Vatican child sex abuse commission

    A former paedophilia victim has left the Vatican advisory commission on sexual abuse by the clergy, the Vatican announced Saturday, two days after the British campaigner criticised the body in the press. "It was decided" that Peter Saunders would take a leave of absence, the Vatican said.

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  • Somali, AU troops retake key port from Shebab: army, witnesses

    Somali government troops backed by African Union peacekeepers on Saturday recaptured the key port of Merka from Shebab insurgents, just one day after the Islamists swept into the city, the army and residents said. "The Somali forces and AMISOM peacekeepers secured control of Merka again and now

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  • Blast on Somalia airplane Tuesday 'was caused by bomb'

    A bomb caused the explosion that ripped a hole in the fuselage of a passenger plane shortly after it took off from Somalia's main airport on Tuesday, killing one person, the government said. The security forces have made several arrests in connection with the attack, Transport and Aviation Minister

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  • North Korea says rocket launch early as Sunday

    North Korea's widely-condemned launch of a long-range rocket could happen within a matter of hours, after Pyongyang shortened and brought forward the start of the launch window to Sunday morning. An updated notification sent by Pyongyang to UN agencies on Saturday -- a copy of which was released

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  • Thousands brave freeze at Turkey border as Syria warns Riyadh, Ankara

    Thousands of Syrians braved the freezing cold at Turkey's border Saturday after fleeing a regime assault that threatens a new humanitarian disaster, as Damascus warned Riyadh and Ankara not to send in troops. The government said any uninvited foreign soldiers who enter Syria would go home "

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  • Ukraine authorities announce find of arms linked to 2014 protest

    Ukrainian investigators said Saturday they had found a cache of 24 guns implicated in a bloody crackdown on pro-EU demonstrators in February 2014 that led to the downfall of the country's pro-Russian leader. The SBU security service and the public prosecutor told reporters that the guns had been

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  • Survivors tell of quake horror in Taiwan

    More than 250 people have been rescued from the Wei-kuan apartment complex in the southern city of Tainan since the quake hit at 4:00 am Saturday, killing 14 people and toppling four blocks of around 100 homes in total. "(When the quake hit) I slid down from my bed and was trapped between the bed

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  • Fourteen dead, 150 missing after Taiwan quake fells buildings

    Relatives of residents trapped in a 16-storey apartment complex felled by a powerful earthquake in Taiwan that killed 14 people were praying for miracles Saturday as rescuers sought survivors, with more than 150 missing in the quake zone. The cluster of buildings in the historic southern city of Tainan

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  • Bicycle suicide bomb in Quetta kills at least nine

    Nine people were killed and more than 35 injured Saturday when a suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up near a security forces truck in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials said. Two of the dead were paramilitary soldiers while seven were civilians, police said citing initial reports

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  • Rio carnival goers tell Zika mosquito to buzz off

    A massive, fleshy crowd of semi-naked people might seem like the Zika-transmitting mosquito's paradise, but Rio Carnival goers Saturday said nothing -- not even an international health emergency -- can stop the party. The peak weekend of Rio de Janeiro's Carnival season got underway with an

    • AFP News
  • Anti-Islamic protesters arrested at banned rally in Calais

    Anti-migrant protesters in the French port city of Calais Saturday clashed with police as they defied a ban and rallied in support of a Europe-wide initiative by the Islamophobic Pegida movement. Around 150 protesters gathered in central Calais carrying signs such as "This is our home," waving

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  • Kabul peace talks with Taliban 'expected this month': officials

    Direct peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban are "expected to take place" by the end of the month, representatives from four countries involved in pre-cursor roadmap negotiations said in a joint statement issued Saturday in Islamabad. The statement by delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan

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  • Body of Italian student found in Cairo repatriated to Rome

    The body of a 28-year-old Italian student who had disappeared in Cairo last week and was found dead was repatriated on Saturday to Italy which has launched an investigation into his death. Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge University PhD student, had gone missing on January 25 while on his way to meet a friend

    • AFP News
  • Fourteen dead, 150 missing after Taiwan quake fells buildings

    Relatives of residents trapped in a 16-storey apartment complex felled by a powerful earthquake in Taiwan that killed 14 people are praying for miracles as rescuers seek survivors, with more than 150 missing in the quake zone.

    • AFPTV
  • Suicide bomb kills at least nine in SW Pakistan: officials

    Nine people are killed and more than 35 injured when a suicide bomber on a bicycle blows himself up near a security forces truck in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials say.

