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Putin hails normalization of ties in letter to Erdogan

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has written to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the occasion of the New Year, lauding normalization of bilateral ties over the past year. Putin wrote the letter Saturday, stressing that the two sides had not only succeeded in putting their bilateral ties back on track over the ...

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Germany’s Merkel vows to address political rift

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to address ongoing political divisions in Germany by prioritizing social cohesion and swiftly forming a new government. In her annual New Year’s address on Sunday, Chancellor Merkel said Germans had rarely been so split over the changes taking place in their society, adding that ...

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Ex-Catalan president wants his former govt. reinstated

Catalonia’s former leader, Carles Puigdemont, has urged Spain to reinstate the secessionist government that he headed but that was dismissed following an illegal independence referendum. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed the former regional government of Catalonia — an autonomous region of Spain — and called for snap elections to ...

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UN bans 4 more North Korean vessels from international ports

The United Nations has banned four more North Korean ships from entering international ports for breaching sanctions against Pyongyang, bringing to eight the total number of the Eastern Asian country’s blacklisted vessels. The UN Security Council voted on Thursday to deny international port access to the four vessels – the Ul ...

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Iran’s Asia oil exports skid to lowest since April 2016

The latest official figures show that imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia tumbled 29 percent in November from the same month a year ago to the lowest volumes since April 2016. In total, China, India, Japan and South Korea imported 1.36 million barrels per day (bpd) ...

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Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung makes biggest 2017 eruption

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano experienced its biggest eruption of the year this week, spewing clouds of gas and showering ash into the sky, a local official said Friday. The volcano, which roared back to life in 2010 after four centuries of silence, has been erupting steadily since 2015, displacing more ...

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Bangladesh to repatriate 1st group of Rohingya Muslim refugees

Bangladesh has prepared for the repatriation of 100,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar under an agreement between the two countries. Obaidul Quader, the Bangladeshi minister of road, transport and bridges, told reporters on Friday that the first group of the Rohingya would be sent back to Myanmar by January 23. The ...

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Republican senators skip Russia trip after Kremlin snubs Shaheen

Two Republican senators scrap a Russia visit as their Democratic colleague is denied a visa. A spokesman for Russia’s embassy in the US said Saturday that New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen had been rejected as she was blacklisted by the Kremlin as a response to the US sanctions on Moscow, Politico reported. ...

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