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IS counter-attacks to defend north Syria stronghold

- Clashes raged around a key northern Syrian town on Tuesday after the Islamic State group launched a counter-attack to fend off a US-backed advance near the jihadists' stronghold Raqa.

Sewol ferry 'remains' are animal bones: S. Korea ministry

Seoul - Bone fragments recovered from the wreck of South Korea's Sewol ferry are from an animal and not human remains, the maritime ministry said Tuesday, dashing hopes of the relatives of missing victims.

IS counter-attacks to defend north Syria town: monitor

Birut - The Islamic State group launched a counter-attack Tuesday against US-backed fighters closing in on a key jihadist-held town in northern Syria, a monitor said.

Number of Kenyans going hungry doubles to 3 mn: Red Cross

Nairobi - The number of Kenyans needing emergency food aid has doubled in the past three months to three million, the Red Cross said Tuesday, as the impact of a devastating drought worsens.

France's Hamon talks euro with Merkel, wins Schulz backing

Berlin - French Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon took his call to broaden decision-making in the eurozone to Berlin Tuesday in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

UN chief urges Arabs to unite against Syria war

Mafraq - UN chief Antonio Guterres called on Arab leaders Tuesday to set aside their differences to confront Syria's six-year conflict, as he toured a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

Russia's largest bank pulls out of Ukraine

Moscow - Russia's Sberbank, the largest in the country, on Tuesday announced it had sold its Ukraine division, where operations have been complicated since Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Gilt-y pleasure: Italian artisan crafts 24-carat gold shoes

Turin - Filthy rich and already boast enough glass slippers to win a dozen princes? Italian shoemaker Antonio Vietri has the thing for you: 24-carat gold shoes.

Scottish lawmakers to hold independence vote on eve of Brexit

Edinburgh - Scotland's parliament is poised to call for an independence referendum Tuesday, another headache for Prime Minister Theresa May as she battles to keep the country united just a day before triggering Brexit.

Indonesia's president says open to death penalty review

Jakarta - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo said he would restore a moratorium on the death penalty if he won the backing of the people, after a spate of executions that drew international condemnation.

Hungary ready to detain all migrants: ministry

Budapest - Hungary said Monday it was ready to begin detaining asylum-seekers in camps on its southern border with Serbia after passing a law this month that has drawn criticism from rights groups and the UN.

With art and sport, young refugees build new lives in Greece

Atenas - Jawad Ahmadi, an 18-year-old Afghan, reached the island of Lesbos a year ago with his older brother and cousin, believing Greece would be just a temporary stop on his way to Germany.

Backlash over Brexit battle of the legs headline

London - Britain's Daily Mail newspaper faced a backlash Tuesday for comparing the legs on show when British Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon held talks.

Offend it like Beckham: England star upsets Hong Kong

Hong Kong - David Beckham has scored an own goal on Facebook after upsetting Hong Kongers by lumping their city in with China -- then annoyed mainlanders when he tried to fix his mess.

Beijing urges France to protect Chinese community after police shooting

Paris - China on Tuesday urged France to protect its citizens in Paris after police there killed a Chinese father of four, sparking violent protests in which 35 people were arrested.

British soldier's sentence for killing injured Taliban cut

London - A British court on Tuesday cut a soldier's sentence for killing an injured Taliban fighter to seven years after his murder conviction was reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Tributes flood in for S.African anti-apartheid icon Kathrada

Johanesburg - Celebrated South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues in the struggle against white rule and a fellow Robben Island prisoner, died Tuesday aged 87.

Brits in Germany put down roots to weather Brexit

Frankfurt Am Main - Former Royal Air Force airman Paul Hughes never imagined saying it, but he admits that he was almost "ashamed of my fellow countrymen" when Britons voted to leave the EU last June. "I was devastated," he tells AFP.

New NATO-Russia talks on eve of Tillerson visit

Brussels - NATO ambassadors will meet the Russian envoy on Thursday in a new bid to ease tensions on the eve of the alliance's first talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Scottish lawmakers to hold independence vote on eve of Brexit

Edinburgh - Just a day before Britain kick-starts Brexit proceedings, the Scottish parliament is on Tuesday expected to dismiss Prime Minister Theresa May's overtures and back calls for a fresh independence referendum.
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