    • AFPTV
  • Germany's Catholic Church calls for 'reduction' in refugees

    The German Catholic Church called for a reduction in the influx of refugees arriving in Germany, saying the country cannot take in "all the world's needy," according to an interview published Saturday. Germany has been struggling to cope with 1.1 million asylum seekers that arrived in

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  • Austria, Hungary warn over migrant influx

    Austria and Hungary on Saturday warned that if Greece cannot control the flood of refugees arriving from Turkey then the EU should consider reinforcing the borders of their Balkan neighbours. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, whose country has set a refugee cap of 37,500 for this year, said

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  • Pakistan police arrest six over child wedding

    Police have arrested six people accused of arranging the marriage of a seven-year-old boy and six-year-old girl in eastern Pakistan, officials said Saturday. The fathers of both children, the cleric performing the ceremony, and three witnesses were charged under the Child Marriage Restraint Act on Saturday

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  • Pakistan officials face murder probe over airline employee deaths

    Pakistani police will investigate five officials, including a former adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, for murder after two airline employees were shot dead during a protest against privatisation. The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) employees were killed and several more wounded at Karachi

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  • Austria wants EU border agency to send migrants back to Turkey

    Austria wants the EU's border agency Frontex to send directly back to Turkey the migrants it picks trying to reach Greece, media on Saturday quoted Chancellor Werner Faymann as saying. Faymann said this approach was "the only totally effective measure to break the human trafficking" of

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  • UN rights chief in Sri Lanka for talks over war crimes

    The United Nations' human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein began his first visit to Sri Lanka Saturday to gauge the island's progress in investigating atrocities committed by both sides during its prolonged civil war. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said he was hoping for "

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  • Turkish FM reaffirms 'open borders' for Syrian refugees

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed Saturday his country would keep its "open border policy" for Syrian refugees, saying as many as 55,000 people fleeing a new regime offensive were heading toward the frontier. "We still keep this open border policy for these people fleeing

    • AFP News
  • Hundreds of Syrians wait at Turkish border in Idlib province

    Thousands of Syrians were braving cold and rain at the Turkish border on Saturday after fleeing a Russian-backed regime assault on Aleppo in northern Syria that threatens a fresh humanitarian disaster.

    • AFPTV
  • Obama seeks to double US funds for clean energy research

    President Barack Obama on Saturday proposed doubling US funding over the next five years for clean energy research and development, as part of his ongoing effort to tackle climate change. In his weekly media address, Obama announced that he will send a budget to Congress on Tuesday which hits twice

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  • Syrians receive gas after regime forces end siege on Shiite town

    Syrian government troops moved closer on Thursday to encircling rebels in the country's second city Aleppo, entering two Shiite villages that had been under rebel siege and threatening a total siege after cutting their main supply line. Since it began Monday, the offensive has seen troops sever the

    • AFPTV
  • 101 die in Nigeria from Lassa fever outbreak

    A growing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has killed 101 people, as West Africa battles to contain a flare up of the virus, according to data from the nation's health authorities released Saturday. Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) statistics show that reported cases of the haemorrhagic

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  • As Syria rebels face rout, allies Saudi, Turkey may send troops

    With rebel forces facing the prospect of a crushing defeat by Syria's Russian-backed regime, their allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey may send in limited numbers of ground troops, analysts say. Riyadh on Thursday left open the possibility of deploying soldiers, saying it would "contribute positively

    • AFP News
  • Edgar Mitchell, astronaut who walked on Moon, dead at 85

    US astronaut Edgar Mitchell, one of just 12 people to have walked on the Moon, has died aged 85, his family and NASA said Friday, calling him a "pioneer." NASA paid glowing tribute to Mitchell, who died in Florida after a brief illness late Thursday, the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar

    • AFP News
  • Carnival opens in Rio, defying growing Zika fears

    Rio's Carnival -- a five day festival of dancing, bared flesh and wild costumes -- got underway in the face of warnings that the Zika virus might make even kissing dangerous. Mayor Eduardo Paes handed a big golden key to the city to the Carnival's ceremonial King Momo, who promised a spectacular

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  • Pakistan wants as many Taliban groups as possible to join talks

    Pakistan says as many Taliban groups as possible must be persuaded to join any upcoming peace discussions with the Afghan government, as a third round of four-country talks aimed at reviving negotiations with the insurgent group begins.

    • AFPTV
  • Turkmen leader sacks key aide amid graft charges

    Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has sacked his administration chief, complaining of corruption and mismanagement, state television said Saturday, as economic troubles begin to mount in the isolated Central Asian state. Berdymukhamedov indicated "a weakening of discipline

    • AFP News
  • Sri Lanka requests IMF bailout to tackle budget deficit

    Sri Lanka has made a formal request for an IMF bailout package to aid its struggling economy after a sharp slowdown in growth and with its budget deficit widening, officials said Saturday. The International Monetary Fund confirmed the island nation had asked for assistance, but did not give details

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  • Hop on down, Miffy the rabbit gets her own museum

    After a two-year renovation project, what was formerly known as the Dick Bruna Huis (house) in the Centraal Museum of the Dutch city of Utrecht, is reopening this weekend as a bright, playful space dedicated to Miffy herself and carefully re-imagined as a hands-on experience for her young fans. The

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  • Don't mess with Texas, where law is hard, mistakes common

    Among the 3,000 counties that make up the United States, there is one in Texas where it's best not to mess with the law, because justice is hard and mistakes are common. Harris County has executed a record 125 people since the US Supreme Court overturned the death penalty in 1976. "The best

