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Top News: Politics

'Whizz-kid' forms right-wing Austrian government

Vienna - Austria's conservatives and the far-right agreed a coalition deal on Friday, two months after elections that saw the Alpine country move to the right and capping a year of successes for Europe's nationalists.

Venezuela government, opposition hold new round of talks

Santo Domingo - Venezuela's government and opposition on Friday opened a new round of talks in an effort to bridge deep and entrenched differences to find a way to end the dire political and economic crisis tearing apart their country.

Putin says Arctic exploration a priority for Russia

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin has said he regards Arctic exploration a priority for Russia, but added it should also respect nature.

Poland election chief says reforms threaten free vote

Warsaw - Amendments to Poland's electoral law pushed through parliament by the rightwing government will put free elections at risk by handing the interior minister new powers, the national electoral commission said Friday.

France, Germany to unveil eurozone reforms in March

Brussels - Germany and France will offer their joint vision for reforming the eurozone by March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, in an effort to bridge divisions over the future of the single currency.

Germany's SPD agrees to exploratory govt talks with Merkel

Berlin - Germany's Social Democrats agreed Friday to open exploratory talks on building a government with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, taking Europe's biggest economy a small step closer towards a new coalition.

Catalan separatists, in uncharted waters, keep the faith

Barcelona - Voters like David Hornos drove separatist parties to success in Catalonia's last election in 2015, giving them an absolute majority of seats in the Spanish region's parliament for the first time.

US envoy says 'real dialogue' needed with N. Korea

Bangkok - The top US envoy for North Korea said Friday that "real dialogue" is needed to gauge what Pyongyang wants from its accelerated drive towards nuclear weapons statehood.

Russia election date set for March 18

Moscow - Russia's presidential election will take place on March 18, the upper house of parliament said Friday, in polls that are all but certain to return Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin for a new six-year term.

Peru president rejects demands he resign over corruption allegations

- Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski late Thursday rejected demands he resign, brushing aside an opposition ultimatum to step down or face impeachment over allegations he received bribes from Brazilian contractor Odebrecht.

Trump signs defense bill that warns of dangers of climate change

Washington - On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act, setting policy for the US military for the coming fiscal year. The bill also states that climate change is a major threat to U.S. national security.

North Korea's ambassador meets with UN official after visit

New York - North Korea's UN ambassador on Thursday met with a senior UN official who made a recent trip to Pyongyang to push for talks on ending the crisis over the reclusive country's nuclear and missile tests.

Little Christmas cheer for struggling Marine Le Pen

Paris - Criminal charges, banking problems and the loss of her right-hand man: French far-right leader Marine Le Pen insists she is not going anywhere after her presidential defeat, yet her woes are mounting.

Mutiny in the ranks: May's weakness in five points

London - A rebellion in Britain's parliament over Brexit legislation spells trouble ahead for Prime Minister Theresa May as she heads to an EU summit Thursday, hobbled by divisions within her party.

Don't sleepwalk into war over N. Korea, warns UN boss

Toukyo - United Nations chief Antonio Guterres Thursday warned the world against "sleepwalking into war" over North Korea, as he called for diplomatic efforts to banish nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

Kurz eyes Austrian government before Christmas

Vienna - Austria's political "wunderkind" Sebastian Kurz, 31, said Thursday he hopes to form a coalition with the far-right before Christmas, with media speculating a deal could be done this weekend.

Putin says Russians will reject opposition 'coup' at annual press conference

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the opposition was hoping for a "coup", during a marathon press conference that marked his first major public appearance since announcing he would seek a new six-year term in elections next year.

Fortified by family and China cash, Cambodia's strongman digs in

Phnom Penh - Secured by family and party ties, Chinese cash and his own ruthless political instincts, Cambodian strongman Hun Sen has taken a wrecking ball to the kingdom's fragile democracy in a campaign to extend his 32-year rule.

Embittered in crisis, Catalan separatists raise spectre of Franco

Madrid - As their crucial regional election nears, separatists in Catalonia are accusing the Spanish government of acting like the late dictator Francisco Franco, in a country that has yet to heal the wounds of his regime.
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