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UN rights council calls special S.Sudan session next week

Geneva - The UN human rights council said Friday it will hold a special session on war-ravaged South Sudan next week, following a request from 40 nations led by the United States.

Syrian regime fighting IS on edge of Palmyra: rights observers

Birut - Islamic State jihadists battled Syrian regime forces on Friday on the outskirts of Palmyra, the ancient town from which they were chased out eight months ago, rights observers said.

Canada's Parliament Hill — Algonquin tribe claims ownership

Ottawa - A group of Quebec Algonquins, in an effort to block a treaty between the Algonquins of Ontario and the federal and Ontario governments, has filed a claim for lands in downtown Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court and Lebreton Flats.

Review: Olivia Lane flops on 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' cover Special

Country songstress Olivia Lane has covered Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," and her rendition is lackluster and forgettable.

Giuliani out as Trump narrows diplomat pick

Grand Rapids - Donald Trump plunged his quest for America's next top diplomat back into the spotlight by confirming that one frontrunner, outspoken former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, will not join his cabinet.

Op-Ed: Fake news filters could block access to alternative news sources

There is more and more concern about "fake news" as being responsible for events such as the election of Donald Trump, and Brexit. The Russians have been accused of using fake news to influence the US election.

Race for new Italy government enters final stage

Rome - The race to resolve debt-laden Italy's political crisis steps up a gear on Saturday, with President Sergio Mattarella meeting the key players in talks watched closely by Europe.

Medics use sonic waves for deep brain surgery

London - British medial researchers have successfully used sonic waves to operate deep inside the brain of a patient. The novel treatment was used with a person who suffered from uncontrollable tremors in their hands.

Writers call for end to China's human rights crackdown

Bejing - More than 100 authors from around the world signed a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping Saturday -- Human Rights Day -- to urge an immediate end to China's "worsening crackdown" on rights, a global writers group said.

Fukushima radiation detected in U.S. coastal waters

The plume of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011 has been creeping at a snail's pace across the Pacific Ocean. But now, Cesium-134 has been found in samples of seawater taken along the Oregon coast this year.

Turkey to submit Erdogan powers bill to parliament

Istanbul - Turkey's ruling party is to submit a bill to parliament on Saturday expanding the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a move supporters believe will streamline the political system but opponents fear will lead to one-man rule.

Samsung preparing to permanently disable Galaxy Note7

Samsung has announced it is preparing to launch a new software update for its recalled and discontinued Galaxy Note7 smartphone that will prevent remaining devices from charging. The move is intended to convince owners to return their phones.

Thailand using technology in effort to clean up seafood industry

Under international pressure to clean up its seafood industry, Thailand's Navy this week showed off its latest in "new technology" to monitor fishing boats in a renewed effort to crack down on abuses and corruption in the industry.

Op-Ed: Fighting fake news? Not too well yet, but it can be done

Sydney - Fake news is now, belatedly, under attack. There are still no lawsuits. One bit of case law could bury fake news, and the vermin who make it.

Mexico quietly marks 10 years of drug war

Mexico - Ten years after Mexican troops were unleashed against drug cartels, the country will mark the anniversary without fanfare on Sunday, with murders rising again and the military eager to return to barracks.

Smallpox may not be as old as previously thought

Open any history book on pathology and smallpox is likely to be described as a very ancient disease, responsible for killing the odd Egyptian pharaoh or two. New tests, however, suggest the virus may not be as old as previously thought.

Google unveils its take on Amazon's Alexa skills

Google has expanded its Google Assistant developer program to include every app creator as opposed to just private beta testers. It will expand the number of services compatible with Assistant as the company prepares to take on market leader Amazon.

New evidence of a genetic reason for autism

The causes of autism are varied. However one reason for some people with an autism spectrum disorder is likely to be genetic. New research has identified a new genetic cause.

Laureates to receive Nobels, except Bob Dylan

Oslo - In the absence of rock icon Bob Dylan, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will be the star of Saturday's Nobel ceremonies when he receives his Peace Prize in Oslo, crowning an achievement that came close to failing at the finish line.

Protests before, after or during inauguration have been blocked

Washington - Anyone planning on attending the Women's March in Washington the day after the inauguration might want to check for updates because the Lincoln Memorial won't be available. You can blame the National Park Service for the glitch.
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