Ex-U.S. President George H.W. Bush in intensive care

AUSTIN, Texas,  (Reuters) – Former President George H.W. Bush is in the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital and is in “guarded condition,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said yesterday.

“The president is alert and conversing with medical staff, and is surrounded by family,” McGrath said in a statement.

“Following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever, President Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital on Sunday where he remains in guarded condition,” McGrath said. “Doctors at Methodist continue to be cautiously optimistic about the current course of treatment.”

The 88-year-old was admitted to the hospital Nov. 23 for bronchitis.

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Government shutdown fizzles on spending, immigration deal in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Congress voted yesterday to end a three-day U.S. government shutdown, approving another short-term funding bill as Democrats accepted promises from Republicans for a broad debate later on the future of young illegal immigrants.

Turkey expects swift campaign against U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria

HASSA, Turkey, (Reuters) – Turkey shelled targets in northwest Syria yesterday and said it would swiftly crush U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters in an air and ground offensive on the Afrin region beyond its border.

Maldives ex-leader claims Chinese land grabbing; govt denies

COLOMBO, (Reuters) – Exiled former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who is fighting for the right to contest a presidential poll this year, said yesterday that land grabbing by China was threatening peace and stability in the Indian Ocean.

EU confirms new sanctions on seven senior Venezuela officials

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China’s Xinjiang to build “Great Wall” to protect border – governor

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China’s violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang will build a “Great Wall” around its borders to prevent the infiltration of militants from outside the country, state media reported yesterday citing the regional governor.

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