Reuters World News Highlights

SEGOU/BAMAKO, Mali – French-backed government forces advanced into northern Mali towards the Islamist rebel stronghold of Gao on Friday, recapturing the town of Hombori and forcing al Qaeda-allied fighters to pull back under relentless French air strikes.
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AMMAN – The Syrian army has stepped up an offensive on opposition Sunni Muslim strongholds in the central city of Homs, bringing in ground forces and loyalist militia to try to secure a major road junction, opposition sources said on Friday.
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WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court on Friday invalidated President Barack Obama’s “recess” appointments to a labor board last year, ruling that the move was unconstitutional and dealing a blow to Obama’s strategy of bypassing Senate Republicans.
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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has begun laying off many of its 46,000 temporary and contract employees and cutting maintenance on ships and aircraft in an effort to slow spending due to fears of new defense budget cuts, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Friday.
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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama named longtime foreign policy aide Denis McDonough to be his next White House chief of staff on Friday.
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SEOUL – North Korea threatened to attack rival South Korea if Seoul joined a new round of tightened U.N. sanctions, as Washington unveiled more of its own economic restrictions following Pyongyang’s rocket launch last month.
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MOSCOW – Russia’s parliament backed a draft law on Friday banning “homosexual propaganda”, in what critics see as an attempt to shore up support for President Vladimir Putin in the country’s largely conservative society.
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MOGADISHU – Al Shabaab on Friday said its Christian enemies had closed its Twitter account, which the Somali militant group used to parade hostages, mock rivals and claim responsibility for bombings and assassinations.
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BEIJING – China and Japan sought to cool down tensions over a chafing territorial dispute on Friday, with Communist Party chief Xi Jinping telling an envoy from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was committed to developing bilateral ties.
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BEIJING – China’s disgraced former senior politician, Bo Xilai, will go on trial next week, a Beijing-backed Hong Kong newspaper said on Friday, in what would be the final act of a drama that has shaken the ruling Communist Party.
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FALLUJA, Iraq – Iraqi troops shot dead at least four people during clashes with Sunni Muslim protesters in Falluja on Friday in escalating unrest against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Latest in World News

(L-R) Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama pose for family photo at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

North America leaders mount strong defence of trade despite threats

OTTAWA,  (Reuters) – Canada, the United States and Mexico yesterday mounted a fierce defence of free trade, vowing to deepen economic ties despite an increasingly acrimonious debate about the value of globalization.

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Obama urges Venezuela to respect democratic process

OTTAWA, (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday urged the Venezuelan government to respect the democratic process and the rule of law, including allowing the release of political prisoners.

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Six Honduran police officers indicted on U.S. drug charges

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – Six members of the Honduran National Police were indicted yesterday on U.S. charges they participated in drug trafficking activities and conspired with a son of former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo to import cocaine into the United States.

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China risks ‘outlaw’ status if it rejects South China Sea ruling -lawyer

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – An international ruling next month is expected to deprive China of any legal basis for its claim to most of the South China Sea, and Beijing risks being seen as an “outlaw state” unless it respects the outcome, the Philippines’ chief lawyer in the case said yesterday.

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Fresh details spur debate on police response to Orlando massacre

(Reuters) – The release of police dispatch records offering new details from witnesses of the Orlando nightclub massacre provided fresh grist yesterday for the debate about whether law enforcement waited too long to take out the gunman.

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India’s top court to consider intervening in Muslim ‘triple talaq’ divorce law

NEW DELHI,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India’s Supreme Court said it will examine how far it could interfere in Muslim laws governing family-related issues as it heard a plea to end a practice allowing Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying “talaq” three times.

Malala Yousafzai

Price of fame: Pakistani schoolgirl Malala joins millionaires’ club

LONDON,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage education activist who survived a near-fatal attack by the Taliban, and her family have become millionaires in under four years due to sales of a book about her life and appearances on the global speaker circuit.

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US Virgin Islands to withdraw subpoena in climate probe into Exxon

HOUSTON, (Reuters) – The U.S. Virgin Islands’ attorney general yesterday agreed to withdraw a sweeping subpoena issued against Exxon Mobil Corp as part of a push by a coalition of state prosecutors to try to investigate whether the world’s largest publicly traded oil company misled the public about climate change risks.

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