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Bridging The Gap
Taliban 'not seeking to seize whole Afghanistan' Taliban 'not seeking to seize whole Afghanistan'
The Taliban official who has led the group's peace negotiations with the US has told the BBC the insurgents do not want to seize "the whole country by [military] power". "It will not bring peace to Afghanistan," Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said. However, he said the group would not agree to a ceasefire until foreign forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan. UN data shows that the Taliban ...
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Paris fire: Eight dead and many injured at apartment block Paris fire: Eight dead and many injured at apartment block
Eight people including a baby have died in a fire at an eight-storey building in south-western Paris, fire service officials say. Nearly 30 people - including six firefighters - were injured. One person is in a serious condition. 50 people were evacuated by ladders from the blaze in the upmarket 16th arrondissement. The Paris prosecutor says it may have been deliberately started. Police h...
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Nepal woman suffocates in banned 'menstruation hut' Nepal woman suffocates in banned 'menstruation hut'
A 21-year-old Nepali woman died of suffocation in a windowless "menstruation hut" after she lit a fire to keep warm, say police. Parwati Bogati was found when her mother-in-law went to check on her. "She was excited about the next day as her menstruation would end. Poor child closed her eyes forever," Laxmi Bogati told the Kathmandu Post. The incident in Nepal's Doti district comes just w...
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Central African Republic agrees peace deal with rebel groups Central African Republic agrees peace deal with rebel groups
A peace deal between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and 14 rebel groups has been struck after talks in Sudan, officials say. The deal was announced by the UN mission in CAR, known as Minusca, and the African Union (AU), which both sponsored the talks in Khartoum. "This is a great day for Central African Republic and all its people," said AU commissioner Smail Chergui. ...
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Australia weather: January was hottest month on record Australia weather: January was hottest month on record
Australia recorded its hottest month ever in January, with average temperatures exceeding 30C (86F) for the first time. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the extreme heat was "unprecedented" during the country's summer period. At least five January days were among the 10 warmest on record, with daily national temperature highs of 40C. The heat has caused wildfire deaths, bushfires a...
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Saudi Arabia ends major anti-corruption campaign Saudi Arabia ends major anti-corruption campaign
Saudi Arabia says it has ended its anti-corruption drive, launched in 2017, that saw hundreds of princes, tycoons and business chiefs rounded up. More than $100bn (76bn) in assets - including property and cash - has been recouped by the state, officials in the Gulf kingdom say. They say settlements were reached with 87 individuals who confessed to the charges against them. Eight others r...
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Darren Weir: Australian police raid top horse trainer's stables Darren Weir: Australian police raid top horse trainer's stables
Australian police have raided the stables of one of the nation's leading horse trainers, arresting three men over a probe into alleged racing fraud. The men were held for questioning in Victoria on Wednesday, police said, adding that no charges had been laid. Local media named one man in custody as Darren Weir, the owner of the stables. Mr Weir trained Prince of Penzance, the horse ridden...
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Wang Quanzhang: China jails leading human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang: China jails leading human rights lawyer
China has sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang to four and a half years in prison for state subversion. Wang, 42, had defended political campaigners, victims of land seizures, as well as followers of the banned spiritual Falun Gong movement. He was one of several lawyers and activists arrested in 2015 crackdown, and was the last to go on trial. China has in recent years ...
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Brazil dam collapse: 'Little hope' of finding missing alive Brazil dam collapse: 'Little hope' of finding missing alive
Up to 300 people are missing after a dam collapsed at an iron ore mine in south-eastern Brazil, officials say. The break caused a sea of muddy sludge that buried the dam's cafeteria where hundreds of workers were eating lunch. Rescue teams used earth-moving machinery at the site near the town of Brumadinho, in Minas Gerais state. Governor Romeu Zema said there was little chance of finding...
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Macedonia and Greece: Vote settles 27-year name row Macedonia and Greece: Vote settles 27-year name row
Greek MPs have voted narrowly to back a historic agreement with Macedonia, bringing to an end a 27-year dispute over its northern neighbour's name. Parliament in Athens agreed by 153 votes to 146 to approve the name Republic of North Macedonia, despite widespread opposition from the public. Thousands demonstrated outside parliament on Thursday night. Greece has rejected Macedonia's name s...
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