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  • Syria rebels risk collapse after Russia-backed regime gains

    Syria's mainstream rebels risk total collapse after a Russian-backed regime advance that severed their main supply line to Aleppo city and threatens to leave them completely besieged there. Analysts said rebels and their international backers were left with few options to prevent fresh government

    • AFP News
  • Bhutan's royal couple announce birth of baby prince

    Bhutan's royal couple on Saturday announced the birth of their first child, a baby prince, delighting the remote Himalayan kingdom where the monarchy is revered. The newest royal, the son of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, was safely delivered at Lingkana Palace in the

    • AFP News
  • Brazil's anti-Zika war goes house to house

    Sao Paulo resident Juliana Matuoka always thought her stunning tropical flowers were something to appreciate from afar. "Here, I got one!" exclaimed Marcio Hoglhammer, a municipal health department worker who arrived along with colleagues and two young soldiers as part of Brazil's massive

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  • First Zika-linked deaths reported in Colombia

    The mosquito-borne Zika virus sweeping through Latin America has claimed three lives in Colombia, as the United Nations urged increased access to abortion because of fears of severe birth defects. In the first direct statements from government health officials blaming Zika for causing deaths, Colombia

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  • UN asks Chad for answers over CAR rebel leader visit

    UN officials are demanding the Chadian government explain why a Central African rebel leader was able to travel freely to Chad in defiance of Security Council sanctions against him. Nourredine Adam, the second-in-command of the ex-Seleka band of mostly Muslim rebels, was able to fly to Chad despite

    • AFP News
  • Throwing sex toys 'wrong image' for New Zealand: PM

    Dildo throwing is not a good look for New Zealand and an "appalling way" to behave on the country's national day, Prime Minister John Key said Saturday, angered by an attack on a senior government minister. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce was hit in the face by a pink dildo

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  • UK press takes swipe at Assange and UN panel

    British newspaper columnists on Saturday took aim at Julian Assange and the UN panel that found the anti-secrecy campaigner had been "arbitrarily detained". The WikiLeaks founder, who faces a rape allegation in Sweden, urged Britain to let him walk free from Ecuador's London embassy following

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  • New year, new travel: more Chinese choose tourism over tradition

    While hundreds of millions of his Chinese compatriots pack into planes, trains, and automobiles to return to their ancestral homes for the Lunar New Year celebration, Zhang Hao, 30, is getting as far away as he can. Instead of making the 1,200 kilometre trek from Beijing, where he works as a designer

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  • New Hampshire may be now or never for Jeb Bush

    In a state whose motto is "Live Free or Die," New Hampshire's primary Tuesday is do or die for Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush. "I know I've been written off," said Bush, who must beat his establishment rivals next week or consider giving up. New Hampshire,"

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  • 'Facebook killer' sentenced to life for wife's US murder

    A Miami court imprisoned for life a US man who killed his wife and then splashed a photo of her bloodied body on Facebook, where he confessed to the fatal shooting. Derek Medina, 33, was found guilty last year of second-degree murder after he fired eight shots at Jennifer Alfonso in August 2013 in their

    • AFP News
  • Vietnam's 12-hour Tet cake worth the wait

    When Vietnam celebrates the new year with its raucous Tet festival next week, many people will be tucking into banh chung -- a special rice-based dessert. It takes more than twelve hours to prepare the traditional delicacy, a mixture of sweet sticky rice, beans, and pork wrapped in green leaves.

    • AFPTV
  • Female comic book artists show opens after sexism row

    An exhibition featuring 100 female comic book artists from around the world opened in London Friday, after a row in France when no women were shortlisted for a major prize at one of the genre's biggest festivals. It is the biggest exhibition organised in Britain on the international history of female

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  • Vietnam's 12-hour Tet cake worth the wait

    She may be edging into her nineties, but Tran Thi Tam still refuses to serve her children store-bought banh chung, the savoury rice cake prepared in a frenzy during Vietnam's lunar new year festival known as Tet. "Banh chung made outside the house is never good," she insists. The wrapped

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  • Satellite images show fuel trucks at North Korea launch site

    Fuel trucks were spotted at North Korea's main satellite centre, according to a US think tank, however the group says it is unlikely Pyongyang has begun fuelling the rocket it plans to launch in the coming weeks. The satellite images of the North's Sohae complex on Wednesday and Thursday showed

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  • Syrians mass on Turkish border as regime advances

    Up to 20,000 Syrians were stranded on the Turkish border Friday after fleeing a major Russian-backed regime offensive near Aleppo, where a new humanitarian disaster appeared to be unfolding. Tens of thousands of civilians have joined an exodus to escape fierce fighting involving government forces who

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  • Record 32-million-euro auction sale for 1957 Ferrari

    A legendary 1950s Ferrari has fetched a world record 32 million euros ($35 million) at auction, going under the hammer in Paris. The Spider -- which beat the record set in 2014 when a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for what was the equivalent of 28.9 million euros -- finished sixth in the Sebring 12 Hours

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